An Axie Infinity tournament is coming to ZenSports next Saturday. The exciting Axie Infinity: Battle of the Guilds event will see 64 players battle it out for a number of prizes worth a total value of 5,000 USDT and 5 million SPORTS tokens.

This could be a big event for ICON. Axie Infinity, the world’s third-largest NFT platform, revealed this week that their proprietary game NFT collection has become the first-ever to pass $4 billion in sales — that’s double the all-time sales of the CryptoPunks NFT collection. Although ZenSports does not allow betting on the esports tournaments they run in their app, their sports betting platform is built on ICON and bets on other sports and esports can be placed in ICX (as well as fiat and other crypto options).

ZenSports CEO Mark Thomas told The Iconist that the Axie Infinity tournament “is a huge deal for ZenSports as Axie Infinity has 2.7 million monthly active players and is one of the largest blockchain games in the world. We’re thrilled to have their permission to host Axie Infinity tournaments within the ZenSports app, and are confident that this will be the first of many successful Axie tournaments that we’ll be hosting in ZenSports.”

Esports betting has become increasingly popular on ZenSports since they added it to their offerings two years ago — so much so that the platform now hosts a regular esports podcast and supports a number of esports titles, including big names such as League of Legends, FIFA and Overwatch. ZenSports has also been hosting esports tournaments on their app for the past year, with most tournaments thus far being for Splinterlands, a blockchain card-trading game that saw tremendous growth in 2021 and has over 600,000 monthly active players.

Deets on the Axie Tourney

Interested in checking out the Axie Infinity tournament? Here are the important details:

  • Date & Time: March 5th, 2022 @ 8:00 PM EST
  • Where: The tournament will be held directly in the ZenSports app. Organization will take place in the ZenSports Discord.
  • Players: Eight guilds will submit eight players each (for a total of 64 players)
  • Tournament format: Single-elimination, bracket-style tournament in the ZenSports app.
  • Prizes: 5,000 USDT + 5,000,000 SPORTS Tokens. Specific prize pool breakdowns can be found in the ZenSports app.
  • Sponsor: EMP Money
  • Streams: Twitch, Theta and Facebook, along with Axie content creator hosts.

The tournament is placing a special focus on — you guessed it — guilds, a significant part of the Axie Infinity ecosystem. Six participating guilds have already been announced: SuperWhale, Axie Academy, Generation Axie, Axie School of Scholars, Yield Guild Games, and Swordfish Guild. The last two guilds have not yet been picked — if you’re in an Axie guild, sign up here to apply.

And yes, as this is a single-elimination bracket-style tournament, guild members may end up playing each other. It’s all part of the fun!

About the Axie Infinity NFT Game

Developed in Vietnam by Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity is an NFT-based game in which players collect, breed, trade and battle teams of “Axies”, which are cute NFT-digitized characters based on axolotl. Combat uses cards to resolve attacks, making gameplay somewhat resembles a cross between Pokemon and Hearthstone.

Axies can be bought and sold on the market like other NFTs — three Axies must be bought just to start playing the game, costing a bare minimum of US$87 at the time of writing. Players are further rewarded with “Smooth Love Potions” (or SLPs) which can be invested back into the game’s virtual world Lunacia or exchanged for crypto or cash.

The most expensive Axie ever sold was worth 369 ETH, or US$819 thousand at the time of sale in July last year.

In order to help poorer players get started, Axie owners often rent their Axies out, taking a cut of earnings as payment — sometimes as high as 30 to 40 percent. In these business arrangements, Axie owners are referred to as ‘Managers’ and renters as ‘Scholars’. Scholars will typically rent Axies until they have earned enough money in-game to buy their own, and thus the cycle continues.

Many Axie Infinity guilds are focused around bootstrapping and mentoring Scholars — the aforementioned Yield Guild Games, for example, manages a roster of around 8 thousand Scholars and a waiting list of around 60 thousand.

With around 35% of Axie Infinity players coming from the Philippines — where many rely on the game as an important source of income — Scholarship guilds have become an important part of the Web3 economy, helping to create opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged.

Axie Infinity is also building a Metaverse platform, with the company now offering up virtual plots of land to prospective buyers. One such “Genesis Plot” sold in November, 2021 for 550 ETH — that’s approximately US$2.3 million — making it the single most expensive plot sold on the Axie Infinity platform to date.

In Other ZenSports News…

ZenSports has also made a number of other news announcements in recent months. 

Notably, they will be launching an NFT collection in March as part of a new metaverse initiative they’re calling ‘ZenSportsia’, with a goal of selling between US$2.5 – $3 million worth of NFTs. Next month will also see the launch of a new ZenSports betting app in Nevada.

The company has also just started selling tournament sponsorships. While monthly sponsorship revenue is still small, ZenSports CEO Mark Thomas estimates they can grow it to US$150 thousand per month in monthly recurring revenue by the end of 2022.