Ardent United - Crowdfunded and crowdgoverned esports team. Blockchain + Esports = 💖
Ardent is an esports organization that cultivates new relationships between teams, fans, and
sponsors. These newly formed relationships serve to maximize fan enjoyment, as well as
sponsor and investor returns. Ardent will create token that will function on top of the Ethereum
blockchain (“Ardent Tokens”). The Ardent Tokens will then be sold in a crowdsale
through an initial coin offering (“ICO”) Ardent Tokens will serve several purposes, including
but not limited to: voting, payment of bounties, profit-sharing, and sponsor interactions.
Ardent United Intro
Ardent United is a crowdfunded and crowdgoverned esports team. We use blockchain to create a decentralized corporation that is fully transparent. Tokenholders utilize our token in order to vote, participate in bounties, and receive dividends. Through the use of crowd governance, Ardent will make more intelligent and ethical decisions than other esport organizations. Ardent is founded and advised by people with strong blockchain and esports experience. The mix between the two industries ensures the success of Ardent United.
The relationship between businesses and customers has always been the same. (The Benefit
Corporation model is a recent counter to this. Ardent United plans to incorporate as a Benefit
Corporation with the additional benefit of blockchain powered transparency and crowd
governance.) A business sells a product to the customer and the customer gives the business
money. There’s no room for information sharing and the relationship is rigid. This incentivizes
the company to undercut its competitors and get as much money out of customers as
possible. In other words, most relationships between consumer and business are a zero-sum
game. There’s rarely an equilibrium between the consumer and the business. Unless the business
can keep innovating at a breakneck pace, they must eventually cut product quality or act
unethically. If they don’t, they risk having other companies take their profits.
Esport fans are also not as engaged with esport brands as they could be. Many fans change
team loyalties based on their favorite players. This is shown through the prevalence of player
storylines in esports. An example of this is the League of Legends player Doublelift. Doublelift
jumped from CLG to TSM, to TL. As he moved teams, many fans changed their team
loyalty accordingly. Fans are also passively consuming team and sponsor content without
actively engaging with the team.
Ardent aims to do something better. Through utilizing blockchain technology, Ardent
can create a system where our customers and outside sponsors are incentivized to
develop a successful esport ecosystem. Through voting, fans will have extremely deep
engagement with Ardent and it’s sponsors. Our symbiotic ecosystem will make the
esport experience exponentially more rewarding for fans and more profitable for investors
Esports is becoming an extremely profitable industry with massive public recognition. The
largest esports tournament prize pool has reached $24,687,919 USD, showing the amount
of money in the scene. One of the biggest esport games, League of Legends, has 27 million
unique daily players and over 100 million unique monthly players (Riot Games.) Esport
games do not only have many players, they also reach a very broad audience. All over the
world, people from diverse backgrounds play many esport games.
Esport tournaments are also very popular. The largest esport tournament in history had
over 106 million unique viewers and 1.2 billion hours watched (Riot games.) This event was
in the Beijing Bird Nest Stadium, which also held the 2008 Summer Olympics. The
parallel between the Olympics and esports is even more relevant now. Esports are being
considered to become part of the Olympic games which would further increase the
With the esports industry growing extremely quickly, this is the perfect time to purchase a
team. According to the NewZoo 2017 Global Esports Report, “Esports is a massively growing
industry that is expected to reach revenues of $1.5 billion by 2020.” In 2015, the
esports market already generated $748M in revenue, proving that a large market exists.
Sponsors are well aware of esports large reach and are prepared to spend accordingly. As
a result, Ardent United expects to profit from sponsor interest.
Hosting the Ardent United infrastructure on Etherum blockchain has several important
• Transparency:All the votes are public and Ardent United fund spending is also public.
This means that AUN tokenholders can have full assurance that their votes are counted
correctly and that funds are not used improperly.
• Resiliency: The AUN governance system has an extremely low chance of system failure.
• Immutability: There’s no way (short of a hardfork) that anyone can change voting records
or spending records.
• Incentive Alignment: Through the different AUN reward mechanisms, the interests of
the team, sponsors, and fans are aligned.
Tokens will initially be used for four purposes. Voting, bounties, merchandise, and sponsor
• Voting: Fans want to vote to have a deeper connection with the team and investors
want to vote in order to have money in a better company. Voting will be done through
Aragon. Custom apps may be needed to accommodate the AUN governance protocol.
• Bounties: We will have jobs that need completion. Examples of this could include
video editing, photography, web design, etc. These jobs will be posted on Bounty0x
or similar and tokens will be used for payment. (Sponsors may also want to utilize the
• Merchandise: Tokens can be exchanged for team merchandise. Merchandise purchased
with tokens will receive a discount. Some items will also be exclusive and for token purchase
• Sponsor Interaction: Partnered companies will want to give benefits to tokenholders to
work off brand loyalty. (Ex.Use tokens to buy cat food for a 10% discount). Companies
may also want to distribute tokens as a loyalty point system. This gives additional value
to tokens. Tokenholders will be able to suggest additional uses and also vote to modify
the token uses.
