How Crypto and Esports are coming together to enrich the industry

Crypto investors and Esports organisations are looking to present winners with Crypto as prize money.

Credit: Natus Vincere
By Aaryanshi Mohan | Sep 6, 2021 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Since the popularity of Crypto has been rapidly increasing in the world, more and more people are looking to invest in it, and are open to giving it as prize money for various occasions. Such is the case for esports as well. Crypto and Esports organisations and investors are looking to present winners with Crypto as prize money.

Even cryptocurrency exchange platforms are looking to invest in Esports organisations and players so that crypto could reach masses, and people could develop their interest in the same.

Since PayPal announced its entry into cryptocurrencies, investment has been flooding into the market. Speaking on more specific terms, Bitcoin reached an all-time high, which was a great indicator of how popular crypto is getting.

Looking at recent news trends, combined with various events of 2020, esports and gaming currently seem to be one of the biggest investments.

2020 saw a lack of LAN events and the global esports market shrank slightly. However, if data is to be believed then the market is expected to rise by over 50 percent in the next three years– to $1.6 billion. Analysts within the crypto sector have been backing the market and are predicting huge growth in the market. Digital research firm Messari predicts mass adoption of blockchain technology.

Crypto and Esports

Bybit, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore also announced a multi-year partnership with popular esports team NAVI (“Natus Vincere”). as per the deal, Bybit’s logo will be printed on NAVI’s jerseys as well as charity initiatives, school projects, and various other campaigns.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many established conventions in a number of human experiences,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit. “Both sports and finance have witnessed the exponential pace of mainstreamization of two new entrants — esports and cryptocurrency.”

The partnership with NAVI is Bybit’s entry into esports, Bybit said in a statement. The sponsorship will also include financial education resources for gamers looking to diversify and invest in digital currencies. “Cryptocurrency and esports have much in common: They are new, fast-growing, and interesting to keep watch and learn,” said Alexander Pavlenko, NAVI’s chief marketing officer. NAVI boasts an 18.4 million fan base and close to 600 million total video views on YouTube.

Not just this, but Coinhako announced its sponsorship with the Mobile Legends team ALMGHTY, an up-and-coming Singapore esports squad. Half of the sponsorship money will be paid in the for of Etherium.

“The decision to embark on the first cryptocurrency funded sponsorship in esports, and the first by a crypto firm in Singapore, wasn’t a difficult one to make as it merges two of the hottest topics of 2021, i.e. cryptocurrencies and e-sports,” said Yusho Liu, co-founder and CEO of Coinhako. “As we continue to move forward in our mission of making cryptocurrencies accessible throughout Asia, this sponsorship will provide a boost in reaching a younger, mobile-first generation, and raising awareness through talented players in Singapore’s gaming industry.”

Crypto entrepreneurs capitalize on esports

According to some of the latest news reports, blockchain and esports entrepreneurs are looking for the correct time and opportunity to converge the markets. Esports personality Susie Kim recently confirmed she is launching her very own cryptocurrency called SUSIE. Her followers can use it to buy access to private Discord chats and shoutouts on her social channels. 

With this, she will become a part of a group having 30 gamers, creators, and influencers who have issued their own cryptocurrency on the Rally platform, which is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and other VC Firms. Kim has been helping gaming streaming platform Twitch to build a presence in South Korea. 

NFTs – the new frontier of gaming

Gaming is one of the few sectors that have actually grown in the pandemic year as more and more people started looking for more things to entertain themselves while stuck at home.

One trend that’s gaining more momentum is the non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow blockchain innovators to issue one-of-a-kind digital assets. It’s a feature that lends itself particularly well to gaming, as it means users can acquire in-game assets through the help of a NFT. 

Online gamer PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, who has a huge subscriber base of over 107 million followers on YouTube alone, has been a supporter of blockchain. So when he speaks, the online gaming world tends to listen. He’s lent his support to the blockchain-based 3D augmented reality game Wallem. The game uses NFTs for skins and other items. In addition to that, it is also rewarding players in Ethereum-based tokens. PewDiePie has his own NFT representing one of his skins that can be purchased and used in the Wallem virtual world. 

Early November last year saw a slew of NFT-based gaming announcements. Animoca Brands, a blockchain-based gaming firm, confirmed a licensing agreement formula E to create a game using NFTs. Formula E holds 14 races across five continents every season, pulling in viewership of 411 million.