There are more and more partnerships and mergers between the crypto and Esports worlds. Furthermore, blockchain games have emerged, as have agreements between Esports organisations and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Blockchain games are primarily based on the NFT principle. Similar to the best Esports titles, where you may buy skins and then sell them again (depending on the game).
The blockchain, while a very novel concept, holds a lot of promise for the future of gaming and other industries. From cryptocurrencies to smart contracts and the role of ICOs, the potential of blockchain technology is seemingly unlimited.
The general public also got wind of cryptocurrencies and NFTs this year at the latest. What started with Bitcoin over 10 years ago is now a multi-billion dollar network with various blockchains and currencies.
Yes, you read that right. 210,000,000 dollars!
What has so far been the biggest deal in the Esports sphere is daily bread and butter in the crypto sphere.
Besides FTX, other crypto giants have entered the Esports sector as sponsors. For example, Fnatic has agreed to a five-year, 15-million dollar agreement with the crypto exchange platform Crypto.com.
The collaboration, which makes Crypto.com London-based Fnatic's first global cryptocurrency partner, also marks the company's first Esports alliance.
As part of the partnership, the Crypto.com logo will appear on Fnatic's jerseys. On the other hand, Fnatic will also offer its fans various rewards for Crypto.com users.
New digital products, such as exclusive Fnatic non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will also be launched in the near future.
Additionally, Crypto.com will work on a number of activations with Fnatic's Esports teams, players, and developers. This includes co-storytelling with existing crypto partners, game content, branded in-game experiences, and physical events.
"With this partnership, the world's leading Esports and cryptocurrency companies join forces for a groundbreaking, long-term partnership." Sam Mathews, CEO of Fnatic, stated
“Fnatic has one of the most connected, engaged, and supportive fan bases in the world. This groundbreaking deal with Crypto.com allows us to better serve their day-to-day needs.
As cryptocurrency becomes a mainstream payment method, there has never been a better time to help our fans making smarter, healthier, and future-proof cryptocurrency decisions.”
Electronic sports is a term for digital gaming competitions in which players compete either individually or in teams. Often in a competition or event where the winner receives gigantic cash prizes. Some Esports games are also available in single-player mode.
Esports introduced the aspect of competition to the world of gaming. Its competitions attract gamers from all over the world, with the champions taking home millions of dollars.
All e-athletes have attractive opportunities for valuable corporate sponsorship because of their enormous popularity. Certain crypto Esports tournaments regularly attract more than a million viewers.
Esports are competitive video games played in a highly structured atmosphere. These games can range from team multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) to single-player first-person shooters, survival battle royals, and virtual recreations of sports.
Viewership ratings for Esports competitions and other events in this industry can rival those of the world's most professional sporting events.
The 2017 League of Legends World Championship attracted over 80 million viewers! It became one of the most viewed Esports events of all time.
ESPN and Disney XD announced in July that they had signed a multi-year deal to broadcast the Overwatch competition. A brand new 12-club global league based on the hugely popular multiplayer first-person shooter Overwatch.
PUBG, an Esports multiplayer shooter game, hosted an event in 2021 where the winning team, Susquehanna Soniqs won a total prize pool of $1,296,189.
These prizes are not uncommon in the Esports industry. The total value in 2021 was $1,084.1 million, a 50% increase from 2020.
Players in the Esports sector can compete in online and offline competitions like traditional athletes, earning millions of dollars in prize money, which is often shared among the winning teams' players.
This means that the best players in the world can easily make seven figures in a year!
Selling tickets to these competitions generates huge revenue for both teams and promoters, while sponsorship money, money to produce YouTube promotional videos, and even signing deals with gaming clubs are all opportunities for exceptional players in the Esports world.
Some popular examples include Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, a Fortnite prodigy who makes an estimated $500,000 a month. Another player, Saahil "Universe" Arora, is making six figures playing Dota 2 at every major event.
However, only a small percentage of players qualify to show their skills at this level.
The crypto world is also moving towards the Esports trend. Recently, CoinFund, a blockchain research and advisory firm, invested $2.3 million in an Esports startup.
Another popular example is Coinbase. A cryptocurrency exchange that recently announced its partnership with Berlin International Gaming (BIG). Stating that crypto experts see great potential in the cryptocurrency Esports sector and its transformation into the blockchain world.
With the rise of popular multiplayer games like Axie Infinity (AXS), CryptoBlades (SKILL) and many others, it is only a matter of time before crypto Esports gaming events take place around the world.
Project xBloks uses blockchain technology to access and analyse the identities of players in order to prevent manipulation or fraud during Crypto Esports competitions.
