The popularity of professional-league online gaming (eSports) has shot skyward in recent years, especially among 18-35 year olds. As an industry, eSports has experienced nothing short of explosive growth. According to Statista, the global eSports market earned around $130 million in revenue throughout 2012, however this year eSports has so far netted a hefty $696 million. By 2020, the eSports market is predicted to make nearly $1.5 billion.
In addition, a survey conducted by Limelight Networks found that 22% of millennials currently watch eSports. It was also revealed that American males age 18-25 are more likely to spend time viewing eSports than traditional sports; in fact, the survey showed that the 18-25 age bracket even preferred eSports over tv shows, news, and other forms of entertainment.
ESports’ growth shows no signs of stalling. Many startups have caught on to the craze, and are developing their own eSports-related software and platforms. One notable eSports venture is Skrilla, an Australian-based fantasy betting platform which employs blockchain technology–as well as its its own form of cryptocurrency. The platform is a collaboration between Gamurs Group, a global eSports media network with over 3.5 million monthly users, and Puntaa, a P2P social wagering platform for fantasy sports betting.
Skrilla’s unique functionality revolves around a Daily Fantasy roster, in which players choose a lineup of their favorite pro players from DOTA 2, League of Legends, CS: GO, and other popular eSports games. Users are assigned a numerical budget to spend selecting players, each of whom costs a predetermined amount. A fair amount of strategy is at play here, as Skrilla users must apply their knowledge of pro players’ unique styles, strengths and weaknesses to synthesize the ideal team, while staying within their budgetary limit. As matches play out, players are assigned points based on their performance. The size of Skrilla users’ prize pool depends on how many points the players they select have won by the time a match list ends.
Skrilla’s virtual economy will be powered by its own form of currency–the Skrilla Token (SKR). SKR’s value is based on Ethereum’s ERC-20 coin standard. The SKR will initially be deployed alongside traditional currency, however Skrilla plans to eventually conduct all platform-based transactions using SKR once the cryptocurrency has built up value.
As of now, Skrilla’s platform remains in development. Several rounds of crowdfunding have taken place, during which Skrilla offered discounted SKR tokens for purchase. The platform is reportedly set to launch in the first quarter of 2018.