The Dark Horse Of The Metaverse: Rumble Kong League

Sometimes I get asked what is a strong NFT project that can absolutely crush it in 2022 and beyond, that is already established itself, but that is still flying a bit under the radar compared to other top NFT projects. A dark horse so to speak. To me, this is Rumble Kong League (RKL).

In early August 2021, I stumbled over the Rumble Kong League. Unfortunately one or two weeks after the mint. At first, I thought it is a kind of derivative of the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, since it is a collection of apes, too. But after checking it out properly, I fell in love and bought in – before any influencer I knew mentioned it. While the Kongs are certainly inspired by the BAYC, they are an incredible project in their own right with huge potential. The Kongs are building nothing less than the NBA of the metaverse. I have to admit that while I enjoy sports, I never cared much about basketball specifically (maybe because in Germany, it is all about soccer). But strangely, RKL made me care a great deal more through the gamification aspect, the cool art and the feeling of being part of building something great in the metaverse. Let me break down why I decided to invest in the Rumble Kong League in the first place with the information that was available in August 2021, and why I keep being invested for the long run:

Reason 1: The Team Behind Rumble Kong League

The deciding point for me to invest was the team behind Rumble Kong League. I was thrilled when I read who it was! One of the main points of buying into a collection should always be the team behind it. The BAYC are a pleasant exception, since that team is anonymous and yet succeeded in building the most valuable NFT brand to date. Normally, anonymous teams should rather be a red flag, since they don’t have a reputation to lose and might just look for a quick ETH. Now RKL is special since the team behind it is world class. First of all there is the popular artist Sickpencil, who is responsible for the exciting and cool artwork. Besides that, you should know that the Cofounders and CEOs / COOs of RKL are Marcus Blasche, Marketing Director of the Sandbox Game, and Nick Vale, also from the Sandbox Marketing team. Sandbox is THE leading metaverse project. Most Crypto investors came across Sandbox just recently when it had its own bullrun and the coin absolutely exploded at the end of 2021. But Sandbox has been a pioneer in the metaverse space for several years and has started out in the bear market. Why is this important to me as an investor? NFTs have exploded in 2021 and I believe with the wave of adoption happening, we are probably going to have a fabulous 2022. Yet, we never know when a bear market will come, but it will eventually. I want to be invested in NFT projects that will keep working throughout the bear markets, and don’t just try to capture the current hype and will stop operating once the bear arrives. This means: the RKL team is closely tied to a team that has been building through tough times, that has succeeded big time so far by becoming the leading metaverse play of the day, and which will keep building in the upcoming years. So to me, in August 2021, long before the Facebook Meta announcement drove all the attention to the metaverse projects, this deep network connection between Sandbox and Rumble Kong League was a major factor to buy in. This doesn’t guarantee success, but it guarantees that RKL members are in much better hands than 98% of the other NFT projects launching during this unprecedented NFT gold rush.

Reason 2: Pioneers In NFT Gaming

Today, Gamefi + NFTs is on everybody’s mind, after the recent gaming run up. But in August 2021, Rumble Kong League was ahead of the herd, being one of the earlier avatar projects focusing on the intersection between PFP and gaming in the metaverse. And by having a clear, distinguishable profile, focusing on sports and basketball and not trying to capture the whole market, they found themselves a niche, but one of the most promising ones in the metaverse. It felt like a breath of fresh air at that time, and most importantly, like a very thought out approach. They are building a real basketball league, with clubs, with training & renting options for the Kongs and lots of other upcoming perks. Also the RKL game will be open not only for Kongs, but also they will allow members of other collections like BAYC, Cryptopunks and many more to join the league and play along to foster broader adoption. Important to note: the game is in development and not out yet, so the true potential of RKL will only be realized once the game is out.

The Best Of Two Worlds – Combining A Centralized And A Decentralized Approach To Building A Whole Ecosystem

What excites me most is that every Kong holds the intellectual property rights to his or her Kong. Probably even more important for the success of the project, the clubs are also holding all commercial rights to their clubs. Thereby, Rumble Kong League, similar to Bored Ape Yacht Club, is building a whole ecosystem instead of an avatar collection or a simple game. Both RKL and BAYC build it by combining the strengths of a centralized and decentralized approach – there is the RKL leadership building out some defining centralized structures, yet there will be many clubs building within the RKL structures in parallel and on top of each other. I am actually getting goosebumps while writing this! 🙂

The RKL Collectors And Network

I already mentioned within the team section, that RKL is deeply tied to Sandbox and thereby, will eventually profit not only from the Sandbox itself, but also from the connections and the strong network that Sandbox has within the gaming and metaverse industry – as people say, your network is your net worth. By the way, worth mentioning is that Sandbox actually bought several Kongs, too. Other notable investors on the personal level include several famous NBA players, most notably Stephen Curry and Paul George, who have been supporting the project throughout the last months. Other buyers include celebrities like JaRule, who was among the first supporters at mint. Another huge influencer and builder, specifically within the Crypto Gaming sphere, who bought into RKL early on in August/September, is Alex Becker. To sum it up, there is notable influencer and network support from the right people from two crucial areas – real life NBA and the Crypto gaming industry.

Why I Will Remain Longterm Invested

By now,six months after my investment, things could not look better for the Kongs. While the price of Kongs was trading sideways for months (which is quite normal for gaming NFTs while the game is still in development), the last quarter of the year saw a strong move to the upside in terms of price appreciation, Kongs peaked recently at a 3.25 ETH price floor and are consolidating on a good level now. Apart from nice moves like Stephen Curry wearing the RKL beanie to a press conference which demonstrated the potential of RKL to become a huge sports (fashion) brand, there is one important, new factor strengthening my conviction in this project: the Rumble Kong League recently gained 4.5 Million Dollars in a seed funding round, from notable gaming companies, including the industry leader Animoca brands.

This is a great step forward, since it means not only that the quality of the game will improve with more money inflow, but particularly that RKL will be supported by the best advisors in the industry, who hopefully will share best practices in game development to realize the RKL vision.

Any points of concern?

Experienced NFT collectors could mention that the number of single Kong holder count is lower than in other 10k avatar collections, with 3100 owners (vs. 4500-6000 individual holders in some other top collections). I am not worried about this too much in the specific case of RKL, because the reason for this is that to form a Kongs team on your own, you need to hold four Kongs. Thereby, there actually is a real use case for Kong holders to hold several Kongs apart from possible price appreciation, which in this case rather shows determination of those involved.  

Closing Thoughts

To sum things up, I am thrilled to be part of the Rumble Kong League for the reasons specified above. I would be particularly happy if I managed to inspire more ladies to join the league. While I am a big supporter of female themed avatar collections to support women and female representation in the NFT space, I believe it is vital to also strengthen female engagement in NFT sectors where women might be particularly underrepresented, like sports and gaming. Does this mean you should ape in now? I don’t know, because as always, nobody knows where the market will go and when a bear market might occur – if Rumble Kongs reach a 40 ETH floor in 2022 that would not surprise me. At the same time, if it would drop to 0.5 ETH or less, that would also not surprise me – all depends on where the NFT market as a whole will goes. Maybe we are at the start of adoption right now, and the real NFT bull run in 2022 will make 2021 look like a small mini pump. On the other hand, maybe this is the local peak since the hype is huge right now. But it seemed also huge back in March 2021, and the rest is history. In any case, I believe RKL has a bright future, whether in 2022 or 2023 – it is definitely a project you should keep on your radar.

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, what you think about Rumble Kong League – I am very curious to read your thoughts! 🙂

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