Cryptocurrency investment has made its way into esports. Once dismissed as a no-good calling, esports today is a multi-billion-dollar industry that generates significant revenue for investors.
Franchised competitive formats such as the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues cost teams anything from $40m to $60m to participate.
A recent stream of investment by the crypto sector has reaffirmed esports’ status as an important conduit of brand awareness.
Crypto exchange FTX signed two major sponsorships with Team SoloMid (TSM), a multi-million esports organization running competitive teams in several video games, and then with the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
As a result, FTX rebranded TSM to TSM FTX and the LCS will now display ample FTX signage to boost awareness for the available crypto products. The question is why this is happening.
Esports players are tech-savvy
Pitching digital currencies to the general population has proven a harder task than expected. With no central-bank backbone to fall back on, many people have remained skeptical about the power of digital assets.
However, esports are played mostly by younger generations who appreciate video games and seem keen on embracing innovation. While esports aficionados – some 500 million strong around the world – do value innovation, they also take it with a grain of salt.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, there seems to have been a strong wave of positivity. FTX's forays into esports are hardly the only ones. Coinbase and Gemini, two rival crypto exchanges have both plunged into the space, launching various partnerships and teaming up with prominent organizations to popularize cryptocurrency in esports.
Opportunity for fans, businesses and organizations
Another reason why crypto is making its mark on esports is the added value. Esports fans are not stupid and they only appreciate solutions that create actual value. For example, NFTs are a great entry point into the world of esports.
They create digital collectibles based on crypto technology and add immediate value. That is why organizations such as Virtus.pro and G2 are using FLASHPOINT to create such digital collectibles.