Bill Healey chats with Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers about new game products

Can you provide readers an overview of Inspired Entertainment’s recently launched Re-Play eSports™’ and the incorporation of Counter-Strike?

The popularity of eSports has risen exponentially over the last few years, as players who have grown up with online video games seek new gaming opportunities. Re-Play eSports™ is an innovative, new product that provides a betting-focused game using eSports footage. Counter-Strike is an iconic game with a cult following that will also attract an ever-growing fanbase — it’s a classic that spans generations. We’re excited to be able to use our knowledge and proficiency in virtual gaming to provide a dynamic, new experience for bettors and eSports fans. The game will offer players the chance to bet on familiar eSports markets such as Round Winner, First Kill in the Round and Total Kills in the Round. Additional bet markets such as Round Outcome, which allows bettors to predict the number of players still alive at the end of the round, will offer a range of prices.

re=play esports

It’s described as a fusion of virtual sports and eSports. What are Re-Play eSports’ main features and what do you see as its key innovations?

Inspired Gaming’s expertise lies in creating exceptional and true-to-life, high-frequency, virtual sports events that are constantly available and fully regulated. With CS:GO, players recognize it from the outset. Through our partnership with GRID we get the exclusive CS:GO footage, including the little nuances of exactly what the maps look like, and the strategies of the players and teams. Our challenge was creating a three-minute event out of a game that is usually much longer, with multiple rounds played over different maps. Our three-minute event is a single-round game, which lets us show a full round rather than just highlights. Although kills are a huge part of the eSports game, players also like to see the player and teams moving into position, and the strategies involved. We were able to incorporate those factors into our game. We’ve created a product that meets the needs of the modern gaming and gambling world. Overall, this new product overcomes a number of key challenges with live eSports events – no streaming lag, no data-availability concerns, available 24/7/365 and fully certified against all relevant gambling standards.

steve rogers
Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers Inspired Gaming

What has been the reaction to the release of Re-Play eSports?

It’s been unbelievable. We’ve had a lot of interest from our existing clients, as well as attention from new and prospective clients. We shared a short, social-media teaser video a week before we announced our partnership with GRID, which started to build enthusiasm and anticipation. On the day of the official announcement, the response was forceful and immediate. For us, as well as for our clients, it’s always exciting to be part of something that’s new. Our latest product will tap into a new market, and will attract and appeal to a different demographic. Everyone can see the huge potential with this product. It offers many exciting possibilities, and we’re delighted to be at the forefront and leading the way.

How do you see growth in the years ahead for the virtual sports betting sector? Can we expect to see a lot more investment from Inspired Entertainment in both this sector and the eSports market in the years ahead?

Definitely. The fusion of virtual sports and eSports makes perfect sense to us, and while we are very excited about this initial product, we’re already working on future projects. The virtual sports betting sector has grown constantly ever since the creation of the vertical more than 20 years ago. While the addition of Re-Play eSports™ is the latest addition to our portfolio, we are always upgrading our more traditional titles of virtual sports, races, and numbers games to ensure we’re creating products that are up-to-date and tie into the latest sports betting trends. CS:GO will definitely not be the first and last title that we bring within our portfolio.

Can you tell us more about the exclusive involvement with CS:GO’s global tournament – The Champion of Champions Tour?

Re-Play eSports™ will showcase footage taken exclusively from CS:GO’s global tournament – The Champion of Champions Tour, which includes professional and international teams from across the globe. We will offer Re-Play eSports™ to new and existing customers via Inspired’s virtual sports book and VPP platforms, with GRID providing official in-game data and video feeds to support them. Re-Play eSports™ will be officially launched later this year. As the CS:GO tournament is happening now, we will constantly be receiving new footage to update our product library regularly. We will receive approximately two years of CS:GO footage in all, meaning the game will remain fresh, and able to evolve and adapt. The events will last up to a minute and will be available every three minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are player engagement and interactivity the keys to a game’s success?

Yes, to a great extent, and we see that in how Inspired’s virtual sports products, and eSports attract and engage viewers, and players globally. Inspired’s Re-Play eSports™ adds that extra layer of engagement with eSports by offering a range of bets on high-frequency, fast-paced events based on games with which players are already familiar.

*** This exclusive feature interview with Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers was originally Published in Sports Betting Operator Magazine in July 2023 ***

INSPIRED STRIKES BACK was first seen on Sports Betting Operator