Created in collaboration with Omnicoach.
The value of data in sports is undisputed. Baseball players have batting averages. Footballers have average first- and second-half goals. Data is what makes an athlete valuable to teams, their jerseys valuable to fans, and the debate of countless fantasy sports team lineups. Unlike traditional sporting events, however, esports offers countless points of data ready to be analysed from every angle for performance, marketing, and more — but only if you know where to look.
Omnicoach, as the name suggests, began its journey in the form of an AI learning tool for Overwatch players. Today, the Omnicoach platform is used by teams, brands, and organisations to analyse gameplay and reward players just for doing what they love.
Levente Nádai, Chief Technology Officer and Product Manager at Omnicoach has been there since the beginning. A gamer since the age of three, Nádai was fascinated with the way that players can improve just by challenging themselves in different games and skillsets. He tutored fellow students in high school and university and is deeply invested in passing down knowledge.
“The first version of Omnicoach was two of my loves coming together — the love of gaming and the love for teaching,” Nádai told Esports Insider. “ I started working in the IT field as a software engineer. I knew that it was possible to analyse video footage and get data from it and I had an idea of how to teach people to be better at games. That’s how the idea came about.”
When two loves meet
Nádai met fellow Omnicoach co-founders, Daniel Ágoston and János Virág, at work.
“These guys had a Game Star magazine on their desk and we started talking about gaming,” he recalled. “They told me they had tried a few gaming startups but were contemplating the idea of launching a startup targeting the rapidly growing gaming industry. We were talking about what could be done, the current state of the video game industry (this was back in 2017) and agreed that we would try to create this coaching idea. It became the first iteration of Omnicoach.”
The core team — Nádai, Ágoston, and Virág — began developing an AI-based data program that analysed gameplay. Soon, Omnicoach gained traction among users and the team began to grow. As the original idea of data-based coaching solidified, the founders began to realise they might be on to something … just not what they originally intended.
“The market is really hard for a new coaching company to keep up with the users and changing trends,” said Nádai. “Through our network, we realised that a lot of organisers, influencers, and companies have a hard time monetising their fans.
“[Traditional sports teams] have established channels and their followers have been faithful for generations. But the gaming industry is new and we found that even great esports teams playing different games are having trouble with monetisation. That inspired us to think out of the box and try to use the same kind of technology [we used for coaching] to provide a solution that allows non-intrusive fan monetisation.”
The result is Omnicoach’s white-label platform that allows end-users to upload gameplay footage and redeem completed tasks for rewards such as giveaways and coupons. Since the platform is white-label, audiences interact directly with the organisation, team, or brand in a customised interactive environment. Players can share highlight videos on social media and redeem awards according to each campaign’s specifications. While gamers enjoy the challenge, Omnicoach’s white label partners can charge brand partners or website users and gain access to countless data points along the way.
Omnicoach maintains a relationship with Riot Games, utilising League of Legends and VALORANT as the conduit between platform users and their gaming audience. The platform originally used Overwatch, Nádai explained, because he was working as a hobbyist coach at the time and had intimate knowledge of that particular game.
The team ultimately chose League of Legends because of the game’s long-term popularity.
“It’s a bit like gambling when a new game comes out,” said Nádai. “Their futures are not reliable when you’re working with technology. LoL has the biggest esports events both in terms of audience and prize pools, so we thought this would be a nice game to work with. Then, VALORANT started to gain back its initial popularity.”
Omnicoach is a bit different from the way it first started, but Nádai says the core values and ideas are the same.
The team recently added a feature that creates game highlights based on specific data, such as multi-kills or dragon take-downs that can be shared on social media. For marketers, this adds another layer of engagement for campaign participants.
“We were thinking of going other directions offered by statistics sites — you get a lot of data, but a video makes it personal. It makes it yours,” said Nádai. “I think this is the same with marketing. You can convey a message with text but you make a larger impact with even a short video.”
Looking forward, the team is always on a quest for improvement — balancing feedback from partners and end-users alike. While gamers want to dig even further into their gameplay and improve their skills, partners want to ensure long-term value and repeat customers.
Nádai says the team has a few ideas they’re working on to make Omnicoach even better, which includes adding more games. APEX Legends is a ‘nice candidate,’ he pointed out.
“We are also working on ways to deliver even more concise data around triggers. For example, if I was a game company sponsored by a swimsuit brand, it would be nice to detect a multi-kill in League of Legends that occurred in the river. You could reward these plays with a giveaway. We want to enhance our ability to build these kinds of engaging solutions.”
Other possible additions include a leaderboard that could have multiple applications from campaign incentives to ranking systems for collegiate esports.
In the meantime, Omnicoach works with everyone from marketing firms to esports teams to help them introduce a unique solution that monetises esport audiences — 16 times more effective than traditional advertising — by connecting brands with fans via authentic in-game experiences.