Blockchain applications for the eSports industry are opening up innovations and revenue streams, from fan tokens and digital collectables, to fan loyalty and engagement platforms. Outside of conventional physical games, this allows clubs to offer an extension of their brand online and meet the needs of a younger ‘digital-native’ fanbase, thereby growing their fanbase and securing their long-term future. Let’s take a look at the top five blockchain use cases in eSports.
1. Fan Tokens
The popularity of fan tokens stems from their ability to create additional revenue streams for teams as well as dramatically increase engagement. Tokens can be bought by fans via FIAT currencies such as dollars, pounds, and euros, and be exchanged for merchandise, collectables, or exclusive interactions like a VIP “meet the player” experience.
Across the eSports industry, various teams like Team Vitality, Alliance, OG..from different sectors have been successfully using fan tokens to raise revenues and interact with their supporters. By utilizing blockchain technology in sports to issue their virtual currencies, fans can interact with the club, the players, earn points, get discounts, and take part in a virtual ecosystem.
Tokens also give fans a sense of involvement in the club’s decision-making through voting rights — on initiatives such as the festival melody or the colour of the kit. Fan tokens can also help clubs overcome the challenges of distance when communicating with fans. In this way, blockchain technology in sports is helping clubs to engage and develop worldwide fanbases.
2. Digital Trading Cards and Collectibles
Digital collectables, powered by Non-Fungible tokens (NFTs) in contrast to regular digital collectables, are usually individually unique and limited in quantity. This means that “limited edition” collectables can be created with NFTs and their uniqueness can be verified by immutable blockchain technology. this makes them the ideal apparatus for clubs and teams to use to design digital trading cards, in-game assets, and game memorabilia that fans can purchase and exchange.
The possibilities for these blockchain applications for the eSports industry are endless. Just imagine fans having the option to purchase limited-edition skin for the weapons or team players’ items. Digital collectables are already proving to be highly popular among the Crypto world, fans around the world have already gotten involved in this $27 billion universe. It is just the question of how eSports teams adopt this huge potential.
3. Fan Loyalty and Engagement Platforms
Fan loyalty and engagement platforms that help teams foster a sense of community and belonging among their fans is the next use case that needs mentioning. Through these blockchain-based platforms, fans can be rewarded for taking certain actions, such as interacting with clubs’ sites, creating, sharing, and liking content, or through loyalty programs that allow them to accumulate rewards or points to spend on merchandise tickets digital collectables.
This isn't just an extraordinary approach with fans and building an exclusive community; fan loyalty and engagement platforms can also help clubs promote their relationships with sponsors. Blockchain’s transparent nature and immutability act as an assurance of the integrity of the metrics and insights gathered from fan interactions and help sponsors generate a better ROI.
4. Blockchain-Based Ticketing Systems
Blockchain technology in sports is also being applied at the ticketing level as a more straightforward and safer approach to purchasing, storing, or even transferring tickets between owners or events. Thanks to its decentralized nature removing the need for intermediaries and central actors (as well as insecure centralized systems), fans who find themselves unfit to go to an occasion, for instance, can switch their ticket without suffering penalty fee charges or losing their cash, making for a considerably more productive client experience.
Due to the immutability of the blockchain, no one can falsely claim to have bought a ticket or dispute a price. Blockchain-based ticketing systems ensure that the possibility of counterfeit tickets is disposed of as they can be instantly validated by blockchain technology. Moreover, in the event of sporting fixtures being postponed or delayed, the entire process of rescheduling is simpler for organizers and end-users alike.
5. Decentralized eSports Ecosystems
Since eSports involves multiple stakeholders, from game developers to players, sponsors, advertisers, team managers, and media, blockchain can provide a robust single platform (or ecosystem) to bring them all together.
Its decentralized nature allows industry stakeholders to connect in a peer-to-peer way, removing complexities and intermediaries and considering the simple dissemination of prize cash, the move of players, media freedoms, and more, through smart contracts. Blockchain can also increase trust in Esports thanks to its transparent nature that allows all participants to see what’s happening in the network. Smart contracts between organizers of tournaments and developers also remove the risk of game developers not being paid or concerns over the unfair distribution of prize money.
With its adaptable nature and ability to be applied to practically any use case, blockchain technology is increasingly helping the physical and digital sports sectors to meet their challenges head-on by adapting their fan bases, increasing engagement, and building loyalty, trust, and efficiency.
Esports teams are turning to blockchain solution providers to help implement custom blockchain solutions for them to ensure their endurance, proving, these innovations are opening profitable new revenue streams, increasing fan engagement, improving ROI for sponsors, and allowing teams to remain competitive.