KEY POINTS

  • Win trading is an unfair in-game practice rampant in the play-to-earn video game
  • Gamers at the top of the leaderboard receive a governance token called $AXS
  • Around 30,000 "Axie Infinity" players were banned in September

Sky Mavis' "Axie Infinity" on Wednesday confirmed they were looking into an unfair in-game practice known as win-trading, following the complaints of many avid gamers online. The official Twitter account of "Axie Infinity" stated, "We are looking into a case involving a player throwing a match to facilitate a leaderboard climb."

"Axie Infinity" is an NFT-based play-to-earn online video game with Pokemon-like format and a familiar visual style that grabbed gamers' attention in the beginning. But what added to its popularity in the gaming community was the fact that players can earn rewards in the form of tokens, which can be exchanged for real money.

Unfortunately, just like any other video game, many gamers are tempted to abuse or exploit the system, causing developers to ban thousands of gamers.

It appears that despite the security measures deployed in-game to ensure a fair environment for competitive players, win trading is quite rampant in "Axie Infinity." Several players took to Twitter to highlight how often they observe win trading in the game. "Just watched taxton stream and 2 people just win traded to him so he can reach rank 1. WTF," reported 1437_MT.

Another Twitter user named n1ck_aa called out the game's dev and said, "Wintrading should be punished with a ban, especially here, hundreds of players are working hard to place high and get great AXS rewards from the arena.  I don’t understand how people can defend him here and don’t see this as cheating lol. @AxieInfinity please do something against it."

Origin VFX Leek! The team is putting work into adding some graphical special effects to Axie battles. Take a look! Photo: Axie Infinity Official YouTube Channel

One gamer believes if this practice is allowed, "it would be a dangerous predicate for the community to abuse win trading. This will ruin the competitive integrity of the game. The leader board will be illusory and would be unfair to the people who grind their MMR in the LEGITIMATE way. + axs rewards are ~."

In the video gaming world, win trading comes in various forms or methods where gamers manipulate the matchmaking queues to end up on the opposing team so they could fix the results of the match. For instance, a player queues for a match with friends in various lobbies to increase the chances of getting matched against each other, after which one of them will throw the game so the other player could increase their matchmaking rating, or MMR.

Apparently, win trading is practiced by games on the top part of the leaderboard to raise their MMR. This frustrates a lot of players considering that the top 1000 players on the "Axie Infinity" leaderboard receive Axie Infinity Shards, or $AXS.

In the game, $AXS is a governance token which can be likened to holding shares of a company. These $AXS holders have the ability to vote and propose anything related to the game's platform.

Following many gamers voicing their disgust over the the malpractice going unchecked, Sky Mavis acknowledged that win trading strategy is currently taking place in the game's leaderboard.

Players simply want Sky Mavis to look into the issue, take action, or regulate those practicing win trading. Sky Mavs Program Lead Andrew Campbell expressed the company's stand on the issue and noted that Sky Mavis takes competitive integrity very seriously.

It is also worth noting that win trading is not exclusive to "Axie Infinity."

The practice is also observed in other games and developers have a hard time totally eradicating it. But, there are strict actions that developers can do to cut down the practice or at least make those who plan to engage in it think twice.

In September, "Axie Infinity" executed a ban wave, which affected around 30,000 Axies. The said move was due to players abusing the game's energy system.