Developments in the online gaming industry aren’t limited to coin ICOs – here’s a look at FirstBlood.

What is it?

FirstBlood is different to the competition insofar as it offers gamers the opportunity to hone their skills and get rewarded for them. They state that they offer everyone the chance to “go pro” on this decentralised digital sports platform.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, gaming outcomes are verified automatically. It’s available via the web or through desktop software, and offers a referral programme as well as rewarding for activity.

What is it for?

Gamers can play in matches using 1ST tokens, and can also earn rewards from site activity and other challenges available on the platform. The decentralisation element is intended to give gamers a more enjoyable playing experience, not just by increasing their skill set and player reputation, but by preventing the usual site downtime caused by network failures and the like.

Tokens and deposits are completely controlled by those using the site, and the lack of centralised control also makes hackers’ lives difficult in terms of stealing funds.
The tokens are also necessary to challenge other players to matches, and to give out rewards. However, tokens can also be earned by acting as witnesses and jury for matches, as this counts as platform activity. Witnesses are participants running software to verify game outcomes, and the jury forms a pool of observers who manually review disputes if necessary. This isn’t just a good way of sorting out he-said she-said; it’s a useful way of removing cheats, or indeed trolls from the platform, making it a safe and pleasant place for gamers to play.

What is the background?

The team behind FirstBlood is an impressive one; Joe Zhou’s background includes Alt-Options LLC, and he is a notable advisor to hedge funds on crypto markets. As the summary on his LinkedIn profile says, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” (Helen Keller). Co-founder Zack Coburn’s pedigree includes EtherOptt, the decentralised Ethereum-based options exchange. Joey Krug (Augur), and Mikko Ohtamaa (LocalBitcoins) are also part of the core team.

The crowdsale day for FirstBlood was a record breaker; when the sale took place in September 2016, a staggering $5.5 million was raised in a matter of minutes. The proceeds from the funding were used to cover development costs, and to facilitate the full launch.

What will it bring to the gaming industry?

Blockchain platforms aren’t vulnerable to the same kind of DDoS attacks which regularly plague other gaming platforms and can lead to lost funds and hacking opportunities – there’s no single bullseye for the hacker to hit, so they’re likely to look for easier pickings elsewhere.
The competition for FirstBlood is relatively small, but the decentralised aspect of professional eSports gaming has considerable appeal. To base a platform around fairness and peer review is a considerable asset to the online gaming community as a whole, and to blockchain-based platforms in particular.