eSports and entertainment business Unikrn has launched its Unikrn Arena platform in the UK market, allowing viewers to watch and bet on matches and tournaments in which players compete against others in popular video games.

The Unikrn Arena platform broadcasts tournaments for a range of games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Call of Duty organised by major European eSports leagues such as the ESL Gaming Network, and allows players to place real-money wagers on their outcomes through a partnership with Australian operator Tabcorp.

Using the operator’s Luxbet platform, viewers can bet on matches and tournaments using a range of bet types associated with traditional sports betting markets, with odds to now be offered on overall tournament winners for the first time.

“The UK is one of the most sophisticated sports betting markets in the world and there has been tremendous demand for safe wagering on eSports from consumers in that part of the world,” Unirkn co-founder and chief executive Rahul Sood commented.

“To celebrate our UK opening we have decided to make things more interesting by introducing a new betting market for the overall tournament winner.”

eSports is an increasingly popular form of entertainment, with viewership for its events surpassing 70m annually.

Unikrn said it had launched in the liberal UK market, as not only is gambling permitted, but the country also has the world’s fifth-largest video game market, generating £3.2bn in 2013, with an audience of more than 33.5m people.

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