I’m delighted to be able to announce that we have secured $27 million through early private placement for our chiliZ esports/blockchain venture.
To recap, chiliZ is a blockchain-based platform that allows fans to crowd-manage esports teams and organisations. The inspiration came from traditional sports, specifically football’s La Liga, with their democratic ‘socios’ system of club management. For example, Real Madrid is collectively controlled by its 90,000+ ‘socios’, while 170,000 partners hold decision-making power at FC Barcelona. The concept — and success — of ‘crowd-management’ in sports is already proven.
At chiliZ, we envisage an esports landscape that is shaped by the games, teams and leagues that can effectively activate and monetize their fanbase. For us, this is about giving fans a direct say in how their favourite teams are managed — from what player to put forward for a particular game, to what skins to ‘wear’ during a tournament — all realized through immutable, blockchain technology and utility tokens called chiliZ.
Partnerships discussions are already underway with existing esports leagues, but what seems to have piqued the interest of the professional gaming community, is how the chiliZ platform will change how fans can interact and engage with their favourite teams.
The biggest obstacles for professional gamers and esports teams stem from team/player funding and fan monetisation — chiliZ provides a solution for both problems by allowing fans, viewers, and game enthusiasts to take charge. The chiliZ platform complements the entire esports ecosystem by giving professional and grass-roots teams access to essential support and funding.
Likening chiliZ to Kickstarter but for the esports industry, Nicolas Maurer, owner and CEO of Team Vitality, one of the most popular teams in France, said: “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.”
“Even if we can interact with them a lot on social media,” he continues, “they’re still just spectators. They can just connect and watch their favourite team play, but they cannot take part in the actual performance of the team. And we know in sports, and it’s also true in esports, that everyone would like to control the team, and say, ‘instead of fielding this player, I’d like to do something different’. With chiliZ, it’s very exciting to think about a world where communities will be able to collectively decide the fate of the team.”
Guillaume Patry, former StarCraft World Champion and chiliZ advisor said: “When I was a professional gamer, it was really difficult to get support from the fans. Only the top players and the top games could make a living from gaming. Nowadays players have streaming which helps a little bit, but it’s not perfect. But through the power of blockchain and the chiliz project, the less famous teams and players will be able to get financial support from the fans.”
Speaking about the chiliZ project, gaming streamer and YouTube influencer Anomaly said: “One of things I really love about the chiliZ project, is that you can kickstart esports teams and players. I’m actually friends with a lot of struggling semi-pros, and the chiliZ project can give new and promising players and teams a real chance in the competitive world of esports. The chiliz project is something I really truly support because it could change the whole way the esports scene works. It appreciates the fans and wants to give them a voice.”
Together with Maurer, Patry and Anomaly, we’re lucky to have an Advisory Panel that reads like a veritable who’s who of the industry, and also includes one of gaming’s most popular players, Dr DisRespect, who, until recently, held the Twitch record for the most-viewed stream by a single streamer. World famous poker star and former StarCraft phenomenon ‘ElkY’ joins the line-up, together with Kook ‘The boY’ Kibong, former top StarCraft pro, Hong ‘Yellow’ Jin-Ho, a StarCraft superstar and Korean TV personality and Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Fnatic, one of the world’s most popular and competitively successful esports teams.
The chiliZ team is based in Malta, an E.U. member country with a pro-blockchain project exploration/ adoption government that is actively building regulatory and tech infrastructure to support initiatives like ours. Certainly, our location has helped to secure funding because we are based in a country that supports blockchain-driven investment options such as Token Sales, providing a safe and legitimate framework in which to operate.
Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation said: “We are proud to be home to this exciting esports blockchain venture from chiliZ. Malta’s support of innovative, blockchain-based projects has helped bring this project to life.”