Unikrn Review – Introduction:
Unikrn launched in April 2015 and market themselves as the only regulated bookmaker who is focused solely on Esports, which they are. The company was the brainchild of Rahul Sood, the former Microsoft Executive and head of Microsoft Ventures. Sood setup the Seattle based company in partnership with the Australian based Tabcorp, an iGaming conglomerate that owns Luxbet.com. Luxbet is an online betting company licensed to offer wagering to the Australian and UK markets. Unikrn utilises Luxbet’s licenses in the same way that a white-label operator may do, however there is a stark difference in that Unikrn’s front end is developed completely separately to Luxbet. It is believed that Unikrn also manages the Esports trading aspect of the venture. Whilst Tabcorp has multiple retail outlets in Australia, Unikrn is an online-only company.
Unikrn has attracted a number of high profile investors in their quest to be viewed as a “theme park for Esports”. Whilst they wish to be viewed as this, it is unclear as to how Unikrn plans to diversify away from being similar to a traditional bookmaker. A few months after launch, billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, invested in Unikrn. Hollywood personality Ashton Kutcher later joined him via his Sound Ventures investment firm. Unikrn’s initial investment round saw investment from Binary Capital, who are known for early investments in Twitter, Snapchat & Instagram.
In addition to CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Unikrn currently offer betting on almost every eSport and have the widest range of games that they offer betting on. They compile their own prices which creates the opportunity for informed bettors to take advantage opposing their views on certain matches, particularly within CS. In addition to win-draw-win markets, they price up handicaps and to win the first map of most best-of-3 or best-of-5 fixtures. They also offer outright betting for selected major tournaments.
Unikrn currently do not offer any free bets for people opening accounts, and rarely offer promotions to their existing customers. We feel the wide product range and odds that are frequently different to other bookmakers or CSGOLounge makes it worthwhile opening a Unikrn account.
Reputation and Reliability:
Unikrn is a relatively new entrant to the market, so there is no historic reputation or reliability data. However, given that they are operating from the Luxbet license rather than their own, Luxbet, and therefore their owners Tabcorp, are the company that you are transacting with. This makes “Unikrn” itself the equivalent of a white-label marketing partner. Tabcorp has a stellar reputation and as such you can have the utmost confidence that this is not a flash in the pan brand that is looking to take advantage of a lesser informed eSports community unlike some others.
Even if Unikrn is unsuccessful as a business, as you are transacting with Luxbet, they are the ones holding your account balance and laying your bets. Their owner Tabcorp has been around since 1994 with its roots going back even further. This also means that you are covered by the same gambling licences as Luxbet Europe – an Isle of Man license, which is approved by the UK Gambling Commission. There haven’t been any publicly available incidents regarding non-payment and our team has tested the site extensively and recommend it.
Unikrn – CSGO Betting:
Unikrn offers a wide range of CSGO betting opportunities. On top of the standard match winner markets, you can also bet on the winner of the first map, over/under total maps, and handicaps, such as -1.5 maps, or -2.5 maps, depending on whether the match is best-of-three or best-of-five. This provides a great way to increase the odds on a short priced favourite if you’re confident that they will win a game without dropping a map.
Unikrn take a reasonable margin, pricing matches to 106.3%. Even better, they price up their own CounterStrike markets rather than taking prices from a third party provider. As such, they take more of a view than certain other bookmakers which means that you can often find attractive odds if you disagree with their traders. Their betting limits are quite low and they have not yet offered any betting in running, but they do however offer odds on a wide range of online events. They add markets for all the major online competitions such as FACEIT and the ESL ESEA Pro League. Unikrn also provide outright winner markets for the majors and other significant LAN events.
