Esports group Fnatic teams up with blockchain firm WAX on digital collectibles

Esports organization Fnatic has branched out into game hardware, leveraging the fame of its esports athletes. And today, the London-based company is teaming up with the World Asset Exchange (WAX) to create digital collectibles using WAX’s blockchain technology.

Blockchain is the transparent and secure decentralized ledger that has fueled the rise of cryptocurrency. And it can be used to create distinct digital collectibles that you can trace in a secure fashion through the blockchain ledger.

To celebrate the partnership, WAX and Fnatic will be organizing hundreds of prizes and giveaways for fans before and during Fnatic’s “Legends in Action — Live” from Berlin this weekend including ‘legendary’ cut-and-sew custom Air Jordan shoes with unique Fnatic designs, merchandise autographed by the team’s pro players, pro gaming gear, and more.

Fnatic has esports teams that play games such as  League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and Fortnite. Since being founded in 2004 by Sam Mathews, Fnatic teams have claimed multiple international championships, including the inaugural League of Legends World Championship, seven EU LCS Championships, and three separate CS:GO Majors.

The companies will use the WAX technology to give away the gear in real time. During the stream, Fnatic pro esports players will be doing live Q&A with fans, with will feature giveaways, contests, and more. The event will be streamed live on Twitch from Fnatic’s headquarters on Sunday, January 13.

With WAX’s technology, fans will be able to participate in the action and win prizes in real time by tuning in live on Twitch to receive free Fnatic x WAX collectibles.

Additionally, a new line of Fnatic x WAX digital memorabilia and collectibles will be released during the live event. Fans who get these can sell, swap, store and gift these limited-edition items on their WAX ExpressTrade account — instantly and for free. That means that for the first time ever, esports fans can acquire branded physical merchandise from a team and its players, then trade those items with anyone else in the world without ever having to take physical ownership of it.

“We see this new kind of transaction experience as very forward-thinking, and it’s something we’ve been waiting years to try, since people are already very used to trading virtual items in the games they love,” said Benoit Pagotto, brand director of Fnatic, in a statement. “With this initiative, we want to start to define, with our fans, what the future of collectible and cool fan memorabilia could be. We are proud to be the first esports organization, and one of the first brands, to offer this to our fans.”

Or, they can store the digital version of the item in their WAX account and have it shipped to them at a later time. The WAX Platform’s use of blockchain technology ensures each Fnatic x WAX item is 100 percent authentic and cannot be altered or counterfeited by a third party, which means that the digital versions of Fnatic products can now be used online in ways not before possible.

“We built the WAX E-Commerce Blockchain Platform from the ground up to enable these kinds of innovative, new e-commerce experiences,” said William Quigley, CEO of WAX, in a statement. “We’re excited to usher in this new form of e-commerce where fans can instantly receive, trade and share their favorite products and collectibles in-stream. This technology opens up all sorts of new avenues for engagement and monetization for streamers and their viewers.”

Mathews appeared onstage during the CES 2009 keynote of Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices.

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