Bitcoin could prove to be quite attractive to the world of online gaming and eSports. Not just in terms of using BTC for micro-transactions — due to lower fees and instant transactions — but also in terms of raising funds for major tournaments. With Dota 2’s “The International” tournament just a few months away, there is still ample time for Bitcoin companies and community members to help raise additional funds.
Over the past few years, eSports has become more popular around the world. Competitive individual or team-based gaming is not just sheer entertainment, it’s becoming a part of life. Contributing to this growth is the rise of online streaming, which allows people from all parts of the world to watch gaming tournaments.
Several major video games host annual tournaments, pitting players against each other for a chance to win a grand prize. And in recent years, the monetary prizes for some games have become quite substantial.
Take League of Legends — a popular free-to-play game from Riot Games — for example. The League of Legends World Championship is one of the most popular eSports events of the year. Last year’s edition offered a prize pool of $2 million USD. To put this amount into perspective, the US Masters golf tournament has a prize pool of US$9 million.
The biggest annual eSports event is “The International,” a Dota 2 event with a huge prize pool. In fact, just last year, The International’s prize pool was a record setting US$10.9 million. From the information we have received, this year’s prize pool has already broken last year’s record, and there are still two months left to find additional sponsors.
At press time, The International’s 2015 prize pool sits at a total value of US$11.5 million. It is interesting to note that only roughly 14% of this money is being provided by Valve. All of the other funds are coming from a crowdfunding campaign for the Compendium, which is a digital companion app for Dota 2 players. Twenty-five% of Compendium sales are being used to fund The International’s prize pool.
It goes without saying that such a major eSports event can be a big advertising opportunity for anyone that makes a significant contribution to the prize pool. Granted, striking such a sponsorship deal may not be as easy as it sounds, and there is most likely a very good reason for why all of the money is coming from Dota 2-related avenues. However, if there was a major Bitcoin company — or even a group of different players in the Bitcoin world — that sponsored The International, it could make Bitcoin visible to a huge audience.
We already know there is an overlap between the gaming crowd and the Bitcoin community. Both areas are very technical, very niche and are mostly aimed at “geeks,” at least according to mainstream media. However, both eSports and Bitcoin have managed to capture the imagination of hundreds of thousands of people on a global scale, which is truly amazing.
So why not try and sponsor a major eSports event in the near future? At this point, we need to raise more awareness for Bitcoin on a consumer level, rather than signing up new merchants. What better way to spread the word about Bitcoin than by joining forces with a powerful entity such as eSports?
Do you think Bitcoin companies should start sponsoring eSports events? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Ars Technica UK
Images: Dota 2, Valve, Shutterstock
This author’s views do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoinist.net.
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