Mr Beast, Creator League, and NFTs: Why Are People Angry?

Creator League

TL;DR
An esports tournament called Creator League was promoted by Mr Beast, along with Creator League Community Passes, which were available to buy. However, Connor Colquhoun, a high profile creator involved in the project, was unaware that NFT technology was involved and withdrew upon finding out, implying that he had been misled. Currently, the Creator League is postponed, and pass sales have been disabled.

With a product to sell, what could be better than an endorsement from Mr Beast? And considering his reach, if he mentioned anything NFT-related you might think that would also be good for NFTs in general.

As it turns out though, when Mr Beast recently did exactly this, the reaction was a little, let’s say… heated, and not entirely positive. To get a handle on what happened let’s look at what Mr Beast promoted, its relationship to NFTs, why there was a controversy, and finally, what this tells about the current state of NFTs and crypto, and what it means for the future.

Who Is Mr Beast and What Did He Promote?

Mr Beast

In case you’ve been too engrossed in the BTC charts to keep up with anything else, Mr Beast has been labeled the biggest YouTuber in the world, has 181 million subscribers, and produces hugely viral content.

In a recent video called Lamborghini vs Shredder, which has 76 million views, Mr Beast throws in a promotion for the Creator League. This is a gaming league from the eFuse gaming and esports network, involving eight big name creator/influencers, and the promotion encouraged viewers to buy Creator League Community Passes.

These passes cost $20 and give holders votes to influence the league, opportunities to win prizes, an all-round VIP experience with Discord access and AMAs, and Mr Beast also offered boxes of his own brand Feastable bars for viewers who signed up within a limited period.

How Are NFTs Involved in The Creator League?

Mr Beast

Mr Beast did not mention NFTs at all, and if you went and looked around Creator League or bought a pass, you’d find no mention of NFTs, blockchains, web3, crypto… nothing like that at all.

However, the Creator League Passes are, technically, NFTs held on the NEAR Protocol blockchain, meaning there are NFTs being used purely for backend functionality, without any of the trading, flipping or speculation often associated with NFT markets.

What Was So Controversial?

It all comes down to an extremely negative reaction upon learning that NFTs were involved, from one of the eight creators involved, CDawgVA (real name Connor Colquhoun), who has a big following and subsequently announced that he was pulling out of the project.

Mr Beast

And to be clear, this guy really hates NFTs, previously declaring angrily and at length that he wants no involvement with NFTs or crypto.

To be fair, that’s entirely up to him, and if he was told directly that the project did not involve NFTs, as also stated by Tips Out, co-founder of the also-involved OTK Network, then he has reason to be irritated. On the other hand though, as mentioned, the NFT part of the project appears just to be a backend technical mechanism.

Mr Beast

And besides all that, it’s still not exactly clear why using tokens on a blockchain should be regarded as inherently shocking, so… there’s a big controversy, but at the same time, there’s nothing that jumps out as being especially controversial, when you look into it.

What Does This Tell Us About NFTs and Crypto?

It’s tempting to conclude that NFTs’ reputation must really be in the gutter, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true.

On the one hand, yes, NFT volumes have dropped, people who bought at the top got burned, and there have been too many rug pulls and undelivered plans (or plans that were delivered but were underwhelming.)

Mr Beast

But then, a lack of volume doesn’t indicate strong negative feelings about NFTs, it more likely implies mainstream indifference during a low ebb in the crypto cycle.

What this story really seems to show is that some people have just always disliked NFTs–the culture, the concept, the crypto connection–and are sticking to their guns. Also, this point of view is particularly common in the gaming world, and tends to get expressed, forcefully, if a big gaming company makes a pro-NFT announcement.

Vera Molnar
Artwork from the Themes and Variations collection by Vera Molnar

By contrast–and indicating that such an attitude is not universal–in the art world there are recent NFT drops performing well (examples include Vera Molnar, Refik Anadol and Yawanawa, and Casey Reas), and it’s rare to find outright hostility towards the NFT format.

Overall then, this looks like an incident triggered by individuals with strong opinions, rather than a deeper indicator of widespread attitudes towards NFTs.

What Happens Next?

Regarding the Creators League, if you try and buy a pass now you’ll find a postponement announcement, and purchasing is currently disabled. It’s not yet known how the project will move forward, but a message from eFuse and Creator League emphasizes that it’s not an NFT project, passes are not transferable, and that blockchain use will be disclosed in future.

Mr Beast

Regarding NFTs and crypto, this particular reaction to backend blockchain use looks overblown, and out of touch with the ways that blockchains are being explored in other fields, especially banking and finance.

Don’t forget that with any new tech, there may be opposition, and it can occasionally become emotional. There are examples of this stretching all the way back in history to automated looms in the industrial revolution, to the invention of automobiles, to panics around video games, the internet, ecommerce, social media, AI, the metaverse and, of course, Bitcoin, blockchains, and NFTs.

The tech may change, but human nature, it seems, plays out the same.

Mr Beast, Creator League, and NFTs: Why Are People Angry? - - 2024

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Mr Beast, Creator League, and NFTs: Why Are People Angry? - - 2024
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