LISTEN | Skrmiish, the SA app looking to democratise the world of esports
It’s not every day you have an SA company influencing a fresh global innovative sport, building new technology, embedding a strong revenue model, tapping into the human desire to compete and wrap it up with good timing and an enabling app. Enter Skrmiish.
Admittedly, not being too familiar with the mechanics of the skills-based wagering market — not to be confused with gambling — and how this can be applied to esports and competitive gaming, we had to have a sit down with co-founder and MD of Skrmiish, Chris Heaton, to be educated.
In short, the Skrmiish app gives anyone, anywhere, the ability to make money on the blockchain playing the games they love and, in the process, democratise the esports and gaming industry.
But what does all that mean? Heaton makes reference to the online poker model that democratised its own game arena, whereby “anyone, anywhere in the world at any time could sit down and play a game and play for cash ... with some really smart technology”, Heaton says.
“We asked the question: could this be applied to games? Could gamers create their own competitive experiences, play for cash, was it possible, was anyone doing it?”
That took them on a journey to where they are now.
Skrmiish, as it stands today, is a proprietary technology built for streamers, online gamers, teams and brands of all sizes able to collaborate, compete and monetise their gaming experience on the blockchain.
“There is no blueprint for what we are doing. We needed to tick a few boxes — could we create something special, was there an appetite, and could we convert users into paying players?”
Launched in 2018, Heaton admits it was clunky at first, but they got thousands of players involved.
Since then, the SA-based team has rebuilt their platform, refocused their efforts and developed their own layer-2 bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet, ultimately allowing users to safely and efficiently receive earnings from their matches.
According to stats provided by Skrmiish, there are an estimated 100-million poker players in the world, but more than 3-billion people play video games.
About 250-billion matches are played every year, with a real lack of inclusive competitive opportunities to stimulate revenue for the casual gamer or streamer, which makes up most of the market.
“We felt like competitive gaming was an exclusive environment. We wanted to enable gamers of all levels to play for a bit of money,” said Heaton.
“We wanted to create the ability to play in a customisable competitive experience.”
On the platform, players are able to compete on their terms and choose their own stakes with the app’s built-in Leader board Point (LP) matchmaker system.
Players can choose to play against friends, other users or their favourite streamers. Results are automated through the app, minimising unnecessary qualms between players.
The app is game agnostic, but they focused on Fortnite and the battle royale genre to get the technology and marketing and comms right. From there they intend to spread to other games.
With further numbers provided by Skrmiish, they say the thriving online poker industry is valued at $60bn (R964.58bn).
The competitive gaming market is valued at $170bn (R2.73-trillion) and is expected to reach $218bn (R3.5-trillion) in the next two years.
The skills-based gaming industry is already making up $10bn (R160.76bn) of that value, while many believe it is still in its infancy.
Those are believable numbers, as at the time of the interview, after 16 weeks of being in the market, the app had garnered, “about 54,000 downloads, 20,000 players, and 2-million in app currency points wagers,” said Heaton.
“It’s crazy, with one game and limited channel exposure.”
We are looking forward to witnessing just how far this fresh perspective on competitive gaming and its value chain can go.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.