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The Gaming App That Wants You To Pay Up For Losing

Have you ever wanted to raise the stakes in a one-on-one match of your choice? How about a game were the loser has to pay up? A new app for gamers who live in the United States aims to do just that.

1v1Me is a new app where gamers can bet on their own skills in one-on-one games of Call of Duty or Fortnite. Founded in New York in 2020 by 26-year-old Anthony Geranio and Alex Emmanuel, 1v1Me launched on Monday, March 15, after raising more than $2 million from investors. The game is available on an invite-only basis, with the first invites going to content creators.


To bet on their game of choice, players will need to link their bank information and settle on an amount. The players will then stream their game on Twitch with 1v1Me acting as a sort of score keeper tracking the game's outcome. In an interview with SVG, Anthony Geranio explained that 1v1Me is also able to weigh in on any contested results and prevent cheating. Players can bet anywhere between $10 and $5,000 with 0 percent fees.

"The mission of the company is to help gamers make a living in esports for gaming more easy. I feel this is personal to me because I wasn't able to do it," Geranio said. "We want to make this place where it doesn't matter if you're funny or popular, it doesn't matter if you look great. The point is, if you're good at the game, you can grow."


Geranio, 26, had tried his hand at professional gaming himself when he was around 13 or 14 years old, playing at local LAN tournaments in his home state of New Jersey, but a career in gaming never quite took off. Wanting to be his own boss, Geranio decided to get into tech, but quickly realized he no longer had time for gaming between work his social life. 

Geranio and Emmanuel had been in talks to start their own business in 2020, but didn't know where to start — and then COVID-19 happened. During quarantine, Geranio and his friends started wagering money in online poker games, and then moved to betting on video game matches in Madden, FIFA, and Call of Duty, in their own private leagues. That's when he and Emmanuel saw their opportunity. 

"I know there are other platforms that do this, but they always charge fees," Geranio said. "We're just trying to simplify it into a trusted platform."

Geranio said that he thinks the next wave of content creators will be basing their programming around wagering and people watching others play for money. So far, streamers NoisyButters, LunchTime, VonniezuggZ, and RLaw have joined up with 1v1Me. The app is staying pretty exclusive to content creators for now, though there are about 11,000 people on the waitlist to join, Geranio said. Right now, gamers who are interested in wagering on 1v1Me can only get on board by asking for an invite code from one of the content creators using the app. 


For now, 1v1Me is only sticking with Call of Duty and Fortnite to keep the app focused, but Geranio "100 percent" plans to expand into additional games in the future.