The video game world has evolved immensely over the last couple of decades, especially as gaming hardware has evolved and become more capable of handling heavier-duty tasks. The realm of competitive gaming, in particular, has amassed a lot of traction recently, with eSports — an organized competitive video gaming industry — having become a global phenomenon in recent years.
Numbers-wise, the eSports market is projected to hit a valuation of $1.08 billion by the end of this year, up from $950 million in 2022. Not only that, the sector’s global audience is currently estimated to be around 474 million, with titles like Valorant, Counter-Strike, and Dota leading the roost.
Valorant, for example, has 20.4 million active players as of July, with its user base increasing by the hundreds of thousands each passing month. Not only that, the tactical shooting game has also witnessed a 15% growth in its associated number of tournaments in 2023, which is impressive considering that the game was released just a few years ago.
Ranking matters! Here’s why
While there’s no denying the fact that Valorant is popular for its tactical gameplay design, teamplay/fantasy elements, and real-time strategy, a key element binding its players to the edge of their seats is its meticulously crafted ranking system. Valorant’s tier-based structure — ranging from ‘Iron’ to ‘Radiant’ — creates a compelling narrative for players, pushing them to grind for hours while improving their skills and going up in the leaderboards.
As players rise up through the ranks, it triggers a sense of accomplishment within them, fueling their desires to reach the next level almost immediately. Over time, this process becomes a cyclical force pushing users to keep investing their time and effort into the game. That being said, such a setup is not unique to Valorant alone, with a number of other projects also making use of a similar design.
Banksters, for example, does this but in the context of a virtual trading environment. It is a Web3-oriented, skill-based trading simulator that gamifies the process of buying/selling assets. Traders possess a set of traits and abilities that correspond to their particular “power” level and have to compete against each other, creating a competitive atmosphere. These traits are further divided into different grades, with higher grades offering greater real-world bonuses.
The gameplay also involves the use of unique player abilities, which are driven by “Influence” points. Initially, players are given 3 Influence points, with one more being added every round. The more points that an individual possesses, the more abilities they can deploy while performing trades or other in-game actions.
Gamification for driving positive change
The concept of gamification is quickly transcending the realm of entertainment and is finding its niche’ within a host of different markets, including finance and education. For example, projects like Banksters are making use of this idea to promote the development of real-world trading skills, strategic thinking, decision-making, etc. Thanks to its unique gameplay structure, players are incentivized to understand the nuances of trading and investment, allowing their in-game success to translate into tangible rewards.
Similarly, within the world of education, projects like Open Campus are allowing teachers/professors to create learning material that can be minted in the form of NFTs and shared with students all over the globe — thereby eliminating the need for intermediaries like schools, colleges, etc. Moreover, these tokens can be sold/resold via various digital marketplaces, allowing their creators to earn money in the process.
As the world continues to become increasingly digitized, it is important to create learning and reward pathways that are unique and accessible to everyone. In this regard, by introducing/gamifying the concept of ranking within games, it is possible to help users not only enjoy themselves but also acquire real-world skills that can benefit them later down the line (as in the case with Banksters). Therefore, it will be interesting to see how this space continues to evolve from here on out!