June 8, 2022, marked the start of the world’s first operator-organised LAN esports event. This landmark competition, bringing together the world’s best CS:GO teams, as well as a number of popular up-and-coming teams from Latin America and Europe, marked both a step into the unknown and further commitment from the Pinnacle group to the booming esports industry.
Having run a number of online Pinnacle Cup tournaments prior to the offline event, there was a unique understanding of what makes bettors tick when it comes to organising live esports action, and these learnings were drafted into the LAN competition, to be known as the Pinnacle Cup Championship.
The title: CS:GO
The venue: Sparbanken Skane Arena, Lund, Sweden
The dates: June 8-11, 2022
The teams: Astralis, BIG, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Heroic, Imperial Esports, MIBR, Team Finest
The prize pot: $250,000, split between the champions Heroic ($150,000), runners-up Astralis ($50,000), and third-placed BIG ($35,000).
Three days of esports excitement
With thousands of fans packed into the arena over the three days, there was a buzz about the venue that took the Pinnacle Cup series to a new level. With media access to individual players and managers, VIP areas for the CS:GO fanatics, and a first-class arena in a student city primed for esports action, the Pinnacle Cup Championship didn’t disappoint, and for the first-of-its-kind event, it was a smash hit.
With the best teams battling it out from the Nordics, Brazil, and Germany, the quality was high and the atmosphere electric, ably managed by live talent including Sam Wright (Tech Girl), Pala Sen (Pala), and Maikil Selim (Golden).
With the double elimination format in place, each team had to win two matches from three, with the group leaders going into the upper bracket of the playoffs, and the second-placed teams falling into the lower bracket first round.
BIG (priced at 4.400 to win at the time) topped group A, winning their first two matches, with Astralis (4.670) doing the same in group B. This set up an upper bracket final clash where Astralis took the victory 2-0 against BIG, landing them a spot in the grand final. Among the rest, Heroic (2.410) took the hard route, edging Team Finest (22.560) in the lower bracket first round, then taking the scalp of BIG in the lower bracket final.
So, the final showdown was between Heroic (priced at 1.550 to win the match) and Astralis (2.450). It’s hard to argue that these two CS:GO giants were the best across the week, and Heroic’s long path to victory obviously gave them the match practice to win the final two maps to nil, despite being priced as the underdogs and coming up against the tournament MVP, Astralis’ Benjamin “blameF” Bremer, who took a 1.41 rating across eight maps.
Value to partners
Pinnacle Solution partners taking our multi-award-winning esports product all benefitted from not only the first-class content on show but the pioneering risk management and trading expertise behind the scenes. With the most markets available, including unique player props, and the option of higher limits and attractive low margins, the Pinnacle Cup Championship is a prime example of a betting-led tournament that’s proven to engage and acquire esports fans looking to put their money where their mouth is.
Over the week, 35 hours of coverage was broadcast, 2.62m hours of content watched globally, and the event recorded a peak simultaneous viewing number of an impressive 201,000. This may have been the first Pinnacle Cup LAN event, but the brand has shown that it brings impressions, and those operators providing the best offering on it will yield the best results.
Across the network, live hold figures for the tournament were double that of the average CS:GO event, while there was almost an even split between live and pre-match volume, showing the popularity of diverse pre-match betting markets which appeal to those who may not be up when the live action takes place.
Investing in esports
Across the Pinnacle group, we strive to push esports betting forward however we can. We support up-and-coming teams, giving them a chance to take on the world’s biggest names; we invest in the grassroots with partnership deals; and, as this event shows, we want to take esports to the fans in their backyards. This global approach is backed by working in multiple languages, with the Championship broadcast in English, Russian, Portuguese, and Danish, and with influencer talent following up on the action around the world, this was truly a world event – as 7.3m Twitch views goes to show.
There’s much more to come! What that looks like yet, you’ll have to wait and see. But if you’re looking to boost your esports offering or want to join this booming space, get in touch today and we’ll show you how we can build bridges to the esports community, drive revenue, and help your brand stand out from the crowd.