Original Article was published on FirstBlood Blog on Medium
Reward the Journey
First and foremost, I want to say a huge thank you to the incredible community of crypto nerds and gamers that made it possible for us to start on this journey together. You guys are flat out amazing and we can not wait to deliver this platform for you.
Let me tell you all a little about myself to help everyone understand why this project means so much to me. I’m sure this is a pretty familiar story to a lot of you, but growing up there was an endless argument between my well wishing parents and me, a video game obsessed kid who just wanted to grind my way up through whatever game I was into at the time. “Stop wasting your life away,” “go out and build something,” “do something that’s going to help you get a job some day.” It’s a conflict that has stayed with me as an adult; doing what I love vs doing something that can actually become a career.
Despite that conflict, as a kid I committed endless hours leading a guild, organizing raids, and playing 5v5 on those ancient Dota maps. Purely for the joy of it. As an adult, I’ve spent way more time than I probably should grinding my way to Diamond in League of Legends. The challenge, community, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment has been something I have rarely experienced anywhere else. As a n00b or vet, the challenge of grinding out games and honing skills is an endless motivator; I relish the respect gained by working my way up to the point where I can crush my buddies.
This time and effort was purely for the love of it. While I was growing up, the dream — making a living playing video games — was there, but never felt like it was something that was actually within reach. The industry was still finding its feet. Tournaments were frequent, but prize pools were negligible, and full time pro gamers were few and far between. In hindsight, it’s easy to see my parents’ concern. Video games and esports were not a viable career option at the time.
Enter the esports boom! A whole generation of video game obsessed kids grew up into video game obsessed adults. A radical increase in consumer computing power and internet bandwidth developed, and at some point in the last decade the internet exploded with Kappas. Now it seems like every gamer on the planet is broadcasting gaming prowess and fails on Twitch. Suddenly, the impossible dream is within reach. With prize pools for some of the major tournaments in the tens of millions and online viewer ratings at all time highs, the pay and celebrity of top tier gamers now rival that of traditional sports. Hell, pro-gamers in Korea are practically gods! Anyone playing League of Legends now has about as much justification for practicing his or her last hits as someone playing basketball practicing his free throws; there are legitimate career opportunities and, with a whole host of universities beginning to offer esports scholarships, the opportunities are expanding.
So where does FirstBlood fit into all this? We want to help bridge the gap between the pinnacle of esports and that player sitting at home holding on to the dream. While streaming services like Twitch have lowered the barrier to entry for gamers to monetize their passion, success on Twitch is reserved for those with the rare combination of skill and personality. To be a truly successful streamer, you need to possess the same kind of charisma that would make one successful as any kind of media personality. We want to lower the barrier to entry even further. Monetizing your passion should be a matter of who has the most skill. We see FirstBlood as the answer to this.
The climb should be as rewarding as the summit. With FirstBlood, you’ll be rewarded for winning. And as you win, you’ll climb. So rather than the countless hours spent grinding, hoping for the eventual reward, if and when you finally reach the peak, gamers can be rewarded for their entire esports journey, not just for reaching the summit. This venture excites me because it represents an opportunity I never felt like I had as a gamer; a way to monetise parts of the journey. FirstBlood is a new avenue for gamers to chase the dream that so many of us were, and still are, discouraged from, because it just didn’t seem real. With FirstBlood, the dream is right there for the taking. If you have the skill and perseverance, put your money where your mouse is, and reach out and grab it.
Fear not, we’re doing stuff.
Normally we work as a globally distributed team — we speak 7 languages between us and it’s not uncommon for us to occupy three or more continents simultaneously — but this past week we took advantage of a rare opportunity with us all under one roof up in Boston. We used the time to really fine tune some of our concepts and strategies moving forward, along with making some really solid progress on our backend and UI design. We look forward to sharing some sneak peaks over the coming weeks.
Defend the Ancients!
After some long internal debates and a great deal of API testing, we’re excited to announce that we’ve finally decided on the game we will support for the alpha; and the winner is… Dota 2! It was a tough decision, there are a lot of great esports titles out at the moment and we all have our own individual favourites. But with Dota 2’s friendly API and massive competitive user base, we’re confident that we’ll be able to produce a fantastic product from day one.
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