Introducing Community Gaming (Part 1)
Community Gaming has been the largest in-person destination for players in NYC to meet up and share their passion for gaming. Throughout the past three years, we’ve hosted over 200 events for the community, both online and in-person, in cities across the US.
We set out to create a destination (online and offline) where gamers could go and share that commonality, make new friends, and earn some money. For Americans who lacked gaming cafes, or “PC Bangs”, coming together to game face-to-face was a relatively new and exciting experience. Through this, we sought to amplify the local and broader gaming culture that was exploding globally.
We’ve hosted packed events in gaming LAN centers, bars, and even coworking spaces for gaming communities throughout the tri-state area. We hosted the first ever 5G LAN with Verizon, flagship events in Microsoft’s esports studio, tournaments with Blizzard developers, and more recently our weekly amateur tournaments in partnership with Facebook Gaming.
Gaming Post Pandemic
Fast forward three years and 200 events later…
The world is slammed with a global pandemic. The movie box office has been decimated, traditional sports leagues have drastically altered their structures, and our favorite restaurants have closed. Leisure time has made a powerful shift towards at-home entertainment thereby accelerating gaming’s growth into a massive $179B global industry.
Like most, Community Gaming did not go unaffected by the pandemic. Our in-person events have been put on hold, but we’ve tripled down on hosting a broad range of online events from traditional esports tournaments to educational webinars with General Assembly on starting your esports career. The pandemic gave us time to reflect on our wealth of experience and identify key pain points we encountered while scaling grassroot events.
Scaling Grassroot Tournaments
Over the hundreds of events hosted, we’ve realized the complexity and labor-intensive processes that go into scaling grassroots tournaments. We have an awesome team of tournament organizers and volunteers that have helped build our community, but there’s also a heavy reliance on various technologies to facilitate a tournament. The three main components of tournament infrastructure are:
- Tournament Creation & Registration
- Bracket Management Software
- Player Payments
In 2019, we used separate third party tools for each of these components. A ticketing platform for registration, a bracketing tool for managing matches, and a traditional payment processor for sending out manual payouts. These same tournament infrastructure components apply beyond just Community Gaming’s events; any tournament organizer today still has to contend with at least two of the three components.
For the last six months our team has been heads down building a platform that vertically integrates all three of these into one easy to use solution. Our aim was to automate the grunt work so tournament organizers can run online events without being overwhelmed by hectic communication and manual payments.
What is CommunityGaming.io?
CommunityGaming.io combines social gaming, match automation, and blockchain payment technology to make it easy to organize and compete in esports tournaments.
We paid out more than $25,000 in tournament earnings last year. This year, we anticipate we’ll see an order of magnitude more distributed through user-generated tournaments on the platform. We’re removing the friction for organizers to host tournaments quickly and for gamers to compete and get paid automatically when they win. Players’ matches are self-reported (or API-reported) and payments are distributed instantly through our smart contract at the conclusion of each tournament.
Our solution uses automated software and blockchain payment tech to produce fair, transparent, automated results without the complexity normally associated with blockchain solutions. The improvements we’ve made on the creation, facilitation, and competition of tournaments has never been done before and we’re excited to bring it to a broader gaming audience.
In my next post, I’ll break down the main pain points encountered in hosting and competing in esports competitions, how we’ve solved this, and the many applications for CommunityGaming.io.