Bringing Competitive Gaming to the Masses: AMA Session with the Fluker Team

Bringing Competitive Gaming to the Masses: AMA Session with the Fluker Team

Host: I'm happy to welcome everyone to our AMA session today with the Fluker team. Fluker is a platform for organizing online tournaments. Today, we have Vladimir, the founder, Pavel, the CTO, and Alexander, the project manager. The team will first introduce their project and then answer questions. Vladimir, you can start.

Vladimir: Hello, community! Let me explain what we've done and how it works. Our plugin is built on the Overwolf platform. Overwolf is a company that provides a backend solution allowing plugins to be integrated into in-game overlays. So, without leaving the game, you can perform various actions. It's quite convenient.

Regarding the plugin's features, the main one is organizing tournaments. We can create a tournament card, essentially a ticket that other users can purchase. So, we have two roles: the organizer and the player. As the organizer, I can create a tournament card. For instance, I choose the entry fee, let's say 5 EVERs. It could be based on points, placement, or a custom payout chosen by the organizer to determine the winner.

Next, you choose the map, the number of players, and the tournament start time. Then, the organizer creates a room with a specific name and password. 

We choose the name, copy the password, create the room, and a parallel card is generated. Any player can then buy a ticket to this card, and the system will provide them with the room number and the password to enter. Once everyone is gathered, the organizer starts the game, and when it's over, the prize pool, created by ticket sales, is distributed to the winner based on who won and how many points they scored.

We also have other features. For instance, a function to launch a Discord channel during the tournament. Participants can join this channel, send messages, have a voice chat, etc. There's also a similar function with Telegram. We have a special bot there that notifies players when the tournament is starting, in case someone steps away.

And of course, we have EVER tokens. There's a balance system, with the currency being EVER, which can be deposited or withdrawn. It's all standard. We also have an Elo rating, which is a player's ranking calculated based on his wins and losses, similar to matchmaking rating. This helps us differentiate between players based on skill level.

We have a match history, where you can view who played, and more. An organizer's fee is built into the system, so the tournament organizer receives a bank’s percentage, which he shares with us. This fee motivates organizers to create more tournaments and participate in them. Thus, the tournament organizer is our partner.

That's the brief summary of Fluker. 

Host: Let's summarize everything right away. Fluker is a platform where the gaming community can create their own tournaments, participate in them, and organize prizes, all while earning Everscale, right?

Vladimir: Yes, that's absolutely right. We're solving a specific problem for both players and streamers. We have two main groups in our system: players and streamers. Currently, players don't have many opportunities to monetize their skills. Only the best of the best, those who make it to professional Tier-1 esports teams, can earn money. But if a player is just below that level or lower, they never earn anything from gaming.

Typically, tournaments take place offline, often in esports clubs, which is very inconvenient. Players might have to rely on cash transfers and so forth. With our platform, we provide the ability to remotely organize tournaments of any scale. For those who play well, we offer the chance to monetize their skills. This is what we call the Win2Ever model.

Host: A truly great business model! Okay, here's the first question: “Can you tell us about the creation of Fluker and what inspired you to develop an online gaming tournament platform?”

Vladimir: I just explained this. Basically, it's rooted in my own and my many friends’ love for video games. I realized that there's a need for this kind of platform because, for most players, their interaction with games is financially one-sided. They can only spend their time and money on the game, with little opportunity to earn anything in return. In most cases, they can't make any money from gaming.

However, there's a clear demand for this, given that the gaming and streaming audiences are both growing. People want to find ways to earn from gaming. We're offering a fair way to do this by winning. If you have the skill, you can compete against others and win. You can do this in private tournaments, and Fluker will ensure a fair distribution of the prize pool. We provide a way to do this fast and neatly. Everything is automated.

Host: Good. The next question is about distribution. How does Fluker monetize its services, and what are the project's main revenue sources?

Vladimir: The primary source of monetization is the embedded fee. We include a service fee in every prize pool and every tournament held on Fluker. That's our main source of revenue. Also, the Overwolf platform that hosts everything provides a window where we can display ads. Overwolf has its own advertising network, so, for instance, while participants wait for the tournament to start, we can show ads in that window. That's our second revenue stream. Those are our primary sources right now.

Host: Overwolf is an extension, not a separate platform?

Vladimir: Yes, it's a large platform extension. Intel bought them a while ago, and their innovation is in how they integrate with games. Their hardware-level approach ensures the game doesn't slow down. They also have their own application store with various plugins, and our plugin is one of them. This helps us in two ways. First, we gain immediate access to all games because, without Overwolf, we would have to negotiate separately with each game. We'd face a thorough review process to prove we're not a cheat tool. Overwolf handles this by granting us access to all games in their app store after a single review. All the major games are represented there. Our first supported game is PUBG, and we plan to add other competitive games.

Host: That leads to the next question. Which games are currently supported by Fluker? Only PUBG?

Vladimir: Yes, just PUBG right now, but we plan to add other popular games like CS: GO, Dota, Valorant, and other competitive games. Not casual ones, only competitive ones.

Host: Tell us about notable or successful tournaments that have already been held on Fluker.

Vladimir: We're currently negotiating with streamers and planning a streamer tournament to promote our app. We haven't held any tournaments yet because we're still in discussions.

