The owner of the Brooklyn Nets is among the investors in a seed round of a startup coming to market with a “Virtual Basketball Association” crypto-based game tipped as the next generation of fantasy sports.
Fast Break Labs says its inaugural VBA draft of “digital collectable players” will begin in March for 2,000 general managers in the platform’s early alpha.
The fictional players exist as NFTs on the Solana blockchain, with each possessing unique attributes and skill levels. The game allows basketball fans to assemble their own virtual teams and compete for rewards via simulated games.
“We’re setting out to create a sports game that offers all basketball fans an opportunity to have a true ownership experience,” said Charles Du, chief executive of San Francisco-based Fast Break Labs.
“While we’re primarily focused on creating a new and fun experience, it was also really important to us to give power back to gamers by allowing them to shape the direction of the game and accrue the economic benefits.”
The US$6 million seed round was co-led by early-stage venture firm Patron and blockchain-focused fund Pantera Capital. Along with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai’s family office, other investors included Collab+Currency, Solana Ventures, South Park Commons, Riot Games co-founder Marc Merill, Sacramento Kings co-owner Aneel Ranadive, and others.
“The intersection of crypto, games and sports presents an incredible amount of potential,” said Brian Cho, co-founder of Patron.
“Pantera is proud to support Fast Break Labs and its vision to democratize the ownership, control and economics of sports gaming,” said Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera Capital.
“As a fantasy sports enthusiast myself, I am excited to see this group continue to elevate engagement across the intersection of collectibles, sports, and gaming on the blockchain.”
VBA says that fans can mint a “player pack NFT” during its NFT sale in late March. The project plans to release a playable alpha on web in May, with a mobile game by the end of the year.
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