G2 Esports Team Launches Solana NFTs as Fan Passes

In short

  • Esports club G2 Esports will release Solana-based NFTs in February.
  • NFTs will provide exclusive access and benefits to holders.

Like many brands and celebrities, esports teams are starting to take an interest in NFT collectibles as a fan engagement tool. Sequel to Team Vitality recent partnership with Tezos, which includes NFT plans, G2 Esports has now joined the fray by launching NFTs on Solana.

G2 Samurai Army NFT will be hit using Solana Metaplex Protocol, and are inspired by the famous esports club’s samurai-themed logo. Each of the 6,262 total NFTs dropping in February features a randomly generated profile picture, but they also offer benefits to holders.

Samurai Army NFTs are also billed as a pass to G2 Esports’ exclusive membership initiative, with access to a social club with other users, interactions with professional esports players from G2, early access to future G2 NFT drops, and more. Additional potential benefits include chances to compete against esports professionals and travel to future competitions.

“We are creating a gamified social club for sweaty gamers, esports and NFT fans,” G2 Esports Founder and CEO Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez said in a statement.

According to a statement, Samurai Army’s partnership with Metaplex is a “long-term project” that will eventually expand to other formats including games, comics, music, and more.

G2 Esports previously announced an exclusive multi-year NFT partnership with Bondly in June 2021, although it doesn’t appear that the collectibles were actually released. Decrypt inquired with the team about the status of this partnership, but we did not immediately hear back.

An NFT acts as a receipt that proves ownership of a digital item and can apply to images, video files, etc. It can also be used as a club access pass, as with the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club, which provides exclusive access to a Discord server along with additional benefits, such as free subsequent NFTs, merchandise, live events, and more.

The NFT market has exploded since the beginning of last year, generating some $23 billion in transaction volume in 2021, according to data from DappRadar – an increase of around $100 million in 2020.

Ethereum is the leading platform for NFT collectibles, but Solana has become a popular alternative due to lower fees, faster transactions, and significantly lower power consumption. Solana’s NFTs, which have only been around for about six months, have already generated $1.2 billion in trading volume across more than 5.7 million NFTs from 85,000 projects, according to Metaplex.

The esports and crypto industries have crossed paths a number of times lately, including with major sponsorship deals. For example, cryptocurrency exchange FTX sponsored esports club Team SoloMid (TSM) in a 10-year, $210 million naming rights deal last year, then sponsored Riot Games’ League of Legends competitions at a seven-year covenant. TSM also revealed a collaboration with the Solana NFT Aurory game project in October.

Rival crypto exchange Coinbase has sponsored teams like Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid, as well, with tournament operator ESL. And while Tezos and Team Vitality did not disclose the terms of their recent agreement, it made Tezos the team’s “lead partner” and was billed as the biggest contract in the French club’s history.

G2 Esports, which competes in games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Rocket League, has other prior alliances in the broader block chain space. Besides the aforementioned Bondly deal, the team also brought in blockchain infrastructure company Hdac Technology as a sponsor in 2019.

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