A new solution named Prize Payments has been released, offering publishers and tournament organisers a way to manage and process money esports.
Esports is a famously vast and growing part of the games industry today, and the prize pools available are increasing at a striking rate. Last year global gaming insights outfit Newzoo predicted that by 2021 “a mobile esports athlete will become a millionaire by winning one event“. In July this year a US teenager took home USD$3m (£2.4m) for winning the Solos division of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup.
Clearly, big payments are being made. But why might a company need a specific tool to handle those payments? The reasons are manifold, as the eponymous company behind Prize Payments pointed out in a statement revealing its new technology.
Essentially, with esports being a global entity where tournaments attract international participants, paying winners can mean negotiating a wildly complex system of regulation, currency conversion and fees, leading to delays to rewards and misunderstandings around figures.
“Making prize payments across multiple territories is hugely complex and time-consuming. With the increasing success of competitive esports, publishers and tournaments organisers (TO’s) are seeing their challenges and costs rise. Prize Payments streamlines the whole process, reduces cost, and helps to speed the process up for winning players,” offered Han Park, CEO of Prize Payments. “We want to help publishers and organisers to be more efficient by removing their hands-on time expediting the payments, we believe this is a genuine win-win for both publishers and players.”
Prize Payments estimates that 10-to-20% of initial prize pool totals secured by companies are spent on the likes of accounting, operational costs and transfer fees. The outfit also believes there will be some $300 million in prizes distributed via esports competitions through 2019. In response their technology, it is asserted, can save organisations up to 50% in accounting costs and time.
But what does the Prize Payments platform actually do? A hybrid of service and solution, at its heart sits a turnkey portal with dashboards to monitor and manage transcriptions. Teams and esports organisations can also access the dashboard to track payments from their end.
Prize Payments also supports major payment services such as Paypal and ACH Domestic Transfer, offers automatic form collection through KYC/AML verification, and handles GDPR compliance throughout the transaction process.
That should speed up the process that sees some esports teams waiting four-to-five months for prize payments to land (though one-to-two months is more typical).
“As esports grows so does the sector’s responsibilities to players and the regulatory authorities,” said Jas Purewal of Purewal and Partners, as quoted in the Prize Payments’ statement. “High profile tournaments achieving global coverage are brilliant for the sector, but it will inevitably result in a greater level of scrutiny at a national and local level. TO’s need to ensure their processes can effectively cope with the growing complexities of making fully compliant payments in a timely fashion – anything that can help them to do this is a definite step forward for the sector.”