Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Meets eSports
Marco Cuesta, who is the co-founder of FirstBlood, the blockchain eSports platform, talked about his vision for FirstBlood. Cuesta said that the future of eSports is one where the competition of high-quality plus rewards systems are made accessible to everyone, not only to gamers who are professional, and FirstBlood will help in bridging the gap. But whether the blockchain technology, as well as the cryptocurrency, will help in ushering the new era isn't clear.
Blockchain Definition and How eSports Can Benefit from It
The Blockchain is a decentralized network powered by P2P (peer-to-peer) communications as well as transactions. If someone is an HBO's Silicon Valley fan, they can recall about what Richard Hendricks tried to accomplish with a decentralized internet- it is similar but different. Rather than having companies maintaining everything on several servers, whole groups of people are capable of interacting with one another on a block recording data plus transactions, particularly for those people.
When the transactions are done, the data is recorded provided the network is existing, and then the next block that is on the chain is formed following the beginning of the new interaction set. Each block is like a unique page in a continuous ledger. FirstBlood is taking advantage of the blockchain by providing a juror system that lets people review the match results if they are disputed.
A big blockchain draw is the use of cryptocurrency or encrypted currency. That is a kind of digital currency usually invented by an organization or company for its users or customers. A process known as mining is what makes the cryptocurrency secure.
Digital Trends defined mining stating that it uses algorithms going through all transactions, encrypt the cryptocurrency, and then adds them to a digital ledger, verifying them and cementing their position online. Everyone can see the currency on a particular block, so it is practically impossible to counterfeit.
The esports plus the blockchain intersect in untested and uncharted waters. One of the benefits of that relationship is security. The blockchain-based platforms are not vulnerable to DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, which users find annoying and could cost companies a lot of money clearing up.
Since the blockchain replaces the centralized servers with thousands of nodes distributed system, there is not even one target for a distributed denial-of-service attack to hit. The other benefit is more related to esports, which is the need for scoring systems that are much better.
What is FirstBlood?
It's an application that syncs up with a Steam account of the user, allowing them to compete against the other players that are on a ladder for in-game rewards. Right now, only Dota 2 is supported, but more games are going to be added in future.
Once the competition window has gone live, FirstBlood tells the competitors the in-game custom lobby they should join.
The FirstBlood cryptocurrency (risk tokens) on themselves, play the competition, and the winner takes the tokens. The more a player wins, the more they can play, and then the leaders win items having real monetary value. Right now, it is still in beta. The rankings of the ladder have been fluctuating, but the numbers are unknown.
Also, FirstBlood requires breaking more into the esports professional level. The company has already initiated itself with Dota 2 (a free-to-play MOBA) thanks to the Blood in the Street (BITS) EU, which is a tournament that was hosted by the company in June.
Big names including Gambit Esports, Danish Bears, and Team Singularity fought for their share of a 5,000-dollar prize pool before Twitch audiences capping at around 3,500 viewers for every match. These numbers show that the blockchain can host significant events successfully in the future. Currently, BITS Americas is being planned in early Nov.
Most recently, and maybe most importantly, FirstBlood partnered with the CISS (China General Administration of Sport) organization to host the CUEL (China University Esports League), in which players from many universities compete annually. If successful, it might be a big step for the blockchain technology integration into the esports industry.
Although these partnerships and tournaments are great for blockchain, it is still a technology that is new and unproven in the world of gaming. Even in the world of business, where blockchain is most successful, analysts recommend companies to be cautious of how they use that technology.
According to an article published by Forbes, blockchain will not be a competitive differentiator. It is an inevitable commodity function that is going to be embedded in all the processes of an organization where it is needed most. The differentiation is going to be in how companies utilize blockchain for competitive advantage.