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Blockchain Takes Esports Industry By Storm

Blockchain technology is a steady uptrend of esports and gaming. It is a solution to many of the industry related problems. Let's take a closer look on how blockchain application can game up the entire sector.
Blockchain Takes Esports Industry By Storm
Image credit: Courtesy of Stankevicius MGM
By Stankevicius MGM

The Rise of the Esports Market

It’s fair to say that esports market is among the youngest and fast-growing in the world. Occupying a 105-billion-dollar share, with more than 2.2 billion players all over the world, video games have become so popular, that they surpassed film industry and became the world’s number one entertainment. The year 2018 has already seen pivotal movement in the esports market. As a result, this has attracted sizable players to the European market, growing the world of esports at record full speed.

Online gaming continues to be the biggest element in the entertainment industry, and esports is quickly overcoming some of the traditional sports. In fact, the gaming industry is estimated to reach $115 billion by the end of 2018, and $130 billion by 2020. A study conducted by SuperData showed that 655 million people worldwide use Twitch.tv or YouTube for their favorite games. As a result, an effort to keep up with market demands, there are now more than 30 different projects using blockchain technology in the gaming industry scheduled to launch in 2018.

Why Blockchain?

It’s simple as it is. According to Newzoo's 2017 Global Esports Market Report, almost the whole large gaming industry is represented by millennials. More than half of esports enthusiasts globally are aged between 21 and 35, and they are often early adopters of technology, including blockchain. On top of that, they are not new to the concept of in-game currency.

The Struggle is Real

Still this young and booming industry has a long way to go, if we take into consideration needs of the participants. Users expect a wide range of interaction and personalization options. Users are also frustrated with advertising (ahh, those ads!) and try to avoid it in any possible way. Streamers expect to start earning money as soon as the registration is completed and wish to have more tools to monetize their streams. Gamers want to be able to influence the scenario of the broadcast and to construct the content on the platform. All participants of the system demand the solutions which would better regulate peer-to-peer relationships, especially commercial ones. Streaming platforms should become service providers and ensure proper functioning of the platform.

The Solution

While the blockchain industry is booming with gaming projects, there is one that aims to create a unique economy of the streaming platform based on the revenue sharing model — Play2Live — is an esports streaming platform that operates on the BitShares 2.0 network. Play2Live (P2L) was originally founded in 2017 by Alexey Burdyko. Despite its infancy, the platform has secured over $23 million during token pre-sale event, which officially kicked off in late January 2018.

Although the blockchain industry is peaking with various gaming projects, Play2Live offers a variety of different features. This particular model also offers users the opportunity to interact with other users as well as monitor transactions and content. Users and streamers can earn money and share content in at least 11 different ways. Other streaming platforms typically only allow users to earn revenue in at least four ways.

How it Works

Play2Live uses a token called the Level Up Coin (LUC), which serves as the sole payment method within the system. Users can use LUC tokens to purchase games and place bets, and also earn LUC tokens through various activities on the platform, such as watching advertisements and supporting streamers. LUCs can be easily converted to other cryptocurrencies or to fiat money through a special exchange service/API.

Play2Live Features

Ultimately, Play2Live will offer 15 sources of revenue, which is three times more than other streaming industry leaders. Here are some of the key features of Play2Live, which will put it ahead in the esports market.

  • Streamer Subscriptions. Games are broadcasted for free and can be streamed or watched by any user without any limitations. However, users and streamers who subscribe to the channel are given access to various features, such as online chat features, chat badges, emoticons as well as other distinct features to use during gaming events. The Play2Live platform shares this revenue with streamers.
  • Donations and Revenue. Traditional viewers or users can transfer tokens to the streamer to demonstrate support. The platform charges a small commission; however, the majority of the revenue goes to the streamer.
  • The Use of LUC Tokens. Viewers have the option to use LUC tokens to place bets during esports tournaments and events. Because Play2Live operates on a decentralized platform, no third party is required.
  • Streamer Tasks. Perhaps one of the most unique features of the Play2Live platform is that it allows viewers and users to create content to show during the stream or rebroadcast of an event. Viewers can then use LUC tokens to vote for the streamer to perform different tasks, such as change difficulty levels of the game. Conversely, streamers can also have viewers perform tasks. Viewers can then earn LUC tokens as an exchange for completing certain tasks.
  • Platform Content. Viewers can use LUC tokens to vote on the particular tournament format. Revenue is shared amongst tournament organizers and streamers who design content according to the criteria set by viewers.
  • Favorite Streamer Votes. Viewers can also use LUC tokens to vote for their favorite streamers to broadcast tournaments. A percentage of the revenue generated supports the platform; however, a portion of tokens collected from active users’ votes also goes back to the open market for future purchase and to attract brand new users.
  • Game Suppliers. Play2Live is under multiple agreements with various game suppliers that stream on the platform. Part of these agreements enforce suppliers to accept LUC tokens as payment. A portion of the revenue generated is shared with participating suppliers.
  • Player Duels. Viewers watching a tournament can challenge other viewers participating in the game or tournament by placing bets using LUC tokens. Viewers can play games face to face on partner sites. A portion of the revenue is shared with these particular partner sites.
  • Prizes and Gifts. The prizes and gifts are provided to Play2Live by advertisers. These prizes are available for distributing to streamers who promote advertisers during a game or event.
  • Premium Subscriptions. Viewers with premium subscriptions gain access to prizes and gifts from advertisers, exclusive game and tournament broadcasts, and also special recognition on the Play2Live platform.
  • Advertising. The Play2Live platform allows advertisers to share banners and advertisements during the broadcast of a game or tournament. The platform also provides a performance and analytics system for advertisers. Viewers can support streamers and earn LUC tokens by watching various ads.
  • Resources. Users also have the option to share their internet bandwidth via peer-to-peer CDN with other users in exchange for LUC tokens. Users earn direct revenue with this option.

Next Steps

Play2Live is continuing its expansion. It has launched 24/7 live rebroadcasts of events and tournaments, and in six different languages: English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Other platform updates include a brand-new design and a voting feature which allows to vote during show matches and tournaments using LUC Silver tokens.

And more than that, Play2Live successfully hosted and broadcasted the world’s first esports tournament with the main prize –  2 000 000 LUC (Level Up Coin) tokens ($100,000). Eight international teams — 7 invited and 1 from the open qualifiers, took part in the tournament. The main prize of 1 000 000 LUC tokens ($50,000) went to the esports organization AGO from Poland. All LUC tokens can easily be converted into other cryptocurrencies or fiat money through a special exchange service/API after the end of the Play2Live token-sale on March 14 at 17:00 UTC.

P2P CDN technology, claimed in the company's Whitepaper, was tasted during the tournament as part of demonstration of the Play2Live MVP 2.0 features. The platform has successfully coped with the load of the first cyber tournament. P2P CDN technology tested during P2L CryptoMasters allowed to save up to 30% of traffic per separate stream. This gives a lot of opportunities in terms of earnings for the platform users. Beta version with this monetization channel will already be available soon. The tournament was broadcasted in 16 languages and gained 950K views, driving more than 120K unique users. P2L CryptoMasters took place on February 24-25, in Minsk, Belarus in front of the thousands of viewers.

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