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Joe Zhou, Founder & CEO of FirstBlood – Interview Series

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Joe Zhou is the Founder & CEO of FirstBlood an online gaming tournament platform that lets gamers compete and win real rewards playing Dota2, Call of Duty: Warzone, PUBG, and more.

What were your favorite games growing up?

My favorite video games growing up are world of warcraft, Sims and Maplestory.

What was the inspiration for the name Firstblood?

First Blood is what most games call the first kill of a match in competitive games like FPS or MOAB type games. Since we were creating the first blockchain-powered esports and competitive gaming platform, FirstBlood seemed very apropos.

You launched FirstBlood in 2015, could you share the genesis story of this startup?

At that time, I was between exiting my first startup company in the Bitcoin space – an option trading platform for Bitcoin and working at the new company that acq-hired us. I played a lot of legends at that time and wanted to build something special to accommodate players who would play the 1v1 game mode so my co-founder, Anik Dang, and I started building this proof of concept that would combine our passion for crypto and gaming.

FirstBlood was one of the first esports platforms to offer a decentralized token. What originally inspired the idea for the Dawn token (Formerly named FirstBlood token)?

The story began from us being gamers since we were little. At that time, with Twitch and streaming getting more and more popular, we really wanted to create this platform and decentralized currency for gamers.

What are some of the use cases for this token?

Currently you can use tokens to purchase credits on the platform, unlock premium benefits (for free just by holding them in your wallet) and as well as prizing.

What are some of the premium benefits that are unlocked for users for holding the token?

Users can gain access to premium tournaments and premium features. Earn points up to 5 times faster on the platform as well as early access to any game we are supporting at the moment.

What are the different types of games that are found on the FirstBlood platform?

We currently support FPS games like Call of Duty:Warzone, PUBG and FreeFire as well as MOBA title Dota2.

Could you share some details regarding the recent partnership announcement between MakerDAO and FirstBlood, and what will it mean for players?

The partnership with MakerDAO really enabled us to offer stable crypto tokens (DAI) as a prize pool and this was not possible before. It will allow players to win their prizes in stable currencies existing on Blockchain and participate in any sort of blockchain applications using those DAI.

Do you still find the time to play games, if so which ones?

I try to get at least a few hours of gaming time each week just to stay informed. During my leisure time, I mostly play Dota2 (ranked), League of Legends (ranked) and WOW: Classic.

In your view what will esports look like in 5 years?

Accessibility is the #1 thing I am longing for. The game play whether it is on the pro level or amateur level will be more available for everyone. I would love to see Esports fans participate in this space not only as viewers but also as players.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about FirstBlood or Dawn?

We have a ton of good projects currently in development, whether it’s on the integration side of things or adding the latest technology to our offering such as NFT. Definitely follow our socials to stay tuned!

Thank you for the interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit FirstBlood.

Antoine Tardif is the CEO of, and has always had a love affair for games, and has a special fondness for anything Nintendo related.