Just three days after launching its new eSports tournament, eFuse has slammed the breaks on Creator League following a fan backlash over its use of the NEAR blockchain.
The controversy highlights a growing rift within the gaming community between those who embrace NFTs and blockchain tech and those who want nothing to do with it.
When NFT gaming first emerged its advocates lauded it as a revolution that would empower users and democratize the ownership of in-game products. However, things didn’t pan out quite the way early proponents of the technology anticipated.
When Minecraft famously banned blockchain integrations last year, its developer argued that the “speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs takes the focus away from playing the game.” The decision compounded a pre-existing association between NFTs and rampant profiteering that has divided gaming communities ever since.
On eSports forums, the oft-derided “NFT bro” is the subject of ridicule—a scammy nuisance more interested in inflating the price of their latest digital collectibles than actual gaming.
Meanwhile, many gamers perceive NFTs as little more than an unwelcome monetization strategy forced upon them by developers.
A string of scams and rug pulls in the blockchain gaming space has only served to further entrench crypto-skepticism.
When eFuse unveiled Creator League on September 2, it promised an eSports tournament where influencers and their fans would compete in various games throughout the season.
But only a day later, one of the eight influencers scheduled to take part in the tournament had already pulled out.
In a tweet announcing his decision to withdraw, the YouTuber Connor Colquhoun, also known as CDawgVA, explained his reasoning to followers: “I was not told or made aware at any point that there was Blockchain technology and was only made aware of that information when the event went live,” he said.
“Given my vocal hatred of such tech, I would never agree to join had I known that,” Colquhoun added.
To be fair to Colquhoun, eFuse didn’t actively promote NEAR’s role in Creator League. Instead of associating the competition with the blockchain gaming hype, eFuse presented Creator League as a simple eSports tournament with user identification managed through ‘community passes.
However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that the league recorded its community passes on-chain.
In a statement on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, eFuse emphasized that “community passes are not considered NFTs nor a token launch.” It stressed that the passes were not intended to be transferred and the NEAR was only to be used on the back end “to provide additional transparency.”
The company said that any passholders who are uncomfortable with the use of blockchain technology can request a refund.
However, with refunds only available at request, and no word yet on a Creator League relaunch, some critics feel that their objections are valid.
by u/freedomtoscream from discussion The Creator League that was announced three days ago, orchestrated by Mr Beast and including creators like Hecz, Scump, Clix & more, has already been postponed, amid mass layoffs at eFuse. Those who bought passes will be provided refunds should they request them.