Gaming is an industry with enormous recognizability, but even as millions view Esports competitions, millions more have no idea the competitions exist. The media has begun picking up on the rising trend in the form of movies and news, but some infrastructure remains lacking for mainstream adoption.
Movies such as Noobz (2012) and The Wizard (1989) have shown the interest that the public has in gaming. The old saying, “If you build it, they will come.” rings especially true for Esports. The DOTA 2 International 2017 (TI 2017) surpassed 5 million concurrent viewers and a prize pool exceeding $24 million.
ESPN adopted Esports coverage in 2014, but strengthened their focus on the topic in 2016. Esports has challenges abound, often in the forms of infrastructure, centralized development platforms, and content which ages rapidly. Esports infrastructure is being improved by sites such as Twitch, SmashBox.tv, and MLG.tv, which allow viewers to spectate from home. News coverage from household names like ESPN does, however, drive industry momentum forward.
What pain points does blockchain solve for players?
Players in Esports have several concerns when competing. Players have been forced to play through matches with faulty equipment and paid tournament winnings months later, if at all.
On the other side of the token, however, Esports was adopted to the X-Games stage in 2014 and has been kept there since.
Activision Blizzard wants to expand Call of Duty to reach the Olympic stage in Tokyo, 2020 alongside Surfing and Skateboarding, according to Fortune. Blockchain helps players ensure that tournament winnings can be relied on due to smart contract escrow.
Blockchain technology also enables near-instant transfer of digital assets, decentralized operations, and easily integrated platforms based on a single protocol. When that protocol changes, cross-chain atomic swaps may enable players to retain their assets.
Tokenized character skins, weapon camouflages, and trading cards represent a significant use case, while potentially allowing players to retain their hard-earned goods even after a game has been terminated.
What pain points does blockchain solve for spectators?
Centralized broadcasting services such as Twitch and MLG.tv can be slow, hard to use, and frustrating for users for several other reasons. Blockchain, as an industry, has a very high concentration of developers, which could easily lead to increased competition for spectator attention and higher quality expectations.
Movies like Noobz (2012) help to showcase the level of importance that Esports carry for some individuals. Spectators enjoy the struggles, teamwork, and skill put into Esports tournaments, but it is vital that spectators can personally invest in their passion without having significant barriers.
Blockchain can enable the Esports community to operate more closely with their favorite athletes without having to fumble with a credit card, visit several different websites, or otherwise not contribute. Blockchain makes payments much easier, which makes being a spectator easier in turn.
Which other industry pain points can blockchain solve?
Game Developers often have to learn several different graphics engines and interfaces throughout their career, but with blockchain, Developers can migrate to a single development platform and grow with the engine they choose to operate. Startups in blockchain have taken notice of these pain points in gaming and Esports alike and as a result, have taken it upon themselves to remedy the issues.
One such startup is Chimaera, which seeks to improve the quality of work and life for developers, gamers, and spectators alike. Their offerings cover development, asset tradeability, and decentralization.