From art to real estate, blockchain technology is disrupting many industries and the esports sector is no different. By 2022, it’s projected that the esports market will reach almost $2 billion, increasing from $733 million in 2017. Yet, while esports continues to generate huge sums of money, players only receive a small percentage of the total industry revenue. Thanks to blockchain, it’s changing esports by providing a decentralised platform, greater trust, a levelled playing field, and it’s even allowing for greater player autonomy in esports.
Delivering Better Player Autonomy
Esports, or electronic sports, are competitive gaming events that attract a huge following. Latest figures suggest that the esports global audience will reach 474 million by 2021 before increasing to 577.2 million by 2024.
Yet, while numbers are rising, one issue that the industry faces is match-fixing. In April, for instance, authorities in Australia and the UK and the FBI investigated a number of gamers over match-fixing and illegal betting in Counter-Strike competitions. Allegations included accepting bribes from betting organisations to match fixes. Unfortunately, it’s often the managers pressurising players to lose their games on purpose. And, it’s the players who depend highly on managers and organisers because tournaments require massive amounts of money to set up.
Additional challenges that the esports industry faces include a lack of a self-sufficient and legitimate ecosystem where players are the ones in control. Not only that, but fans don’t have any way of knowing who the players are unless they follow the teams or follow them on platforms such as Twitch, a video live streaming service, or YouTube. On top of that, the industry requires more content to reach a critical mass and content producers need effective technology solutions to monetise their content. However, the fact that consumers don’t like ads, often employing the use of ad-blockers, presents a massive challenge for esports marketers.
One effective solution that is seeing greater use is blockchain in esports. It’s providing greater player autonomy because it reduces the cost of running an esports ecosystem. By using the technology to create efficient ecosystems equipped with smart contracts, it lowers the price of organising, running and marketing tournaments. It also helps ensure that tournament organisers remain above board when it comes to things like payouts etc as all blockchain transactions are transparent.
Smart contracts are essentially what enables two parties to agree to a set of terms, which are then written into lines of code. These are stored on blockchain and undertake immediate outcomes without requiring a third party’s involvement. It is with the use of smart contracts that fair payments are realised and prize winnings are automatically paid out fairly, according to predetermined conditions.
For players, they have the added benefit as it means they don’t have to rely on intermediaries to ensure payment. Players now even have the chance to organise competitions with their own rules without affiliates or sponsors, thus bringing about a fairer system. By creating these fan-centric ecosystems for esports teams, blockchain technology can remove the middlemen who would otherwise benefit, allowing players to get closer to their fans. Thanks to blockchain, players have better control and autonomy because of the transparency the technology delivers.
Giving Players More Control
For players, obtaining player autonomy is vital as it ensures that they have more control over their rights and how they get paid. The widespread adoption of the use of crypto in the esports sector is another significant driver with the use of blockchain. With an increasing number of professional athletes being paid in crypto, an increasing number of fan incentive and reward initiatives, crowdfunding resources, and sponsorship deals, blockchain technology is thriving in esports. Being paid in crypto also offers players a secure way to receive payment where payments can’t bounce or be taken back.
Yet, while steps are being taken to use blockchain for player autonomy, more could still be achieved. Protokol are helping teams across all esports unlock the value of blockchain technology for your business with our straightforward approach and custom solutions. Utilising flexible and adaptable blockchain platforms, the services we offer are completely tailored to the needs of your sport. We ensure this through our custom solutions that drive real value for your business.
Why not contact Protokol for a consultation where we’ll show you how you can use blockchain technology for achieving player autonomy in esports. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about blockchain technology in the esports industry.