eSports League Promoted By MrBeast Postponed Due To Criticism Of NFTs

In summary

  • Esports company eFuse suspends the “Creator League” due to controversies over the use of blockchain technology and NFTs.
  • eFuse is laying off 30% of its staff, roughly 30 employees, as part of a “realignment.”
  • Some content creators complained about the lack of clarity around the use of blockchain technology in the Creator League.

Esports technology company eFuse released a “Creator Leagueor Creators League with big influencers like Bella Poarch, iShowSpeed ​​and Clix last week, and used the massive reach of YouTube giant MrBeast to promote it. But now the company has put the project on hold due to controversy surrounding its use. of blockchain technology and NFTs in the league.

Esports Insider and Sports Business Journal reported on Tuesday that eFuse has also laid off 30% of its staff, believed to have affected approximately 30 employees. While eFuse did not confirm the exact numbers with Decrypt, it said in a statement that the company will go through a “restructuring.”

“The Creator League was a creator-led, fan-controlled experiment in esports,” eFuse CEO Matthew Benson said in a statement. “We remain excited about the Creator League and will be taking some time to reflect on community feedback and improve its structure. As with all ambitious projects, the path to innovation is winding. We are prepared to continue learning and advancing games.” .

The Creator League offered fans “Community Passes,” which cost $20 each and were tied to each of the players and content creators who led teams in the esports league. Each pass allowed viewers to join an exclusive Discord server, vote in league-related polls, and participate in certain competitions.

Shortly after the launch, some content creators linked to the league complained about the use of blockchain technology. Efuse said that it is using the Near blockchain to “validate data and record information related to community passes.” However, the company stated in a statement that the passes are not NFTs.

“Within the product, the blockchain provides additional transparency to inventory levels,” Shawn Pavel, VP of Engineering at eFuse, said in a statement.

“They are not tokens. They are not transferable. They are not fungible. There is no cryptocurrency involved,” an eFuse representative told Decrypt via email.

However, as described by the company, the passes appear to be soul-bound tokens, a type of token that is locked in the wallet that initially creates (or purchases) it and cannot be traded. If that’s the case, then it’s still a type of NFT, even if the restrictions mean there’s no speculative element surrounding them.

“We used the blockchain to provide transparency and create a public ledger so the community would know we were not overselling passes,” the spokesperson added.

crypto confusion

Controversy began to erupt around the Creator League when YouTuber Connor “CDawgVA” Colquhoun, one of the eight creators whose name is used in the League, said he planned to leave the project.

“I agreed to join the Creator League without fully understanding the technology behind it,” Colquhoun tweeted on Sunday. “It goes without saying that with the current information available, I am planning to retire.”

“They assured me it had nothing to do with NFTs. Given my vocal hatred of the technology, I would never have agreed to join if I had known,” said Colquhoun, who has millions of followers on YouTube and Twitch, mainly for his content about exploring. Japan.

OTK co-founder known as “TipsOut” said that the esports organization was also unaware of any NFT elements in the Creator League, and was “told there was no NFT/crypto component.”

OTK and TipsOut did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment. MrBeast, who promotes the Creator League through his popular YouTube channel and his Feastables candy brand, did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

It should be noted that neither official trailer of the Creator League nor its promotional video on Twitter mention the use of Near.

in a twitter space On Sunday, crypto gaming streamer Bryce “Brycent” Johnson said he has “no idea” if influencers associated with the Creator League were aware of the project’s blockchain connections.

“From my perspective, Efuse has always been transparent with me and provided me with sufficient information,” Johnson said, confirming that he was made aware of the Creator League’s use of Near.

own purchase page The Creator League does not make it clear to buyers that they are purchasing something that uses Near in the backend, and their publications from blog that explain how the pass works do not mention that the passes are tracked through a blockchain network. Efuse said it will allow fans to request refunds by email if they wish.

When asked for more details about eFuse’s financial relationship with Near, an eFuse representative told Decrypt via email that there is an “18-month relationship” between the two entities.

“They provided a cash grant to use their platform and build our technology on top of it. We got no money in the deal. The grant allowed us to learn and experiment on the blockchain, but again, that was a while ago,” the spokesperson said. by eFuse.

The Near Foundation did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment, but a transparency report from September 2022 confirm that Near provided a grant of an undisclosed amount to eFuse as part of its “Ecosystem” funding efforts (the entire category of approximately 29 projects received a total of $133 million in grant-based funding).

This is not the first time that eFuse, which also owns the news site, is facing controversy. Last year, eFuse’s Chief Strategy Officer, Patrick Klein, resigned due to accusations of sexual harassment conducted during Klein’s previous tenure at The Ohio State University. In 2020, a university investigation found Klein guilty of violating the university’s sexual harassment policies due to texting and social media exchanges with 13 different student athletes.

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