Arena Match: Blockchain-Backed Esports Betting – Is it Even Legal?

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arena match

Arena Match is an Esports betting app that uses Enjin-backed tokens for all bets. It allows players to bet on “skill based challenges” against the house or against other players.

Because it will allow for bets against the house, the developers of Arena Match believe it will be more popular than alternatives currently on the market.

Arena Match is not currently available to the public, not even in beta form. However, it is slated to be released this month. So it should be available any day now.

This article will explain all of the essential information you need to know about Arena Match. We’ll go over what games players will be able to bet on, how the app will work, the roadmap for future development, and more.

If you’ve heard of Arena Match and wondered whether it will solve the problems in current Esports betting products, read on.

Compatible Esports games

When Arena Match launches, it will initially only work with PUBG matches. But over time, the team plans to make the app available for all of the top multiplayer shooting Esports games. Here is a list of the games the app will eventually work with.

PUBG

pubg

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is one of the most popular Esports games in the world. It is a PvP battle-royal shooter developed by Bluehole.

In the game, players are dropped down onto an island by parachute. They must then explore the island in an attempt to find weapons, ammunition, armor, and equipment.

Meanwhile, all of the other players on the island are trying to kill them. The team or individual who survives to the end is declared the winner.

PUBG has sold over 30 million copies and made Bluehole over $100 million in revenue. Prize pools for major PUBG tournaments have reached as high as $350,000 for a single event.

Arena Match’s PUBG betting system will be available at launch.

Fortnite

fortnite balloon bus

Fortnite was first released as a cooperative PvE game in 2017. It was developed by Epic Games, who formerly produced Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. After PUBG became successful, Epic produced a battle-royal version of Fortnite called Fortnite: Battle Royal.

In the battle-royal version of the game, players fly over an island in a “battle bus” attached to a hot-air balloon.

They parachute down into the island and begin scavenging for weapons and other equipment. As time passes, a storm moves into the island from offshore, and players are forced into a smaller and smaller space.

This tends to push matches towards a conclusion quickly.

Fortnite is recognized as a top Esports game. Its World Cup event is held each year and carries a prize pool of over $30 million.

Arena Match compatibility with Fortnite is listed as “coming soon.”

APEX Legends

apex legends

APEX Legends is another successful battle-royal shooter. It is published by Respawn Entertainment, who previously produced Titanfall and Titanfall 2.

In APEX Legends, players are organized into squads of three. Like in other battle royal games, players are dropped from the air onto an island to scavenge for gear.

But in this case, the action is shown from a first-person perspective instead of the third-person of Fortnite and PUBG.

APEX Legends is also unique because of its use of characterization. Different characters have different abilities, and a squad made up of the right mix of characters will have an advantage over others.

APEX Legends has provided over $92 million in revenue for its developer. It is a relatively new entrant to the Esports scene, but major tournaments have already awarded up to $350,000 in prizes.

The developer of Arena Match claims that it will be compatible with APEX Legends soon.

CS:GO

cs:go counter strike

Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a multiplayer shooting game from Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation.

In the game, players form teams and compete to finish objectives.

These objectives may be to kill enemies, capture territory, rescue civilians, defuse bombs, or other activities.

Players who complete objectives in each round receive currency, which can be spent to upgrade gear before the next round. Matches can consist of any number of rounds.

CS:GO is a successful Esports game, with some tournaments providing prize pools of over $1 million.

Arena Match compatibility with CS:GO will not be available at launch, but is listed as “coming soon.”

Other games

Once Arena Match is compatible with these four, the team will consider eventually adding other Esports games.

It all depends on which games the user base is most interested in playing.

Arena Match modes

arena match modes

In the Arena Match app, players will be able to choose from several modes of competition. Here is how each of them will work.

Skill Challenge mode

In Skill Challenge mode, an Esports player will be able to make a bet against the house on whether he can accomplish a specific set of objectives.

For example, one objective may be for the player to kill a certain number of enemies in his next CS: GO match.

Another objective may be for his team to finish in the top five. There may be any number of objectives with different criteria for success.

The Arena Match app will keep track of player skill levels and will handicap objectives based on player ability.

This should keep the probability of a player winning low enough that it will not expose the developer to huge losses. However, prize pools should still be big enough to motivate players to participate.

Because skill challenges will be made against the house, the Arena Match team believes this will keep players entertained when they don’t have other players to bet against.

High score tournaments mode

In a high score tournament, the player will be able to pay an entry fee to participate. The player will then play a match, and his score will be recorded.

