The Australian Open is taking a swing at the metaverse with a pair of blockchain-related announcements on Thursday, becoming the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to do so.
The famed tourney is releasing a collection of 6,776 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that correspond to minuscule plots on the tournament court’s surface, along with a virtual event for the competition on the metaverse platform Decentraland.
Every winning shot from the tournament’s 600 matches will correspond to one of the collection’s NFTs. Owners will receive an airdrop with footage of the point, virtual wearables and Australian Open merch, according to a press release.
The data pulled to match the NFTs will come from the same electronic line-calling technology used to judge the matches’ in-game points.
“It’s probably gotten way too deep at this point,” the project’s lead Ridley Plummer told CoinDesk while describing how they designed each of the balls’ fuzz to be unique from one another. “But it’s what we signed up for.”
If the winning point happens to be in a championship match, the NFT owner will be delivered the physical ball in a custom engraved case. Court location for each NFT will be determined after the collection’s minting, which takes place on Jan. 13 for 0.067 ETH (roughly $350) apiece.