On August 8, web3 gaming startup Ultra is poised to launch its blockchain-based esports tournament platform—Ultra Arena. The new platform seeks to empower individuals, brands, and organizations to conduct their own tournaments and leagues, offering its $UOS tokens, NFTs, and even physical items as prizes.
Turning amateur gamers into professionals
The ultimate objective of Ultra Arena is to establish a clear trajectory for amateur gamers to ascend to professional status. On the platform, players can partake in popular games like League of Legends, Overwatch 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), PUBG, along with all games available in the Ultra Games marketplace.
All winnings, be they tokens, NFTs, or physical prizes, will be directly deposited into their connected wallet of users. The platform has tokenized every prize, including claim tickets for physical items or qualification passes for future tournaments, all of which can be traded on Ultra’s Uniq Marketplace.
Leveling up through Ultra Arena
Competing on Ultra Arena not only fosters gaming skills but also aids in developing a digital identity stored on the Ultra blockchain. The more a player competes and wins, the more credibility they garner on the platform. However, just like in platforms like Steam, any case of cheating will result in an immediate ban and loss of reputation.
For rule-abiding players, this on-chain progression could result in perks like early access to games based on their performance history. Ultra co-CEO, Nicolas Gilot, explained that consistent tournament participation could help game developers identify potential game testers, and it could also serve as a talent pool for esports teams. Gilot further stated:
“What’s really cool are all the aspects around traceability of the players. Who is really good? Why? What did they do? When did they play the game? This is really where we are heading: the road from amateur to professional.”
The struggling Esports industry
The high salaries earned by pro players, coupled with failed broadcast deals and less sponsorship money, have led to a downturn in the esports market.
However, the co-CEO of Ultra states the current slump is an excellent opportunity for Ultra Arena, as the platform aims to circumvent the limiting factors that prevent amateurs from rising to the professional ranks.
Ultra Arena seeks to create a broader competitive landscape for a range of skill levels. Gilot added that amateur gamers could also secure sponsorships to compete on the platform, expressing there’s “definitely interest,” though declining to name specific organizations.
As esports typically revolve around well-established games, Ultra Arena’s inclusion of new or even unreleased games provides a unique opportunity. Gilot believes that introducing new games levels the playing field, offering everyone an equal shot at winning while also serving as a novel marketing tool for game developers:
“Right now, you have 800 [new] games on Steam every month, and you’re like, ‘How will people see my game now?’ Organizing a tournament is a great way. Put a small prize pool, tap into our user base, or do co-marketing with some of the brands.”