Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson recently announced the launch of Creator League, an esports tournament featuring eight high-profile influencers. Strangely, MrBeast himself is not participating. While the concept generated significant buzz initially, a newly disclosed detail is already causing upheaval: Creator League’s community passes are, in fact, non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
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NFTs absent from the announcement
The so-called Community Passes are priced at $20 and offer buyers access to a single creator’s community, along with some bonus features like voting on team decisions and exclusive access to closed tournaments. Notably, the term “NFT” is conspicuously absent from all promotional material—press releases, MrBeast’s announcement video, and the Creator League website itself.
The NFT feature was only discernible through the terms and refund policy of Coinflow, the company handling payments for the Community Passes. This obscurity has raised ethical concerns about transparency, particularly as NFTs have proven to be a polarizing subject within the esports and gaming communities.
Adding fuel to the fire
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that some participating creators were apparently in the dark about the NFT aspect of the project. IRL streamer CdawgVA, one of the eight creators featured in the league, tweeted his concerns, stating he was not informed that the initiative involved blockchain technology. Consequently, he has withdrawn his participation.
CdawgVA is not alone in his sentiments. Others involved in the Creator League, such as Asmongold—a founding member of the OTK group included in the league—have publicly criticized blockchain technology in the past. Asmongold’s involvement, therefore, comes as a shock, given his earlier disdain for such projects.
Why the secrecy?
While NFTs have been the subject of debate, with failed projects tarnishing the technology’s reputation, the main issue here seems to be the lack of transparency. Failure to disclose such a critical aspect of the Community Passes, only revealing it in the terms and conditions, can be seen as disingenuous at best and deceptive at worst.
Not mentioning NFTs or blockchain technology in any of the materials given to the press or the public raises concerns about whether Creator League intends to ride the NFT wave secretly, potentially capitalizing on people who may not fully understand what they’re buying into.
What’s next for Creator League?
With the NFT revelation triggering negative reactions and already causing at least one high-profile withdrawal, the future of Creator League hangs in the balance. The secrecy surrounding its blockchain element may further alienate an already skeptical audience, affecting not just the perception of this specific project but potentially having a ripple effect on other esports initiatives considering a foray into NFTs.
Transparency will be key if Creator League wishes to regain public trust. But with the Pandora’s Box of NFT controversy now wide open, it’s uncertain if the league can escape unscathed from its own creation.