The physical trading card space has maintained its relevance thanks in no small part to avid collectors, buyers, and sellers. We now live in a world where digital trading cards are just as big of a commodity when compared to their physical counterparts—NBA Top Shot is a prime example of that growing trend. Top Shot managed to attract a fledgling community of users and pulled in an astronomical amount of income in such a short time span.
The Santa Monica, California-based company Epics.gg has also thrown itself into the thriving digital trading card space. But it’s not focused on featuring sports stars on its signature brand of cards—Epics.gg instead deals in allowing its users to collect digital cards that feature the likeness of popular esports teams’ players and Twitch streamers. Mark Donovan, one of the founders for Epics.gg, detailed to ONE37pm how the company came to be and what it took to turn its concept into a reality.
Just like their physical brethren, Epics.gg’s digital cards sport custom artwork, signatures, and iconic photos of the players/streamers themselves. Those same digital cards sport one major difference, however—they’re capable of playing out special video highlights that bring each spotlighted player/streamer to life. Epics.gg also offers a cool lineup of physical/digital hybrid cards that lets users show off their favorites, while also being able to transport them over to the Epics.gg companion app.
Speaking of the Epics Digital Collectibles app, players can put their collection of digital cards to good use in a variety of ways. The cards that come into users’ possession are officially licensed and represent the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports scene. Collectors can participate in the Epics.gg marketplace to buy digital cards from other users, sell whatever they have in their collection, and trade with other users in an effort to acquire cards with the lowest mint numbers.
Simply put, there’s a huge sense of satisfaction that comes from obtaining the rarest cards and ascending to the higher rankings on the collectors’ leaderboard. It’s also possible to combine certain cards in an effort to create higher-tier versions or limited edition cards that can be redeemed for all sorts of cool rewards. A fruitful partnership between Epics.gg and Tencent has now brought PUBG Mobile into the mix by releasing a collection of physical/digital hybrid cards that feature the game’s biggest teams and players as well.
From a gameplay standpoint, players can assemble the ultimate CS:GO dream team and head into battle against other players in realistic game simulations. The stakes are certainly high for those digital card skirmishes since players can compete in the app’s regular-season core circuit and tournaments. You can easily find yourself acquiring awesome rewards, such as signed digital cards and official merch if you manage to ascend the game performance leaderboard. That particular aspect of the app becomes quite addicting thanks to those unique features. And the fact that each card’s stats update throughout the season means your favorite player’s viability can be impacted in minor or major ways.
Besides Epics.gg’s fruitful union with Tencent, the digital trading card company is also entering into a monumental partnership with Immutable. The company, which deals in using blockchain technology to give gamers ownership over the digital items they acquire, is working alongside Epics.gg to release a special collection of NFTs. Immutable co-founder and president Robbie Ferguson exclaimed his excitement about the Epics.gg partnership. “Epics has been looking for a scalability solution which doesn’t compromise on security for years,” he noted. “We’re thrilled they’ve finally decided to use Immutable X as the first layer two for NFTs on ethereum.”
Epics.gg’s future is certainly bright, to say the least. “We're going to be the leading next-generation collectibles company,” Donovan stated. “That means creating the best and most innovative product, working with the biggest IP partners, and giving collectors what they want where they want it. This includes games like our Rush mode for Counter-Strike, where collectors can use their cards to create their ultimate team and battle against other players in the app and expand our physical/digital hybrid cards, which are unique physical cards that can be scanned to unlock a digital twin in the app. We're just going to push the bar and see how far we can go.”