With a growing number of media outlets and brands diving wholeheartedly into the eSports space, Sportradar unveiled the launch of its API for the industry, offering a data feed that created key points such as stats and results of leading game titles and tournaments, including CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends and StarCraft II. The move is designed to ensure media companies have the tools to cover eSports in the same manner as they would the NFL, NASCAR or the NBA by utilizing scores, statistics, X/Y positioning, standings, leaderboards and schedules into their content. Cynopsis spoke with Will Thornton, Business Development Manager, US at Sportradar, about the move and how it will impact mainstream coverage of eSports.
Thorton on getting into the eSports space: I’m a fan myself and a gamer. I have been following the space for a while now and really saw this massive growth and excitement, selling out Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, etc. It dawned on me that this kind of data would not only be valuable, but could also be non-human mediated and tapped in right to the servers. It’s almost like the futuristic sport where everyone is tracked completely and every data point is meticulously kept in real-time. So, I saw the opportunity.
On filling the void: You’ve seen the likes of ESPN and Sports Illustrated come out with these standalone products, but there was no data source for them to pull from. So they looked to us as the thought-leaders on what it should look like and what data points they needed, so we created it to help them treat this just like other highly-viewed events from the NFL or NHL.
On gathering data: It’s a really complicated process. We have a full team of scouts who are watching all the games and entering them into all the schedules so we play it as it comes. We’re used to covering leagues that may not be well- organized and making them organized.
On the future: If you look at the projections and the growth, one really positive area is the brand activation portion of what this API can bring, allowing them to create engagements around different tournaments or events. We’re also looking to produce not just raw data feeds, but also leveraging them into products such as widgets and score centers, that make it easier for people to get into as well as make ourselves the first-movers in creating products for clients to put on their sites.
Favorite franchise: Call of Duty.
Hear more from Thorton and other industry leaders at our Cynopsis eSports Conference, taking place on June 23 in NYC. Click here for tickets and info.