Australian Open Announces Its NFT Collection And A Decentraland-based Virtual Event

The Open’s organizers made an announcement this Thursday, January 6th, revealing that the event is releasing an NFT collection of 6,776 unique tokens that will correspond to the minuscule plots on the court’s surface. The court location for every non-fungible token will be determined after the collection’s minting.

The announcement also revealed that the tournament will hold a virtual event on the metaverse platform Decentraland, inviting users from all over the world to join.

The introduction of tennis NFTs

The Australian Open decided to make this year’s tournament more interesting and rewarding for fans through the introduction of NFTs. Every winning shot from 600 individual matches will correspond to one NFT from the collection. The token’s owners will receive an airdrop of the footage showing how the point was made, plus something extra — virtual wearables and Australian Open merchandise.

The tournament will use electronic line-calling technology in order to pull the data to match the NFTs. This is the same technology used for judging the in-game points.

The project’s lead, Ridley Plummer, also noted that the fuzz of each ball is different, and there will be no two balls alike during the entire tournament. Plummer added that “It’s probably gotten way too deep at this point, but it’s what we signed up for.”

Lastly, the winning points that take place during the championship match will reward the NFT owners with the physical ball in a custom engraved case. The minting itself will take place on January 13th, for $350 or 0.067 ETH per piece.

Australian Open enters the metaverse

The tournament has created a virtual event within Decentraland’s metaverse, using Decentraland’s virtual reality to organize a party that will run throughout the tournament, starting on January 17th.

Those who join the virtual version of the Grand Slam will have a chance to win digital prizes in exchange for solving fairly simple challenges. Any fan can join and, as Plummer said it, experience “a warm Australian summer vibe through the computer screen.” He added that this will not be the last virtual event that the tournament will host.

Turning to the metaverse is not surprising given that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent in-person gatherings. So far, there have been numerous other events that were organized in a virtual environment because of this. For example: the owner of One Times Square decided to throw a New Year’s party in Decentraland’s metaverse.

The Australian Open prides itself on being one of the most innovative and entertaining events around the world. Plummer added that the event is just as much a festival of entertainment as a tennis tournament. In fact, there are people who spend over eight or nine hours at the Australian Open without seeing a single tennis ball.

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