The creator of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson, reminded the world about this gem of a story. In 2011, a “StarCraft: Brood War” tournament had a consolation prize most people would kill for today. Both Bitcoin and e-sports were in their infancy at the moment, and the wholesomeness of the whole enterprise shows in this price chart.
This was the reward breakdown for a starcraft tournament a decade ago pic.twitter.com/Fb4NnxDHrY
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) May 7, 2021
Talking about the early days of Bitcoin, Hoskinson mentioned the story in The Real Vision podcast back in April.
“The tokens had no value. When I came into the cryptocurrency space we used to trade on spreadsheets. Bitcoin was under a Dollar. It wasn’t uncommon for people to say: Well, you know, I’ll send you 10.000 of these things because I have no idea if they’re going to be worth anything or not.”
After mentioning the tournament, he finished the story with, “That was like the consolation prize. Thanks for playing. I mean, this is were we were.” Picturing those days is as hard as imagining paying 10.000 BTC for two pizzas. Nevertheless, all of that happened and it’s documented.
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What do we know about the event?
The tournament in question was called “AoV iCCup Starleague” and you can still watch the matches on their YouTube channel. In the forum thread about the tournament, the organizers announce “a prize pool over $1000.” Little did they know, those four consolation prizes of 25 Bitcoin would end up being worth close to $1.5M each. Little did anybody know.
Among the tournament’s sponsors was a now-defunct betting company. They did their best to explain the novel technology with this wholesome text:
“BTCsportsbet.com is a bitcoin based sportsbook that offers reduced juice betting on major sports including E-sport events such as the GSL. Bitcoin, explained here BitCoinMe, is an anonymous and secure peer to peer digital currency that enables free, near instantaneous online transfers and payments without the hassle of a bank or paypal. P2P means that there is no third party “big brother” to monitor, control or prevent your transactions, and you can achieve financial freedom from government intervention and regulation. BTCsportsbet.com is proud to be a sponsor for the ISL and we wish all the participants the best of luck!”
BTC price chart on Bittrex | Source: BTC/USDT on TradingView.com
Other Bitcoin tournaments and prizes
In 2013, Bitcoin was already a thing. This time the tournament was called “Bitcoin StarCraft Challenge” and, among the sponsors, we find some familiar names: Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees, Bitcoin Magazine, and donors from the Bitcoin Reddit. Wow. The prize pool was 14 BTC. The organizers described the tournament as follows:
After TotalBiscuit hosted his SHOUTcraft America Winter tournament he announced a show-match between the players Scarlett and NaNiwa funded by Bitcoins. Two days prior to the showmatch between Scarlett and Naniwa it was announced that iNcontroL and Destiny would be playing an undercard show-match for 1 Bitcoin before the event because of community interest and to ensure an acceptably lengthy event.
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As the result, SPOILER ALERT, NaNiwa won 11.2 BTC and Scarlett got 2.8 BTC. And Destiny won the undercard match.
These are not the only Bitcoin prizes Bitcoinist has reported on. Three years ago, an anonymous couple solved this puzzle/ artwork and got 4.87 BTC. And, despite the seven clues, this 1 BTC puzzle remains unsolved.
Featured Image by Sigmund on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView