NFT: Wawrinka’s surprising tennis game on Web3

Its clay courts are famous all over the world, but this week Roland-Garros isn’t the only tournament that counts on the Tennis planet. The virtual battles organized by champion Stanislas Wawrinka also keep his attention. “Stan the Man” actually recently fell into the so -called Web3, with the launch of a game supported by NFTs by digital tennis players. Despite these scary acronyms for the average person, the operation of this game called Ballman Project is very simple to understand.

When they purchase NFT, Internet users will receive a digital certificate of ownership linked, here, to a type of Panini card. Then they discovered the name of their virtual player and especially its characteristics. Technical level, power, mental …, each tennis player shows a unique combination of parameters. Some cards are stronger than others, but nothing is set in stone: training your child helps him or her thrive. No big effort to put in for this, remember: just connect to the site and click on the suggested sessions (backhand or forehand, thirty minutes or two hours, etc.).

Hardworking coaches can see their protégé progress faster than those who just log on every other day. But be careful not to overload the tennis player’s days, otherwise his “form” will collapse, reducing his chances of winning. Random variables, however, maintain suspense: even a poorly rated player has a low probability of winning. A concept that attracts many tennis lovers: the 6,200 NFT Ballman is sold like hot cakes, while their starting price is 0.1 to 0.3 ether (from 200 to 575 euros).

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And this is not surprising because the Ballman Project has some clear limitations. Although recent video games show stunning graphic realism, the “Stan” project currently doesn’t offer any animated sequences. So don’t expect to admire the angry exchange of balls: you have to be content during the “battles” to watch the updates of the scores on the ranking tables. Suffice it to say that at the moment we are closer to the Excel presentation than Zuckerberg’s metaverse dream.

The great rewards of virtual contests

Despite their initial traps, Ballman Project and other Web3 games arouse curiosity because they offer a different model than traditional games. Here, customers no longer buy a copy, but the components of the game itself (characters, plots …). “And we often consult with them to decide on the next game development”, underlined Prosper Masquelier, CEO of Gameback, who manages the technical development of the Ballman game.

While a Nintendo will never let its Mario and Zelda woo the snipers and killer whales of an Activision, the creators of Web3 games dream of interacting their characters with nearby games . Their economic approach is also innovative. In a classic game, you can buy virtual bonuses (swords, potions, etc.), but rarely convert them back into cold hard cash. On Web3, it is possible to resell your character after it is improved, or make money thanks to your exploits. Ballman winners of virtual tournaments to be launched from the end of June will receive rewards of up to 50 ether. This is called a game play-to-earn (Play to win).

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However, you have to keep a cool head in this virtual Wild West: not all projects are solid, or even straightforward. Not because Filipinos sometimes pocket more money in the Web3 game Axie Infinity that by working that the majority of Internet users tomorrow will earn their livelihood by killing digital dragons. Especially in this era when the crypto and NFT market is going through a very difficult time. “You shouldn’t buy NFT characters to make money, but to have a fun experience,” confirms Jean-Christophe Liaubet, partner at Fabernovel. Wawrinka’s game allows you to dream of becoming a tennis champion without sweating. And that’s not a bad thing at all.


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