Most would agree gaming is one of the most future-forward industries that push the envelope of
innovation, especially given recent immersive initiatives like web3-based gaming, rich NFT elements,
two-factor user authentication protocols, AI-generated music to match a player’s preferences, and of
course, the ongoing work to pave the path into the metaverse. However, some of these tech advancements
can also mean limited access for certain gamers in a community already notorious for its deeply exclusive
subcultures. Esports is easily one of the most cliquish of the bunch (if for no other reason than its elite
standing), but Challenger is leveraging its passion for the everyday gamer and its patented technology to
break down historical barriers to entry and democratize esports-like competition for gamers of all skill
Challenger, a gaming platform that simplifies and expands access to cash-backed competition, has just
announced the addition of Call of Duty: Warzone to its platform, making the company the first esports
the solution to enable everyday gamers to compete in peer-to-peer cash contests in mainstream battle royale
gaming. Cash play has long been an activity reserved only for the elite, the professionals, and those
gamers who’ve had the time to master their skills and schedule tournaments or private matches.
Challenger’s founders want to change that.
We sat down with the founders of the company, Chris Slovak (co-founder & CEO) and Chris Andres (co-
founder & COO), to discuss the mission and impact of this disruption to the gaming ecosystem.
When asked what initially sparked the idea for Challenger, Slovak noted a common misconception
surrounding the modern “gamer” profile, saying: “A lot of people don’t realize that today’s average
gamer is about 35 years old with some disposable income from the careers they have established outside
of gaming. The idea behind Challenger first came to me while playing Battlefield with Chris A. We
wanted to play for a buck per kill, but found that the only way to do so was to enter esports competitions,
which would have been a radical departure from our gaming style that neither of us had the time for. The
on-demand platform we created from that shared experience allows gamers of all backgrounds, skill
levels, and time commitments to play when they want, how they want, and for how much they want.”
Challenger was designed for professionals who game rather than professional gamers. With this latest
addition to its lineup, Challenger is also introducing the first-ever cross-lobby gameplay option to the
industry, allowing gamers to compete against each other for cash under the same game mode and settings,
but with different start times.
Andres added his insights about why this change is both overdue and essential: “We’re stoked to be the
ones to bring this breakthrough to the industry. Cross-lobby (‘asynchronous’) gameplay creates a more
equitable opportunity for each player to win, while empowering them with much more convenience and
control over the ‘when’ and ‘how’ of their gaming experience. We feel that the combination of cross-
lobby gameplay in battle royale cash contests can offer a huge boost for any/all gamers to compete with
higher stakes and elevated energy. Many of these gamers, collectively, have already logged hundreds of
thousands of hours within their favorite games, and we are excited to give them the option to level up the
excitement, competition, and outcomes for both themselves and their audiences.”
Challenger remains committed to positively disrupting the gaming industry and delivering the most value
possible to every single gamer it serves. The company also recently announced the launch of its “Points
Play” offering, which enables gamers to play for free and still earn redeemable rewards — a concept
Slovak believes that will continue to develop within gaming but will soon permeate other industries.
Slovak illuminated the intention behind the platform by saying, “Our greater purpose is to really make the
excitement of incentive-based gaming and interactive media available to the masses. It started by
allowing gamers to up the ante when playing their favorite games, but we’ve recently expanded to include
free-to-play options, as well. By doing so, we’re also creating more opportunities for publishers, studios,
and content creators to reward their audiences for interacting with branded material. And it won’t stop
there. Our technology doesn’t have to be limited solely to use within video games. Gamification in
business software is already fairly common, which essentially rewards employees for using the software
given to them by their companies. Gaming is just opening the door to extend ‘X-to-earn’ initiatives into
the metaverse. We’ll eventually see incentive-based programs for everyday jobs and tasks.”
Challenger is for gamers 18+ (or 21+ where applicable). Interested gamers can set up their account
free through playchallenger.com, download the app, and then play their favorite participating games
directly through the platform. Users can play through the reward system without putting down a cash
deposit or loading some funds into their account to access the peer-to-peer contests.
Marine Corps Veteran-turned-national-tv-personality Eric Mitchell is a world leading expert in sports media, regularly appearing on the world’s largest outlets from BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg, CNN and more. His signature blend of snark and industry expertise landed him columns at none other than RollingStone, GritDaily, PopWrapped, Disrupt — and most recently — Editor in Chief at NFT Today Magazine. When he’s not making media appearances or running his empire at LifeFlip Media, he can be found entertaining his thousands of loyal followers on social media through his authentic filter-free content.