Australian gaming operator Tabcorp has entered the growing eSports market through a partnership with tournament organiser Unikrn, that will see it launch a platform that allows players to compete, view and bet on competitions.

eSports is an increasingly popular activity among video games enthusiasts, in which players, either alone or in teams, compete in games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Call of Duty. The market is projected to grow to more than 10m players in over 100 countries this year.

Tabcorp, through its Luxbet subsidiary, will move into the space through the partnership with Unirkm, which was founded by former Microsoft Ventures general manager Rahul Sood. The platform will allow Unirkrm to offer live streaming and live chat functionality to eSports fans, as well as betting on the outcome of matches and tournaments in legal sports betting jurisdictions.

Tabcorp will manage the online betting functionality and all account identification processes, and says that it plans to expand the range of betting options on eSports in the near future.

“eSports is one of the largest sports globally, attracting viewer numbers that are on par with traditional sports such as American football and basketball,” Unikrn chief executive Sood commented. “We couldn’t have found a better partner than Tabcorp to drive innovation and bring wagering to the fast-growing eSports market.

“Tabcorp’s track record as a global leader in responsible betting and its experience running an integrated wagering and media business provides Unikrn with the platform to build a secure, legal and fun arena for adults to gather, game, and bet on eSports.”

Tabcorp managing director and chief executive David Attenborough said he was proud to be partnering with Unirkn.

“Unikrn is delivering a global gaming community platform that reaches millions of gamers around the world, with a proven record of innovation and success. As an investor in Unikrn, Tabcorp is connecting its Luxbet platform to Unikrn’s gaming and eSports communities.”

Shares in Tabcorp Holdings Limited (Co.Data) (ASX:TAH) closed up 0.20 per cent at AUD$4.71 per share in Sydney Wednesday.

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