Host: Okay. What role does Fluker see for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the blockchain in the future of online gaming, and how is the platform preparing to use them?

Alexander: Let me cover this topic. In our app, fair prize distribution is crucial, so it's important for each account to be individually linked. This is currently limited by available tools, but there are ways to prevent duplicate accounts by people previously caught cheating or acting dishonestly. However, we need a more reliable way to link accounts to specific users. In the future, this could be done using Soulbound NFTs, which are non-transferable tokens tied to a specific address. They could record player reputations, achievements across different games, match history, successes, tournament participation, and results. We could also link KYC (Know Your Customer) results if needed, especially for large prize pools sponsored by partners who require it.

In the long run, there's also potential to link identity verification to Soulbound NFTs. A trend in technology now is verifying certain certified data without disclosing personal information. This functional use of NFTs is intriguing. Another trend is real-world asset (RWA) tokenization. This could include in-game items like weapons, armor, and skins. Companies like Valve and Steam already support trading such items as NFTs. I think we're heading in that direction, even though it's not fully implemented yet.

Vladimir: But there's definitely community interest in this.

Alexander: It's clear that this will be implemented in some form soon. Right now, the limitations are mainly due to legal uncertainties, so major game developers are cautiously exploring this space. That's why we don't yet see large AAA blockchain projects with digital assets. But overall, we see two primary ways NFTs can be used in gaming. Is there anything else to add?

Host: Does Everscale meet all your technical needs for this project?

Vladimir: Why not? It suits us well. From a blockchain, we need transaction speed and low fees since prize pools can be relatively small. For participants, transactions shouldn't be expensive, and nobody should have to wait. Everscale meets these requirements.

Alexander: I'm not sure if it's relevant to mention a stablecoin on Everscale, but we'd need it for settlement purposes due to some nuances with Everscale.

Host: Right, the volatile price.

Vladimir: Yes. Fluker supports USDT as a stablecoin, but to buy USDT, users need to set up a Web3 wallet and use decentralized exchanges (DEX). Many users find that challenging. It's easier to buy on an exchange, but additional steps can be overwhelming. Our wallet is simple, and you can purchase Everscale through standard sites and exchanges. We don't have a built-in exchange. In the future, it would be helpful to have a stablecoin like USDT on Everscale, so we could nominate user balances in USD.

Alexander: Ideally, we'd also benefit from an on-ramp solution to buy tokens directly with a credit card and fiat currency.

Host: There are several solutions like that. I'll connect you with the right team.

Alexander: Great.

Host: What steps is Fluker taking to grow its user base and attract more players to the platform?

Vladimir: Our promotion model is tied entirely to streamers. Streamers often struggle with monetization, usually limited to donations. Our hypothesis is that streamers playing PUBG, for instance, could host “subscriber days” where their audience plays together while they stream or join them in the game. They could participate as a tournament organizer or both a player and organizer.

We could also host tournaments involving different streamers, essentially sponsored tournaments with broad coverage. This is appealing to advertisers and will help Fluker gain traction. Our marketing hypothesis is built around providing streamers with a new content type. Instead of just playing in public matches, they can organize and participate in tournaments, which are always more engaging.

Alexander: Not only that, but streamers already do this using cumbersome organizational tools. From our interviews, everyone agrees with the concept. The key to promoting our app is getting streamer participants and subscribers to install it. The more streamers we have, the more potential users. Since our revenue is a fee from a tournament bank, it builds a rating system without significant investment in marketing, which is expensive in this industry.

Host: Do you plan to partner with esports teams?

Vladimir: We're more focused on streamers rather than teams. That's where we're headed.

Alexander: We haven't validated a model that appeals to esports teams. They usually work by their own monetization system. Additionally, they already participate in existing tournaments and have their own ecosystem and community around them.

Vladimir: Right, we cater to a different niche: players who aren't super professionals but are just one level below or simply casual enthusiasts.

Alexander: It's like the difference between centralized exchanges and DEXs. Esports teams have their own system, advertising, and monetization, so they're not particularly interested in external products at first glance. That's why streamers and regular players interest us. Many play professionally and perform well, as we've seen in our internal test tournaments.

Host: Considering your ranking system, it's suitable for players of different skill levels.

Alexander: Yes, we're working on matchmaking.

Vladimir: We've also been discussing new features to add. For instance, we plan to introduce an event feature. Right now, in PUBG, we can create a 100-person tournament. We'd like to expand that model, make it similar to poker, to accommodate up to 10,000 participants.

Here's how it would work: 10,000 people each buy a $5 ticket, creating a $50,000 prize pool. Then, we organize a series of qualifying matches and a final. Players compete in the qualifiers, and the winners advance to the final tournament for the major prize pool. This approach makes it more exciting because you're not playing for a $500 prize but for $50,000. If you're a top player, it could be much more interesting.

Host: Great feature! It aligns well with Fluker's goals. What are the project's short-term and long-term goals?

Vladimir: Short-term, we want to host a streamer tournament and validate all our models. Long-term, our aim is to add more games and cover all possible competitive games. Players could then join any group, play, and win a cash prize.

Host: Good. Last question: How can people find and join your project?

Vladimir: We have a Discord server. We invite everyone to join, where all the information is available, and people can team up and play.

Host: That concludes our AMA session. Thank you, Vladimir.

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