Given the similarities between GameFi and eSports, it is just a matter of time before these two domains meet at the gamification intersection. And when this happens, the gamification fusion of GameFi and eSports is set to herald the dawn of GameFi 3.0, or perhaps eSports 3.0. With its synergistic combination of GameFi and eSports, GameFi 3.0 or eSports 3.0 would entail the on-chaining of eSports to become an integral part of the GameFi domain.
With this, let’s explore some of the key elements of GameFi 3.0 or eSports 3.0.
eSports Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)
Given the fact that eSports is a community-driven initiative, it is only right that the decision-making of matters involving eSports platforms be devolved to the community members themselves. With the advent of DAO, this is now possible through the issuance of governance tokens to members of eSports communities.
Community members who are holders of these governance tokens would be able to put forth and vote on proposals in relation to the administration and management of eSports platforms. A notable use case example of eSports DAO is Tokenized Esports Asset Management (T.E.A.M) DAO which incubates professional eSports teams through the use of their TEAM governance token for the organizing of tournaments to provide aspiring professional gamers with a platform to hone their skill sets in a competitive environment.
Engage-to-Earn is a relatively new concept which rewards users for their time and attention with cryptocurrencies though the nature of the engagement activity may differ from platform to platform. With eSports being very much a spectator sport, the concept of Engage-to-Earn would fit like a glove when it comes to rewarding community members for their support by attending or tuning-in to tournament events.
The application of the concept of Engage-to-Earn to eSports entails elements of SocialFi whereby eSports fans are rewarded with cryptocurrencies for participating in tournament events together with their fellow community members. A notable use case example is GEMS whose O2O ecosystem encompasses a FanFi Studio which embraces the Engage-to-Earn concept through the issuance of fan tokens to influencers to allow them to power fan experience as well as connect brands and teams with fans worldwide under the SocialFi banner.
eSports Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
Given the fan-centric nature of eSports with there being an estimated 472 million eSports fans around the world, the tokenization mechanism of NFTs provide an ideal avenue for these fans to own a piece of the action. As for the proprietors of eSports, NFTs are ideal for boosting user retention by providing members of the community with a sense of belonging through the ownership of eSports-themed collectibles.
A notable use case is IKONIC which allows both eSports stars and fans alike to harness the use of NFTs. For eSports stars, IKONIC's platform provides a channel through which they can generate new revenue streams through the issuance of tradable and collectible NFTs to their fans. As for eSports fans, IKONIC's platform has a Collect-and-Own-the-Moment mechanism which takes the form of a “trim clip” feature that allows fans to turn any in-game moment into a video NFT that can be added to their collection. To top it all off, IKONIC even has its own NFT marketplace where eSports-themed NFTs can be traded.
In many ways, GameFi and eSports are two sides of the gamification coin. With the earn element of GameFi having been hit hard by the prolonged crypto winter, eSports with its massive global appeal could be the remedy to offset these effects by boosting the play element. As for eSports, GameFi brings with it a tried and tested modular framework for gamification on-chaining to boost the autonomy, engagement and sense of belonging of communities in the eSports domain.
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