Unikrn’s eSports history:
Unikrn only launched in early 2015 but have been solely focused on eSports throughout their existence. They’ve concentrated on offering the widest range of different esport titles to bet on. They were also the first bookmaker to embed Twitch streams on their website but they do not offer betting in play. Therefore, there’s no reason to watch the games through their website rather than just going to Twitch. Generally, they’ve been warmly received by eSports communities and have made a number of sponsorships. Initially, on July 14th 2015, Unikrn announced that they would be sponsoring Mousesports’, specifically their CS:GO team, citing the locality of their office to Unikrn’s Berlin satellite office and founder Rahul Sood’s history in CounterStrike as the main reasons for the deal.
Sood has also spoken out about Unikrn’s desire to support female pro gamers, pledging to sponsor any team who reaches the LCS. Some believed this to be a PR stunt, given that betting companies are prohibited from sponsoring an LCS team, and that there is a wide held belief that a female player would be welcomed onto an LCS team if their ability was sufficient, given that female players such as Maria “Remilia” Creveling are already competing on semi-professional teams.
In October 2015, Unikrn sponsored a female CS:GO team comprising three members of the Epsilon eSports female CSGO roster, Melania “Gina” Mylioti, Perrine “Lalita” Allesiardo and Sophia “Kim” Benfakir, and two new additions, Julia “Julie” Strunkowski and Parmaviolet, providing them a temporary home until they were able to find another organization to support them. This was done with relatively little online publicity, though that was perhaps to be expected given the lack of interest in female CS:GO. The team made their debut in a promotional event at Firstlook Festival in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately you can only deposit and withdraw via a debit or credit card with Unikrn and not any e-wallets such as Neteller or Skrill. There are no fees for deposits and withdrawals and they are processed quickly.
You can contact Unikrn via email, live chat or phone. Their support can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The customer support is available only in English. The fact you can live chat shows a real intention to make the process of depositing and placing a bet as seamless as possible.
Website & Betting Options:
For those based in the UK the first thing you’ll notice is the fact Unikrn uses decimal odds as opposed to the traditional UK fractions by default. You can change this in the My Account section by going to Preferences. If anything this makes betting even easier, especially given that the decimal odds do not convert into traditional common fractional prices. If you back a selection at 2.72 with a £10 stake, you’ll get £2.72 returned for every £1 staked, so £27.20 total returns.
Once you select your bet you’ll see it appear on the betslip on the right hand side. Should you wish to do multiple bets, you can click on the multiple tab to turn your selections into an accumulator as opposed to single bets. Currently the site has some bugs and we’ve found occasional issues when trying to place doubles. Should the odds change between you adding the selection to the betslip and placing the bet (such as because of Unikrn cutting a price due to volume of bets), you may encounter an error and you will need to rebuild the betslip – as it will not automatically be updated with the new price.
If you follow other Esport titles you can do cross-game accumulators without any issues. Each different game has a separate section on the site, so there’s no confusion as to which game you are betting on.
We recommend taking screenshots of the bets you place due to the fact that should you wish to refer to what bets you have played via the “pending bets” tab in the “My Account” section, it will not display which selections comprise your multiple bets, merely the overall odds and your stake. We’ve made them aware of this and they have promised to fix this.
Bets are placed through the website and Unikrn has a mobile website that works fine on smartphones. They do not offer telephone betting or have a dedicated mobile app except for the Unikrn vault.
Unikrn focus solely on Esports. You cannot bet on other sports and they have not announced any plans to introduce these.
As the first legitimate eSports betting focused bookmaker the future looks bright for Unikrn. The website does need a bit of work, as bugs do sometimes appear and these need ironing out, but it’s nothing major that affects your betting and we are sure that these will be reduced soon. It’s simple to deposit as long as you have access to a card. With withdrawals taking around 2 days to return to your account, you can’t ask much more than that. What makes Unikrn stand out is their CSGO odds – frequently they are better than Pinnacle, who set the standard for competitiveness but are unfortunately not available to UK customers.
If you’d like to give a company who is focused on eSports a try, sign up with Unikrn, whereas if you’d prefer something more traditional, we’d recommend checking out our bet365 review.Sign Up Today