ConsenSys has partnered with the North American Collegiate League to bring blockchain tech into esports tournaments
The North American Collegiate League (NACL), which runs and streams esports tournaments for college players in everything from Hearthstone to Madden, is delving into blockchain to help distribute the winnings.
According to a press release, Ethereumproject incubator ConsenSys has helped NACL build an Ethereum-based platform to make match reporting smoother and automate tournament payments. NACL players will now be able to receive their winnings in a crypto wallet that’s generated for them and exchange them into fiat—via the platform—if they so choose.
The first step is helping players send their match results without fuss. Manual reporting for online gaming typically must be overseen by tournament administrators, who review screenshots before manually paying winners. This review—and any subsequent dispute process that arises—can slow down the arrival of payment.
Chris Gonsalves, head of gaming partnerships at ConsenSys, told Decrypt that manual reporting and payment processes are rife with problems. “For other online leagues, there’s been countless complaints from both players and their teams of unethical and non-transparent behavior. This could be teams waiting months to get paid out,never getting paid out, or accusations of the league itself misallocating sponsorship funds
Blockchain, he said, can inject transparency and help players get their pizza money, winnings, quicker. Moreover, he said, there are as-of-yet untapped avenues for improvement.
“You can even program revenue sharing into the smart contract among the teams, players, and game developers with bonus payments triggering based on achieving certain viewership or social media metrics.”
NACL and ConsenSys have already done a test run. In April, NACL hosted a six-round Fortnite tournament with payouts in DAI, an Ethereum-based stablecoin. According to NACL, future players will be able to choose between ETH and DAI. Though NACL is based in the US, it told Decrypt that it is “the only collegiate esports organization with streaming rights in mainland China” and said its focus is global.
“Blockchain does in fact make payment processing much easier and immediate from a global perspective,”
a spokesperson told Decrypt, who added
“On top of this, the experience of participating in an online tournament becomes more seamless. Upon registration you’re connecting a wallet or having one generated for you, the match results can be pulled into automatically (for API supported games), and the payout are immediate, transparent, and with a fraction of the fees of traditional platforms.”