By Riley Kaminer
In a sea of change, one thing remained constant in Jose Javier Garcia-Rovira’s life: gaming. From Venezuela to Spain to the UK to Canada to the US – wherever Garcia-Rovira found himself, he could always take solace in the fact that hopping into a video game would transport him back to a place that felt like home.
What he did not predict was that he would enter the world of gaming as a career. “My internships in investment banking were in compliance,” he said. “It was pretty boring.”
However, this mundane experience would eventually become the foundation for Gamercraft, a skill-based competitive gaming platform. In early 2020, Garcia-Rovira partnered up with Quentin Rosso, who had also gone through similar experiences in the financial services industry, to build Gamecraft.
From a consumer perspective, Gamercraft enables users to join player-versus-player games, offering challenges and competitions where they can win real prize money. But the real innovation for Gamercraft is its robust anti-cheat detection systems, powered by AI, which enhance gaming experiences and trust levels for all players. That’s exactly where the duo’s backgrounds in compliance came in handy.
“We realized that in order to unlock what we wanted, fair play and trust were two key elements,” explained Garcia-Rovira. “When there’s money at stake during a game, it’s more akin to fraud than to just cheating.”
CEO Garcia-Rovira and CTO Rosso developed a proprietary anti-cheat system for this particular use case. The system protects against players letting someone else use their account, or so-called “smurfing,” whereby a highly-skilled player pretends to be less skilled in order to be matched up against – and beat – lower-ranked players.
Data is at the core of Gamercraft’s platform. “We leverage user data to understand users and gaming profiles.” This enables them to create the best possible experience for all gamers.
So far, Gamercraft is available for a wide variety of popular games. But now, the company has plans to become its own publisher as well.
Gamercraft makes money by taking a commission from tournaments. They also have a subscription model that costs $7.49 per month. Designed for power users, this subscription gives users access to instant payouts, secondary and subscriber-only competitions, and more.
So what can you win on the platform? For the average player, Garcia-Rovira said that you can expect anything from around $20 to $80 a month. The top players though can make almost $4,000 a month – with 50 players on the platform surpassing $1,000 each month.
Garcia-Rovira moved from New York to Miami to start Gamercraft. Since launching three and a half years ago, the platform has amassed about 370,000 users from around the world and raised $6.8 million, including from the co-founders of Miami-based computer hardware company Alienware. The company, which currently has 12 full-time employees, has joined Endeavor Miami’s ScaleUp program to further accelerate its growth.
“We have an amazing platform – now it’s all about scaling,” asserted Garcia-Rovira. This includes expanding Gamercraft’s product offerings. “We really want to be the leaders of this real money, competitive gaming movement.”
Photo at top of post: Gamercraft co-founders Jose Javier Garcia-Rovira, CEO, at left, and Quentin Rosso, CTO.
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