In order for investors to want to invest in tokens, the tokens must have some value. Tokens
get their value from two things, profit sharing and scarcity.
• Profit Sharing: A portion of revenue will be distributed to tokenholders. Token holders
will be able to vote on what percent of profits is shared.
• Scarcity: There are a limited amount of tokens and the tokenholders are the only ones
that can decide to mint more. If the tokens have strong demand, the limited supply will
increase the price. Of course, scarcity does not automatically increase the price.
Dividends will be paid to addresses that hold tokens. Tokenholders will confirm their
holding to a smart contract and will have their dividends paid out. If needed, the method
of dividend payment can be changed through the voting system.
The initial presale will sell a maximum of $1,070,000 USD (Esportsearnings.) of Token
DPA securities on Re-public. For more information, visit: https://republic.co/token-dpa.
The initial Token DPA buyers will be the ones that determine the amount of tokens
generated and the token price during the first and any subsequent PCO’s. (Public Coin
Offering) After the initial PCO, there can be votes on whether more tokens should be
generated and sold.
Read https://republic.co/token-dpa for more information on the Token DPA.
Post-Crowdsale Fund Management
All funds raised from the crowdsale will be sent to a third party legal firm to hold. Funds
will only be released to us if voted on. If needed, each game team will have a seperate pool
of funds for people to vote on. This ensures that each team will have enough funds to run.
We will call a vote whenever money from the post-crowdsale fund needs to be spent. This
includes items such as purchases, player hire, monthly/annual budgets, etc. Tokenholders
will also be able to open up votes if they believe that money should be spent.
Each voting item will include:
• Effective Date: This is the adoption date plus the time for implementation.
• Implementation Strategy: This is a text describing the details of the proposal.
• Cost: This is the approximate cost of the proposal, denominated in ETH.
The voting period will last for at least 30 days, and if the item passes, the money will be
released and spent.
We will begin the protocol by only allowing the Ardent United team to call votes. This prevents
a 51% attack and other issues that could arise. Once we are sure that the tokens are
properly distributed and that the voting infrastructure is properly set up, calling a vote will
be open to other tokenholders.
The voting will not be a straight democracy (simply counting tokens and the one with the
most votes wins), AUN will be using an algorithm known as the “Surprisingly Popular Algorithm”.
This algorithm was researched by MIT and is 21.3% more accurate then traditional
voting. The voting ballot will ask two questions: “What they think the right answer is, and
what they think popular opinion will be. The variation between the two aggregate responses
indicates the correct answer.” (MIT) In other words, whichever option is surprisingly popular
Question: Should Ardent United print orange t-shirts?
Options: Yes and No
Think most people will say Yes:30%
Think most people will say No:70%
The Yes vote was surprisingly popular as it got 10% more votes than people thought it
would. This means that even though Yes lost the popular vote, AUN should print orange
shirts. Further experimentation could show that asking purely objective questions (Which
would sell more? Orange or Red?) could lead to more accuracy.
Votes will be sealed using the same cryptographic method as ENS domain name bidding.
The votes will be unsealed at the end of the voting period. In addition, voters may be encouraged
to discuss in small groups, which has been tested to be 49.2% more accurate than
pure crowd wisdom.
a= Percentage choosing Choice A.
Ea=Percentage expected to pick Choice A.
b=Percentage choosing Choice B.
Eb=Percentage expected to pick Choice B.
If a-Ea>b-Eb then Choice A is correct. If a-Ea<b-Eb then Choice B is correct.
Votes will be done quadratically. This means that the amount of voting power is equal to the
square root of tokens committed. (Ex. Voting with 1 token gives 1 vote. Voting with 4 tokens
gives 2 votes. Voting with 100 tokens gives 10 votes. Voting with n tokens gives nvotes.
This prevents someone from getting a massive amount of votes by spending a lot of money.
It also works as a preventative measure against the 51% attack.
Quadratic voting necessitates a wallet verification system to prevent people from sending
their tokens to multiple wallets. If someone had 4 tokens and voted from a single wallet, they
would have a voting power of 2 (sqrt(4)=2). However, if they sent these 4 tokens to 4 different
wallets, they would have a voting power of 4 (sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)=4). Wallet
verification will initially depend on KYC verification during the crowdsale. Afterwards, a
system will need to be developed as a permanent solution.
Voting Proof of Concept
Many people may be concerned that a fully decentralized system of running a team could
lead to bad decisions. However, studies show that groups of people, even people with no domain
expertise, make better predictions than experts. The Good Judgment Project, funded
by the US government, aggregates the geopolitical predictions of random people. Together,
their predictions are more accurate then CIA analysts with access to classified information.
This project is done without the Surprisingly Popular algorithm, which would increase accuracy.
All data done on crowd research shows that by aggregating crowd predictions,
better decisions will be made then on the sole judgment of experts/team owners.