Decentraland Welcomes the Australian Open to its Metaverse

A virtual reproduction of Melbourne Park, featuring the Rod Laver Arena and Grand Slam Park, would be available throughout the Australian Open event. The AO would be the initial official tennis championship in the Metaverse, thanks to a partnership between Tennis Australia and Decentraland.

Decentraland Welcoming Australian Open to Metaverse

Throughout the Australian Open, which begins on 17th January and runs for a fortnight, a virtual replica of essential places in Melbourne Park, like the Rod Laver Arena and Grand Slam Park, would be available. Virtual visitors would be capable of seeing behind-the-scenes video from roughly three-hundred cameras located across Melbourne Park, encompassing its exclusive player’s reception section and the practicing camp. 

It would stream live stream and AO radio, and also old footage from tennis tournaments that dates back to the 1970s and virtual conferences with tennis professionals like Mark Philippoussis and others to be announced. Inside a virtual welcoming message on Decentraland, Ridley Plummer expressed his desire for the AO to become the globe’s most inclusive and accessible sporting and media event.

Plummer has accelerated our debut into the Metaverse due to the specific hurdles people have encountered traveling to Melbourne. Bringing the AO to the Metaverse is a critical step toward providing worldwide access to our fantastic event.

This is particularly important considering the COVID-19 outbreak, making it highly impossible for several supporters to get to Melbourne to see the festival in person. The 2021 AO encountered various obstacles, like record-low on-site audience numbers and lockdown constraints.

Notwithstanding the partnership’s opportune announcement in light of the epidemic, Plummer said the AO intends to work with Decentraland in the long run. He stated We are in it for the long haul. The Metaverse isn’t going away, and as a business, we are committed to expanding our internet presence and pushing the frontiers of what’s possible.

According to him, Tennis Australia is also looking into the prospect of the year-round properties in the Metaverse. We see ourselves as more of an event for entertainment than one for tennis. Regardless of who’s providing entertainment through the Metaverse throughout the year or just some months, that’s a choice that will be addressed in the future roadmap.

The Australian Open Signs a Lucrative NFT Deal

However, the AO declared on 17th January that it’d collaborate with NFT marketplace Sweet for issuing 6 NFT collections honoring the AO’s past fifty years. The collections would be issued in stages throughout 17th and 27th January to correspond with the competition.

The NFT launch provides an unprecedented degree of accessibility for fans to have a peek inside the realm of their idols, according to Tom Mizzone. He continued saying that they appreciate the idea to turn the IP into electronic memorabilia and bring that memorabilia directly to an event. Incredibly, the AO created an umpire seat that wasn’t ever witnessed before, and currently, tennis fans are capable of owning and showing it off as an NFT.

Additionally, on 12th January, the AO released a set of 6,776 programmatically made “Art Ball” NFTs on the Opensea. Plummer claims that the collection got sold out within 3 minutes after the public launch, featuring a price floor of 0.26 ETH (about $875) as well as a trades volume of 223 ETH ($751,287).

It’s not the very first time the AO has ventured into the Metaverse. The Fortnite Summer Smash, an esports tournament with a $100K prize pool, was held at the AO in 2020. Tennis Australia had acquired the digital property from Vegas City, which owns huge portions of the Metaverse. 

The AO has now seen its dose of drama, with Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s appeal against a deportation order being dismissed by an Australian judge. Djokovic has been a vocal opponent of the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that the Australian government exempted him from getting into the country regardless of his lack of vaccination.

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