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Ev.io, an in-browser ability shooter, is kickstarting its competitive scene this weekend with the Fractal Cup, an open tournament with a $10,000 prize pool. The event, run by Community Gaming and sponsored by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan’s NFT gaming marketplace Fractal, is set to run from May 7-8.

The entire event will be streamed and casted on Community Gaming’s Twitch stream. Prize money will be paid out in Solana, a cryptocurrency, according to the organizers. The first-place team will receive the equivalent of $3,100 with a descending scale all the way to the 16th place team, who will receive $225.

Ev.io is a free first-person shooter developed by Addicting Games. Stylistically, the game draws influence from Bungie properties like Halo and Destiny.

Fractal Cup format

The Fractal Cup will be a Team Deathmatch format with three-person teams. Day 1 begins at 4 p.m. ET on May 7 with the round of 128. All matches on Day 1 will be single-elimination, best-of-three. By the end of the day, only 16 teams will remain.

On Day 2, the final 16 teams will play through a double-elimination, best-of-three bracket. The grand finals will be a best-of-five clash between the remaining two teams and will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET on May 8.

Ev.io and esports

The Fractal Cup marks ev.io’s first true foray into esports and the solidification of a partnership with Fractal. Justin Kan’s NFT marketplace is designed to curate games where gamers can buy and sell NFTs to own a piece of the game they’re placing.

Ev.io was designed gameplay-first and, as such, has not yet integrated NFTs into the game. That said, the launch of the game’s first NFTs will come on May 11, shortly after the conclusion of the Fractal Cup.

“It’s a very small part of the game,” Bill Kara, the CEO of Addicting Games, said in an interview. “But it’s a fun and an important part to the NFT gaming community.”

Kara said the game’s integration with NFTs and cryptocurrency can actually help facilitate the esports scene. Part of the difficulty in organizing accessible online esports events is the distribution of prize money. Players living in different countries often face a barrier to receiving their prize that does not exist with a cryptocurrency like Solana.

Accessibility is the name of the game for ev.io, both in terms of the game itself and its fledgling esports scene.

“The barrier-to-entry is really low, so this is something that anyone can participate in,” Kara said. “Because [ev.io] is accessible, this tournament is accessible.”

Ev.io was designed to accommodate players looking to game on devices that may not be able to handle other first-person shooters. Kara said they specifically looked at Chromebook users to ensure that ev.io would be able to run smoothly on their devices.

“Our goal with [ev.io] was, ‘Let’s make the best possible first-person shooter work on the lowest-end computer,'” he said. “‘Let’s make a great experience, but for any player on any device.'”

Kara wanted that accessibility to be a core tenet of the Fractal Cup, which is open to any players interested in participating. While the tournament marks ev.io’s entry into esports, Kara and his team are optimistic about the game’s competitive future.

“We think there’s an opportunity there, but we’re going to do it depending on our user feedback and what our community says,” he said.

Their partnership with players and content creators from Luminosity Gaming will be another core part of that future. Streaming is often closely tied to the success of an esport, which is where Justin Kan comes in. The Fractal Cup is set to have a front page ad on Twitch during the event.

“We don’t know what the future will hold but [esports is] something we want to explore,” Kara said.

Disclosure: Addicting Games and Luminosity Gaming are subsidiaries of Enthusiast Gaming, which owns and operates Upcomer.