SMPR has become the first esports company to launch a play-to-earn cryptocurrency games division.
Semper Fortis Esports, which is the competitive brand, owned by the publicly listed SMPR, will launch a team in Axie Infinity and capitalize on the massive success Axie has posted over recent months.
The surge of NFTs has made esports pay attention with numerous companies launching their own digital assets and collectibles, from Virtus.pro to 100 Thieves. The digital art market is estimated at $10.7bn for the third quarter of 2021.
SMPR is now making a decisive foray into this new and broadly unexplored space. Axie Infinity will also be put to a test as Aleksei ‘Iner' Bakumenko, a professional Hearthstone player for Semper Fortis, will be shifted into the competitive Axie world.
Semper Fortis is not going the full Monty on NFT esports just yet, but it's making a smart move to explore a new aspect of competitive gaming.
While most people in Axie Infinity are competitive in nature – as this is what determines higher earnings – this is the first time any organization has recognized the potential of an NFT game as an esports officially.
At the same time, Sky Mavis, the developers behind Axie Infinity, raised $152m in October, putting the overall value of the company at $3bn. The fresh funds will be channeled into further growth for the NFT.
Iner is an important asset for Semper Fortis Esports, with the player making his way into the competitive scene in 2016 when he won a second place at the Hearthstone Championship Tour’s European. His recent performance has flagged a bit but he will be able to find a new stomping ground with Axie Infinity.
Commenting on this development Semper Fortis Esports CEO Kevin Soltani said: “Our latest signing will pioneer our strategy to build out the SMPR play-to-earn division, opening doors for a new pool of players entering the esports space and diversifying the company’s revenue model.”