Bountie is a Singapore-based gaming platform that aims to connect gamers across Asia. Also dabbling in both blockchain and cryptocurrency, the company is gearing up to launch its ICO pre-sale in June of this year.
To get a better understanding of just how Bountie is looking to help gamers in Asia make gaming a sustainable, achievable career, we spoke to its CEO, Lex Na.
Esports Insider: Lex, please feel free to start by giving us your professional background leading up to Bountie.
Lex Na: I’m a gamer! My greatest and proudest achievement in gaming was reaching 8th in the North American Server for Warcraft 3’s Random Team Ladder games.
I had more than 6,000 games played with an 85% winning rate. But, 15 years ago there wasn’t much opportunity in Singapore, which is why I didn’t go down the path of becoming a professional gamer. So, as most tech guys started, my interest in gaming lead to interest in technology and eventually, I started a digital agency right after finishing university. With the skills and tools that I garnered over the years, I started a few joint venture businesses alongside entrepreneurs with varying experience in different domains, helping them build and manage their web presence.
But eventually, I realised (or perhaps, remembered..) that I still love gaming and decided to start Bountie with my co-founders!
ESI: What is your exact goal with Bountie? What gap does it fill in the Asian market?
Lex: Our main mission is to empower all the gamers out there to get paid to play.
“Gaming is considered to be a waste of time because of the lack of opportunity and monetisation value”
In Asia, we still have a strong culture of studying hard, to get good grades and to be a white-collar worker. Gaming is considered to be a waste of time because of the lack of opportunity and monetisation value. However, with brands like Twitch, sponsorships and more tournaments entering the picture, gamers in Asia are starting to find larger and more frequent opportunities. That being said, only the top 3% of the gamers get the most out of these opportunities, leaving behind the remaining 97%. This is who Bountie aims to serve.
ESI: Was it easy to get people on board with Bountie? Esports is a young industry, as is cryptocurrency, so were people on the fence in regards to joining the company?
Lex: When we speak to gamers about Bountie and the key value proposition of getting paid to play, they absolutely love it.
There are just too few things in life that reward you for doing what you love. When the idea of Bountie crops up, gamers jump on board immediately.
On the other hand, getting people to join Bountie is also a breeze. There are so many people that love gaming but are forced to work a typical 9-5 job. So when Bountie came into the picture, lots of passionate and young enthusiasts jumped on board. Bountie also does lots of community outreach in tertiary schools and universities. There’s always someone in the crowd who asks “How do I join Bountie?”.
From the cryptocurrency angle, it’s young and new – precisely why it has accumulated so much interest in such a short span of time. There’s also an increase in news coverage, so generally more people are getting aware and educated about it.
ESI: What reason would you give somebody to invest in your cryptocurrency instead of a competitor’s offering?
Lex: I would simply say, if you love what we are doing and you would like to contribute to our cause so that months later, we can launch our platform and transform all our gamers’ life long dreams into a reality. That is ultimately what we, at Bountie, are all working so hard to achieve.
ESI: How is Bountie looking to help aspiring professional gamers get to the level where competing becomes their day job?
Lex: This is where our Universal Gamer Profiles come in to play. Or in other words, a LinkedIn for gamers. With this tool, gamers can build their profiles just like a resume. When they are ready, they can show it to brand partners for sponsorships or to the professional coaches in hope that they would be good enough to join their respective teams.
Another issue for aspiring gamers is sustainability. Most gamers only get paid after a tournament win or when they sign a sponsorship deal. Their options are limited. If we can give them another tool besides, say Twitch, to earn an income everyday, this could help them achieve their professional goals even faster.
ESI: Have there been any challenges with the platform that you didn’t anticipate before launching it?
Lex: We are currently testing our Minimum Viable Product internally. One major challenge is the scope creep, resulting in a delay in timeline. Our team needs to be more disciplined and set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure that we stick to the plan and ensure timely launches.
ESI: In your roadmap you have three ‘Esports Arenas’ mapped out with 15% of the funds going to these. Do you see that as a natural extension of your current offering or as a way to expand Bountie into other avenues of esports?
Lex: Esports Arenas are extremely important pieces in Bountie’s roadmap.
They serve as our community engagement centres, gamers’ feedback zones, and also tournament venues. We would like to start an international league, both sponsored and hosted by Bountie. We envisage it being similar to how Formula One moves from city to city for their tournaments. We would like to start off with national leagues where the top teams would have an international world tour, playing against other teams around the region.