Bookmaker offers odds on Street Fighter showdown

Paddy Power opens books for Super Street Fighter IV heavyweight championship

For the first time ever retail and online bookmaker Paddy Power is to offer odds on the outcome of an individual videogame battle, in the UK "heavyweight championship" for Super Street Fighter IV.

Top players Ryan Hart and Femi Adeboye are set to face off on April 29 at publisher Capcom's European HQ - with the match due to be streamed live on the Paddy Power website.

Starting odds for an outright winner favour Ryan Hart at 1/3, with Abedoye on 2/1.

Bets for the length of the fastest round and match results are also being offered. In terms of the latter a 2-1 victory for Hart is given odds of 3/1, while Adeboye has odds of only 11/2 for the reverse.

Although this is the first time a specific match has been covered, Paddy Power has experimented with videogames before with odds offered for the UK Christmas number one each year.

"Videogames are as much a legitimate sport as any other," said a company spokesperson. "We wanted to offer sports fans and games players the ultimate thrill by offering the chance to win big on the outcome of a Super Street Fighter IV competition. If it proves popular, we'll open further books on other videogame competitions."

"Whether you're playing with a friend or part of an official tournament, every game of Super Street Fighter IV is important," said Capcom UK PR Manager Leo Tan.

"Recognising the game as a legitimate spectator event, as fiercely contested as any sanctioned boxing match, is a huge step for videogames as a whole. Hopefully this is the start of a new avenue for bookmakers, a new way for games players to enjoy their games and, potentially, a new way for the elite players to get the recognition they deserve," he added.

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