Esports Insights: Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn
In this second instalment of our Esports Insights series, we’re speaking with Rahul Sood, CEO of esports-centric sportsbook Unikrn. Unikrn have been making large technological strides in esports recently, with their advanced in Streamer Betting and also in their Cryptocurrency offerings.
We’re excited to get an insight into Rahul’s day-to-day, what makes him tick, and what he’s up to at Unikrn.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a lifelong entrepreneur in technology and gaming. I founded my first company VoodooPC when I was a teenager, eventually selling it to HP (it was and continues to be their flagship boutique gaming brand). After working to focus startup initiatives at Microsoft under Microsoft Ventures, I met my co-founder and BFF Karl Flores, and together we started Unikrn with another old friend of mine Daniel Rudolph. Unikrn is building the definitive esports playground with gaming, betting, watching, winning and shopping under one roof.
How did you get into esports betting?
I’ve worked in gaming-adjacent fields for decades, but it wasn’t until my son turned me onto League of Legends esports while I was at Microsoft that I was ready to shift focus to engaging esports. Back then, esports were still largely unknown and undervalued by mainstream investors and even most gaming publishers, but I looked at this and saw it was the future. Working with my co-founders, who had deep backgrounds in gaming, tech and peer-to-peer betting, we decided to jump in with both feet.
What are the most popular games to bet on?
Popular games to bet on are the popular games to watch: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends are huge esports titles with an on-average older audience. That’s not to discount the engagement we see from something like the Fortnite World Cup, which also drove a lot of interest, but the bread and butter titles are those with long-standing, established and committed fan bases.
Do you play many games yourself?
I game every day. My game of choice is League of Legends, and I’ve been playing for years. I troll good for my age, but I’m far from professional!
Unikrn is pushing the boundaries of esports betting functionality regularly. What feature are you most proud of and why?
Between the world’s first way to bet on your own gameplay, our blockchain-based, futuristic wagering backend, our AI live market bots for streamed Fortnite and Apex Legends, our first-of-a-kind Virtual esports which give fresh matches every few minutes 24/7/365, there’s too much competition to pick a favourite. Rather than saying I’m most proud of a specific functionality or experience, I’d say I’m most proud of our team. People make a company function and bring a vision together, so everything we accomplish really comes down to our team. We’re also lucky to have the most amazing leadership team I could possibly dream of, I really love our team.
What emerging technology in, or aspect of, esports betting are you most excited for?
I see blockchain and gaming merging in the future, and Unikrn is at the tip of the spear. The unprecedented utility, customer protection and functional advantages gamers experience when publishers adopt principles from blockchain is a very exciting prospect for the future.
Unikrn is the first betting operator of its kind to have fully-functional online betting powered by blockchain-based technology with crypto regulated crypto betting, and our fans love it. We created
If money was no object, where would you like to spend a week?
I’m fortunate enough to have earned an amazing career, and I’ve been able to experience decades of globally-spanning, enriching opportunities. A safe fallback for relaxing, for me, is wakeboarding with my family until the sun goes down, then perhaps a couple games of League of Legends.