top of page

OVI Esports - Apefest Special - Weeks 17 & 18 Digest

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Yuga Labs, Ape Coin DOA, Pudgy Penguins, Soulme, Secret Yacht Party - it has been an insane and intense couple of weeks for Phil, the OVI ecosystem, and its team.

The TLDR doesn’t do it justice, but we’ve included it for all who just want the bones.

  • Founder of OVI Esports Phil Watkins had a big presence at ApeFest Hong Kong, including a stealth launch of their new SocialFi platform Soulme at the Cosplay event. The launch was very successful.

  • Soulme aims to integrate SocialFi into the OVI Esports ecosystem to empower streamers with content ownership and monetization.

  • Phil attended multiple high-profile networking events, forging valuable connections with influencers, VCs, and key figures at; Yuga Labs, ApeCoin DAO, Pudgy Penguins, Animoca Brands and others.

  • While Phil networked, the OVI dev team continued pushing the platform build forward rapidly. Logins, and scalability, are done, Integrations are underway.

  • OVI graphics team finalizing high-quality 3D OVISaur avatars rather than just PFPs. Timeline pushed but a higher quality outcome.

  • GMGames newsletter continuing successfully as an Esports news source. More announcements coming.

  • Twitter Spaces, Discord, and collaborations continuing as well in OVI's social presence.

  • Very bullish time overall for OVI with the Soulme launch, connections made, and development velocity.

Now for the details you need to know.

Lets Start With Last Week: ApeFest Hong Kong

Last week was an absolute mammoth week for OVI Esports and web3 in general. The ApeFest event in Hong Kong was an industry highlight. In addition, a stealth launch event happened at the ApeFest - Cosplay event, much to everyone's excitement.

Phil made a commitment to video blog the entire Hong Kong trip for both OVI and BAYC community members who couldn't attend. These vlogs balanced out the disruption to OVI Esports' regular cadence of activities. The first vlog covered Phil and his journey from Perth, Australia to Hong Kong via Singapore. The initial Twitter video of Phil suited up in BAYC gear attracted interest from core Yuga Labs team members who started following Phil. It was an organic and thrilling way to kick things off before the big events in Hong Kong.

Surprise Launch: The Secret Build Up to Soulme’s Launch

Phil landed in Hong Kong at 6am and got to the hotel around 7am. Unknown to most people outside the OVI team, Phil had a big reason for attending ApeFest. For the past 60 days, a project team had been secretly building a business called Soulme - a SocialFi platform based on ZK Sync Era network and co-founded by Phil.

The big introduction and launch of Soulme happened at the ApeFest Cosplay event, sponsored by Chinese Ape Club and other organizations. Between 250-300 BAYC holders attended, with Phil as a keynote speaker. He gave a presentation on Soulme and the future of SocialFi. A launch campaign was held in the form of a giveaway draw where 200 people signed up and 150 converted.

The launch was packed with investors, community members, Chinese Ape Club, VCs from around the world - everyone we'd want connected to OVI and Soulme. It gave the perfect first impression of Phil and OVI Esports while kickstarting introductions and connections. The event was an awesome success, and this was only day one.

Successful Launch is Just the Start for Ambitious Soulme Platform

The launch of Soulme was a complete success, with only minor bugs and edge cases arising. The initial signups essentially served as test users that first week. The following seven days were spent ironing out bugs and stabilizing the product.

This process was crucial because social-fi platforms are the future. Integrating a social-fi platform into the OVI Esports ecosystem will empower streamers immensely. It will enable true monetization and ownership of content, gated communities for sharing and subscribing, and control over how content is monetized. Streamers can choose how to share, subscribe to, or monetize their content as they see fit. This level of control and empowerment will fuel tremendous growth.

Beyond Tournaments: OVI Ecosystem: Empowering Streamers Through Digital Assets and Social-Fi

OVI is beginning to showcase a much bigger picture and ecosystem than just Esports and a tournament platform. There is a broader vision beyond streaming and hosting capabilities coming later. OVI Esports encompasses digital assets, collectibles, and interchangeable traits that are still in development.

