The Australian Open (AO) 2022 is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to venture into the metaverse, hosting a virtual event on Decentraland beginning on January 17th. Fans from all over the world can now attend the AO from the comfort of their couch in the metaverse for a fortnight, avoiding the inconveniences of Covid-19. They will be able to enter the main stadium, Rod Laver Arena, explore the surroundings, and watch tennis matches.
The event is made possible through a collaboration between Decentraland and Tennis Australia, Australia’s regulatory organization for tennis.
“We want the AO to be the most accessible and inclusive sports and entertainment event in the world.” “Because of the particular problems fans faced in traveling to Melbourne, we’ve accelerated our introduction into the Metaverse,” explains Ridley Plummer, Tennis Australia’s NFT and metaverse project manager.
The Australian Open has begun in the metaverse. There’s a lot planned for virtual audiences, including some exclusive content. On Day-1, Decentraland users could watch live behind-the-scenes footage from over 300 cameras located throughout Melbourne Park, such as the players’ arrival area and the practice village, as well as archival film from prior matches.
Aside from this, player drop-ins, P2E games where winners can earn NFT drops, and Trophy AO Classic match replay were some of the day’s highlights. Legendary tennis players will also attend the event in the coming days.
Plummer affirms that Tennis Australia will be present in the metaverse for the foreseeable future:
“The metaverse isn’t going away, and as a company, we’re committed to expanding our online presence and pushing the bounds of innovation.”