The video gaming industry is booming and is projected to witness even more astronomical growth. The number of gamers around the world is expected to increase to more than 3.3 billion people by 2024, Statista reports.
While several gamers grow up content as consumers, there are yet others who rise as major players in the eSports industry. One such person is Victor Ogunshina, co-founder and COO at BitSport.
Growing up with video games
Like most kids, Victor grew up playing video games as a hobby. Since there were no gaming consoles at home, he would either go to gaming centres or a friend’s house which his mum disliked. Typical of African mothers, right?
Among the many games Victor played for his enjoyment were Nintendo Gameboy, SEGA, Playstation 1 & 2 and a lot of soccer & arcade games like KONAMI, PES, Fast & Furious, and FIFA.
What began as a fun activity became a lifelong passion
Victor fondly recalls how his love for video games became a career he passionately pursues.
“In 2014, I was in my third year in the university when I met my co-founder Charles Adenuoye on a holiday visit back home. We were neighbours and played lots of FIFA nights. By this time I had developed so many skills and was playing without my parents’ constraints in the university; so I ventured into other games like Mortal Kombat, COD, The Last of Us, etc but soccer and arcade games were my niches,” he said.
When Victor first met Charles, they both quickly discovered a shared interest in video games and together with their peers, they would make wagers on games. Soon, the duo began viewing video games through the lens of experienced digitally savvy adults.
Victor told CRESTHUB that they both began to see a lot of synergy in running tech businesses.
The idea for a startup came one night in late 2016 when the duo shared the initial concept of having a competitive and incentivized eSport platform.
“We easily related to the concept because we were already gaming for years, spending so much on in-game items,” Victor said.
On the threshold
Before his venture into the gaming industry, Victor was running around Lagos as a home lesson teacher in mathematics. Along the line, he developed a food ordering website (CHOPLAR), a customised cloth ordering website (CONCRAP) and Charles ran a VPN platform (VROIS).
These development skills came in handy later on when he and Charles started envisioning a platform that would solve the problems they encountered playing games.
Among the factors that made them consider building a startup was the limited interest of gamers who played with swollen fingers and red eyes from many hours of staring at the screen.
“Many gamers, who are the key contributors of the whole ecosystem, only get painful fingers and big red eyes for playing their favourite games. There is also an under-representation of gamers and low chances of getting into eSport as a career due to elitism by the two-dimensional traditional game scape”, Victor said.
This factor amongst many others led to the development of a GameFi platform, Bitsport, where gamers who are an essential part of the entire tech ecosystem would be able to play as they earn.
How does BitSport work:
Bitsport is built on blockchain technology. The decentralized model allows players to play their favourite games and earn while doing so.
The startup is an all-in-one Web 3 solution that redefines the gaming space where players leverage their skills and knowledge to play/compete in their favourite popular games. Players can also earn a percentage of their winnings from competitions.
Unlike many game platforms like Axie Infinity that are dedicated to hosting specific games, BitSport allows for a variety that includes FIFA, PUBG, Call of Duty, Arcades, and more.
So far, the company is working on including more games.
“BitSport is a one GameFi DApp with a no entry barrier, multi-chain payment gateway and fiat on-ramps wallet application system that allow gamers instantly have the complete infrastructure to compete, interact, and get incentivized in crypto & NFTs while handling transactions from start to finish in a decentralised manner”.
“On Bitsport gamers can enjoy their favourite traditional AAA games instead of the low-quality boring Play to Earn games we have right now in the space. We are changing the narrative from ‘Play to Earn’ to ‘Play and Earn’ basically,” Victor explained.
Challenges are inevitable
Like every blockchain startup, Bitsport is vulnerable as Victor rightly admitted.
According to him, “The biggest risks that we look out for as a company and that are imminent not only in the GameFi space but in the entire crypto space are security and vulnerabilities in protocols and smart contracts. This has resulted in the hacking of many platforms, thus putting users in a disadvantaged situation as well as reducing the credibility of the entire crypto space”.
The company generates revenue by discounting 10% of each stake on the platform made either via PVP or live gaming units and 40% off each NFT-IGO (Initial Players Offer) put up.
The company has been running since its launch in 2017 and is currently in talks with venture capital firms to raise funds. Its disruptive technology is attested by its choice in DraperU Accelerator, a Silicon Valley launch pad.
What’s next for Bitsport?
Victor expects Bitsport to gain traction within the next five years as the startup heavily invests in marketing as well as supports an Initial Game Offering where gamers can invest in the company’s early-stage access to in-games.
The company will also sign on to more game creators/influencers in the ecosystem, give the SDK access to game developers and create the foundation for its developer program. It will also roll out exclusive Bitverse and playChain products amid other plans the team has.
Since its launch, BitSport has recorded more than 50,000 USDT in transactions among its audience of 20,000 people.