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Esports Tournaments Look to Digital Payments to Fix Delayed Prize Money Payouts

George Miller

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Esports Tournaments Look to Digital Payments to Fix Delayed Prize Money Payouts
Photo Source: medium.com
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

FN Media Group Presents Microsmallcap.com Market Commentary

 

The Esports industry is growing exponentially, but there’s one catch. With prize pools for Esports tournaments hitting the tens of millions, players of games such as Fortnite run by Tencent Holdings Ltd. backed Epic Games, are not getting paid on time. Esports payments present an enormous opportunity with a lack of fast and cost-effective payment options being available. Platforms such as PayPal are angling to be the preferred payments solution for global gaming events, recently announcing a partnership with Ubisoft for the 2019 Pro League Sessions of Rainbow Six Siege. E-gaming streaming also accounts for a big chunk of that business, including mini-donations made to Twitch users via Amazon payments. Having recently entered a strategic partnership with online Esports media giant Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. , LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary uBUCK Technologies SEZC is on the verge of disrupting the payment sector of the Esports industry by offering a truly fast payment option that also allows saving on payment fees.

Payment Delays Plague Esports

Industry watchers agree that Esports is about to be the greatest opportunity for investors this side of cannabis. Estimates from Newzoo have projected the global Esports market to easily top $1-billion by this year, and then go on to speed past $1.6 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, the global Esports audience is projected to grow to 453.8 million worldwide this year, a 15% year-on-year growth figure.

Sponsorships and prize pools have swelled as a result. The first Fortnite World Cup held by Tencent Holdings’ Epic Games on June 26-28, 2019, will be putting up a whopping $30 million dollar prize pool to 200 qualifying players — each of whom will walk away with at least $50,000. These phenomenal prize pools have drawn world-class competitors from all over the world. Yet with all that money flying around to far-flung bank accounts, transaction and wiring fees have also escalated dramatically, and so has delays.

These problems can now be avoided with Streambucks, developed by LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s subsidiary uBUCK Technologies SEZC – a globally accessible decentralized digital wallet and P2P online payments platform that offers a stable token with a pin voucher solution, that serves as an attractive payments alternative for Esports tournaments and Egaming streamers.

Payment services such as Paypal have taken notice of the increased business in the Esports sector, partnering with game developers such as Ubisoft to get in on the action. As the official payment platform partner for Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Pro League and Majors, Paypal is acknowledging the reality that gaming now accounts for more than $12 billion in Paypal’s total global payment volume. Yet Paypal has its drawbacks which include high fees, payment delays, and potential account suspensions – not to mention the prerequisite requirement of having a bank account to use the platform.

Secure cross-border payments have also become a persistent pain point in the world of Esports, with some organizers reported to be struggling with the exorbitant global wire fees charged by banks, PayPal and other money transfer services. This has led to inexcusable delays. Players from this January’s Fortnite Australian Open Summer Smash event, for instance, still haven’t received their prize money from Tencent Holdings Ltd. backed Epic Games, and according to Reddit, 25 players are still short of AUD$187,000 out of a combined AUD$500,000 prize pool.

This is far from an isolated incident. Many Esports players have complained all over Reddit boards and Twitter about their payments being delayed, even from known organizations. At times, entire tournaments, such as the Electronics and Games Expo in Cape Town held last year, have been skipping over winnings. In a majority of these cases, organizers have blamed administrative problems for payment issues.

Secure, Fast And Free Worldwide Transfers

LiteLink Technologies Inc.’s (LLT-LLNKF) deal with Enthusiast should put Streambucks squarely in the Esports firmament, and shake up a nascent sector. Under the terms of the letter of intent, uBUCK Technologies SEZC will serve as an official sponsor for Enthusiast’s EGLX tournament events, with uBUCK’s “Streambucks” digital payment solution acting as its payment remittance and funds transfer partner for Canada’s largest video game expo, an event that drew in 55,000 attendees last year. uBUCK will also facilitate the transfer of the prize funds to the winners of the tournament.

Under this arrangement, Enthusiast will now be able to transfer Streambuck cash to vendors, tournament winners, and business associates from around the world without having to pay a single cent in transfer fees. With a reputation for fast, near-instantaneous payments, the top players should flock to the EGLX event from all over the world, bolstering this prestigious event even further.

Overseas payments have always been a sore spot for businesses and gamers, which is why the Streambucks platform will completely rewrite the rules. Unlike blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, Streambucks is truly democratized and accessible to mainstream users. Eliminating these costly fees and long processing times should go a long way to ensuring that tournament winners and participants are paid fast and without hassle.

Streambucks is also built on the decentralized, distributed ledger platform of Waves blockchain, known for its record-breaking speeds, while enjoying the same security as cryptocurrencies but with none of the volatility of crypto. That’s because Streambuck cash is a U.S. dollar-backed stable token, unlike popular cryptocurrency coins and tokens which can fluctuate wildly as they’re traded primarily by speculators on digital currency exchanges. Streambuck cash, on the other hand, is neither mineable nor tradeable, and its value is backed by the U.S. dollar through pin voucher sales.

