The wildly popular sandbox game Minecraft is entering the realm of eSports thanks to Kickback. Kickback's service allows competitive Minecraft players to connect on Kickback servers and pit their skills against one another. What's more, via Kickback players can even make money playing Minecraft.
Backed by Y Combinator, Kickback takes already existing games and sets them up for competitive play. The small start-up company is starting with Minecraft and players can get in on the beta action now. Kickback creates custom maps, takes care of matchmaking, anti-cheat measures and handles payouts of prizes to winners.
All competitive Minecraft players need to do is register with Kickback, then log in and play to win. The matchmaking offered through Kickback is free to users but those wanting a truly competitive experience can pay $1 per match to pit their skills against other competitive Minecraft players and gain a chance to win the whole pot.
The larger the match the bigger the pot and with matches lasting 10-20 minutes dedicated players have a chance to make some money off of their favorite pastime. Competitors have the chance to win $2-$100, but currently most of the winnings are small. Yet as Kickback brings the game from beta into the mainstream those numbers are sure to grow.
eSports and Minecraft both have growing audiences and Kickback is smart to combine them. Kickback arranges arena style battles on custom maps ranging from islands amidst a dangerous lava pit to a sprawling fortress. Competitive Minecraft players can try to kill each other over and over again until the time is up and the winner with the most points is determined.
Matches can be as small as 1v1 battles or include larger groups. The rules and maps will vary. Play PvP death matches or team VS. team with Kickbacks competitive Minecraft service.
Kickback created a free-server hosting service for the Minecraft community called Triangle last Summer and uses that architecture for their new competitive play service. Kickback plans on bringing similar services to other games in the future but for now it's using Minecraft to test everything out. Minecraft allows for easy modification of maps, weapons and game rules so it's a great place to start.
The next thing Kickback will start working on are new maps and match types for competitive Minecraft as well as including other games for their platform. Kickback's competitive Minecraft tournaments can be watched on Twitch via their channel. Watch some of the previous matches and see if you have what it takes to be a competitive Minecraft player.
Think you could make money playing Minecraft?