KamaGames recently introduced its Knockout Tournaments social casino mechanic, aiming to utilise “one of the most popular tournament templates in online poker” to deliver something “never before seen in the social casino space”.

Officially debuting this week as the group aims to deliver on a prior pledge of becoming the leader within the social casino space, KamaGames deepened its relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championship as Tony Ferguson was named as the face of the tournaments.

Offering a further examination of the launch, as well as how it will ensure added differentiation from competitors, Andrey Kuznetsov, KamaGames CEO, explained: “Online poker is a highly competitive market and we’re determined to make our product the best available. With that in mind, we’re constantly adding new features and updates to distinguish ourselves from competitors,” he says.

“We were the first social poker operator to launch tournaments with jackpots, multi-table tournaments and party modes. Knockout Tournaments are the most popular game mode in online poker, including real-money poker. 

“As we strive to give our players access to the most interesting features in online poker, we’ve now included these tournaments in our portfolio. Still, we didn’t stop there. To make our offering truly unique, we also developed several different playing options.

“Firstly, we launched two types of Knockout Tournaments: regular and progressive. Then we made it so that players can engage with these tournaments in a variety of our games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker or even in our unique party modes where games are played by special rules. 

“…the weight behind Tony’s name means that every product or event we launch alongside him hits brilliantly with our playing audience”

“I’m confident that this launch will boost the activity of current players, re-engage lapsed users and most importantly, allow us to tap into a new audience coming over from our competitors.”

In May, KamaGames named Tony Ferguson as the face Pokerist, Blackjackist and Roulettist, with the partnership followed-up with an agreement alongside fellow MMA athlete Petr Yan.

With Ferguson again recruited for the latest launch, Kuznetsov offered an update on how the collaborations are developing: “For the KamaGames community, these partnerships have been highly successful. Forgive the pun, but the weight behind Tony’s name means that every product or event we launch alongside him hits brilliantly with our playing audience.  

“Quite recently we launched a new slot with Tony’s image called Wild Punches. VIP players got the opportunity to enjoy the slot five days before the main launch and it was met with fantastic success in that short time. Now we’ve made Tony the face of Knockout Tournaments because he’s the best at knocking everyone out of the octagon!

“A key reason for the success of these partnerships, however, has been getting our players invested in real-world UFC fights like Tony’s. During Tony’s most recent match-ups, we began running in-game events that included special content, free bets and bonuses for players.

“Based on the engagement we experienced in the app and on our social channels, we can gather that our players loved it. For instance, during one of these events, a post on Facebook reached 100,000 unique users and got 16,000 positive reactions. With this kind of response, it would be absurd for us not to continue building and solidifying these kinds of partnerships moving forward. 

Online poker is a highly competitive market and we’re determined to make our product the best available”

“While it’s unfortunate that Tony’s fight with Poirier on the 25th of October was cancelled, especially considering it was the same night as Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje, I’m confident that an athlete like Tony will have ample opportunity to take part in more events like this one.”

To conclude, Kuznetsov glanced towards the future to look at how he sees the social casino ecosystem developing during the next 12/18 months: “In my opinion, there won’t be any significant changes coming to light in the next 12-18 months. I think current trends will remain more or less the same. However, there are three major topics which I will be monitoring closely,” it was commented.

“Firstly, we’ll more than likely see several interesting M&A deals. While large companies have difficulty building steady growth, smaller companies will struggle to compete for a user base. For me, M&A seems to be the most effective way to achieve growth for both sides.

“Secondly, Huuuge and Playtika have entered an IPO, first in Poland and then in the US. I would be interested to see how successful that move will prove to be in the future.

“Thirdly, I’m not sure what Apple’s policy with IDFA will lead to from the perspective of mobile advertising. However, the social casino genre has the highest percentage of paid traffic, it is the hardest to compete for and in this market, it’s even harder to find new sources and scale them. 

“The cost is also the highest. Considering all of these factors alongside Apple’s IDFA restrictions means it will be interesting to see the benefit from such updates.”