iGaming Business magazine Gaming Platforms 2018 - Page 15

Gaming Platforms 2018 Q&A: Mario Ovcharov, UltraPlay With more than fi ve years’ experience delivering innovative betting products, UltraPlay chief executive Mario Ovcharov explains how the fi rm’s esports and crypto pedigree sets it apart iGB: After several years in executive positions at UltraPlay, you recently stepped up as CEO. How would you describe the path that UltraPlay has taken over the years? Mario Ovcharov: Since UltraPlay was founded eight years ago, the company has recorded several breakthroughs, including introducing a range of new and exciting technological and betting concepts. From offering our turnkey online gaming platform, to expanding the product verticals to include one of the hottest – esports, we keep on delivering solutions that contribute to a profi table business for our partners. In 2014 we came up with the brilliant idea of covering esports – a landmark in the company’s history. Back then there were no markets, no live betting, and very little coverage of tournaments. We started with a small number of traders to cover most major events. Right then and there, we introduced live betting on CS:GO and started to offer new titles live, even going as far as Hearthstone and King of Glory. Now, our partners have the richest range of options for in-play betting on esports. Naturally for such a hectic industry, we have experienced many changes, trends, and technologies over time, but stayed on track to create products that appeal to players, ensure they enjoy betting and drive incremental revenues for the operators. What is your USP compared to other companies active in esports? Frankly speaking, we are the industry standard for esports odds. Our in-house esports trading department is the largest in terms of sheer size and competence, as well as being the most comprehensive software solution. Built by our developers, it providers the ultimate solution for both operators’ and players’ requirements. UltraPlay’s greatest achievement is our live offering, which enables our clients to offer fi ve times more games with in-play betting coverage than any competitor. The innovative match predicting system Odds.gg demonstrates our knowledge and experience in esports so that industry professionals can gain insights and competence in this very specifi c and dynamic sector. We are at the forefront of delivering software that enables betting brands to enter esports and start monetising the data. Odds.gg by itself is orders of magnitude larger than most paid odds feeds on the market today. Needless to say, the industry has responded with huge interest. Hundreds of companies integrated our API and started consuming it. UltraPlay is also known for its cryptocurrency projects, you even created your own esports betting cryptocurrency. What’s next for the company in this space? UltraPlay’s experience in blockchain dates back more than fi ve years, when the company was the fi rst to introduce crypto betting through Bitcoin. Back then it was perceived by many as an extravagant and risky idea. Now, our industry is further embracing crypto wagering. This is an on-going process for UltraPlay, with new partnerships and projects due to be presented later this year. We already extended the altcoins portfolio to levels which a true crypto fan has never experienced before. All of our partners can have better players acquisition and retention and grow their crypto base more easily. Besides, our own cryptocurrency eGold has entered the next stage of the roadmap and in the coming months will be presented on the brand-new betting website Buff88 – a place that is designed to satisfy both esports and crypto enthusiasts. What are the goals the company’s seeking to achieve for this year? Our goals are very much aligned to shape the future of esports betting. We will continue to evolve our products so that they become fi rst-choice for many new partners in emerging and well-established markets. We have now extended the company’s road show with iGB Live! and SIGMA where new developments and an extended portfolio will be presented. Consolidating our position in core markets, we are ready and looking forward to discussing new partnerships at G2E Asia. iGamingBusiness Business | Issue 110 | May/June 2018 85