The esports industry is rapidly evolving, going from content consumed largely through streaming platforms such as Twitch to network-backed streaming service Hulu picking up four new esports series, gradually making the watching of esports even more mainstream. Meanwhile, the players themselves are gaining more options with regard to the currency that surrounds the competitions.
For instance, esports platform Eloplay, which has been in existence for more than eighteen months and provides a service that allows players to organize and participate in esports tournaments, is testing out a new form of currency for its users. It is an example of an esports-related entity involving itself in the blockchain and leveraging smart contracts technology to allow players and brands to organize esports tournaments of any scale, using Eloplay Tokens as the prize pool.
And much like other companies testing the blockchain waters, Eloplay is involving itself in what is called an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), allowing users to buy-in so that they can use the coins to organize tournaments, place advertisements or even sell tokens through its exchange. This all takes place on a decentralized platform that remains largely unregulated, for the time being. Although even that appears to be changing.
The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) recently stated that ICOs will begin to be regulated as securities and that unregistered offerings may be subject to criminal punishment.
“Whether a particular investment transaction involves the offer or sale of a security – regardless of the terminology or technology used – will depend on the facts and circumstances, including the economic realities of the transaction,” stated the SEC in its press release on the matter.
“We seek to foster innovative and beneficial ways to raise capital, while ensuring – first and foremost – that investors and our markets are protected,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
Thus far, 90,000 individuals are registered to participate on the Eloplay esports platform and they have completed a total of roughly 3,500 tournaments. Eloplay’s desire is to convert existing participants into Eloplay Token purchasers through the ICO and to use that to generate further interest in using the platform.
Eloplay’s Token Sale begins October 16 and is scheduled to close November 15. Bonuses are offered to individuals who participate early in the process. The currency accepted is Ethereum, which is a widely utilized cryptocurrency.
Darren Heitner is the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C. and Sports Agent Blog. He authored the book, How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.