Ready for battle banner

Champions 4th-gen collections bring VR, blockchain perks to trading card game

If you spend over 30 hours a week playing a digital trading card game, you might as well unlock achievements with real-world earnings, not “vanity rewards” you can’t even trade. That’s the view Champions of Otherworldly Magic (ChampionsTCG) and its motivated development team promotes, as they continue to release the game’s 4th generation playing card collections.

Compared to its larger, more established, and better-known competition, Champions’ development team is pretty small. But its blockchain based on fast and cost-efficient BSV gives the game significant leverage over genre giants like Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering and its digital versions) and Blizzard’s Hearthstone.

Champions also works seamlessly with HandCash and HandCash’s gaming marketplace, and the latest collections have been appearing in the (augmented) real world thanks to cooperation with blockchain VR/AR pioneers Omniscape.

Combining Champions with other platforms like Omniscape and other innovative gaming applications creates exciting new opportunities for player acquisition, said Champions TCG CEO and founder Miles Malec. It allows players to collect 3D/animated gaming items from physical gaming stores, landmarks, or other real-world locations.

“The future of digital games does not need to be locked in isolation of our own private homes,” Malec said. “We can get outside, explore and collect unique, rare items, visit gaming locations where trading card experts can educate young players on the benefits of blockchain-enabled gaming, all while we’re building a massively expanding community of players who have been waiting sometimes 30+ years to have the fun of physical trading card packs finally be unlocked in digital freedom.”

Tournament prizes help get attention

Last weekend, Champions hosted a tournament with a US$10,000 prize purse, which raised the total pool from its previous 250 days of consecutive tournaments to $50,000. Malec said the eight players who competed on the final day of the event had accumulated “well over a combined $1 million in cash prize winnings.”

Livestream game preview:

Attracting professional players like this, along with their large streaming audiences, is an excellent opportunity to partner up and promote the game. It demonstrates that both the gameplay and potential earnings are on par with the more dominant games of the genre—and indirectly, proving that having a blockchain base for the game’s backend adds advantages the bigger games don’t.

Digital but no trading? It doesn’t have to be that way

Here’s where blockchain records and unique NFTs solve a problem not unlike digital cash. Magic: The Gathering Arena and Blizzard’s Hearthstone are referred to as “digital collectible card games” because trading game cards isn’t actually permitted on either platform. While those platforms make claims that disallowing trading creates a “unique digital experience” or creates a “different experience” from the physical original, it’s the risk that players will “exploit” the digital platform somehow—or, in other words, duplicate the items and/or make the game more about speculation than magic.

“You can’t even give extra copies of your favorite cards to your friends for free. There’s no selling, there’s no sharing. It’s a veritable Hotel California,” said Malec.

Blockchain and NFT technology remove the first concern, at least. It provides the Champions team and players with an instant, global distribution system as well as a valuable payment platform where they can also exchange items with other players anywhere in the world. Champions can run over 250 consecutive daily tournaments, and the game can immediately check each player’s inventory to confirm whether or not they own the cards they’re using.

As for speculation, if a physical game that permits trading can remain fun, then so can the digital version.

“BSV blockchain provides us with an instant, global distribution as well as a valuable payments platform to exchange digital goods with our players all over the world… we’ve explored many, many Web3 options, and there isn’t even a close second to the value we require as a gaming company than exists on the BSV blockchain.”

The dev team has “tried many other chains because everyone claims to be the best,” but actual testing has proven BSV blockchain to be the winner. To the user there’s no difference as long as it all works properly, and players don’t need to know what blockchain they’re using, or why, or even care whether there’s a blockchain on the backend at all. Malec noted player feedback revealed many who had no concept of what a blockchain is, let alone private keys or on-chain transactions.

Besides the distribution and global-scale network advantages, blockchain also adds enhancements to physical trading card games in other ways. For example, Champions players can “burn” some of their items to turn them into “elemental shards,” then use those shards to craft an “elemental pack” from an ordinary one—transforming it “magically” into a new pack with unique/rare or more powerful items.

BSV blockchain’s micropayments solve other games’ problems as well, such as accessibility. Trading card games like Pokemon or Disney’s Lorcana sell cards for only a penny or two to attract new and younger players and the problems with small payments like this are well known to credit card-accepting platforms and even many blockchain-based ones. That’s if your players even have credit cards, and let’s face it, a large percentage of the potential global gaming market doesn’t.

“We envision a future where all digital trading card games will eventually be running on BSV because of its high throughput, its low fees, and its instantaneous verification of user-owned items.”

Gaming and eSports events continue to grow their share of the entertainment market in both fanbase numbers and revenues, to the extent that some eSports events are even beginning to challenge traditional ones like Super Bowl for viewership. Blockchain-based digital games also allow for more audience interaction, a better way to streamline revenue splits between content creators for purchased items, loyalty bonuses for fans, and other tie-in promotions with physical game stores.

“It’s safe to say that the size of the emerging eSports market is truly unbounded.”

Anyone who’s interested in learning more can visit the Champions TCG homepage or join the user group on Discord.

Watch: The new trading card game that is powered with Bitcoin

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.