Connecting these dots reveals OVI's unique value proposition - why streamers and users would choose the OVI platform. It's not just the Esports and tournaments. By integrating digital assets, collectibles, social-fi engagement and ownership of content, the platform offers streamers and users levels of control, monetization, and community interaction they can't find elsewhere. The full breadth of the OVI ecosystem is what will set it apart.

Part of OVI's overall vision is integrating SocialFi into the Esports ecosystem as content creators and streamers move forward. With OVI Esports, we aim to be first-movers on the cutting edge - pioneering the integration and development of the social-fi economy in Esports.

It's an ambitious goal, but it ties back to advancing Esports. Soulme, as a standalone social-fi ecosystem, will act as one component of a greater digital sphere. The two platforms will complement each other harmoniously, whilst allowing each platform to run independently.

OVI Esports provides the core Esports infrastructure while Soulme offers social-fi capabilities to empower streamers. Together, they create a unified ecosystem where streamers can build communities, monetize content, and control their online presence. It's a synergistic relationship - Soulme enhances the value of OVI Esports while benefiting from its audience and content.

This integrated vision is what will set OVI apart as a forward-thinking leader in social-fi integration and revolutionizing the Esports streaming experience. The possibilities are expansive when these complementary platforms work in harmony.

Launching with a Bang: The Chinese Ape Club Cosplay Contest Giveaways Sets the Tone for Soulme Launch

The Cosplay event went really well with some fantastic giveaways that drove engagement. We distributed 1,000 Ape coins between 10 lucky participants. A $3,000 NFT luxury watch and a mutant ape worth $9,000 was also given away to event participants.

These prizes really motivated signups and adoption while allowing us to showcase Soulme. The giveaways enabled great conversations - many people approached Phil to connect and find out more about the Soulme platform.

Overall, it was a huge success that paved the way for the next 3-4 days of events in Hong Kong. The Cosplay event set the stage beautifully, driving interest and momentum right from the start. It was a thrill to kick things off by rewarding the community and seeing firsthand the excitement around Soulme.

Anchors Away: Casting Our Net on the Hyper Exclusive XCircle Cruise

After the Cosplay event, there was an amazing luxury cruise sponsored by XCircle - a blue chip NFT marketing agency. They invited influencers, exchanges owners, VCs and Soulme as a sponsor.

This was the secret Yacht Party that was shown on Phil’s timeline.

For six incredible hours, Phil networked nonstop with high-net-worth influencers, KOLs, VCs and exchange owners. He was shoulder-to-shoulder, developing relationships and discussing Soulme and OVI Esports.

The cruise enabled extremely fruitful conversations and connections in a relaxed setting. With so many key figures onboard, it was the perfect opportunity to discuss the platforms. Phil could organically mingle, answer questions and get people excited.

The relaxed, intimate cruise setting fostered deeper networking. In just six hours, Phil forged and strengthened relationships that would have taken months over standard channels. It was an extremely productive use of time and an amazing follow-up to further momentum from the cosplay event. We got to enjoy forming great connections while cruising along - a perfect combination!

Networking Nonstop: Forging Connections with Ape Coin DAO, Pudgy Penguins & Yuga Labs

Later that evening there it was time for Yuga Labs first key event. This was Yuga Labs' first happy hour at Aqua, a stunning venue on the 17th floor overlooking the water.

Sponsored also by Chinese Ape Club, this major Yuga Labs meetup drew attendees flying in from across the globe - holders, investors, founders. And of course, Phil was there. The networking was immense, with so many synergies, alignments, and opportunities to meet new faces. Despite the internet familiarity, it was great for Phil to finally meet some people behind the PFPs.

The awesome event lasted until 1am. An after-party led Phil onto a rooftop meet-up. Networking into the night with people from ApeCoin DAO, the ApeCoin Council, investors and more, who he had coincidentally met on day one.

Seeing the same people at these events was great - by day 2 or 3, it felt like meeting old friends. Continuous conversations about gaming, Esports, and future collaborations. People were excited when they heard about OVI Esports league platform and the potential to connect communities at a deeper level.

Overall, those first days were foundational, transforming online connections into strong relationships. The nonstop networking formed bonds that will catalyze future partnerships and benefit OVI.

