Rumble Kong League Research Report

Rumble Kong League is set to bring 3-on-3 basketball matches to the Metaverse.

Rumble Kong League Research Report

Introduction

Rumble Kong League is set to bring 3-on-3 basketball matches to the Metaverse. Combining NFT collectibles, social avatars, and play to earn blockchain gaming, Rumble Kong League (RKL) is a project you don’t want to miss.

This upcoming NFT (non-fungible token) game features 10,000 unique Kongs that you can collect to form your perfect team.

Unique among recent Web 3.0 gaming projects we’ve been reviewing lately, Rumble Kong League started out as a collection of NFTs before any gameplay was conceived. In addition, this collection came about because of the popularity of another NFT collection, NBA Top Shot, a series of official NBA collectible NFTs.

While gameplay is still a work in progress, and hasn’t been released or previewed yet, Rumble Kong League has an exciting buzz and community base. With a mix of cyberpunk and Space Jam, and the backing of some of the biggest NBA stars, we’re keeping our eyes on RKL.

In this research report, we’ll take a look at the world of RKL, and the team behind the game. We’ll look at the play and earn game potential, along with the Kongs themselves. We’ll look at the upcoming milestones for this project, and share our outlook on ways to get involved.

Let’s get ready to Rumble Kong!

Background

Rumble Kong League is a collection of 10,000 ERC-721 NFT tokens, built on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-721 is a standard for NFT creation, ensuring that each and every individual NFT is unique, and a true collectible.

The collection will be able to be used to play a decentralized 3-on-3 basketball game. RKL is seeking to create the next-generation sports-based NFT universe, potentially even welcoming other NFT collections as players.

Check out this intro video from the RKL team:
What is Rumble Kong League? | Upcoming 2022 NFT Game

Lore

The game developers have stated that the game takes place at no particular time or place, but in “A timeless environment that is inclusive for any fan of basketball.”

This inclusive space, a neon city called Athlos, has some very cool cyberpunk-style art that’s already starting to trickle out to the public. It seems like just the place you would want to hang out if you were an anthropomorphic Kong who wanted to shoot some hoops with your Kong buddies. 


https://www.rumblekongleague.com/athlos

Gameplay

Rumble Kong League is bringing the fast-paced hype of pro basketball to the Metaverse. Gameplay will center around forming, training, and competing with your team of three Kongs.

With a 3D game experience, game outcomes will be based on the performance of each individual Kong on a team, working with or against their individual Boosts to take home the win.

Each Kong has certain stats called Boosts. The Boosts are at the core of the game, with higher-statted Kongs being more rare, valuable, and potential superstars for your Club and the League.

But just because your Kong doesn’t have high initial stats, doesn’t mean they’re worthless. Through regular play, and taking advantage of staking mechanics through the game’s Training Academies, you can increase your Boosts over time. Not to mention that Kongs can still perform well even with a low Boost score. It simply reduces the chance of a certain action taking place in the course of a game. But as anyone who loves the game of basketball can tell you, anything is possible.

Boosts

Beyond their visual rarity, each Kong has a rating in four statistical categories. Each of these Boosts reflect the performance of a Kong in an aspect of Rumble Kong League match gameplay. These values are distributed on a bell curve, and randomly assigned to each of the 10,000 Kongs.

Defense

Defense determines how well your Kong can block shots and defend opponents. A high Defense boost can be a real asset for a well-balanced team, and could be a niche to develop for a lower overall-statted Kong.

Finish

Finish rates how well your Kong can penetrate the other team’s Defense. If your Kong struggles to dunk or score points “in the paint,” or the colored interior area of the court near the hoop, they might not have a great Finish score. Kongs with developed Finish Boosts will be able to pound the ball inside and score. Eventually, RKL may feature NBA Street-style dunk animations, which would make this stat even more fun to boost up.

Shooting

Just like the modern NBA, Shooting is essential to any Kong team. Shooting determines the accuracy of your Kong’s mid-range and valuable 3-point shooting. Aside from sending your Kong to a training Academy, boosting your Shooting stats through consumable items may be a viable strategy once gameplay arrives. We can only imagine that Steph Curry, the greatest NBA shooter of all time and Rumble Kong League partner, has great shooting on his RKL team.

Vision

Vision is that intangible quality that great players all seem to share. Vision represents your Kong’s ability for making accurate passes and moving the ball. Think of Vision as your “playmaking” Boost stat, and you won’t be far off. Low-Vision Kongs might find themselves turning the ball over more than they would like.

When creating your Rumble Kong League team, it is important to consider the balance and complementary role that these Boosts play. A team of three sharpshooters might be able to light up the scoreboard—until they don’t. Without Defense, or the ability to move the ball, those shots are less likely to end up in the basket. The best teams are stronger together than any individual player. Knowing how to create a team with great synergy, and knowing how to gameplan for your opponent’s team, is the hallmark of a great RKL coach!

The Rumble Kong League Team

The team behind RKL is also involved in The Sandbox, an open-world Metaverse game. The Rumble Kong League team has some great credentials, bringing large brands to the public with decades of combined experience.

From the Rumble Kong League Press Kit:

Marcus “direkkt” Bläsche - CEO & Co-Founder

Marcus has been working in the gaming industry since 2008, when he joined Activision Blizzard to help the publishing efforts around World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo III. Following the growth of Free2Play, he joined Wargaming Europe to help build their product portfolio from scratch and managed all European publishing efforts for some of their largest titles free-to-play and premium titles in Europe. 

Seeing the potential in Play2Earn in 2020, Marcus went into a deep-dive of the web3 space and joined The Sandbox as Marketing Director. During this time The Sandbox grew from <100k Users to 2M+ in Q1 2022. In parallel, he saw a trending growth around Sports, Play2Earn, and avatar projects and kick-started Rumble Kong League in the summer of 2021. 

