Platform ditches brackets and big tournaments for on-demand competitive gaming with real money on the line

Evolve Labs, makers of Evolve HQ – the 2 million member-strong social network and collaboration platform for PC gamers (#pcgamers), have launched Evolve Arenas, a suite of eSports gaming sites offering instant bracketless player vs. player and team competitions with real money on the line. Joining the recently announced BlackFlag (in private beta), where 5v5 teams play League of Legends (#LeagueofLegends) for cash prizes, is Rocketeer, a just-launched 1v1 arena built around 2015’s Best Indie Gamewinner, Rocket League (#RocketLeague). More Evolve Arenas featuring other top-tier eSports titles and more player/team options are expected in the coming months.

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Compared to other tournament sites, Evolve Arenas offers simple, low hassle, online destinations for competitive gaming. There is no bracket system and fees are modest (as low as 25 cents per player), so players can drop in for quick matches at any time without feeling locked in or like they’re breaking the bank. Additionally, Evolve Arenas has developed a proprietary matchmaking system and a player quality “Q” score to facilitate fair matches and honest outcomes, which is essential to any viable competitive platform.

“We created Evolve Arenas to remove the significant overhead and intimidation factor that is inherent in bracketed tournaments,” said Adam Sellke, CEO and co-founder, Evolve Labs. “By creating high integrity, low risk competitive arenas like Rocketeer and BlackFlag, we are enabling a huge segment of the eSports fanbase to progress from mere spectators into active competitors.”

Sellke added: “Hands-on gaming for cash, even if it’s only for a few bucks, adds a level of intensity and excitement to the experience that regular gaming or even daily fantasy gaming can’t match. Playing eSports for pride and pizza money with Evolve Arenas is the new poker night with friends!”

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Award-winning Rocket League is a relative new-comer to eSports, but has already amassed a cult following of over 12 million players and a reported $70 million in sales since last July. 50,000 Evolve HQ members have already played more than 10 million minutes (19 years) of this fast paced, soccer-with-cars title. Additionally, more than 67 million unique users play over 30 million League of Legends matches every month globally; and more than 250,000 League of Legends players are playing 750,000 League of Legends matches each month on Evolve HQ. Adding ad hoc competitions for these games was a natural extension point for the company.

Evolve Arenas is available to players 18+ in 45 out of the 50 States in the U.S. with plans to roll out globally wherever permitted by law. All games and tournaments offered through Evolve Arenas are considered “Games of Skill,” which are defined as games in which the element of skill exceeds the element of chance, as opposed to gambling games such as blackjack and slots. Skill-based games are in compliance with all U.S. Federal laws and remain unaffected by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006.

“Currently, eSports is mostly for elite players and fans-as-bystanders,” continued Sellke. “For eSports to really explode, focus needs to shift from mostly watching to mostly playing. In my opinion, the Pros do a great job of inspiring players. From there, though, players need an onramp into the real eSports experience. There’s nothing more satisfying or more exhilarating than experiencing the thrill of victory first hand. Game makers and the eSports industry at large need to recognize the ‘non-pro’ player as the key to massive, long-term growth and a step toward a bona fide farm system for competitive gaming.  This is why we created Evolve Arenas.”