Play-to-earn gaming is one of crypto’s hottest “narratives”, and it’s a trend that’s spawned the rise of a new wave of gaming guilds, including Crypto Gaming United (CGU). Stockhead caught up with its Sydney-based co-founder, Sergei Sergienko.

 

Before we delve into that, though, a short-ish explainer…

What are gaming guilds?

A gaming guild is a collective of gamers that organise to play video games together and share strategies, tips and data. Some are set up with the goal of shared revenue.

The boom in esports has increased the popularity of gaming guilds in the traditional gaming sector, and GameFi has likewise been a catalyst for the rise of crypto gaming guilds such as CGU, Yield Guild GamesPolemos and Avocado.

When you add the play-to-earn (P2E) factor to the gaming-community-boosting might of guilds with tens of thousands of members, it equals pretty significant potential for the acceleration of crypto-gaming adoption.

Some gaming guilds offer “scholarships” to players (“scholars”) of P2E games, funding entry costs and training costs for individuals. In return, these guilds split revenue made within the game with its players.

With a large initial focus on the hit P2E blockchain game Axie Infinity, CGU is a coalition of more than 6,000 players, which the company’s investors expect will increase significantly as the crypto gaming economy grows.

For instance, CGU’s largest backer, the Australian venture capitalist Mark Carnegie, told Bloomberg recently that he believes the guild’s player base will grow to at least 100,000 over the next 18 months.

Carnegie also recently discussed CGU on Stockhead’s Crypto Frontier podcast, hosted by Kraken’s Jonathon Miller.

 

Revolutionary: Sergienko is also the CEO of blockhain/fintech company Chrono.tech. (Photo: supplied)

Hi Sergei. What’s the grandest ambition you have for Crypto Gaming United?

To make sure that everyone in the world has access to a way to make money. It has been my personal ambition for over a decade. That’s why our guild was a spin-off from laborx.com, which is our labour project.

[The LaborX platform is a component of Sergei’s other company, Chrono.tech, which uses blockchain to streamline global recruiting and sets up workers for crypto payments.]

Nice Gough Whitlam shot behind you in that pic, by the way.

All intentional. He revolutionised labour and Medicare in Australia. I’m trying to do it for the world.

So you’re helping to enable the crypto revolution and a means to financial freedom – is that the goal?

Indeed, mate. Giving the little guy a chance, one game at a time. Rebuilding the world economy the right way, $10 at a time.

 

‘We try to give everyone a go’

So, speaking of the little guy, how does CGU choose its “scholars”? Is there a set criteria?

It’s a balancing act. If we were to go the path of exclusively maximising profit, then we would just get everyone from the Philippines and forget about the rest, as [P2E gaming] is already part of the culture there. But on the other hand, if we just go social all the way, the company would not exist for too long.

We basically try to give everyone a go, and believe in giving people chances, no matter who they are. We then offer them the opportunity to train, and most of the time it works. So basically, there is no set criteria, we try to help and give a chance to everyone.

Very cool. Guilds such as CGU are currently set on building out players within developing nations. Do you intend to broaden that focus any time soon?

At the moment, the income that’s generated is not enough for anyone from the developed countries to become particularly interested. Once that changes, I can definitely see that people in the developed world will join.

 

Axie Infinity… and beyond

CGU’s ‘scholars’ can earn crypto by playing Axie Infinity.

We saw some Twitter musings and reports recently suggesting the average daily earnings of Axie Infinity players have fallen below the Philippines minimum-wage line. Is this a concern, seeing as CGU is heavily focused on that particular game?

No, it isn’t a concern, since the good players are still way above the minimum wage. Plus, the report I’ve seen does not take into account that the base-level minimum in Axie can be achieved by only two hours of play. In other words, pro rata, Axie is still way ahead.

Are there any other P2E games that you can see really taking off… or that CGU has interest in partnering with?

Yes, there are plenty of new ones on the way. We’ve already partnered with Waves Ducks, RisingSun, Crypto Bots, Aaavegotchi, and myriad others either already done and playing, or on the way.

 

‘The pie is big enough for everyone’

Where do you see the play-to-earn space going in 2022? Is a potential blow-off top and crypto bear market something that you could see having an impact on the CGU business model?

It’s possible that another stagnation will happen in the form of so called “crypto winter”, and that’s why we, as a guild, are looking way beyond gaming and looking at the whole thing a lot wider, from the point of jobs if the games go tits up.

Does any rivalry exist between the gaming guilds? YGG isn’t the arch enemy of CGU is it?

I don’t consider other guilds are rivals, we are all doing great work, using different strategies. There are at least two billion people on this planet that may benefit from what all the guilds are doing. The pie is big enough for everyone.

 

‘Coming into the mainstream in a big way’

What’s the next big trend or narrative in crypto that you see taking hold?

I think, DeFi coming into traditional [finance] is a next big thing. Plus, hopefully, for my sake, work to earn into crypto would be awesome. I think it’s coming soon.

Do you have any particular layer 1 smart-contract protocols you believe in? Or is it Ethereum and its scaling solutions all the way for you?

I like Near and Solana. Those guys are next-level smart.

What excites you most about: A) the CGU guild… B) crypto right now… and C) crypto’s future?

For the guild … that we have an opportunity to touch so many people in a positive way, while making money doing that. It’s absolutely epic.

Crypto right now… that finally it’s coming into the mainstream in a big way.

And on its future… I’m excited that we, as humanity, have finally gotten an opportunity to try to do things a fairer way, economy wise.

 

You can read a bit more about Crypto Gaming United in a recent article by colleague Derek Rose, here, and on CGU’s website.

CoinMarketCap lists it as the No. 4,397 crypto, but CGU says its token has a fully diluted market cap of about US$2 billion, which would put it in the top 100.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.

At the time of writing, the author holds crypto assets including BTC and ETH, among others.

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