- A month ago, FTX Exchange partnered with Riot Games, the League of Legends developer and esports tournament organizer. They signed a 7-year contract.
- The logo of a crypto company will be shown on one of the biggest esports events with over 50 million viewers.
- If Riot Games decides to go deeper into blockchain exploration, it would bring significant benefits to the League of Legends including an internal microeconomy, in-game items and character ownership, an NFT marketplace, and even the creation of a Riot Games gaming multiverse.
The summer was hot! Not only in terms of the weather, but because of the NFT boom that heated the crypto space. Blockchain gaming studios smelled something tasty roasting and joined the party. Now, we are reaping the rewards: The GameFi industry doubled or even tripled its processing powers. That’s why we are seeing new young projects blooming like saplings during spring.
Why Do We Even Assume This?
A month ago, the entire gaming community was delighted after the partnership was announced between FTX, the sixth biggest cryptocurrency exchange, and Riot Games, the League of Legends developer and esports tournament organizer. Okay, maybe not the entire gaming community, but the crypto gaming fans were excited for sure!
The partnership means not only will the FTX logo be shown at the biggest esports events, but the real cooperation between these two companies will begin. Of course, we can only dream about some bigger crypto exposure for Riot Games in the crypto space, but the fact remains that it’s important.
Esports and Crypto: A Chance for Friendship?
The most obvious benefit of this partnership is crypto exposure to the masses. For example, the League of Legends World Championship is one of the world’s most-watched esports events. The 2020 championship had almost 50 million viewers on all possible platforms. In comparison, the Overwatch League could hit 1.5 million online event visitors.
So, the crypto gaming community is waiting for December with much anticipation to see what will happen. However, what if the cooperation goes further? Moreover, what if Riot Games is eager to establish more collaboration with crypto companies?
League of Legends NFT Marketplace: Ownership of Items, Skins, and Champions
In any case, let’s imagine what can happen if the game adopts some kind of blockchain. The first two things that come to mind are, of course, item ownership and an advanced marketplace. The game universe has Riot Store, where you can grab a new champion. However, if those gaming characters were transferred into the blockchain, a.k.a. become NFTs, the players would be able to literally own them.
If you’re wondering, “What do you mean? I own all my characters,” then imagine a situation where the game ceases to exist or all the Riot Games servers crash. This is highly unlikely, but if it were to happen, you would lose ownership of the gaming characters. The same goes for in-game items and skins.
However, if Riot Games switched its ownership method to NFT, we would be able to transfer our characters to other marketplaces and sell them as art pieces or even shift them into other games if developers include such support.
A Look at the Bigger Scale: “Breeding” and Riot Games Multiverse
On the other hand, NFTs and the marketplace are not the only features that blockchain can provide. The crypto ledger is even more beneficial on a bigger scale. Let’s dream big: if Riot Games decided to create a multiverse someday, the items would be able to migrate from game to game.
For example, imagine if your tank were available for transfer from League of Legends to Valorant and then back. Yes, even switching from 3rd to 1st view without losing the gameplay mechanics of the character is possible with blockchain.
Another feature of blockchain is the high flexibility of the network, to the extent of AI creation of new characters. If you’re a regular reader of DailyCoin, you probably know about breeding Axies or CryptoPunks. That’s why those characters are unique. Moreover, they are not the function of random AI generation, which is widely used in the gaming industry so far.
On the one hand, breeding gaming characters in MOBA would bring more RPG elements and push MOBA back from the esports field. On the other hand, it’s a matter of the workframe provided by the developers. Strategic and intelligent usage of blockchain might make the gameplay more interesting and increase the number of monthly players.
On The Flipside
- If the game is closed down, the NFT characters might be worthless. Usually, the prices of NFT rely on the value of the entire project. On the other hand, there is still an option to sell them as rare digital art.
- Any proper usage of crypto needs additional education for regular players. They need to know how to deal with crypto wallets, pay transaction fees, and protect their funds.
- Crypto microeconomy implementation might lead to high transaction fees that regular players are not used to paying. Furthermore, the NFTs might be based on the Ethereum blockchain, which is well-known for high gas fees.
- Some games don’t need more features than they have. If developers implement too many game mechanics, the learning curve and entry difficulty level will increase.
- Blockchain can be too much for the esports side of the game. However, it depends on the developers and the way they implement this.
It Ain’t That Simple
League of Legends is a more suitable MOBA game for blockchain implementation than Dota 2, for instance. Availability of the internal microtransactions gives a lot of room for crypto microeconomy implementation. The same as we have in Decentraland, Axie Infinity, or Sandbox.
However, the microeconomy brings its own deficiencies and limitations. For example, transaction fees. If Riot Games had chosen the most popular way to mint NFTs, on the Ethereum blockchain, the players would suffer from ridiculously high gas fees. That is, until Vitalik Buterin comes up with the Ethereum 2.0 solution, but that’s a whole other discussion.
Nevertheless, League of Legends is already a complicated game with a high entry threshold and variable difficulty curve. Microeconomics with crypto implementation may overload the game and shift the focus from gameplay, which is definitely not what developers want.
Why You Should Care?
Although the game industry is extremely conservative, the implementation of new technologies may have a snowball effect. This happened to such game features as the popular open worlds launched by Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 3 or random generator processing such as in No Man’s Sky. Blockchain can become a new hidden gem for the gaming industry. And those gaming studios that are the fastest to implement it will gain the most.