The Disruptive Fintech Of Streambucks

The growth potential for Streambucks within Esports is limitless. uBUCK’s deal with Enthusiast goes far beyond just payments for events, covering streaming and other online gaming activities. The company has agreed to integrate uBUCK’s Streambucks solution on its colossal publisher network, which is currently frequented by 75 million monthly visitors. Enthusiast will receive a percentage of the profits from the uBUCK’s Streambucks user activity.

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. (TSX-V:EGLX) (OTCQB:EGHIF) has been on the lookout for different ways to monetize its large and enthusiastic base of followers and engage with them across multiple touch points. Streaming services and broadcast is the latest expansion in its services portfolio—and it’s where much of the Esports money is at, with Twitch raking in $1.6-billion in revenue in 2015, the year that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) took over. Much of Twitch’s revenue was generated through mini-donations made through Amazon Pay.

Specifically developed for Esports, Streambucks offers gamers and gaming fans with a seamless and secure way to make online payments, offering a solution that’s designed to beat all potential payment competitors in terms of ease of use, speed, security, and cost.

Streambucks should help to accelerate this growth in Enthusiast Gaming’s streaming revenue, as visitors to its network of sites can now use the Streambucks app to purchase products with Streambuck cash, with a debit card and make transfer payments and donations to streamers and Egamers.

Enthusiast will give Streambucks unprecedented exposure to their large community, helping to advertise the product in areas where there is unsold inventory, as part of its preferred partner pricing strategy. With the largest online gaming network in North America and a sprawling community dedicated and passionate about gaming, Enthusiast Gaming’s tens of millions of gaming visitors is set to help Litelink Technologies Inc.’s (LLT) (LLNKF) uBUCK-developed Streambucks platform become a leading payments contender in the Esports sector, while revolutionizing digital payments as a whole.

Disclaimer:  Microsmallcap.com (MSC) is the source of the Article and content set forth above. References to any issuer other than the profiled issuer are intended solely to identify industry participants and do not constitute an endorsement of any issuer and do not constitute a comparison to the profiled issuer. FN Media Group (FNM) is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated with MSC or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by MSC are solely those of MSC and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. Readers of this Article and content agree that they cannot and will not seek to hold liable MSC and FNM for any investment decisions by their readers or subscribers. MSC and FNM and their respective affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT registered broker-dealers/analysts/investment advisers, hold no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security.

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Source: Microsmallcap.com

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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eSports

How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports

George Miller

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How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports
NBA 2K Esports League players use HyperX headsets. Photo Source: unsplash.com
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The National Basketball Association has just turned 73 years old and is one of the four major leagues for professional level sports in North America. Thanks to this age and prominence, it is often considered the world’s leading basketball league, with good reason. Whilst comprising of teams only from the United States and Canada, the NBA attracts many international players who join from every continent. In addition, the average NBA team is worth $1.9 billion, considerably more than teams in other leagues.

Expanding the Empire

The NBA is currently enacting a strategy to leverage its brand around the world, developing audiences in regions outside of the United States including the UK, Africa and China. As part of this it recently announced the launch of a NBA YouTube channel to stream games to sub-Saharan audiences.

The eSports Expansion

In 2017, the NBA and games developer Take-Two Interactive announced that 17 of the 30 NBA teams would be taking part in the inaugural NBA 2K eSports League. This list included big names like the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. The first of these eSports games took place in 2018, using the NBA 2K video games. Like real life games, NBA 2K eSports League games are contested between two teams of 5 players, making use of the “Pro-Am” mode found in the consumer version of NBA 2K 2018.

Just like in real life basketball, the eSports teams are generally made up of the following types of player:

  • Point guard: generally taking the on court leadership role for the team, typically having the best ball handling and passing skills to assist in creating shots
  • Shooting guard: typically the best shooter on the team, tasked with exploiting these skills, particularly when shooting from behind the three-point line
  • Small forward: often considered the most versatile position of the five, the small forward often takes on the role of the shooting guard, but is more likely to score baskets from lay-ups or slam dunks in contrast to the shooting guard’s three-point shooting abilities
  • Power forward: a versatile role, similar to the centre, which requires shooting and defence skills against all types of players
  • Centre: typically the tallest players, defending against shots and collecting rebounds.

The “eSeason”

In the real world, the NBA Championship will be decided between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors in mid June. Currently, odds comparison site Oddschecker is ranking the Raptors as favourites to take the crown. However, the NBA 2K eSports season begins in spring and finishes in summer. This timing allows the NBA to have its brand utilised for a larger portion of the year, beyond the end of the traditional basketball season.

eSports has become a multi million dollar industry.  Photo by Anthony Brolin, License

 

First Mover Advantage

The NBA’s announcement in 2017 that it would be launching the NBA 2K eSports League meant that it was the first major sports brand in the United States to enter the world of eSports. In contrast, most other eSports leagues are organised by tech companies like Intel – or games companies like Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite. Therefore, if the NBA is successful it will have several years of development to build a loyal eSports fan base, before rivals such as the National Football League or Major League Baseball join the party.

