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Feb 27, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

Interview with Michael Prim - Pinnacle’s eSports Trader

Why is live betting so popular with eSports bettors?

What game state changes are the most critical?

When do bettors overreact to a situation?

Interview with Michael Prim - Pinnacle’s eSports Trader
With the demand for eSports betting sky-rocketing, we got our Live eSports Trader, Michael Prim, to give us an interview. Why is live betting so popular with eSports bettors? What game state changes are the most critical? When do bettors overreact to a situation? Read on to find out.
For dedicated eSports content visit our eSports hub.

Michael Prim has been playing DotA since its early days on Warcraft 3 (DotA All Stars). He has also played CS from 1.3 to 1.6 and then went back to playing it when GO was released. His expertise in gaming led him to Pinnacle, where he works as a Live Trader for eSports since September 2015.

Hello Mike, how did you first find out about Pinnacle’s eSports department and what is your role?

I was previously involved with the gaming industry (mmorpg/mobile games) but didn't see much progress in a career, so a friend of mine advised me to check with the sports betting industry. I saw a job posting for an eSports operations assistant, applied, and was accepted. Currently, I am a Live Trader for eSports (Dota2/CSGO)

What is the biggest difference between the gaming and betting side of the eSports industry?

Well, when you are playing the game against a team that seems much better or worse than you, it feels like you either stomp them or get stomped on, but the chance that your team actually had of winning or losing was probably closer than you thought. I have a greater understanding of how the odds reflect a team’s chance of winning - being a Live Trader, you have to analyse every engagement and graph to see how they affect the betting line. Now when I do get to play, I have a better idea of how certain deaths, engagements, and objectives help and hurt my team.

"Know what each team’s game plan is and determine if they are able to follow it during the match."

Now that Live Trader has become a full-time responsibility within the department, why is eSports live (in-play) betting so popular with bettors?

The game state changes a lot as the game progresses so this gives the bettors more information on how the game is going, making it more interesting to bet on. Fans of teams also get the opportunity to bet on longer (better) odds for their team to comeback if they are disadvantaged early.

What game state changes are the most influential to the bettors and when do bettors overreact to a situation?

For Dota2, mid-game team fights carry a lot of weight as they can easily decide how the flow of the game would go. However, comebacks do tend to happen so I always pay attention on how later fights go as one fight or pick off can turn the game around. I feel people tend to overreact on the early kills, especially on the first kill (First Blood). While early turret advantage is nice, if the team who loses the early turrets hangs in the game, they have a chance to really take over midgame once they even the turrets because of the momentum change in net worth. 

So you watch and follow the same stream as the bettors. What other sources of information do you need to keep up with the bettors?

I would suggest paying attention to the net worth and XP graphs as they generally indicate how ahead/behind a team is. If possible, I will use websites that give real time changes to these graphs because when you are looking at just the stream, you only see the game from the Caster’s point of view. Kill score can be very misleading, especially late in the game. The later the game goes, it is really important to know the buyback status.

Is there advice you could give the live bettor who uses this information?

Know what each team’s game plan is and determine if they are able to follow it during the match. If a team whose plan is to fight constantly commits two or three heroes to gank but only picks off supports, then the other team is usually able to gain a farming (net worth) advantage. Understand that there is more going on in the game than you can view from the Caster’s perspective and use other sources of information to fully comprehend the game state.

Being someone whose job consists of watching DOTA 2 all day, if you could be a Hero for a week, who would it be and why?

Haha! That’s a tough one. Let me think about it for a sec... I'd pick Naga Siren* so I can just be everywhere, doing everything all at once.

And because you like to sing?

No, I’m terrible at singing! That would be a good talent to pick up for a week though, I guess, maybe then I would try Karaoke.

Thank you Michael.

Pinnacle’s eSports live betting offerings are updated weekly in the eSports Schedule. Additional betting information and articles can be found in the eSports Hub. 

*Naga Siren is a Hero whose ultimate ability is “Song of the Siren”, regarded as one of the most powerful ultimates in the game.

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