To-The-Death: The Most High Stakes Tournament Mode in Web3 Gaming

The Red Village is about to release the most innovative and exciting game mode in web3 gaming. Playing is the ultimate test of a Battlemaster and their Champions. Do you dare?

The Red Village
7 min readJun 23, 2022

A tale is told of centuries old,
Of Champions duelling for prestige and gold,
Battlemasters named their price,
And one returned with the other’s life…

Several hooded Battlemasters sit in a darkened corner of a dusty tavern, tattered lengths of cloth draped across their hunched shoulders. A small candle sits centered on the heavy wooden table, the flame flickering weakly, struggling to stay alive. It as if the room itself is trying to strangle the light; the oxygen being sucked out by some foreboding force, hovering in the periphery. It is quiet, save their hushed voices, as they huddle nervously around a dirty scrap of handwritten parchment, sealed in the top left corner with the unmistakeable mark of the Blood Queen.

There have been whispers lately, whispers which echo down the cobbled streets of the village and bounce off of shuttered windows before floating away on the cold breeze; whispers of the return of the bloodiest of all Tournaments; To-The-Death matches. The decree which the Battlemasters hold in the dimly-lit tavern seems to confirm the rumours, and they know that it will change the village, and their lives, forever.

The lost art of the Death match has been revived by the Blood Queen, who grows stronger and more insatiable by the day. Unseen within the village walls for time immemorial, Death matches are not just for gold and riches; they also have a far more devastating outcome — Battlemasters can fight to keep each other’s Champions.

To-The-Death matches were outlawed centuries ago, as Battlemasters grew ever-more bold and daring, provoking each other to increasingly wicked challenges. Blood had regularly left the Tournament arenas and taken hold of the Battlemasters themselves, spilling over into the marketplaces, taverns, and even streets of the village itself; but the Queen is no fool — she needs Battlemasters to manage the legions of Champions existing within her village walls, and so she banned them by royal decree. A dead Battlemaster is no use to her.

Now, however, she is stronger than ever, and bringing Death matches back — her proclamation, discussed with fervour at the tavern, outlines the rules of engagement….

What is a To-The-Death match?

A To-The-Death match is a direct challenge between two Battlemasters, and involves two individual Champions. To-The-Death matches, also known as 1v1s or ‘Play-For-Keeps’ are the most high-stakes game mode within The Red Village. These are not for the faint of heart. In a normal Tournament, players compete for a share of the Tournament pot; with 70% going to first place and 27.5% going to second place.

In a To-The-Death match, players directly challenge each other, setting their own terms — these may be purely monetary, or they may be far more uncompromising; Battlemasters can choose to challenge each other for the ownership of each other’s Champions. In other words, the losing player not only takes a hit to their pride and reputation, but also permanently loses their Champion, who is now owned by their opponent.

True degens know

There are two key terms in this game mode: Challenger, and Opponent. A Challenger is the player who issues the 1v1 challenge; the Opponent is the player who receives the 1v1 challenge.

Why are Death Matches Being Introduced?

There comes a time in every Battlemaster’s career where the desire to prove their strength, the deadliness of their Champions, and the power of their Barracks, becomes overwhelming. Death Matches are the most exciting, high stakes, and vibrant form of game mode that exists within The Red Village; and they let Battlemasters truly prove, once and for all, who rules the roost.

‘Playing-For-Keeps’ for an opponent’s NFTs is groundbreaking and almost unprecedented in the world of Web3. Not only are these matches fun, but they are an opportunity for us as a game developer to showcase our technical prowess and demonstrate our commitment to innovation in The Red Village ecosystem.

They are just the first of many new and exceptional game modes that are designed to invigorate the community, engage our players, and provide exciting and rewarding gameplay for both existing and new users. These future game modes include, but are not limited to, the introduction of Seasons, Summoning (Breeding), and, eventually, player-controlled Tournaments.

