via AxieInfinity.com
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Blockchain gaming is still very much in its infancy, so it’s fair to be skeptical that there would be any real competitive gaming in the mix.

However, that is not the case when it comes to Axie Infinity, an Ethereum-based collectibles game that features PvP battles, which is gearing up for the Winter Invitational, a multi-day tournament that will feature $2,530 in prizes.

The tournament will begin with a 96-person open qualifier on January 30, which will payout 300 LUNA to each group winner, with 6 players in each group. From there, the 16 winners will be invited to the Winter Invitational which starts on February 1 at 9:00 PM (GMT+7).

The top three overall winners will receive the following:

  1. 7500 LUNA and $150 in LOOM
  2. 5000 LUNA and $100 in LOOM
  3. 2500 LUNA and $50 in LOOM.

The prize pool includes both LUNA, an ERC-20 token used in Axie’s land called Lunacia for in-game purchases and fees, and LOOM, the token associated with Loom Network (LOOM), the blockchain platform Axie Infinity is built on. This is a follow-up tournament to the previously successful Fall Classic, which featured $480 in Axie unit prizes.

Axies battling (AxieInfinity.com)

The units in Axie Infinity, called Axies, feature different strengths and weaknesses based on four major stats: including HP, speed, skill and morale. Players can rank up their Axies through PvP battles and other gameplay, and the more unique the Axie, the higher it’s real-world value.

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All battles are hosted off-chain, so decentralized application monitors like, DappRadar, will not represent the daily active users on the platform. This system allows players to battle without the need for paying transaction fees, while all units and items are represented on the Ethereum blockchain.

Not an esport… yet

While the structure of the tournament has the makings of an esport, Aleksander Larsen, COO of Axie Infinity and former competitive Dota gamer, explained that calling Axie Infinity an esport at this time would be wrong.

“What we want to do is cater for competition and then see if the community responds well. This might push Axie battles into becoming an esport in a few years,” Larsen told us in a message.

Nonetheless, Larsen revealed that the company saw 40 players sign up for the upcoming tournament within 2 hours of its announcement, indicating a clear interest in competition.

All Winter Invitational matches can be streamed live on DLive.

More: The Axie Infinity Winter Invitational Qualifier
Related: Everything you need to know about the Axie Infinity Land Sale In One Place

Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.