It’s impossible not to recognize the ingenious strategy of combining sports and video games – both have huge followings and appeal to a wide range of fans. They’re multi-faceted and wide-reaching all on their own. Merging the two creates a united fanbase of enormous proportions, and offers something new to each joining party. But for an industry that’s already taking the world by storm, there are a few challenges that Blockchain could potentially mitigate.
eSports, known by a host of other names as well, such as competitive video gaming or pro gaming, are multiplayer video game competitions, often real-time, fighting, first-person shooter, and multiplayer online battle arena. (This, of course, is common knowledge, but it serves as a reminder as to the complexity of programming that goes into the creation of one.)
So what is Blockchain, and what does it have to do with how your latest FIFA session? A lot, actually.
Going back to the complexity of a multiplayer, competition-style video game just for a moment, these games require information continually flying back and forth, matching players to compete with each other. That’s terabytes of files moving swiftly from user to infrastructure to user, and a lot of information to keep track of. Blockchain would help juggle all of that information, and not only help manage it but do so in a way that allows for users to follow the information path. Everyone gets a copy of it, rather than the information being stowed away in a cloud farm in some remote location. And that’s what Blockchain is, basically: a growing list of records, accessible to anything part of the “chain,” aka anyone who plays FIFA, or whatever game you’re currently in the process of beating.
Blockchain would allow for more open, clearer communications. It would make a more honest game out of players who regularly use cheat codes or otherwise manipulate the system. Blockchain would give all users a copy of the content rather than remain centralized and difficult to access. Having a form of currency that’s completely traceable allows users to interact more with the game and its players, be that renting out bandwidth or increasing the game’s merchandise sales or in-game purchases made by users looking to increase their gaming experience or even potentially licensed betting if that’s more your speed. Many gamers create tutorials to educate others on how to improve their technique; Blockchain could help monetize that like professional athletes enter endorsement contracts.
Unfortunately, with many players comes many personalities, and because of that, the pro gaming community isn’t necessarily the healthiest one. The developers are looking to change this, and Blockchain could give them a considerable one-up.
Blockchain offers a transparency that until now has been extremely difficult to come by, and to an industry that desperately needs it. While the eSports world isn’t suffering for players (on the contrary, it’s booming) Blockchain has the potential to help continue the community’s growth, as well as make it a more welcoming and inclusive environment, all vital to success. Will Blockchain be able to pull that off? Only time will tell, but the possibility is there.