Evolve is an up and coming social gaming/collaboration ecosystem for the PC gaming market. They claim to have nearly 2 million members and their mission is very simple: To become the the next evolution in PC gaming. One of its more popular games that players play through its propriety platform is League of Legends (LoL). Evolve recently reported that they have nearly 300,000 users playing League of Legends (LoL) and those users are active in nearly 800,000 League of Legends matches each and every month.
Having crunched these numbers and also spoken to their community of users, they have taken the decision and launched a brand new eSports arena called Blackflag, that will allow teams (up to 5 members) of League of Legends participants to play and compete against each other for real cash prizes. There is no bracket system involved — teams are able to compete against each other head-to-head with the winner taking home real cash prizes. From our perspective its great to see these platforms coming out with new ways to monetize their audiences. The numbers are significant and adding some interest in eSports through the introduction of cash prizes makes sense, as long as it is deemed to be a legal venture. In America the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 otherwise known as UIEGA, has clear guidelines as to what constitutes illegal online gambling. We are hoping the legal team at Evolve have done their home work and have solid legal advice to make sure they do not contravene any gambling laws otherwise they could end up like the various Daily Fantasy Sports sites such as Draftkings and Fanduel. Both companies are in hot water especially with the state of New York with legal proceedings going ahead.