WAX's power goes beyond the theory or the innovative technology at the project’s foundation. The multitude of practical applications for both the platform and the token are equally if not more impressive. Through solving a simple issue in interaction, WAX will have a monumental effect on the eSports industry. WAX will add a new layer of interaction between players and viewers, completely changing the way that both groups interact with in-game virtual goods during streaming events. eSports will be one of the many facets of gaming that will change thanks to the power of WAX, but to understand how exactly this will happen, we first need to understand eSports as an industry and look at a specific scenario that regularly occurs within it.
The last few years brought about a veritable revolution in the way gamers engage with each other and the games they play. Up until recent years, “eSports” was an obscure term for most people. Now, events such as the “International Dota 2 Championship” attract crowds that are very similar to those at premier sporting events, such as football or baseball finals. There is just as much prestige, excitement and prize money at stake. Indeed, in 2017 the “International Dota 2 Championship” had one of the highest prize pools in eSports history: over $24 million. In 2016, the eSports industry produced an estimated revenue of $493 million, which is an increase by 51.7% compared to 2015. This number is projected to grow just as significantly.
Streaming services are at the heart of this growth. Twitch, Youtube Gaming, Smashcast, and Mirrativ offer gamers and viewers an interactive experience that is very different to traditional sports broadcasting. A viewer can ask their favorite gamer questions and suggest tactics, while the gamer can prompt their viewers for comments, likes or suggestions. It is unsurprising that advertisers are keen to target these websites: eSports is filled with tech-savvy digital natives that are the bulls-eye audience for many brands. Indeed, advertising and sponsorship is where most of the industry’s valuation is currently coming from.
eSports and Skin Trading from a Gamer’s Perspective
What if things were different? What if, instead of relying on outside sources of funds, professional gamers could harness the power of their fanbase directly? What if the fanbase itself could benefit from these interactions? WAX makes this possible. Imagine you are a gamer and an eSports fan. You visit your favorite streaming website and interact with the content, the pro-gamers, and with your peers. You chat with other players and comment on exhilarating moments: a particularly impressive kill, or some unexpected tactic. Like many of your friends, you spend several hours on the website.
While watching a particular stream, you notice that one of the players has an unusual skin on their in-game items. Their guns are covered with a beautiful dragon design and you’ve never seen this design before. Add-ons to in-game items which make them look differently are called “skins.” Since you’re watching a pro stream, the dragon design skin is both desirable and elite. You think “wow, I wish I had that skin” Previously, you would head to a centralized skin trading platform (such as OPSkins) and engage in one-to-one transactions to buy a skin you like. The skin you like may only be available a particular platform and you would need to end your eSports viewing experience to search for it and buy it. With WAX, your buying experience will be very different.
How WAX Makes Things Different
With WAX, getting new skins is as easy as clicking on a listing widget that’s right there, in the corner of your viewing window. This widget is simple to implement for any website and makes it painless to onboard to the WAX platform. The widget is actually a simple set of tags and is linked to a specific WAX Guild. Each game can have one or many Guilds, but no game can be represented on the WAX Platform if it doesn’t have at least one Guild. Most of what a Guild does (running a full WAX node and carrying out certain responsibilities to support the functioning of the WAX Platform) is transparent to both the listing site (where the widget appears) and the potential buyer.
As a viewer, all you have to do to conjure up a specific skin or item, is to search for it using the widget. The widget queries the WAX Platform to retrieve items from the global virtual goods database that is maintained by the network of nodes on the platform. Using available information, the widget then chooses which item to display and you can examine the item that’s currently displayed or click through and examine additional items that are all priced in WAX Tokens.
Once you decide to make a purchase, all you need to do is click “Buy Now” in the widget. You will then be presented with an authentication window to complete your transaction. From your perspective as a buyer, all you need to do is select an item, provide payment and watch your item appear in your personal inventory a short while later. You don’t need to navigate away from the website and you don’t need to interrupt your viewing experience!
Conclusion: The Power of WAX
The WAX Platform will allow millions of traders to create their own virtual stores on one decentralized platform. The WAX Platform unites everyone and provides instant payments, security, and trust services that will bring millions of new participants into a growing ecosystem. For the eSports industry, this means that pro gamers will have another avenue of interaction with their fans, while viewers will be able to purchase the exact items they see in a stream without ever navigating away. This small change in interaction will have a monumental effect on the industry’s economics, communication and viewership experience.
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