Nicholas “Nickev” Vale - COO & Co-Founder

Nick has been building companies and products for 10+ years. He has built many different teams and led game development projects to the “#1 best selling of all time” and “#3 best selling of all time” spots for Microsoft XBLIG, among several private game development studios (Total Miner: Forge, Miner of Duty).

Nick has been in the web3 space since 2016 and is one of the co-founders of reNFT Labs which builds NFT infrastructure products. Previously he was also on the marketing team at The Sandbox Game, one of the leading blockchain gaming projects for 2 years.

LeJon “Sickpencil” LaMon - Creative Director & Co-Founder

Self-taught Interdisciplinary artist, versatile in a wide range of mediums. Sickpencil got his start as his name states, using and mastering only a pencil before he later explored acrylic paints, Copic markers, spray paints, pastel, and eventually digital art. Sickpencil expresses vivid use of colors, dynamic detail, often with a slight abstract nature and anime influence. He has spent the past decade exploring roles like Character Design, Illustrator, Muralist, Portrait Artist, and most recently as Creative Director for Rumble Kong League.

Sickpencil’s art has been featured across social media and he is most well known for his work in the emerging NFT space and murals of Nipsey Hussle across the city of Los Angeles.

Nazariy “Naz” Vavryk - COO & Co-Founder

Between math and code, Naz worked as a quantitative developer in hedge funds in London where he managed the projects of several large-scale clients all across the globe. Looking for a change of scenery, he turned his back to the web2 world and dived into web3 more than half a decade ago. 

Together with Nicholas, Naz is also a co-founder of reNFT Labs, which works on products in NFT infrastructure. The backbone of which will play a role in the RKL ecosystem going forward. 

Funding & Backers

While many Web 3.0 and play and earn crypto games get their backers from the pro video game circuit, and RKL certainly has those folks at attention, Rumble Kong League also has support from the world of pro sports, making them an interesting case study on the mass appeal of NFT and crypto games.

Backers include superstar NBA players like Paul George of the LA Clippers, and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">major moves for <a href="https://twitter.com/RumbleKongs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RumbleKongs</a> 🚀 <a href="https://t.co/CxW41QT8vt">pic.twitter.com/CxW41QT8vt</a></p>&mdash; LeagueFits (@leaguefits) <a href="https://twitter.com/leaguefits/status/1467556319775264773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 5, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

RKL Kong owners include many other NBA community names, like Steph Curry, Paul George, Tyrese Haliburton, Andre Iguodala, Josh Hart, Hassan Whiteside, Gary Payton II, Cole Anthony, Damion Lee, JaVale McGee and Malik Beasley, Daryl Morey, Kristopher London, and JaRule, among others. 

Rumble Kong League seeks to be the premier sports ecosystem within the Metaverse. By differentiating themselves from the trading card games, shooters, and other genres, they can carve out a niche among sports fans, and fans of sports games like NBA 2k.

“Our goal is to provide a truly unique and memorable experience for sports fans within the Rumble Kong League,” said Marcus Bläsche, CEO of the Rumble Kong League. “NFTs and the Metaverse are making a huge impact in the gaming world and we aim to build the go-to sports ecosystem and push the boundaries of what is possible within the web3 space.” 

Since dropping in July of 2021, all 10,000 first-generation Kongs sold out within hours, to over 2,000 initial buyers. Kongs now find themselves available on OpenSea for resale.

In December of 2021, RKL announced that they had successfully raised $4.5 million in a round of seed funding. Backers included DS Crypto, CAA Sports, Framework Ventures, IDEO CoLab, Animoca Brands, Victory Creative Group, and Paul George, among others.

Game Economy & Tokens

The player game economy is built around the basketball game using Kongs as players. Building your team, training your players, and advancing through tournaments and the game’s multi-league hierarchy will earn rewards. As of this writing, the name or nature of this token is not available. Developers state that this will be an ERC-20 token, and list a large array of possible use cases, from payments to sponsorships to tournament prize money.

Interestingly, RKL has stated they do not foresee using a governance token, unlike many NFT projects we review. The team feels that the governance token adds “unnecessary complexity,” and believes that coin voting is a flawed premise, citing Ethereum founder and crypto legend Vitalik Buterin, which you can read here.

The RKL team also envisions an entire economy outside of the game itself. From fashion merchandising to album releases, Metaverse streetwear, they list a dizzying array of potential use cases. However, these are still theoretical at this stage. We are pumped to see the creativity and limitless potential of decentralization in bringing about this new wave of creativity, but we will need to see more info around the project’s actual utility.

Community & Roadmap

With a Discord of 75,000+ members, RKL has a good-sized and active community base. The team stays in touch with their followers via their SubStack blog, frequent twitter giveaways, cross-project collaborations, and events. They do not have a published Roadmap.

They are debued their gameplay trailer at NFT.NYC, a NFT event on June 22, 2022 so be sure to check out their YouTube channel for that full trailer.

The Bottom Line

There’s a lot to like about RKL, even if some of the details are lacking or yet to be ironed out. Sports fans are some of the most loyal out there, and it is exciting to see Web3 moving to capitalize and make a space for sports fans and sports gamers out there. With the ‘cool factor’ of NBA athletes and streetwear icons repping RKL merch, and participating in the project, we could see RKL really becoming the home of sports in the Metaverse. If you think this seems like something you’d want to get involved in, check out Kongs on OpenSea. These Kongs make you a stakeholder in RKL going forward, and will doubtless be key in opening up future benefits reserved for owners of these first-generation Kong NFTs.

What do you think about Rumble Kong League? Get laced up, and we’ll see you in Athlos Arena!