4.0 - The Problem in Esports
How a global, fragmented industry operates today and is dying for a unifying platform.
The popularity of Esports has surged due to its decentralized nature. Enjoyable competitive video gaming experiences exist for people at every age, skill level, and playing style. No single publisher, league, or fan base can claim more than a sliver of the eyeballs watching, or dollars spent, on Esports. The sheer size of the market, however, ensures substantial remuneration for those who can claim even a sliver of it.
Outside of the few major Esports teams, which attract millions of dollars in sponsorships and other ﬁnancial support, there is no clear way to identify and nurture the rising stars of Esports. There are thousands of promising amateur and semi-pro players who enter tournaments with minimal backing and no established promotional engine behind them.
Professional Esports teams currently devote enormous resources towards scouting and player development relative to their overall earning potential. This suppresses the earnings and ﬁnancial support available to top-level professionals, and is a major reason why “turning pro” is no longer as lucrative as it once was relative to other income-generating options now available to world-class Esports players, such as running a streaming channel.
With no stable and secure source of income from Esports, promising players often drop-out of the competitive scene before securing professional sponsorships, which dilutes the top-level competitive pool. Imagine if half of the world's best basketball players decided to run YouTube channels to show off trick shots and elaborate dunks instead of pushing for a career in the NBA. This is a reality in Esports today.
The size and fragmentation of the Esports player pool underlies a fundamental need for a strong feeder system from amateur play to the pros. There are approximately 2.3 billion people who play digital games worldwide. There are four times as many gamers in North America as there are youth sports participants in the United States. There are no well- established youth Esports leagues in the United States, and only a handful of collegiate Esports teams have been established as of the publication of this whitepaper. ESTN is built on a decentralized model with blockchain technology. We have worked to incorporate this diversity of game-playing experience into the design of our platform. However, we also believe there is signiﬁcant value in a uniﬁed ecosystem that can serve all levels of competition.