How to create an idea, build a team, and not stop at the beginning of the path? How to launch a project so that people will believe in you? About Esports under the Free TON aegis — initial initiatives, growth, challenges, achievements, and the huge potential for promoting Free TON and creating a full-fledged tokenomics. Kirill Ushakov, Esports Subgovernance initial, CEO of PokerTON, tells.
Free TON is a project not only about cryptocurrency but also about people. The project is just over a year old, and the number of active community members is growing rapidly. Obviously, the more people find a use for their knowledge, practical experience and get opportunities for self-realization here, the more Free TON develops.
Why eSports? Today, eSports has huge media opportunities all over the world. According to Esports, the Russian market alone adds 20% on average every year. According to forecasts, in 2023, it could reach $100 million with an audience of over 20 million people.
In my opinion, this number could be even higher, given the pace we are now seeing. I understood eSports could be a powerful tool for attracting new users to Free TON. Gamers are open to everything new, loyal to cryptocurrencies, and the target audience in gaming can be considered the target audience for Free TON as well since it is easy to direct players and viewers to the resources of the community. The idea of bringing eSports into the lives of Free TON users lay on the surface, but the thought of how to implement this idea came by accident.
Esports: At The Origins
It all started about a year ago. In a conversation with one of the most active members of the community, Ivan Velikorodov, we decided to play Counter-Strike 1.6 for crystals. PokerTON provided a prize pool of 100 TON Crystal, the teams gathered quite quickly. The first match was between the Fludilka team and the PokerTON team. It was cool and, of course, everyone was happy.
Later, we played another show match, and it was broadcasted by the Twitch streamers. The match attracted people, and we got positive feedback from viewers and the community.
We started hosting tournaments, inviting participants, advertising competitions via streamers and various public communities. Tokens for the prize pool were allocated by PokerTON.
It was a good start, but we didn’t clearly understand how to develop the project further. At that time, the TON Crystal cryptocurrency had not yet entered the exchange, so it was difficult to attract people. Even though the tournaments were free, we had a hard time convincing players to spend their time on prize matches in an unknown cryptocurrency. Many people thought it was some kind of scam.
The project lived in this mode for several months until Roman D and Ron Millow advised us to create our own Free TON community subgovernance and continue to actively develop the direction. This is how eSports SubGovernance appeared.
We have requested a standard budget to run free tournaments with a prize pool in TON Crystal, as well as to increase our presence on media channels (social media, Twitch, etc.). All this made it possible to attract new active users to the chats and Free TON community channels.
Community members ran tournaments on their own, from attracting players to tournament administration.
At the first stage, we were just creating a user base and attracting streamers. We have reached out to the Free TON community:
How can you get TON Crystal? You can buy it, you can take part in contests, you can win it in PokerTON. But also you can take part in eSports tournaments and get a reward!
In December, we prepared a report on the results of the subgovernance performance, which illustrates how our business was going.
Later, we held several major tournaments, to which we were able to attract professional organizers, Tier 2 teams with their fan base and media resources. For example, experienced players with their fan base took part in the StarCraft tournament.
Thus, we realized it is easier, cheaper, and better to deal with tournaments using the services of professional organizers. They have their platforms with good traffic, loyal players, administrators, Twitch channels, and extensive experience in providing such turnkey services. For example, through the European tournament platform Epulze, we held a large-scale Dota 2 tournament. Through ENTER ESPORT eSports advertising agency — CS:GO tournament — Free TON League: Winter Cup.
Besides people from the community who host weekly tournaments in our Subgovernance, there are also industry professionals. For example, a participant with 10 years of experience in eSports — sports director, founder of Tier 1 eSports teams in various disciplines, professional organizer of leagues and events, founder of Vaevictis eSports — Sergey Kozlov. Or a streamer, a professional Mafia player (was one of the top 10 players in the world, a grandmaster of the game) — Eugene «locky».
Esports Tasks — Solutions for Free TON
For a long time, we had a big problem: people played, received TON as prizes, but they had nowhere to spend them — except to make a deposit on PokerTON, buy merch at FREETONSHOP, or exchange it for fiat money through Chatex. Players were just wasting their time and withdrawing their winnings. But our goal is to get users coming back, to get them involved. We had a big task — to create tokenomics and expand the ecosystem even more widely.
