TNNS Pro Aims to Help Athletes Through Virtual Reality and NFTs (Interview)
The world is going digital, and there’s no denying it. Over the past decade, much of our social interaction has shifted to online social mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatnot. And just as this was a major paradigm shift, perhaps the next one to follow will be the metaverse.
This concept has been thrown around a lot lately, especially as Facebook rebranded to Meta in a massive push towards its adoption. However, it encompasses more than one would imagine, and eSports are likely to be one of the fields that will see massive traction.
Just as we’re currently having a lot of our interactions online, this medium can also provide a better future for sports and athletes.
This is what TNNS Pro is working on, creating a mixed reality domain merging the real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations. In this domain, digital objects and athletes co-exist and interact in real-time.
CryptoPotato interviewed the CEO of TNNS Pro – Tsolak Gevorkian – a former professional tennis player and member of the Armenian Davis Cup team.
Can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background?
“I was born in Armenia and started playing tennis at age of 5. When I turned 7, I began traveling to Russia to play in events. I played in tennis tournaments all across Europe and then moved to the United States at the age of 16. I lived with an incredible host family – the Mansourians – who helped with all kinds of things, from assisting with my education, teaching me American culture, and much more.
When I got an 85% tennis scholarship to Arizona State University, the Mansourians paid for the rest of my education. I eventually transferred to Boise State, where I was the #2 ranked NCAA Division 1 player in the entire nation.
I graduated from Boise State with a marketing degree and then played on the professional ATP Tour and represented Armenia on the Davis Cup team. At a business summit a few years ago, I met longtime financial and blockchain expert Nicholas Williams. We were both seeking funding at the time and started to enjoy a great collaborative working relationship.
When Nick and I began discussing what was going on in sports, we decided that we could use blockchain technology to tackle important issues across the globe, such as pay inequity and the lack of technologically literate athletes.”
How did you come to the idea of pinning sports and technology together?
“I have been involved with blockchain technology for 4 years, helping brands protect against counterfeits and supply chain issues.
I came up with the idea when I saw articles on Tennis players struggling with sponsorships. One article, in particular, was about a tennis athlete who had won an event but still only could afford a cup of coffee after paying for all his expenses to that tournament.
I needed to help, and that is when we created TNNS Pro (TNNS).”
Why blockchain? What was the reason for building your platform on the blockchain?
“The nature of the public ledger is that the data within the blockchain is fully encrypted and protected, meaning that no single party has the power to manipulate the information within, making the technology ideal for startups to leverage.
We also see this can be applied in the world of gaming and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The goal of our marketplace is to offer a genuinely safe space for gamers to conduct transactions in confidence, all generated through immutable blockchain technology.”
Why did you choose the Binance Smart Chain?
“We chose BSC as our starting network as the fees were low for transfers and generating NFTs. But we will be building bridges to Solana and other networks so we can take advantage of their features.”
What sports will the platform focus on?
“To start, my main focus was on Tennis, but as we spoke to more athletes, we learned that there is a huge problem with sponsorship across all sports. We are looking to help athletes across all sports, but of course, tennis is a big part of my life, so that will always be my major concern.”
Do users need any type of special equipment to participate in tournaments and/or other activities on the platform?
“With the VR esport play-to-earn games we are developing, they will just need a VR headset. We are developing VR play-to-earn games starting with tennis and then Fortnite-style games where players can compete against 100-500 others in winner-takes-all tournaments.”
Can you tell us what is it that you’re most excited about in the short-term future?
“This year is a big year for us as we have a lot of TNNS projects that will be completed, and we are starting to develop our own VR metaverse land. We will be auctioning land within our NFT site and creating a total VR experience from play-to-earn gaming to VR events, purchasing land and buildings for virtual living.”