Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are becoming more valuable by the day, the narrative is gradually shifting from speculation to fundamental utility. This emerging crypto niche has been making headlines in the art and gaming industries, with stakeholders paying close attention to their underlying value proposition. Looking at the most recent trends, the NFT wave is now catching up with the billion-dollar esports and fantasy management market.
According to analysis by Allied Market Research, the fantasy sports ecosystem will likely hit $48.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 13.9%. This figure could be higher given the ongoing integrations with NFT infrastructures. NFTs introduce a more authentic way for esports and fantasy gamers to participate in PVP competitions or prediction markets. Though a relatively new idea, it is hard to undermine the potential in combining these two sectors.
So far, there are several Web 3.0 projects that are working towards decentralizing the esports market, some of which have already launched while others are in the pipeline. In the next section of this article, we will take a deep dive into four NFT-oriented esports and fantasy management innovations that are taking the game a notch higher.
MonkeyLeague is a web 3.0 esports game where players can build a team from a collection of Player NFTs dubbed ‘MonkeyPlayers’. The gameplay involves a ‘soccer-like’ strategic approach, with four positions to be filled (Striker, Midfielder, Defender and Goalkeeper). At the core, this web 3.0 esports gaming economy is powered by a native token known as MonkeyBucks $MBS; players can acquire $MBS from exchanges and use the tokens to buy in-game resources.
Similar to today’s football esports gaming leagues, participants can compete against each other and climb leagues to earn the $MBS tokens. Notably, the MonkeyPlayer NFTs have 32 different traits embedded in their DNA, including game skills, game perks, appearance and an alpha score. Ideally, the role of a player in this web 3.0 esports game is to build and manage their team effectively in preparation for match time!
In the future, MonkeyLeague is set to introduce stadium NFTs, enabling the players to own stadiums where they can host matches, tournaments and events. This will expand the opportunities for esports and web 3.0 enthusiasts to monetize their hobby - one of the biggest advantages in decentralizing gaming markets.
Maincard is an up and coming fantasy management platform that is built on the fundamentals of NFT infrastructure. The platform will offer sports diehards an opportunity to generate additional income in the form of NFT cards or money for making the right predictions. Interested players will have to purchase Maincards (NFT cards), which will allow them to place bets on major sporting events such as Football games and MMA fights.
The use of smart contract technology in Maincard’s NFTs means that a player’s historical information can easily be retained and analyzed. Each card has a different amount of lives depending on the level, these NFT cards can also be upgraded or downgraded based on the number of accurate predictions made by a player. More importantly, players will be able to trade upgraded NFT cards through Maincard’s marketplace.
As we have seen in other industries (finance, art and gaming), integrating blockchain technology has often been a game-changer. Similarly, the intersection between NFT technology and fantasy sports management will likely add more value to all stakeholders. Players will not only have an opportunity to bet on their favourite events but also sell the affiliated NFT cards in decentralized markets.
For the racing cars enthusiasts, AnteFame is the go-to web 3.0 gaming platform. Designed as a Global NFT Motorsport Fantasy Club, players can build a team of five drivers (F1, F2, F3, F4 and karting) through digital trading cards (NFTs). The performance of each driver in weekly races will determine the value of a particular card over time; players can trade these cards via AnteFame’s collectible marketplace.
Besides fantasy management, it is possible for AnteFame users to virtually compete against each other on iRacing. The project has also partnered with top brands in the sports and luxury automotive industry, including Maserati US racing and ART Grand Prix. All these stakeholders are playing a pivotal role in enhancing the motosport experience for esports and fantasy management fans.
“After the successes of NBA TopShot in basketball and Sorare in football (soccer), we are excited to bring new levels of gameplay to motorsports and collectible platform,” AnteFame shares.
Sorare is an NFT-oriented fantasy soccer game where real-life players are represented through purchasable digital trading cards. Unlike the traditional fantasy league, Sorare offers players an opportunity to monetize their management expertise through a decentralized NFT market. Simply put, fantasy managers on Sorare can trade a digital trading card (player) or acquire a different card to boost their team’s performance.
It is also noteworthy that Sorare features a limited number of cards for each player, some are more rare than the others. This scarcity is what makes the NFTs valuable, further enhancing the experience for fantasy management players who also have an eye for exclusive art. Additionally, experts can engage in tournaments where they stand a chance of winning weekly rewards in the form of playing cards and variable amounts of ETH.
Despite criticisms, blockchain technology has the potential of introducing decentralized markets that will influence a paradigm shift in consumption. This is already happening in Finance and gaming; what are odds that esports and fantasy management will follow a similar path? Well, it may take some time but from the recent developments it will be sooner than expected. The examples featured in this article are just the tip of the iceberg, more is yet to come!
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