Now the Free TON community is also well aware of the need to develop solutions for practical use. Marketing and attracting new users is being discussed, but the question remains — where and on what to spend TON, where to direct the traffic? On forum.freeton.org? The problem is not only ours but a common one — there are few use cases, although the community is rapidly developing.
We have an idea to create our platform. It was implemented almost by our efforts, so it turned out quite budget-friendly. That’s how the first version appeared — Freetonleague.com. Registration and prize payouts could be done through the platform, but the tournaments themselves were held on specialized platforms with a ready-made automatic tournament bracket and lobby.
We decided to develop our platform: add the mechanics of using tokens, so that users in addition to tournaments, can buy in-game currency, skins, NFT cards of their favorite players and streamers, as well as vote for various events.
To realize the new goals, we restructured the subgovernance, developed a Mind Map for a year, and made a new proposal, focusing on solving the issue of practical use of tokens.
We also developed a second version of the platform with a new architecture designed to scale and add multiple use cases that will give utility to the token.
We don’t just distribute tokens, we create tokenomics, infrastructure. Our main goal is to create use cases. To comprehensively develop the Free TON community through eSports, attracting partners and benefiting the network.
There is a shop on the FreeTON Esports platform, where you can buy gaming devices for crystals at prices even slightly cheaper than the market. There is also the possibility of training with professional Counter-Strike, Dota, PUBG MOBILE players — in a group or individual classes.
During broadcasts we involve viewers — they can follow the link, get a bonus token and take part in the drawing of devices and in-game currency with it.
It’s important for us that a person doesn’t just get 1 TON and then doesn’t understand what to do with it. We need people to know what opportunities exist: cryptocurrency can be spent, saved, used, etc.
We noticed that the free tournament has 500 participants and the paid tournament has 50. We want there to be no fear of giving and buying TON. We are gradually “teaching” people to pay for entry to tournaments, and not just participate in free events.
FreeTON Esports Platform: Opportunities And Potential
On the FreeTON Esports platform, it is possible to create and host tournaments completely (from scratch) right now. There is a ranking system of rewards and achievements. In addition, there are many more interesting and useful ideas in development.
Gradually gamification will be added, as well as game mechanics to keep users around. It will be possible not only to participate in daily tournaments but also in daily challenges, to bet on events, to open cases, and to vote for decisions on our team.
The focus of our attention, of course, is the NFT.
Reliance On Mobile Games
Once again, PUBG Mobile from Tencent has become the most profitable mobile game of the month.
PUBG Mobile players spent about $250 million in February, which is a 16.2% increase over February 2020. In May 2021, the game earned $258 million.
If there are already tournament platforms for other classic disciplines on PC with a name and a reputation, then for mobile games so far there are few, and we have a good chance to gain popularity.
For example, we had 2,200 participants at the first PUBG MOBILE tournament, and 2,800 at the second. There was a professional studio, casters, and every half an hour there was not a native, but a direct ad for Free TON.
The draw also took place: the viewer, by clicking on the link, gets 1 TON, with which he can buy a prize in the draw.
Influencer — World Champion!
Now the community has its own Counter-Strike team, which has been playing under the Free TON tag for four months.
One of the team members is Counter-Strike World Champion Mikhail Dosia, who has 350,000 Twitch subscribers. Every day on his stream Dosia shows our platform and talks about the community and Esports in Free TON. And also promotes us with the “Dosia gives TON Crystal for signing up” banner.
Mikhail became the Free TON Ambassador, providing extensive media coverage. Thanks to him, many people (not only from the world of eSports) learned about the project.
Very soon we will release NFT cards with images of Mikhail, and we will be unstoppable. Get ready, it will be hot!
The Free TON team is of interest to newsmakers and insiders in the Esports community — news and information about our team are published with pleasure on the largest Esports information platforms in the region, such as cybersport.ru, csgo.com, and others.
We also want to implement an important idea: voting with tokens for decisions on our Free TON team, which is similar to on-chain voting in Free TON. By doing so, the people’s team will be created, where all decisions are made in a decentralized way.