Harboring Connections: The Magic of the Yuga ApeFest Main Event

The next afternoon was the main ApeFest event held by Yuga Labs. An absolutely magical day down at the harbor with stunning city and water views. The venue showcased everything Yuga is involved in.

BMW was on display with a luxury vehicle about to make history with 200 Apes being applied to the car exterior. There was free food and drinks from around the world, including beer and vodka brands made by Apes and sponsored by Yuga. Merch giveaways and purchasing were available, along with a suite of 40 high-end PCs for testing the new Otherside metaverse game - it was absolutely massive.

As food and drinks flowed, Phil networked with even more people. Over the three days, his Twitter following had organically grown by 200 legitimate, engaged followers and personal connections - many influential board ape holders looking to connect. Phil's continued video blogging let people enjoy the events remotely. It provided great exposure and reinforced those personal connections.

The Ape mentality of "made by apes" is about more than just products - it's a mindset of community building value together in diverse ways. That spirit was tangibly felt at the event and will catalyze collaborations long-term. The in-person bonds formed will truly enable the next phase of what this community can build.

OVI Full Steam Ahead: Development Advances While Phil’s Out Networking

Now, back to OVI Esports - our amazing professional team knows exactly what they're doing. While Phil was away, they cracked on pushing the build forward across all aspects with great autonomy.

On the development front, the platform is coming together impressively. We have a functioning platform taking shape - logins, single sign-on, and authentication are handled. The team is now connecting it to backend datasets, enabling scalability.

The league platform is also developing nicely. Streaming and hosting features will come later; in the interim, our platform can integrate with TWITCH and KICK at launch.

We have several partners lined up and ready to use the OVI tournament platform, with announcements coming once the MVP is complete.

It's exciting to see the platform take shape rapidly, from logins to scalability to integrations. Our development velocity reflects the team's alignment and autonomy in pushing toward launch.

OVI Graphics and Design Update: Going the Extra Mile on Core Elements.

On the graphics front, Shadow and Jezza Jen are finalizing the OVISaurs skin textures, colorings, patterns, and traits - they are 99% complete, which is amazing. The ladies have optimized their process to work more efficiently.

Timeframe-wise, things are pushed out a bit because we've gone the extra mile - turning the OVISaurs into fully 3D avatars rather than just side-profile PFPs. It's a huge difference and requires more time, but it's absolutely worth it to do it right from the start.

This extended timeline actually lines up well with our development pipeline - the graphics and platform will come together simultaneously. We'd rather take a bit more time to do it properly than half-ass it. Right now, things are extremely bullish and exciting with what's being built.

Even with Phil away, progress marched forward because our driven team understands the end goal. The alignment between our graphics team and developers reflects our shared commitment to quality. By refusing to cut corners on these foundational elements, we are setting up OVI for long-term success. continues to deliver and there was no disruption in the regular cadence for the last couple of weeks. The newsletter continues to provide value to everyone who is interested in Esports and wants to keep up to date with the latest news, trends and insights. It has been running for 7 weeks, and the 8th edition will be released this coming Wednesday. There are bigger plans for GMGames and an announcement is just around the corner. As always, we build first, bring it to market, make the announcement, and then iterate to improve on the product and service. Watch this space!

Twitter Spaces, Round Table, Discord and Collabs

Our regular Twitter schedule took a hit with the planning and trip for ApeFest Hong Kong. Still, we managed to host a session with Marcello, CEO of Commun3ra, Doug HYPE of HYPE TV, and our old friend Kagedo. "In Gaming Communities" was the main discussion, with a giveaway for those who tuned in. Last week, our Twitter space focused on Barriers to Entry in Web3 - it was a great session, and OVI Esports has already implemented many of the suggestions raised.

On Discord, our Community Lead Jana has nicely organized the server, and another tournament is in the works - keep an eye on our socials for the latest announcements.

With ApeFest over and the Soulme MVP launched, collaborations will be developed in the coming weeks.

It's an extremely bullish time for OVI Esports. The synergy we can adopt with SocialFi platforms like Soulme is immense. Soulme's stealth development and successful launch is a testament to all involved. The product interest shown is extremely bullish for both platforms and the wider digital sphere.

LFG! Normal Service (& Cadence) Resumed.

JOIN US: Twitter:

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page
My Example