When you think about entrepreneurship, you conjure up ideas about innovation, especially in a budding industry like eSports, a term used to describe video game competitions between professional players. One company at the forefront of eSports' growth is Unikrn, a world-leading gaming and eSports company that understands entrepreneurship to mean more than simply creating something new.
It is challenging for Unikrn or any other industry leader that is still developing as the industry it finds itself in is also in its early stages. Early industry entrepreneurs like Unikrn have little choice -- they live and die with the development of the industry as a whole. Taking a leadership role by not waiting for others to craft the guidelines necessary for sustained growth of the industry as a whole should lead to entrenching the entrepreneur (in this case Unikrn) as a force to be reckoned with.
Why Entrepreneurship Is Needed In eSports
"eSports is at a stage where entrepreneurship is reaching new heights. While I think eSports are here to stay, this issue is about creating sustainable growth, establishing the baseline for competition," says Bryce Blum, Unikrn's Director of eSports. "If competitive integrity isn't appropriately safeguarded, all those entrepreneurial efforts could be for nothing."
The rapidly rising business of eSports, is no different than any other quickly growing industry that has captured the attention and interest of many. In order to survive and prosper, it must establish and enforce a standard set of rules and regulations. A major goal for eSports is to now ensure the legitimacy of competitive video game tournaments around the world while protecting the competitors themselves -- the lifeblood of the industry. Without a buy-in from competitors, the spectators will lose interest and the industry could collapse despite amazing gains. It all boils down to integrity, which one leader in eSports has determined to be a priority as it establishes industry-wide best practices.
An eSports Company Leading The Charge For Integrity
Unikrn has taken it upon itself to lead the charge toward ensuring that eSports games are played on a fair and level playing field so that competitors and spectators feel comfortable that the games played are legitimate. It is in the process, through a newly formed 'Unikrn Competitive Integrity Program,' of creating rules that may help provide comfort that competitors have an equal chance of success in eSports.
Unikrn's new competitive integrity certification program for eSports will be immediately adopted through a partnership with FACEIT, a leading platform for online competitions in player-versus-player multiplayer games. Participating leagues and tournaments will be ranked according to various tiers of competitive integrity based on standards that are to be created and distributed throughout the eSports community.
Lessons Learned From Daily Fantasy Sports
Unikrn's effort comes in close proximity to questions surrounding the daily fantasy sports industry, wherein an unintentional release of lineup information by a DraftKings employee revealed that employees may have had access to non-public information, which could be used to provide them an unfair advantage if they were to participate on competing sites.
"We're a young company, we've only been around three and a half years, and I think we've done a good job putting really strong policies and procedures in place. But they can definitely get better, and I know that. And there's going to be a lot of work that we put behind this," said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins in an interview on Fox Business News. "I think it's very important that everyone out there knows there's the highest integrity in our games, and that players can trust that the competition is fair. And we will work tirelessly until everyone out there is very clear that this is the case."
The struggles confronted by the daily fantasy sports industry and awareness of the importance of integrity by Unikrn is a learning lesson for all entrepreneurs to make sure that consumers feel safe as brands grow in value. Without a buy-in and comfort of the consumer, early gains can easily be squandered. That is true for eSports and other industries as well.
Entrepreneurs Live And Die With The Industry
It is challenging for Unikrn or any other industry leader that is still developing as the industry it finds itself in is also in its early stages. Early industry entrepreneurs like Unikrn have little choice -- they live and die with the development of the industry as a whole.
"We are doing it in collaboration with others. We don't think of this as solely our time," explained Blum. "We are trying to get everyone to sit at the same table to have a collective, proactive approach. We want to avoid third party regulation from ever becoming necessary."