Arena Online Set to Offer $1 Million in Free-to-Enter Tournaments
You may have heard the name Arena Online before. If you are a League of Legends player, you've likely visited their website to take an in-depth look at your stats. If you're simply a League of Legends eSports fan, you have probably heard that they acquired Team Dragon Knights, who participated in the North American LCS Summer Split, and rebranded them to Team Arena Online. Now, Arena Online is ready to make their largest impact yet on the world of eSports.
The people behind Arena Online are working hard on their next project: a tournament platform that will operate 24/7 and reward players with cash prizes. In the first year of release of their League of Legends tournament system, Arena Online is set to offer $1,000,000 in payouts for their free-to-enter tournaments.
How does it work? We spoke to Arena Online CEO, Alan Hubbard, for details.
"We have two different styles of tournaments. We have on-demand tournaments and we have scheduled tournaments. Our on-demand tournaments operate a lot like Solo Queue within League of Legends," Hubbard explains. At the start of Arena Online, players will only be able to enter tournaments as individuals, but the team is working on allowing pre-made teams to enter tournaments further down the road.
When a player is looking for a tournament, they will be able to choose either a 2-team, 4-team, or 8-team single elimination on-demand tournament. Pay-to-enter tournaments will begin as low as $0.25 and go up to $20 for entry.
Arena Online will be the first to offer a completely automated platform that Hubbard describes as a "revolving door". This means that no administrator needs to be present to organize or begin a tournament; a series of tournaments will always be available for users to choose from. Using their proprietary stat tracking system, Arena Online will automatically match players according to skill level and divide them into equally balanced teams.
After entering into a tournament, players will enter into a chat lobby where they can talk to the other players, and then into a team lobby so they can strategize with their teammates. Also included in this system, and unique to Arena Online, is a voice chat component. Players can choose whether or not they want to be included in the voice chat. From there, the tournament plays out.
At the end of the tournament, the stats are automatically collected and stored. Players that enter a paid tournament and win will be immediately compensated. The small scale tournaments will pay out 50% of the teams participating. Once they scale up to, say, 64 teams, 25% of the field will be paid.
"One of the big things people are concerned about is payout. How long does it take to be paid? What we did is built an automated payout system that is instant. If you have a PayPal account or bank account and it's validated, when you win a tournament that money is automatically added to your Arena Online account and can be used to enter other pay-to-enter tournaments or transfer out," Hubbard said. How fast you get the money after that really depends on PayPal or your bank.
Besides money earned in pay-to-enter tournaments, players will be rewarded in other ways. They may earn themselves Riot Points and will always earn Qualifier Points, which can be used later to enter other tournaments.
Scheduled tournaments will also be offered on Arena Online. In order of importance, there will be a Weekly Invitational, Monthly Championship, Quarterly Invitational, and a Tournament of Champions. "All of these tournaments are free, you just have to earn you way to get into them," says Hubbard. These are the tournaments that the $1 million raised by Arena Online will be offered in. In comparison, the League of Legends World Championship offers a prize pool just slightly over $2 million each year for the top players in the game.
"A player can enter Arena Online tournaments, never spend a penny, and win a lot of money," he says.
Included in the 24/7 tournament system, Arena Online will be rewarding the top 50 players at the end of the year with cash prizes. How large? The first place player will earn themselves $60,000! That large.
Arena Online is able to offer so much money in the first year of release due to success with investors. Several different investment rounds raised the money necessary to provide $1,000,000 in prizes, and more are on the way!
An automated tournament platform like the one Arena Online is building is going to shake up the structure that is currently in place. With a seemingly unlimited number of tournaments, paid and free, for teams to enter, it will be virtually impossible for any other platform to rival the experience that Arena Online offers. Starting with League of Legends, they would love to expand into other games.
"There are a lot of games that we would like to have, but in order for us to have the level of automation and seamlessness, we have to work with the publishers. Riot has a public API, which makes it easier for us to do it. Not every game has a public API," Hubbard explains. Games like DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm, and Call of Duty are some of the ones that Arena Online would be interested in covering in the future.
If you'd like to support Arena Online before launch, check out their IndieGoGo campaign. Donations come with different reward levels, where some include Team Arena Online and beta access, as well as free entry into the $25,000 Arena Online Inaugural Tournament.