We spoke with one of the co-founders of Award Pool, Reuven Cohen, about building an e-sports tournament and community management tool. Cohen describes Award Pool as the "Shopify" of e-sports, bridging the gap between existing online tools and the e-sports industry professional's needs with a complete management system. Cohen is the tech co-founder and Alex Falconer is the operations co-founder at Award Pool. Cohen has extensive experience as a developer, and Bubble's fast and efficient integration of backend workflows made his vision for Award Pool come to life.
Tell us about your app and how it works.
Award Pool is an automated end-to-end e-sports competition and management platform. Specially designed for leagues, teams, tournament organizers, and players, our platform provides all the tools you need to manage an e-sports organization successfully. The system is multifaceted in that you can use it in many different ways, ranging from participating in a tournament to set up a league.
Another essential feature of Award Pool is that you can start by either importing demo data, similar to a fantasy team manager or a real league/team. Later, you can invite teams or players to join, who can manage their player profiles, recruits, player payments, and even legally binding player contracts. Users can also manage their tournaments, including the creation of brackets, prize payments, and even integrated video broadcasting tools.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in February, we as a family decided that we were going to use our time together to build something. We saw an opportunity as kids who have been getting into e-sports lately and watching endlessly other people compete online.
Funneling this passion for competitive e-sports, we started developing our end-to-end e-sports management platform. Initially, our goal was to help teach our kids about how to build a tech business from scratch, but it ended up expanding into something much more.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Also, many of our machine learning components are based on GAN, also known as Generative Adversarial Networks, and our bot systems are using NodeJS & Discord. These components are all deployed on AWS using Elastic Beanstalk, so we needed something that sits in the same general environment for speed and efficiency. We initially selected Bubble for the UI, API Integration, and data layers to act as a kind of middle-ware. Bubble gave us a tremendous advantage; we didn't need to worry about a lot of the complexities of building those things from scratch. Now we could focus on integrating and building the components that provide us with industry differentiation.
Later, we discovered that the way Bubble handles recurring events and backend workflows allows us to rapidly integrate internal and external data enabling easy flows through our platform. Rapid integration gives our users a real competitive advantage. For example, our system can predict the likely winner of a tournament or the statistical advantage of drafting player A vs. player B, which in the world of professional e-sports means the difference between winning and losing or a profit or a loss.
What has been your traction or success so far?
By using Bubble, we were able to build an extremely feature-rich e-sports platform in a little over five months (roughly 1400 hours) and land more than 200 tournaments within days of our beta launch.
What are your future plans for your app?
We're currently in the process of onboarding dozens of tournament organizers, e-sports teams, and leagues. We're also finishing our Angel round of funding, which will allow us to hire additional people to handle the sudden influx of users we're seeing.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 400,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.