Swoops, an NFT-based fantasy sports and strategy game that has been in development for nine months, has announced the launch of its Season Zero. This blockchain-based basketball simulation game aims to create a virtual basketball paradise for fans to operate and own. Swoops is built on Ethereum sidechain Polygon and it recently raised $3.5 million, led by Courtside Ventures and Alpaca VC. Other investors include Gary Vaynerchuk, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, Slow Ventures, and Red Beard Ventures.
Season Zero is the free-to-play beta phase of the game, which is accessible to all team and player owners. During this phase, users can learn about their roster before risking any money. In the future, users will be able to own virtual players, train and stake them, and enter contests with cash prizes. To play, users can choose from a pool of physical and skill-based attributes to create their teams, resulting in an infinite combination of unique players and teams. These teams can then be pitched against others, and using Swoops Simulator technology, a game is played, and a winner is chosen. Data and statistics are crucial components of gameplay, and it is powered by the proprietary Swoops Simulator 2.0.
According to CEO Manish Sinha, "Season Zero is our chance to learn, improve and most importantly, take in feedback from our users, who are as much a part of our world development as we are. Today, we’re focused on building the best possible game experience for our community of die-hard basketball fans; tomorrow is about growing Swoops into the biggest virtual basketball league in the industry."
In 2022, the team at Swoops released a first-of-its-kind NBA simulation game, which amassed 45,000 unique entries in just a few months. Shortly after the launch, the team released the first 1500 Swoopsters NFTs to the public, which sold out in under 35 minutes. The Swoops universe currently has 400 named players and 140 named teams. The stakes are very real in Swoops as players need to pay an ante to participate, and whoever wins Season Zero gets the jackpot. The game intends to move into Season One later this year, which will include expanded features.