Paul Sheridan is a young entrepreneur from Dublin, who alongside Tomas McKinless, founded Reflex Gaming in 2015. The pair have secured significant seed funding in their first round, and are currently perfecting the project in its beta phase.
Reflex is a platform which facilitates player to player wagering on esports, currently Dota 2 and CSGO.
ESI: Having secured six figures in investment can you talk us through the original conception of the idea and founding Reflex last year?
Paul: Reflex was born out of the frustration that gamers are rewarded less and less for the hours they put into playing. Our goal was to reverse this culture of creating games that are focused on giving the wealthiest gamers the best items and rewards. We came to the conclusion that the best way to do this was by building a platform that allows gamers to wager against each other via a points system and earn their favourite items rather than just purchasing them via micro-transactions – this rewards the most skilled gamers.
ESI: Why did you opt to launch with a focus on Dota 2 and CSGO?
Paul: Tomas and I both have a passion for Dota and CS. We felt that we understood the problem for the people who play these two which made the choice obvious!
ESI: As a part of your business model, and much debated controversy around it in the past few months, what are your thoughts on how important the trading, and wagering, of skins is to Valve and CS:GO’s popularity? And predictions for the outcome of the Valve v WSGC standoff…
Paul: I think trading is core to both Dota 2 and CS:GO. It has resulted in tremendous growth for both games.
Along with this it has also enabled many others to build legitimate products that create value for gamers. Due to the infancy of the industry it’s almost inevitable that you will get people taking advantage of API’s and exploiting customers. I’d like to see Valve and WSGC come to some sort of reasonable decision around this – shutting of trading seems like a rash decision. I think there needs to be dialogue between both to help build the infrastructure and experience that will power the future of Gaming.
We’ll continue doing our best to be compliant and fit within regulation in the ever changing world of esports.
ESI: What have been the major challenges thus far as an esports industry start up?
Paul: The fact that the industry is so new made it a bit difficult to raise capital initially, especially in Ireland where esports aren’t as prevalent, I think this challenge is kind of exciting though, this industry seems to be something a bit unique.
ESI: You currently facilitate virtual currency and in-game items to wager with on the platform, are you looking into bringing in a straight up real money feature?
Paul: Initially we did debate adding a cash feature into the site but we saw a virtual currency being combined with prizes being more valuable as it’s something gamers are already used to – take platforms such as FACEIT for example. To preface that question though, we do not allow users to wager with in-game items or skins on our site – we offer them as prizes, players winnings can be redeemed for prizes.
ESI: From a start up’s perspective, and with a lot of non endemic companies looking to enter esports in some form, what is most important for you when looking for investors?
Paul: When looking at investors we always look to see what they can offer besides capital. We have been lucky enough to find investors who provide support through spending their time and lending their network to help us grow.