GamingBattleGround is a service for organising and playing online video game tournaments where users can earn real cash. Importantly, it is a virtual economy business model. Users get virtual points for playing in tournaments and those points can be exchanged for rewards in the shop. In order for them to get more points on each tournament they can buy, for real money, a points booster which increases the virtual points you get for wins. The system works as an exchange office where users can exchange real money for virtual points. When users buy items via our shop GamingBattleground get a small fee. Here chief executive and founder Luka Ciganek explains the business and his hopes for the eSports market.
GamCrowd: How did the formation of the company come about? What experience of the gaming industry do the founders have?
Luka Ciganek: About two years ago we came up with the idea of building a platform that would unite gamers and give them a fair chance to get more for their gaming skill. All of the team members are competitive players from their early age. I am a semi-professional World of Warcraft player and a long time clan leader. I’m connected with the top business eSports professionals and is experienced in business deals in the sports area. My partner Ivana organized online tournaments for years and is the company “gamer” as she was playing all of the games GBG supports from their early beginnings. She is connected with most of the main eSports organizations and works for years with eSports influencers.
GamCrowd: Are you a bootstrapped company or do you have investors?
Luka Ciganek: We are a VC-backed company.
GamCrowd: eSports and gambling is a huge area of interest right now - what is different about your product?
Luka Ciganek: We provide an all-in-one solution as a standalone product or as an integration. Our competitors are either building simple generated websites or custom solutions. Other competitors are offering their own platforms to operate on them and earn money through them. We took a different approach with licensing. We provide a whole solution to the casinos with our know-how of the industry and support. We have already build our relationships with game developers in order to connect with their games via an API. That takes time, experience and results to prove you are building something valuable. In addition to this, we have an all-time fully-functioning solution that gives us the possibility to run high quality tournaments anytime, even if the developer restricts the API.
GamCrowd: Do you have views on the recent furore regarding skin gambling? What do you think the Valve crackdown says about the industry and its development?
Luka Ciganek: New fast-growing markets are not regulated. When significant money is generated then the questions arise if something is wrong with the way the money is made. It was raised here when people saw that under-aged kids are actually gambling without restriction. The industry is getting regulated, this is just a start, but it is also getting bigger and maturing. Bigger players such as traditional sport-betting companies are joining into eSports market which will make it more regulated and potentially generate even more money.
GamCrowd: What are your hopes for the EiG show? Are you hoping to bring a greater understanding of eSports to the industry?
Luka Ciganek: We want to present our self to casinos and betting industry in order to show them a quick and quality way to enter a new market. eSports and iGaming is getting connected and we are here to make the process easy. Our goal is to show new technology which can be monetised fast.
GamCrowd: What are the long-term plans for GamingBattleGround?
Luka Ciganek: We will focus a lot on license model in order to speed up the process of setting up a new income for our customers in B2B.