You’ve probably heard a whole bunch about how NFTs are bad for the environment because of blockchains that use huge amounts of computational power to reach consensus as well as a whole lot of other hate heaped on them by countless detractors. While there’s certainly some validity to the criticisms leveled against the NFT industry, major and meaningful steps forward are taking place. Yet another industry benefiting greatly from NFTs is the world of esports. Let’s find out how NFTs are really changing the way things work in the realm of competitive gaming!
What Are Esports?
Many people enjoy watching football while others prefer professional golf. Then there are fans of snowboarding, tennis, skiing, rugby, baseball—the list goes on and on. So while the world of what you might consider “conventional” sports is a huge industry with millions of fans all over the world, esports is a massive industry in its own right. Simply put, whether it’s CS:GO , Starcraft 2 or Quake Champions , individual pro gamers and even whole teams compete against one another in different types of multiplayer matches so that they can come out on top and claim the title of ultimate player (or team) in the game(s) of their choosing.
In case you haven’t watched a professional game of Fortnite , CS:GO or anything else for that matter, I can tell you that the top players competing are incredibly skilled and probably fall squarely between a professional athlete and a chess grand master. Don’t believe me? Check out this professional gamer jamming Starcraft 2!
Esports is gigantic in scope, and with more and more people joining the fray on a daily basis, its popularity continues to skyrocket. According to Statista , as of 2022, the global esports industry sits at a valuation of $1.38 billion USD and is projected to reach $1.86 billion USD by 2025:
However, as with many other industries, the world of esports is far from perfect. Issues with regulation, legalities, its relative immaturity, and ownership are all issues the esports industry will have to overcome at some point in time. And yes, this is where Web3 technology comes in. Naturally, as soon as you mention crypto, blockchain, or worse still…NFTs (dun, dun, dun!) most gamers propel themselves straight through the stratosphere. But in spite of the hate leveled against the tech (which is by no means perfect yet), it still provides some much-needed answers to many longstanding issues.
A Chat With Mazer Gaming
Now I could obviously cite a bunch of research and talk about the different ways Web3 can benefit the world of esports, but I figured it was better to go straight to the source and talk to an organization that’s been in the game for many, many years. Mazer Gaming is a “professional gaming and entertainment organization” that works with numerous streamers and gamers across a number of different games. Needless to say, they had some awesome insights into the current state of the esports industry and enlightened me about the way Web3 is improving the experience for gamers and professional esports organizations alike.
So to kick off, could you tell us a little bit about Mazer Gaming and the organization’s history?
Definitely! Mazer Gaming is an esports and entertainment organization. We were founded in 2014 and were mainly a Call of Duty -based organization up until 2016 when we started to expand into new titles. We’ve competed in a variety of big games over the years such as Gears of War , Super Smash Bros , Fortnite, CS:GO, and more. We are also currently home to dozens of streamers over on Twitch . We work with a lot of our creators to bring entertaining content and events to our fans! We’ve been hosting our Mazer Gaming Gives Back tournament series since 2020 where we raise money and crypto for different charities through online esports tournaments. We were one of the first esports teams to be involved in the crypto space in 2018 and have been doing a lot to raise awareness and adoption in the traditional gaming space through our events, partnerships, streamers, and more.
So when you say “crypto space,” that’s fairly broad. How has crypto/Web3 played a role in Mazer’s success?
We’ve been given a lot more opportunities to play different games in the space. It has been nice to see the development of these blockchain-based titles and how they are impacting the gaming and esports industry. For example, one of our close partners is Gala Games . We recently worked with them last weekend to playtest and stream their new The Walking Dead: Empires game in collaboration with The Walking Dead on AMC .
So do you believe blockchain-based games are the way forward? If so, why? And how does that benefit the world of esports?
Definitely. Video games have included ownership of assets for decades. Now you can finally do something with them. Instead of buying a $60 skin and letting it sit there forever, these assets can now be sold, traded, or transferred between games. It puts more value into the players and games. This benefits the world of esports because NFTs and other forms of assets are being used for physical goods, branded skins, authentication, tournament ticketing, and much more. The opportunities are endless!
But what about the general sentiment of gamers? Many seem to have a deep-seated hatred for NFTs. Why do you think that is?
I think it’s because a small portion of the space has provided a negative impact and that’s what is being written about in articles. There are plenty of projects providing value to the gaming world, but you only hear about the ones that haven’t. I think it’s important for people to do research into every company in the space and filter out what fits their beliefs. Plenty of projects have no environmental impact and have shifted themselves past that narrative.
Lastly, where do you see the esports industry heading, and where do you feel Web3 tech will play a pivotal role in the future?
The esports industry is going to continue to boom with the rise of streaming on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. People are consuming gaming content at an all-time high. Not only that, but people are spending money on video games that they play. So, being able to own their assets, trade them, or sell them, is important moving forward and only puts more value into people investing their time and money into these games.
A Revolution in Gaming?
You read it yourself right here—NFTs and Web3 tech are already providing some great new opportunities to gamers and gaming organizations around the world. So is mass adoption around the corner? Hard to say, but as long as we keep getting bombarded with FUD and hate from traditional news outlets and so-called “objective” journalists, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. And while changes are happening, they may not be taking place at the pace we’d all prefer…
Check out our article Why All the FUD? by clicking here.
Things may be a bit grim out there for the next while, but through it all, we’ll continue to document the progress and uptake of NFTs and Web3 tech as it unfolds. I’d also like to thanks Mazer Gaming once again for taking the time to chat to me and make this article possible! We’ll definitely watch their progress with interest and talk to to them again in the future. So be sure to watch this space!