It’s hard to get compensated to play competitive video games, and opportunity costs are not something many semi-pros can afford to neglect. One company, FirstBlood, aims to change all of this through their decentralized Dawn Protocol.
The world of professional e-sports has really taken off over the past decade, exploding onto the mainstream stage through live televised tournaments and — before the global COVID-19 pandemic — sold-out arenas.
This has helped legitimize playing video games competitively as a profession, but the market’s potential is still only emerging.
When it comes to the esports industry, the statistics speak for themselves. In 2016, alone, esports revenue totaled more than $492 million. In 2017, that figure had ballooned to nearly $700 million — with nearly 40% coming from sponsorships and more than 20% coming from advertising.
From 2018 to 2023, the total esports viewership was predicted to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate, with revenue expected to top $1.5 billion in the United States, alone.
However, the esports industry is a firmly global one — with most of the revenue being generated in Asian countries, such as Vietnam, South Korea, and China. This global market has increased demand from advertisers seeking to expand their brands to other markets outside of their home territories.
Needless to say, esports is here — and it’s here to stay. However, at the moment, there exists a massive gap between the professional gaming industry and a talented pool of semi-pros who don’t have the funding to devote more time and energy into their craft.
It takes hours of dedication to become as good as the professionals, making having a full-time job — or even a part-time job — outside of gaming difficult.
Leveraging Ethereum to help gamers go pro
Dawn aims to create career opportunities for gamers who otherwise would not have access to funding and the resources needed to improve their craft. It accomplishes this through decentralized rewarding and matchmaking technologies.
As the original blockchain-based esports token, Dawn is built on the Ethereum blockchain — the world’s most popular network for decentralized applications (dApps), decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Thanks to the popularity of Ethereum and its smart-contract capabilities, Dawn is well-positioned to bridge the gap between mainstream gamers looking to go pro and the world of decentralized payments and financing.
Dawn allows for rewards from a multitude of AAA titles to be earned, wagered and staked. Users may earn Dawn tokens for excelling in tournaments set up for their favorite competitive games.
They may freeze Dawn tokens in an Ethereum-based smart contract to gain access to exclusive benefits and rewards. At the same time, users may build their reputations in the hyper-competitive esports market and push their careers into the mainstream spotlight.
For example, FirstBlood recently partnered with MakerDAO to launch Call of Duty: Warzone tournaments — in which gamers may earn DAI and Dawn tokens for out-performing the competition.
Dawn tokens may also be staked in FirstBlood tournaments for multiplayer online battle arena Dota 2, online multiplayer battle royale PUBG, and popular mobile title Garena FreeFire.
Dawn opens the door for gamers all over the world to earn professionally, based on their skills and merit, thanks to its decentralized and borderless nature. However, it is also developer-friendly and easily enabled — allowing for additional revenue streams for video game developers.
So far, the FirstBlood platform has served more than 350,000 users from 200+ countries while facilitating more than 1.7 million matches and dozens of professional tournaments. This has led to the distribution of thousands of prize pools.
Securing the right partnerships
FirstBlood has enlisted the help of leading decentralized finance protocol MakerDAO to bring decentralized stablecoin integration to its platform.
MakerDAO is the protocol behind the most popular decentralized stablecoin, DAI. By integrating with the FirstBloof platform, both semi-pro and pro gamers are able to earn rewards in DAI while playing their favorite competitive games.
Thanks to the decentralized nature of DAI, gamers around the world are now able to gain access to the decentralized financial system and — based on their performance and abilities — potentially fund their passions while developing their skills to make it on the professional esports scene.
Together with the Dawn token, DAI ensures that gamers everywhere may reap the rewards of their abilities.