It is a landmark win, not just for Bayes Esports, but for the integrity of the esports industry as well. In June 2023, a Berlin court ruled that data which is scraped off public streams may not be advertised like its official data stream counterparts, i. e. as "live", "real-time" or "safest source". This is a true milestone and first-of-its-kind ruling globally in an opaque market where esports content rights holders, teams and the community get cut out of millions of EUR annually by a grey data market that circumvents the purchase of official match data.
Inhibiting how unofficial data offerings, or pirate data offerings to build a better analogy, are advertised is an important first step. For market participants, it is often hard to tell the difference because some companies do not comply with existing law that prohibits advertising to be misleading. According to the recent ruling, scraped data may not be advertised as ‘live’ and ‘real-time’ when match data is obtained by scraping it from public stream broadcasts. Scraped data from public broadcasts is usually delayed from the actual live match. The delays vary in length depending on the match and organizer. But in general matches are delayed at least by half a minute up to 5 minutes.
There are two main ways in-game data is collected in esports: One way is to ‘scrape’ data from publicly available streams such as Twitch or YouTube streams. This means that third parties collect data from public broadcasts without explicit consent and usually by way of copying the actual feed to “enable AI powered data sourcing”. The other, official, and most accurate way is to get the data directly from the source by partnering, for instance, with Bayes Esports. Only Bayes match data is truly live for its exclusive content partnerships for Riot Games’ League of Legends, ESL Faceit Group’s CS:GO and DOTA2 content, as well as for BLAST’s CS:GO content.
“In traditional product markets, there is no question that a brand owner’s efforts must not be exploited by free riders for their own commercial purposes and without consent and official license. Copyright infringement and unlicensed commercialization of content on a global scale is not a petty crime. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first criminal charges go to court soon,” states Amir Mirzaee, Managing Director and COO of Bayes Esports. “The digital content industry has shown the way and has been successfully defending itself against the infringement of its IP for years, fighting piracy under civil and criminal law.”
Major betting operators are slow to transition and rely on scraped data to power their esports offerings, partially or in full. Esports betting is a multibillion-euro industry globally, with most of it still in the grey market and thus fueled by unofficial data streams that do not pay their share back to the esports community for the revenue that they make on their event IP rights. Global damage to the esports industry annually is significant and in the millions of EUR.
The court ruling comes at a time where the esports industry is undergoing fundamental change in going from unofficial, scraped match and odds data feeds to official data offering. Official data offerings are a crucial part of the esports ecosystem in terms of supporting an expanding industry and its players growing a profitable business.
The Bayes Editorial Team consists of employees and freelance writers that regularly publish articles on current developments in the esports industry. Our editorial team keeps blog readers up-to-date on relevant product updates and news about Bayes Esports.
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