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The Future Of Esports And The Metaverse

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ESTN recently launched the Electronic Sports Tournament Network: its first global blockchain eSports arena. The network lets gamers design and host their own online tournaments complete with prize pools and winnings; not only does the network’s economic system democratize esports, but it also provides competitors and NFT holders with a transparent and fair system. And, this is just the beginning. The metaverse set to revolutionize esports by offering an exciting virtual experience with the benefits of in-person esports events, including socializing, fan interactions with players, and merchandise.

What exactly is the metaverse?

In order to understand the possibilities the metaverse holds for transforming esports, it needs to first be clearly defined and understood. Essentially, the metaverse is a 3D virtual world designed to mimic the physical world with a host of technologies, such as, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), social media, AI, and digital currency. The metaverse is particularly focused facilitating social connections with hundreds of other users in an entirely digital world, while also offering the opportunity to participate in games and make purchases. 

Blockchian: transforming the world of esports 

Whether online or offline, esports is all about action, community, and rewards. Fantasy football, for example, is a pay-to-play fantasy game popular since the 1990s. Players can participate in small, two-person competitions, or join worldwide leagues of over 3 million people. Big cash prizes are also available; the Mirror, for example, offers a £50,000 cash prize throughout the season. In-person esports tournaments, conferences, and conventions also offer participants the exciting opportunity to game, socialize with other attendees, and enjoy rewards, freebies, and goodie bags.

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And, now, the metaverse promises to rival traditional and in-person esports events with blockchain-based rewards and NFTs. For example, Verasity, a blockchain-enabled video-sharing platform, has launched ‘Watch & Earn’: an exciting new feature that lets a decentralized audience watch games and earn and redeem tokens via a blockchain-based marketplace. And, thanks to available social chat functions, users can also virtually meet up with their friends and chat over digital drinks at the same time. Through Verasity’s marketplace, one-of-a-kind NFT’s can also be minted and sold during games (Proof of View technology is inplace to help prevent fraud), and merchandise can be purchased from blockchain-based stores. And, perhaps most excitingly, virtual reality technology lets fans interact with 3D digital avatars of their favorite professional players.

Yet, although digital disruption in the world of esports is well underway, some remain unconvinced of the metaverse. Ken Kutaragi , former PlayStation executive, for example says the metaverse is “pointless” and “isolates you from the real world”, while Valve have already banned blockchain games and NFT trading from the Steam platform. Nevertheless, many remain excited over the potential impact of a blockchain-enabled metaverse on the future of esports. Regardless of any differences in opinion, it seems we’re now undoubtedly at a crucial turning point when it comes to the way esports games and tournaments are consumed by viewers.