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LatAm esports is growing and will be a major market at ICE in 2024

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This new series will prepare you for 2024’s biggest show with the most recent developments from 2023.

The esports industry is expected to dominate the ICE 2024 conference. While it may have lost some of its momentum from the COVID-19 epidemic, LatAm continues to grow in esports.

Mexico is also expected to make a significant contribution to the projected revenues of $300m on the entire continent by 2027.

With increasing competition, esports giants like Unikrn and Stake are making their moves into the region.

The emergence of leading LatAm organizations, like FURIA from Brazil and MIBR, has the ability to make it one of the most exciting esports opportunities in the world.


Unikrn live in Brazil

Entain acquired Unikrn, an esports wagering platform in October 2021. The brand was then re-launched by December 2022.

Unikrn has now launched in Brazil after securing market entry. Justin Dellario, the chief executive of Unikrn, is eager to maximize the enormous potential in the region.

Dellario told iGB that “esports betting” is a big thing in Brazil. And in Canada where we are currently operating.

Dellario explained Unikrn’s desire to enter new markets. But, “only after we are confident that we can do so locally and sustainably in a safe manner for our customers”.

Unikrn in February announced a partnership with Brazilian esports organization Team Liquid. This allowed Unikrn to expand its presence in Brazil, as did Team Liquid.

Unikrn also agreed a global partnership in esports with the esports entertainment company Blast in march.

Unikrn partnered with the esports site Gamers Club to offer custom odds.

Unikrn suffered a setback in October when Entain announced that it would be reducing B2C activities within Unikrn’s esports wagering arm.


Growing LatAm rivalry

Rivalry, a specialised esports gambling operator was one of the esports success stories for 2023. Rivalry, which was set to play a major role at ICE’s esports event in 2024, exceeded its revenue targets for the year.

In Q3, Rivalry reported record revenues of $8.7m, a 22.5% year-on-year increase. Revenues of $29.2m for the first nine-months of 2023 also increased by 69.8%.

In October, Rivalry launched a marketing campaign that featured esports-influencer Gustavo ‘Baiano’ Gomes. Rivalry planned on increasing its engagement level with Brazilian esports enthusiasts.

This came shortly after Rivalry had secured an exclusive partnership, this time with Tribo, a Brazilian CS:GO group. It was another effort to increase its presence.


Barriers to LatAm’s esports development

The market still faces many obstacles to expansion.

Argentina, which is the third most populous nation in LatAm and has no regulation in place for esports, represents one of the issues.

In an interview with iGB, Maria Bashkevich (head of marketing for Uplatform) pointed out that the infrastructure level in some regions is a major problem.

Bashkevich explains that “the technical infrastructure differs not only between countries but also within one country.” In Brazil for example, the North and South have completely different smartphone adoption rates. The same is true for payment solutions. Having local payment options in the region is essential. Operators can only benefit from the tremendous potential in the region if they conduct thorough research.

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