This last weekend, the Neustreet team was in attendance at the Collegiate Esports Commissioners Cup (CECC) in Atlanta, GA. From May 7-8, collegiate esports athletes from across the United States came together to compete for the Commissioners Cup in Overwatch, Valorant, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Neustreet was a proud partner of the CECC and hosted several activations, including an event in our Metaverse HQ and a live Q&A on the topic of NFTs in Esports and Gaming.
How are collectibles relevant in Esports and Gaming? As we have written about previously, the topic of NFTs has sometimes been met with criticism--such as the recent NFTs launched by Ubisoft. On the other hand, esports brand 100 Thieves is a good counter-example. They gave away digital collectibles for free to their fanbase, highlighting the fact that this was a gift to their community rather than a cash grab. Additionally, 100 Thieves made clear that the environmental impact of their NFTs was minimal, the equivalent energy expenditure of sending two emails.
We recently wrote a guide titled 'The Effects of NFTs on Esports and Gaming,' outlining some of the most relevant uses cases for NFTs across the gaming industry. Play-to-Earn gaming models involve purchasing an NFT as your game character and then earning rewards throughout the game in the form of NFTs. The most notable example of this is Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn game where players purchase and use Axie creatures as their characters. Players can buy, sell, and trade their Axies or other NFT assets like virtual land, items, and smooth love potions. This business model financially rewards gamers for the amount of time and effort they are putting into the game.
While Axie is one of the most famous examples of NFTs in video games so far, we see many other examples of how NFTs can bring more value to gamers. For decades, gamers have been spending billions of dollars on in-game items like skins, items, and power ups. Games such as Fornite have helped popularized in-game purchases over the last few years. If these virtual items were translated into the form of NFTs, gamers would have a real sense of ownership over these items. New metaverse platforms like Ready Player Me are creating virtual avatars for people to use across games, including in the form of ownable and transferrable NFTs.
We are merely scratching the surface of how NFTs can enhance and improve the experience for gamers, whether in their favorite video games or across the broader metaverse. This weekend, we witnessed some of the country's best collegiate gamers compete for the Commissioners Cup. In the future, we expect a world where digital collectibles will play an even bigger role.