Esports Giant Fnatic Embraces the Blockchain for Merchandise Giveaways
Fnatic, a professional esports organization headquartered in London that fields teams in multiple games including Fortnite, CS:GO, League of Legends and Rocket League, has partnered with World Asset eXchange (WAX) to release collectibles and merchandise using WAX’s blockchain e-commerce platform.
On Sunday, 19:00 CET, tune in to Legends in Action LIVE for some incredible giveaways!
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 10, 2019
According to the announcement, Fnatic and WAX will be giving away hundreds of prizes in real-time on Sunday, January 13 using WAX ExpressTrade, a free peer-to-peer trading service. The giveaways will take place during Fnatic’s “Legends in Action – Live” event, which will be broadcasted live on Twitch.
Fnatic’s fans will have a chance to win branded and autographed merchandise, including pro gaming gear, PC accessories, and even custom Air Jordans with a unique Fnatic design.
By using WAX ExpressTrade, all items are secured on the WAX blockchain, assuring that each is 100% authentic and cannot be altered by third-parties. Ultimately, this allows fans to sell, swap, store and gift their items instantly at no cost. Fans can also take psychical ownership of their items and have them shipped directly from their WAX accounts.
Fnatic has steadily been expanding its business operations in recent years, including a push into hardware, as the company aims to establish itself as a global lifestyle brand. Given the scarcity and quality of Fnatic’s products, securing them on the blockchain is something that the company has been considering for some time.
“We’ve been following what’s going on with blockchain, and while the hype or buzzwords can be a bit cringe, we actually look at it for what it could enable on the platform level,” Fnatic’s brand director Benoit Pagotto told SludgeFeed. “The fact that it allows us to create unique items, track ownership, and make trading between fans easy and frictionless is what we’re very interested in, whether it is for products, virtual or physical, but also potentially artworks, or even player profiles and data.”
Evan Vandenberg, a senior business development manager at WAX, agrees that the applications of blockchain technology in the esports industry go far beyond collectibles.
“A blockchain developer can construct the rules of gameplay for any esports game as a blockchain smart contract, wherein the gameplay data is both evaluated and stored on an encrypted blockchain,” Vandenberg told SludgeFeed in an email. “With this, players can have absolute certainty that their scores cannot be altered at any point at a future date…not by a player, not by a hacker, and not by the centralized platform itself, since all of these scores will be kept on an immutable blockchain ledger.”
The idea of decentralization in esports is something even those not familiar with blockchain technology are beginning to get behind. One of the more pressing issues facing the industry is the role of publishers after a game hits the market.
This issue was on full display during the recent $100,000 WSOE Fortnite Duos tournament when Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, pushed a game update that brought a new, potentially game-altering item called the Boom Box into the mix several hours before the tournament started. As first highlighted by esports consultant and industry leader Rod Breslau, the abrupt changes not only alter player strategy but could have had a significant impact on server lag.
While the solutions to these problems may seem readily apparent, the implementation of solutions will likely require coordination between industries. The recently launched Blockchain Game Alliance, a coalition of gaming and blockchain companies that includes Ubisoft, should help facilitate blockchain’s integration with the gaming industry.
Despite the seemingly long path ahead, this weekend’s Fnatic giveaway marks one of the most significant events in terms of blockchain adoption to date.
Photo: bastian stolk / Flickr
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.