The world of eSports is booming at present, with viewer numbers up in 2020 and therefore, more players finding their way to the industry.
As a viable comparison, the Super Bowl drew 5.7m streamers in 2020, whilst the League of Legends World Championship commanded 3.8m at its peak. It might have seen fewer streamers, but the Super Bowl is an event watched the world over, with a long and rich tradition. As eSports become more popular, those numbers will continue to rise.
It is not just viewing figures that are impressive either. The eSports industry is extremely lucrative for successful players, as Bwin discusses in their eSports post on the top events coming up in 2021. Many competitions have multi-million-dollar prize funds to be spread across the best players in the world as well as attracting millions of viewers. 24 participants will compete in the LoL World Championship in 2021, with a $2.25m prize pool awaiting the victor.
This growing monster which is the eSports industry is also likely to be positively affected by the rise of blockchain over the coming months and years, with many benefits offered to players and organizers who see the opportunity within the cryptocurrency sector.
There are lots of stakeholders in eSports, players, teams, organizers, game developers and sponsors to name but a few. A platform powered by blockchain will bring those stakeholders together under one single entity, helping them to connect. It simplifies the distribution of prize money, media rights, player transfers and a host of other associated transactions.
The world of Counter Strike: Global Offensive was rocked recently with eSports Observer reporting 37 coaches were embroiled in a cheating scandal. That reflected on a general distrust in some quarters of a sporting industry built around machines, which can be manipulated. The sector does have an element of risk attached to it, rightly or wrongly, which blockchain can help to alleviate in some areas. By using smart contracts, game developers and organizers of tournaments can ensure transparency and clarity for both parties. Also, that transparency should eliminate any concerns surrounding the unfair distribution of prize money. Whilst it cannot stop the cheats in-game, it ensures fairness around other significant elements.
Leveling the Playing Field
The lucrative nature of eSports has made it tough for amateurs to get a foothold in the industry, both in terms of game developers and teams or players hoping to compete. By using blockchain, the cost of maintaining and operating a secure database can be lowered. Also, developers find it easier to develop a blockchain-based decentralized app, with platforms such as NEO, EOS and Lisk. Those two factors combine to lower the entry threshold for new competitors.
Secure in-App Purchases
Some eSports can be entered using mobile apps, and blockchain makes any purchases using that platform much safer. Increasingly, eSports apps for mobiles and eSport web apps offer in-app purchases, which blockchain makes safer and more secure. Digital signatures give complete clarity to customers over their purchases.
These are just some of the methods by which blockchain is affecting the eSports industry. Others include greater autonomy for players, streamlining donations and the ability to add new loyalty modes and incentives. The world of eSports is fast-paced and cutting edge and it stands to reason it would be amongst the first to see the endless benefits of blockchain and wider cryptocurrency.