Death matches will encourage Blood, and give Battlemasters an avenue to back up their braggadocio and boasts on social platforms such as Twitter and within the Discord general chat (known as gen-chat within the Community), as well as in future real-life TRV meet ups. After all, what’s more exciting than racing for slips? If you talk the talk, as they say, do you walk the walk, too?

If you aren’t first, you’re last

Important Note:

It is important to note that when we launch this game mode, To-The-Death is very much in testing — there will initially be strong caps on how many fights can run and how frequently, as we stress test our infrastructure and the incredibly complex smart contracts that underpin this groundbreaking game mode. As you might imagine, taking NFTs and changing ownership is a very delicate task which must be managed with extreme finesse and care.

As with Tournaments, there will be significant upgrades rolled out to the User Interface (UI), animations, character models, and overall User Experience (UX) over the coming weeks and months — and the first playable version that goes live on Monday, ET, will be by no means final.

What Choices can a Battlemaster Make?

As the Challenger in a Death match, Battlemasters choose the location (any of the many maps available for Tournaments), how many Rounds are played (i.e best of one, best of three, or best of five), their own monetary offering, their opponent’s monetary offering, and, importantly, if they would like to Play-For-Keeps.

Play-For-Keeps is no joke.

As the Opponent in a Death match, players must carefully review the Challenger’s terms, and then decide if they would like to Accept or Decline the fight. Remembering, of course, that if the match is Play-For-Keeps, the winner will literally keep the other’s Champion. This is not reversible.

How Much Does a To-The-Death Match Cost?

There is initially a small fee of $10USD to host a Death match, which both the Challenger and the Opponent pay. This fee is purely to disincentivise Battlemasters from repeatedly fighting their Champions against each other as a form of rapid discovery, and will be reinvested into The Red Village Community Chest and ecosystem for activities such as topping-up Tournament pools. Players are also unable to match Champions against each other from within the same wallet, for the same reason; as a disincentive to rapidly discovering a Champion’s preferred stance and fighting attributes.

Do Death Matches Impact a Champion’s Class System or ELO Score?

No. Death Matches have no impact on a Champion’s Tournament history, Class System, or ELO score.

FAQs: What Are the Main Restrictions on Entering Death Matches?

Due to the nature of Death matches, including the way that ownership of Champions (NFTs) is transferred between winning and losing players, there are some restrictions in place around offers that can be sent, accepted, and received.

  • Players can have either a Play-For-Keeps challenge OR a WETH-Only challenge live at any one time for a given Champion, but not both. However, a given challenge can be both WETH AND For-Keeps
  • Players can have as many WETH-Only challenges live as they want for a Champion, but while these are waiting to be accepted or declined, they cannot send out a Play-For-Keeps challenge
  • If a player has a Play-For-Keeps offer pending (either as a Challenger or an Opponent), they cannot issue any WETH-Only challenges
  • If a Champion is signed up for a standard Tournament, it cannot receive or issue any Play-For-Keeps challenges until the Tournament is completed, but they can receive or issue WETH-Only challenges over that period
You’re on

Let the Mayhem Ensue

Death Matches are high stakes, fast-paced; they are the ultimate proving ground. They are certainly not for the faint-of-heart — but living and playing in The Red Village is not for the faint-of-heart to begin with.

The Blood Queen demands sacrifice, and as a village we are ready to provide it.

To kick things off — and while we build out a brand new Championship-style Tournament for our inaugural Blood Portal Cup — we will be hosting a Death Cup, beginning next week. The Death Cup will feature topped-up pots and Easter Egg rewards specifically targeted at Battlemasters who are brave enough to compete in this brand new fight format and achieve certain milestones.

We will also be rolling out a brand new smart contract — complete with an additional class; Immortal, and a move to an ELO-based ranking system. Lots of upgrades to come shortly which will improve the vitality and quality-of-life for our players.

For a step-by-step walk-through on how to play The Red Village, see our Player’s Guide or join our Discord.




The Red Village

Dark-fantasy Play-and-Earn Blockchain Game. A Multiplayer Bloodsport Fighting Tournament with NFT Champions and an immersive ecosystem