As such, xBloks can safeguard both player-specific attributes and hardware, using software profiles in the blockchain as a digital fingerprint to validate the player's identity.
A player's active participation in various Esports training sessions and events creates a sequence of digital fingerprints over time. Based on this information, irregularities and deviations in gaming behaviour can be identified, and indications of possible manipulation can be determined.
The extended integration of the xBloks software also makes it possible to check the extent to which rule-compliant hardware profiles can be used at distributed Esports events.
The project's goal is to detect and track out "doping in virtual space," such as the secret substitution of actual players or the use of illegal digital assistance.
The blockchain-based profiling enabled by xBloks can assure fair play at all crypto and other Esports events.
In all test regions, the project demonstrates its advantages through the applied use of innovative blockchain technology, which can be experienced in particular by young consumers.
Abstract fundamental technologies not only become real, but they can also be advanced collaboratively through participation and experience at local events.
As a result of its usage, the technology has the potential to become an identifying and recognition feature.
The interest of young people in blockchain technology and crypto Esports forms the basis for technological progress and the sustainable success of companies in this sector worldwide.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be the game-changer for Esports. There are dozens of different applications of blockchain and tokenization that directly apply to sports and virtual goods trading.
Given the fast expansion, blockchain applications in the virtual goods business are (and will continue to be) essential.
However, there are a few that are exceptionally powerful and much needed. Not because they improve certain aspects of Esports, but because they completely revolutionise the online gaming experience and solve previously "insoluble" difficulties.
This entails the efficient trading of virtual goods, "fraud protection" of a virtual goods market. Furthermore, the scaling of fair gameplay and the provision of reliable payment processing.
400 million players worldwide trade “skins”—virtual goods they use in order to modify their characters, which are also used as speculative objects and collectables—
Unless blockchain "smart contracts" are employed, these transactions are technologically highly difficult and inefficient. Fraud and a lack of dependable payment mechanisms were two issues that plagued the crypto Esports sphere's virtual goods trading.
However, using blockchain technology, the WAX token solves these previously unsolvable difficulties. WAX is a utility token that makes trading digital items easier and cheaper for both marketplaces and customers, especially for small and cross-border transactions.
WAX holders will buy and trade virtual items using a simple crypto widget.
The WAX team spearheads the founding team of OPSkins. It is the world's leading virtual asset marketplace (selling 2 million virtual items per week).
A team that not only brings unparalleled technical expertise and domain savvy, but also a dedicated user base that is highly motivated to adopt WAX technology quickly.
WAX is one-of-a-kind in this regard, and it will become the leading virtual products company that will only develop in the future.
Most recently, Ubisoft announced that it would use the Tezos blockchain in the future. Now, Tezos itself announces that it will appear as a sponsor of the Vitality Esports Team.
Tezos does not want to be a minor sponsor, so Vitality displays the Tezos logo in bold letters on the chest.
Vitality describes itself as an Esports powerhouse, and currently, the team is represented in nine distinct games. These include Valorant and long-running favourites like FIFA, League of Legends, and Counter Strike.
Tezos has finalised a three-year contract that will last until 2024. A look at the other sponsors of the team makes it clear in which category the smart contract platform plays out. The names Adidas and Corsair are represented there.
The two companies would also like to expand their range of products together. Since Vitality appeals to an audience that is interested in digital topics anyway, the collaboration with Tezos is unquestionably beneficial.
Later this year, Vitality will begin selling NFTs on the Tezos network. According to DefiLlama, Tezos presently holds 0.04% of the total DeFi market. There is definitely room for expansion.
Vitality is showcasing the future of this cooperation on Twitter, where the team is wearing jerseys with Tezos inscriptions already.
The tweet has reached many people, and fans of the team have responded with enthusiastic comments. While heated discussions about energy efficiency erupt elsewhere, Vitality explains that the Tezos blockchain only uses as much energy as 17 normal individuals.
Of course, the collaboration does not end with the new crypto Esports team wearing the crypto brand on their jerseys. Tezos intends to create NFTs from them and also plans to develop blockchain applications in the next stage.
This entails a marketplace for NFTs as well as other avenues for fans to take part in. Furthermore, e-athletes should actively participate by educating fans about the blockchain and the entire crypto Esports space.
There is no additional information regarding the collaboration available at this time. As a result, Tezos' purchase price for the association is unknown.
This is not the first relationship of its kind, as crypto businesses have already expressed an interest in Esports in the past. FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is an example of this.
FTX has partnered with Team SoloMid. Because the squad was created by the most prominent players, Team SoloMid has earned legendary status in the League of Legends scene.
The cooperation with FTX revealed a lot more information. The payments made in the partnership's background between Vitality and Tezos can be approximately categorised.
