First Ever Live GameFi Esports Tournament in Istanbul
UpOnly Research #32 How esports will help foster GameFi
Esports is a booming industry that boasts a worldwide viewership of over 530 million. It often takes the form of organized events or conventions where players compete for prestige and monetary rewards. Although such events are rampant in traditional gaming, GameFi has yet to host a significant live Web3 gaming event.
In this edition of UpOnly | Research, we report on a huge step for the play-to-earn community as the first-ever such tournament is set to take place next month. We will also take a deep dive into the benefits of GameFi in esports and how spectatorship will impact the future of the blockchain gaming market.
Play-to-earn Esports coming to Istanbul
The first-ever live tournament for Web3 esports will take place during Istanbul Blockchain Week on the 17th of November this year at the ESA Esports Arena. The game of choice for the event is EV.io, a futuristic first-person shooter on the Solana blockchain. The event is packed with all things GameFi including game showcases, announcements from developers, and demo testing.
The tournament will host the best players from Europe and Turkey. In an effort to expand the decentralized gaming ecosystem, selected popular Web2 gamers will also take part. Erhan Korhaliller, founder of Istanbul Blockchain Week, is full of optimism about the event.
“Web3 gaming is the next leap forward in this revolutionary technology. Watching it mature over the past few years has been incredible, but 2022 feels like the inflection point. I couldn’t be more proud to welcome the world to what will be a history-making event in this space.”
The event is being organized by W3E, whose goal is to bring Web3 gaming and esports into the mainstream. W3E is overseen by Damian Bartlett and Thang Phan, two veterans of gaming with a wealth of experience in the esports world.
How esports can drive GameFi adoption
The esports market is worth nearly $1.4 billion, a nearly 40% growth spike in just two years. It does not seem to slow down either, with estimated projections for 2025 of over $1.85billion.
It is not just the market size that investors should pay attention to, but the value it provides to the gaming platforms and the events. How can GameFi take the success of gamer spectatorship to foster the growth of the play-to-earn industry?
The answer could lie in using esports to build gaming communities. Like traditional sports, esports is centered around its loyal following and providing media and events for them. By regularly hosting tournaments and live streams from fans and media personalities, platforms can increase fan investment and engagement creating a sustainable user base long term.
Esports can take a lesson from the biggest games in the traditional gaming market. League of Legends is a good example. The game hosted the most-watched esports tournament in 2021, totaling 175 million spectators. To put that into perspective, that is more than the worldwide viewership of the Superbowl and the NBA finals combined.
League of Legends boasts a staggering 150 million registered users, roughly 5 % of the entire gaming population. The game was released 12 years ago. A huge contributor to its long-standing success is the large community surrounding the game.
The next wave of GameFi will see a huge increase in play-to-earn esports events as next-gen blockchain games will show vast improvements in gameplay, graphics, and features. The better the games, the more competition, and the more opportunity for community building through esports events.
Many gamers who have crossed over from web2 gaming are positive about the future of GsmeFi esports. Nathan N., Co-founder of blockchain gaming guild Ancient8, claims big investments are just a matter of time. ‘’It’s very similar to Web2 esports in the early days. in 2018, there was a 4 billion investment into Web2 esports, I think we’ll see the same in esports in GameFi soon’’. A former competitive FIFA gamer, he has been around esports for many years.
Esports and GameFi — a match made in heaven
GameFi can bring marked improvements to the existing esports model. Blockchain-based games can use NFT/token sales to raise funds for events. Players are paid in tokens and fans are rewarded for engaging in specific events. Play-to-earn platform Nakamoto Games has executed a number of such online events employing this model.
By using UpOnly’s tournament service, Nakamoto Games hosted events where the winners received prizes in UpOnly’s native token, $UPO. Fans will soon be able to earn on-site by simply spectating, engaging, and staking players. This model strengthens native tokens, builds community, and fosters the economy within the ecosystem.
Furthermore, decentralized gaming platforms make crowdfunding easier and faster. This helps the league and athletes start businesses, commercialize, and track community engagement via blockchain-based products more efficiently than traditional Web2 esports.
Finally, GameFi companies allow fans to acquire token shares in different teams. Holders can also use the tokens to vote on proposals affecting the team. We have seen a number of traditional sports teams, football teams, in particular, mint their own fan tokens including Arsenal, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, and Juventus.
GameFi can bring about increased fan participation and monetization to esports while also decentralizing ownership and liquidity. Additionally, it benefits crowdfunding efforts and improves the economy of a platform as the majority of transactions surrounding the event are done in their native token.
Esports will grow GameFi community
Esports in GameFi has already begun on a small scale in the top games in the industry. The first live event is a pivotal milestone and there is no doubt we will see more like this. The qualities of GameFi complement esports and there is a host of innovations that can be made in order to improve the existing model. Finally, the market is set to expand in the next few years and esports will facilitate GameFi adoption by creating strong communities around the industry’s top titles.
UpOnly ahead of the curve
UpOnly has recognized the importance of spectatorship and competitive gaming in play-to-earn. We offer all our partners who list on the UpOnly website the chance to host tournaments on our platform. Tournaments are fun for the fanbase, a great way for people to meet, and increase overall community engagement. We have already hosted a number of exciting events on our site to the satisfaction of the GameFi community.
However, we do not accommodate gamers only. With our spectate-to-earn feature, viewers can tune into the tournaments and bet on the outcome by choosing the players they believe can take home the title. Our prediction platforms heighten excitement for spectators while also allowing knowledgeable viewers to earn profits from watching play-to-earn contests.
UpOnly’s week in review
UpOnly is an industry-leading web3 service that fills an unmet need in the market. The site features a sophisticated GameFi and Metaverse data directory. Users can leverage on-sie statistics to make educated gaming decisions and investments, helping them to maximize their GameFi profits. On top of this, the platform has expanded to include an ICO, a tournament hosting service, and an upcoming predictions platform. We aim to combine all these elements to become a one-stop shop for blockchain gamers globally.