Sports data solutions provider Sportradar has secured a foothold in the fast growing eSports market, signing a wide-ranging partnership with league and tournament organiser ESL.

The agreement will see Sportradar develop a full range of products and services for ESL, similar to those used in traditional sports. The supplier also gains exclusive rights to process and distribute real-time match data, going into fantasy level detail, as well as offering live scoring to ESL customers worldwide.

Sportradar will also look to maintain the integrity of ESL’s events, using its Fraud Detection System to monitor 450 betting operators around the world to give its partner deep insight into suspicious betting patterns and behaviour around its competitions. With betting on eSports increasing in popularity, the partners believe it is important to take an active stance to ensure integrity.

ELS chief executive Ralf Reichert said that the eSports industry’s growth presented not only a growing number of opportunities, but also challenges, with the task of upholding its integrity arguably the most pressing.

“ESL has led the charge on integrity in esports for many years with proprietary anti-cheating software and the recent introduction of anti-doping policies in its tournaments,” Reichert explained. “With an ever increasing volume of betting on esports competitions, expanding our anti-fraud initiative to also include match fixing, collusion and other activities related to illegal, underage and irresponsible betting, was the next logical step in our efforts to preserve and promote integrity across our many competitions.

“Sportradar as the global leader in sports data was the logical partner for such a cooperation as it is not only the most experienced but also most committed data provider in the industry,” he said. “We look forward to taking this important and historical step with them to ensure a continued growth of the esports marketplace.”

ESL is one of the biggest eSports brands in the market, with its ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters tournaments attracting more than 70 million unique online viewers in the past year, and revenue growing around 50 per cent year-on-year.

Its parent company, Turtle Entertainment, sold a majority stake in the business to Swedish media corporation Modern Times Group in a €78m deal earlier this year.

“Esports is without a doubt the fastest growing sport globally across all measurables: prize money, fan viewership, sponsorship revenue,” Sportradar chief executive Carsten Koerl said.

“We are incredibly excited to form such a trustful and comprehensive partnership with the leaders in this space. They are at the vanguard of this exciting sector. By partnering with us, they have today made a clear statement that they want to be the esports innovator with the most sophisticated, most engaging and most beneficial relationship with their data and those interested in that data.

“On our part, we will be processing and delivering data in accordance with our industry-leading standards, ensuring that end users get the fastest, most accurate and most engaging data possible,” Koerl continued.

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