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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

 

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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.

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Asia

AESF Partners with Coventry University UK

Niji Narayan

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AESF Partners with Coventry University UK
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has signed an official memorandum which sees them officially collaborating and working together with Coventry University.

Following a meeting with representatives from Coventry University, both parties have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU focuses on four vital aspects, which include a series of planned Webinars, as well as industry research collaboration on topics of interests and Esports governance.

“I would like to celebrate this close relationship we are forming with Coventry University, one of the UK’s most esteemed educational institutions. Not only does it benefit the AESF and our member associations, but it also opens the doors to many more potential partnerships from academia going forward,” Kenneth Fok, president of AESF, said.

“This will not only be beneficial to our athletes but also various stakeholders in this industry. We look forward to supporting our Esports community as well as future talents for their growth and further development in collaboration with Coventry University,” He added.

The AESF and Coventry University will also be looking to create more student experiences, including potential internship programmes and the production of case studies on Esports. The meeting between both parties discussed more opportunities for course development, which includes introductory sessions on Esports and support in the development of course topics for the curriculum.

“Coventry University’s expertise in sports management and business studies will help further support our Member Associations, players, and officials in developing content around the education of Esports. This collaboration not only signifies AESF’s continuous effort in supporting this industry, but it also reflects Coventry University’s dedication and commitment to adapting and keeping up with the times,” Sebastian Lau, Director General of AESF, said.

“We are delighted to have reached this key milestone in developing this crucial partnership for the university. We understand the importance of esports globally and in Asia particularly and are delighted at the opportunity to work with the AESF to support the athletes, players, officials and associations who make up this vibrant community as it continues its rapid growth and innovation,” David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, said.

“We are proud to lay down the foundation of a long-lasting partnership with the AESF, that offers tremendous opportunities in terms of students’ experience. This agreement will also foster the development of impactful, multi-disciplinary research on this fast-changing and growing sector,” Simon Gérard, Course Director, MSc Sport Management, said.

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Australia

The Chiefs Esports Club Partners with L’oréal Paris Men Expert

Niji Narayan

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The Chiefs Esports Club Partners with L’oréal Paris Men Expert
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Australian esports organisation The Chiefs Esports Club has announced a partnership with the leading men’s skincare and grooming brand L’Oréal Paris Men Expert. The deal makes the brand a major partner of the club for the rest of 2020.

L’Oréal Men Expert is a global brand with a portfolio of leading men’s grooming products covering everything from skincare, shaving, beard grooming, hygiene and hairstyling. They will be keeping The Chiefs feeling confident, energised and looking great at all times.

“We’ve all had late night gaming sessions and sacrificed how we feel the next morning to get one more game in. L’Oréal Paris Men Expert is a perfect fit for gaming and esports culture to keep us going and feeling fresh. We’re excited to introduce such a prestigious brand to the industry and can’t wait to see the benefit for all our fans,” Nick Bobir, CEO of The Chiefs, said.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with The Chiefs in 2020 and introducing many of their fans to L’Oréal Paris Men Expert, a portfolio of skincare products designed to deliver an instant energy boost and set men up for success. Joining forces with The Chiefs is a testimony of building brands together & providing value for our fans and consumers,” Raagjeet Garg, Marketing Director of L’Oréal Paris Australia, said.

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eSports

WePlay! VALORANT Invitational Announcement

George Miller

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WePlay! VALORANT Invitational Announcement
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Eight teams will fight for competitive dominance and a hefty prize pool.

We at WePlay! Esports are proud to announce our first VALORANT tournament. In this event, six invited teams will be joined by two Open Qualifier winners to fight for a prize pool of $50,000. This event is another entry in the VALORANT IGNITION SERIES.

Invited teams

  • PartyParrots
  • fish123
  • Prodigy
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • G2 Esports
  • forZe

Event format & dates

The tournament kicks off with Open Qualifiers on July 13 and 14. The qualifiers are two separate single-elimination brackets. The final series in each qualifier is BO3, the rest are BO1. Teams are allowed to participate in both qualifiers.

Sign up for Open Qualifier #1
Sign up for Open Qualifier #2

The eight invited and qualified teams will participate in a Swiss Bracket group stage that takes place on July 15–17. Four teams will proceed to the next stage.

The winners of the group stage will be seeded in a single-elimination bracket. The Semifinals will be played on July 18; the final series will be played on July 19.

All main event matches, including the Finals, are BO3.

“We have been following VALORANT since its announcement, and now welcome the opportunity to apply ourselves in the new title. As usual, we will try to make the event dramatic, unusual, and unforgettable. We’re hoping that VALORANT will enjoy WePlay! Esports’ style and our regular viewers will have fun with the new game.” – Eugene “Hitras” Shepelev, Lead Esports Manager at WePlay! Esports.

“The IGNITION SERIES is definitely setting up a standard of play for VALORANT, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and will undoubtedly begin to influence competitive audiences in their decisions around play.” – Joe Ziegler, Game Director at Riot Games.

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