If he is not happy with his score, he will be able to pay the entry fee again and try once more. As long as the time limit has not passed, the player can continue to pay fees and post scores. Only the highest score will count.

Once the time limit has passed for the tournament, the top positions will pay out prizes.

Head-to-Head mode

In head-to-head mode, the player will be able to pay a fee of between $1 and $20 worth of Arena Match Gold tokens (AMG) to be matched up with another player who is also willing to pay this amount.

The winner of the match will receive 90% of this fee, with the remaining 10% going to the Arena Match developer.

Battle-Royale Free-For-All

In Battle-Royale Free-For-All mode, the player will participate in a match with 60-100 players for 30-60 minutes.

The players who rank high will receive a payout, with the very highest finishers receiving the greatest rewards.

The payout will be financed by entry fees for participating in the Battle Royal, with 90% of these fees going to the players and only 10% going to the developer.

Currency and collectibles

Arena Match will use AMG as its native currency. This is an ENJ-backed ERC-1155 token.

If a player wishes to “cash out” and cannot find a buyer for his AMG, he will be able to melt the AMG and turn it into ENJ.

Since ENJ is quickly becoming a widely used gaming cryptocurrency, this should theoretically provide a floor under the AMG price.

arena match gold

In addition, a certain number of AMG tokens will be burned per quarter based on the percentage of transaction volume that has occurred on the app. This should also help to support the price.

Players will also be able to buy collectibles, called “perks,” to help them succeed at skill based challenges.

For PUBG, these collectibles include the Helmet (reduces the kill requirement of a challenge by 1), Armor (reduces the rank requirement of a challenge by 1), Frying Pan (increases payout odds by 0.25%), First Aid (gives the player a second chance if he dies within the first two minutes), and Backpack (increases the number of perks that can be used to three instead of two).

arena match helmet

Other collectibles will be created in the future, both for PUBG and other games.

Arena Match registration process

Once Arena Match is released, here are the steps to begin using the app:

1. Navigate to the official Overwolf appstore

2. Search for “Arena Match” (use the magnifying glass icon on the far right, in the second row from the top)

3. Mouse over the Arena Match app and click download

4. Connect your gaming platform with Arena Match. Steam, Epic, and Origins are all compatible

5. Buy AMG from the developer or from another player. Major cryptos and credit cards will be accepted from within the app or website

6. Choose your mode and start playing

Roadmap

After launch, here are the features the developer plans to add:

September, 2019 – Head to Head mode for CS:GO

November, 2019 – Team vs. Team for CS: GO

Additional features are planned for 2020, although the team has not yet announced details for them.

Arena Match legality

Given that Arena Match allows players to bet on the outcome of game matches, many crypto collectors have wondered if the app facilitates “gambling” and is therefore illicit.

The Arena Match team has considered this question, and has responded with several arguments as to why the app does not violate the laws of most states or countries.

First, the team argues that Esports are skill-based competitions. These competitions are not based on luck the way that slot machines and other types of gambling are.

Second, the team argues that chance is not a “predominant indicator” of who will win an Esports match the way it is in a poker or blackjack game, nor is it a “material element” of such competitions.

Therefore, they argue, Esports betting should not be classified as gambling.

Third, the team argues that the app does not allow for “real prize” competitions under the laws in most U.S. states.

However, they admit that it does violate the “real prize” laws in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

For this reason, Arena Match will not be available in these states. But this still leaves 39 states in the U.S., plus many other countries throughout the world where the app will be legal.

We are not legal experts, so we don’t know whether the team is right or not.

But these are the official arguments as to why the app does not violate the laws in most countries or states.

Conclusion

Arena Match is slated for release this month (June 2019), although an exact date has not yet been given.

In this article, we have gone over the essential information that players will need to know who are considering using the app.

We hope you have found this information to be useful.

If you have any questions about Arena Match, be sure to leave them in the comments below. And check back to this page often. We will update it as new information comes out.

Tom Blackstone
Tom Blackstone is a former salesperson turned tech writer. Before 2014, he sold video games, computers, home theater systems, and other entertainment products. Since 2014, he has been a full time writer. His previous work includes ICO announcements, articles on the history of cryptocurrency, guides to Kodi addons, and more. He has always enjoyed learning about new technology and helping others to understand it. As a former video game salesperson, he also likes to try out new games and review them for others.

2 COMMENTS

    • Thanks for the share. I’m sure many projects have what seem to be shady dealings behind the scenes but it’s hard to come to conclusions without doing diligent research.

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