Blockchain has been a popular buzzword nowadays and is making its way into esports as well. Various companies have made moves in that direction and one of the latest one to secure eight figures in funding is a platform known as chiliZ.
What do chiliZ want to do? According to their announcement on Medium, they want to build a platform that “allows fans to crowd-manage esports teams and organisations.” Which begs the question, what is crowd-management in the first place?
The simplest explanation is that fans can “buy” into a club or a team and become, through their delegates, take part in the management of the club. In Spain’s La Liga football league, clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona are partially governed through exactly these crowd-management systems, as their fans become socios by becoming club members, which gives them decision-making power in the club.
Which teams will make use of chiliZ model remains to be seen, but with Wouter Sleijffers, Fnatic CEO, being on the advisory panel, and Nicolas Maurer, CEO of Vitality, making statements such as…
“Right now, if you want to do something relevant in esports — build a team, create a tournament — you need to have big investors. With chiliZ, we can have a platform where communities can submit projects, and fans can fund those projects, like in Kickstarter.”
…one can speculate whether these brands will consider crowd-management in the future. Besides Sleijffers, chiliZ have also attracted the likes of streamer Guy “Dr DisRepsect” Beahm, StarCraft veteran Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and BroodWar legend Hong “Yellow” Jin-ho to be on the advisory panel.
ChiliZ’s is an ambitious and novelty project, but with $27 million raised, who knows — they might just pull it off.