Growing Already

After a successful first year, four additional real life NBA teams will be joining the NBA 2K eSports League lineup, bringing the total number to 21. These new teams are: the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.The growth provides mutual benefits, since the teams will bring with them their own existing supporters who are more likely to follow their team’s eSports team, than an unknown entrant. In addition, the fans of eSports are likely to also gain a stronger interest in the real life team, buying merchandise and visiting games.

Live Streaming

Just as traditional sports leagues like the NBA have sold rights to air games on TV, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a deal to have its games streamed live over the internet. The deal with streaming platform Twitch sees all games shown live, available to its audience of 15 million daily active users. The multi year streaming deal also includes commentary and analysis, just like you would expect from traditional TV coverage of any other sport.

The NBA 2K eSports deal is not Twitch’s first with the NBA. In December 2017, the two companies signed a deal that enabled Twitch to live stream games from the NBA G League, the official minor league, with up to 6 matches each week being distributed on the platform.

Sponsorship

Just like traditional sports leagues, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a number of major sponsorship deals with large companies. Games are played on computers provided by gaming PC brand Alienware, using powerful processing chipsets supplied by Intel. Players use HyperX sponsored headsets and Scuf Gaming branded controllers. Teams also have their own sponsors, with their logos displayed on the teams’ in-game uniforms, just like in real life.

Conclusion

The growth in eSports has been massive, with large sums of money now being invested in creating leagues with all of the hallmarks of a traditional sport. In its quest to become a global sports brand, the NBA has been able to leverage its existing assets to create a large following in eSports, almost overnight. By launching the league in 2018 with 17 existing NBA teams, the NBA 2K eSports League already had loyal fans of 17 established sports clubs who would want to support them. Thus, it has a pre-made fanbase, huge financial assets and an established brand to leverage sponsorship deals and to use in negotiations when selling streaming rights.

In addition, the NBA’s venture into eSports is a significant opportunity to expand the reach of its brand into new geographic regions, as well as to new demographics that had not previously been interested in basketball. Even if a player does not become an avid watcher of NBA games, sales of the NBA 2K video game titles are also likely to benefit from the exposure of the NBA 2K eSports League.

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eSports

ReKTGlobal Acquires Greenlit Content

Niji Narayan

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ReKTGlobal Acquires Greenlit Content
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

ReKTGlobal, one of the leading esports organisation and the parent company of Rogue, has acquired Greenlit Content, a company that operates TwinGalaxies and Shacknews.

“Although we had a number of other offers from gaming and esports organizations, ReKTGlobal made the most sense for expanding our business and connecting with a global audience,” John Benyamine, CEO and Co-Founder of Greenlit Content said.

“Not only does the vision outlined by Dave and Amish embody our own, we are excited about the opportunity to integrate with the extremely impressive talent and esports roster that ReKTGlobal brings to the table,” Benyamine added.

The deal will bring together Greenlit Content’s media network, global GameDaily Connect conferences, gaming audience and brand partners that include the likes of E3, Comic-Con International, The Beard Club, Activision Blizzard and Dell.

“While esports is a big part of Greenlit Content’s portfolio, we also work with endemic and non- endemic brands across gaming and mixed reality. With the backing of ReKTGlobal, we can continue to grow the esports audience, while offering clients content marketing opportunities with built-in ROI across our network of sites, social, international game developer conferences and consumer-focused events across the U.S.” John Gaudiosi, President and Co-Founder of Greenlit Content said.

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eSports

Sterling.VC Launches Andbox Brand

Niji Narayan

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Sterling.VC Launches Andbox Brand
Photo Source: dotesports.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Sterling.VC has launched a new brand named Andbox to encompass its esports initiatives. In a release, Andbox is described as “the first multi-franchise esports organization to represent New York in the world’s preeminent esports leagues.”

In addition to overseeing those franchised teams, Andbox will also focus on hosting additional esports events in and around New York City, as well as creating content and developing original lifestyle and apparel products.

Andbox has appointed Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, co-founders of New York-based fashion label Public School, as the creative directors for its apparel offerings. The New York Excelsior previously collaborated with fashion brands such as Undefeated, Champion and New Era.

“Following the launch of NYXL and our new Call of Duty franchise, we’ve received a tremendous amount of support from our fans, but we recognize that New Yorkers—and gamers everywhere—are still hungry for a deeper, more meaningful connection to esports. We’re incredibly excited to launch Andbox to help people find exciting new ways to self-identify and express themselves as gamers,” Andbox co-founder Scott Wilpon said.

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