FTX paid Team SoloMid $210 million for a ten-year deal. The crypto trading company has also secured a partnership with League of Legends to be the primary sponsor of competitions for the next seven years.
Coinbase, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is also an Esports sponsor, having signed partnerships with three different teams. These are Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and BIG.
The North American Collegiate League (NACL), which hosts and streams Esports tournaments for college players from Hearthstone to Madden, is now in the process of using blockchain to distribute the winnings.
According to a press release, Ethereum project incubator ConsenSys has helped NACL build an Ethereum-based platform to make match coverage smoother and automate tournament payouts.
NACL players will now be able to receive their winnings in a crypto wallet created for them and convert them to fiat through the platform if needed.
The first stage will be to assist players in sharing their game outcomes. The tournament supervisors need to control all manually reported online game results and review plenty of screenshots before paying out winners.
This authentication, as well as any following disputes, might obstruct the payment process.
Chris Gonsalves, head of gaming partnerships at ConsenSys, said manual reporting and payment processes are fraught with issues. Other online leagues have received numerous complaints about unethical and opaque behaviour from both players and teams.
These can range from allegations that teams are waiting months to get paid and then never getting paid, to allegations that the league itself is misdirecting sponsorship money.
Blockchain and the entire crypto Esports sector can create transparency and help players get their winnings faster.
In addition, there are still unexploited opportunities for improvement. You can also incorporate revenue sharing between teams, players, and game producers into the smart contract, as bonus payments are triggered based on particular viewing or social media indicators.
The NACL and ConsenSys have already done a couple of test runs. In April, the NACL hosted a six-round Fortnite tournament with payouts in DAI, an Ethereum-based stablecoin.
According to the NACL, future players will be able to choose between ETH and DAI. Although the NACL is based in the US, it claims to be the only collegiate crypto Esports organisation with streaming rights in mainland China.
Twitch Rivals is an Esports tournament event featuring Twitch streamers and ex-pro gamers. The leading online gaming service twitch.tv organises and hosts the event. A service provider with over 140 million unique monthly viewers from around the world.
The tournaments feature a range of top Esports competitors as well as fan favourite personalities. There are also plenty of online and real-life competitions and games.
Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, spoke about the enthusiasm and how it will bring crypto and Esports together.
“We are very excited to add Twitch Rivals — the home of Esports — to our growing portfolio of the world's best sports brands. “With well over a billion players worldwide, gaming and Esports fans are digital natives for whom cryptocurrencies are inevitable,” he said.
Crypto.com has appointed Matt Damon as the company's new figurehead in order to strengthen its marketing and promote its crypto-friendly attitude.
Following the platform's recent success — which it owes in large part to listing meme coin Shiba Inu —Coinbase has already announced the listing of their native currency, CRO.
This deal made Crypto.com the first "Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner" of Twitch Rivals and it has been promoting itself as an "Official Marketing Partner" since then.
This partnership's exclusive rights include media placement, in-stream branded segments, and activations at Twitch events.
Furthermore, the Crypto.com name and logo will appear on over 250 Twitch Rivals broadcasts each year in global areas. Including the Asia-Pacific region, where the company has been a Twitch Rivals marketing partner.
As previously mentioned, Crypto.com has already partnered with Esports organisations before. Fnatic recently signed a five-year, $15 million Esports crypto sponsorship deal with Crypto.com. TSM, Astralis, Natus Vincere, and Virtus Pro are among the other global Esports brands that have done so in the past.
In a compact form, major brands highlight their successful strategies to become credible and sustainable partners in the Esports space.
The approaches of the companies vary greatly because there are often no fixed structures in Esports. Making deployment of specially created marketing channels possible.
It is not surprising that Esports are increasingly appearing as an important sponsoring arena of the future. While some brands see sponsorships primarily as a tool to increase awareness among potential Gen Z customers, others see them as an opportunity for employer branding or recruiting.
The dynamic and innovative Esports environment requires creative entertainment. Also a high level of social interaction, and the company's ability to adapt quickly.
There is no such thing as a successful Esports title without a powerful community. The Esports cosmos has produced some of the liveliest and most dynamic communities in the gaming scene.
Its ecosystem has a broad range of content elements, and produces entertaining online streaming and arena-filling live events, as well as the sale of tickets and merchandise. But building a sustainable Esports community is not just a walk in the park.
In conclusion, we can say the following about Esports in the near future: It is a rapidly rising global mass phenomenon. Regardless of whether we recognise it as a sport or not, it will find its way into mainstream society.
Recognition is the foundation of every sport. Once Esports stability acquires this through blockchain technology, it will certainly have a bright future.