The convergence of web3 and esports has been on the cards for some time, and it is finally beginning to come to fruition. The web3 gaming organization and platform, Ultra, has announced its esports product, Ultra Arena.
It’s safe to say, we like Ultra — they first started making waves in the blockchain gaming scene in 2021, but more recently they made announcements that caused a stir, such as the one allowing players to resell games.
For some time, Ultra described itself as the “Steam of web3” — a term John and I discussed at length in a recent podcast episode. However, they have shed that term, albeit without much of a shift in strategy. As you can see in the above image, Ultra wants to become an all-encompassing gaming platform that covers the full gamut of web3 needs: a marketplace, a wallet, an app, and many games.
As you can see second from last in that graphic, one of the fundamental pieces to the Ultra puzzle is a tournament platform; that is what has finally been announced.
What Is Ultra Arena?
Ultra Arena is an esports gaming tournament app that will automate token and NFT rewards for players, first launching on 8th August 2023 at 4pm UTC. Anybody can host tournaments on Ultra games and tailor the rewards. At present, tournaments can reward the Ultra native token, $UOS, as well as NFTs, though there is a suggestion that this will be expanded.
Players can create and manage esports teams, join tournaments, and have their winnings automatically delivered to their Ultra wallet. What makes this particularly special is that Ulta Arena isn’t limited to Ultra’s ecosystem. “Tournaments with rewards can be held in Arena for any game, as long as it complies with the developer’s policies. We’ll be hosting tournaments for competitive games such as League of Legends, Overwatch 2, CSGO, PUBG, and more.”
When I began looking into blockchain’s value to the gaming industry back in 2018, it was mostly centered around ownership of digital assets. However, over the next few years I became aware of how valuable smart contracts could be for automated, trustless, and fully transparent esports. That is, on-chain esports. This is exactly what Ultra is launching here and without it being limited to games in the Ultra ecosystem, it shows real promise. This is how Play-to-Earn should be: merit-based.