Last week, Play2Live announced the first-ever esports tournament with a prize valued in cryptocurrency rather than a standard cash prize. The event is set for later this month in Minsk, Belarus.
A first prize of $100,000 in Level Up Coin (Play2Live’s branded cryptocurrency, also known as LUC) is on offer to the event’s eight CS:GO teams. Seven will play via direct invites, with another earning a place via a qualification competition. Oddly enough, Play2Live’s press announcement gives no name for the tournament.
What is Play2Live?
Play2Live is a live-streaming company that offers hosting services for esports gamers as well as a number of different crypto-based revenue options for customers.
Its customers receive any payment in LUC, which is convertible into other cryptocoins on the market, such as bitcoin. Of course, it’s also convertible into dollars or other local currencies.
Play2Live customers can earn LUC in a number of ways, including watching advertisements, sharing bandwidth, or participating in certain tasks. (The individual streamers assign the tasks to the customers viewing them.)
Play2Live CEO and founder Alexey Burdyko projected his company’s Feb. 25 esports tourney “will become a milestone in further integration of the blockchain technology into the gaming industry.”
In-play betting option
An additional development for the forthcoming LUC-funded tournament is that customers can bet with digital currency during the matches.
Alongside the standard forms of in-play bet, Play2Live users can also make prop bets. One example of a prop bet category could be which player will be the first in the game to achieve a kill with a headshot. This type of betting affords punters great flexibility.
Will cryptocurrency prizes catch on?
Play2Live certainly believes esports technology, esports betting, and cryptocurrency are a harmonious triumvirate. However, it will be interesting to see how the top esports teams react to a prize offered in currencies that have proven volatile at times.
For instance, how would a global esports staple react to winning $100,000 when that purse could be worth $90,000 within a few days? The flip side, of course, is that if a currency performs well, as bitcoin has in recent times, then that same prize would greatly increase in value.
So the question for winning teams would be, do they cash in new prize money for safety’s sake or hold on to it and hope for a value spike?
UnFaZed: kioShiMa re-joins Team Envy
Last year, after their poor performance at the PGL Major Krakow, FaZe Clan undertook some drastic roster surgery. Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer joined up with Nikola “Niko” Kovac to form what was one of the most expensive and talented CS:GO teams in history.
Since then, FaZe Clan’s fortunes have improved markedly with the team winning the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 as well as the Esports Championship Series Season 4 Finals. They also racked up three second-place finishes, including at the recent ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018.
While this influx of expensive new talent saw the team’s fortunes improve, it heralded a lengthy spell on the bench for former FaZe Clan regular Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey. The French player spent less than a year on FaZe Clan’s roster before Olofmeister’s presence relegated him to the sidelines.
That changed on Feb. 3. kioShiMa announced that his former club, Team EnVyUs, struck a deal to re-sign him.
He replaces Alexandre “xms” Forte on the active Team EnVyUs roster, with Forte moving to a substitute role. Benched since August, kioShiMa may be a little rusty initially. He joins a Team EnVyUs squad comprising:
- Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer
- Christopher “SIXER” Xia
- Adil “ScreaM” Benriltom
- Cedric “RpK” Guipouy
It’s not entirely new company to kioShiMa. Along with three current G2 Esports players, kioShiMa and Happy comprised a five-man team that won the DreamHack Cluj-Napoca major back in 2015.
While kioShiMa tweeted “home sweet home” upon announcing his return, it’s not all roses off the bat.
This weekend EnVyUs made a poor showing at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XII World Championship: European Closed Qualifier. In the new acquisition’s first match back, EnVyUs lost their opening Seeding Round game to Team Singularity 2-0. Then, in the Lower Bracket Round 1, they lost 2-0 to Natus Vincere to end up with a very disappointing 9th-12th place.
In the end, Heroic and Fnatic came through the playoffs as the two top seeds. North and Gambit Esports earned the two qualifying spaces on offer in the Lower Bracket.