The play-off of the Erste Bank Virtual Open takes place from October 2nd to 22nd, with the final on October 27th live at Heumarkt.
LAOLA1, in cooperation with e|motion, VR Motion-Learning GmbH, the visionary developer of Tennis Esports, and the Austrian Tennis Association (ÖTV), is conducting the first virtual reality tennis tournament in Europe as part of the Erste Bank Open 2023. After the resounding successes in the USA and Canada, LAOLA1 is bringing the first VR tennis tournament to Europe as host, the Erste Bank Virtual Open. The games will be played on the VR app “TENNIS ESPORTS” from the award-winning Austrian game developer VR Motion-Learning. The virtual playoffs will take place from October 2nd to 22nd. The final will take place live on October 27th at Heumarkt as part of the Erste Bank Open. There are numerous tennis packages from Wilson to win, 1000 euros in cash for the winner and 500 euros for the runner-up.
There are already enthusiastic VR tennis fans in the USA and Canada: What began in 2022 with over 4,000 fans during the US Open was successfully repeated in summer 2023 with the “Tennis Canada Virtual Reality Tournament” during the National Bank Open. 850 players from 45 nations competed in over 10,000 matches on virtual courts. LAOLA1 is now bringing the successful format to Europe. In addition to organizing and coordinating the VR tournament, Austria’s leading digital sports media provider and sports marketer is also responsible for marketing sponsorships and advertising. As part of these activities, together with the cooperation partners, we also managed to win Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG and Slamstr as partners of the tournament.
LAOLA1, e|motion and ÖTV, like the organizers in the USA and Canada, cooperate with VR Motion-Learning GmbH, which developed and operates the state-of-the-art VR app “TENNIS ESPORTS”. The Austrian start-up has already received the A1 Innovation Prize and the renowned Laval Award in the sports category.
Tom Berger, Head of LAOLA1: “We are pleased to present the first VR tennis tournament in Europe as part of the Erste Bank Open 2023. As an innovative technology, VR enables a completely new kind of tennis experience. We not only want to inspire new target groups for the sport of tennis, but also build on our virtual highlights as part of our Metaverse presence and take them to the next level. With the VR tennis tournament, we are underlining LAOLA1’s expertise as an innovator and pioneer in the industry.”
Gregory Gettinger, CEO VR Motion-Learning GmbH: “We are proud that our VR tennis app ‘TENNIS ESPORTS’ is being used for the first VR tennis tournament in Europe – and of all places in our home country of Austria. The app offers a realistic and immersive tennis experience that will delight tennis fans around the world.”
Dominik Beier, Managing Director e|motion Group: “It’s exciting to see how virtual reality is revolutionizing the sports experience. As marketers and organizers of the Erste Bank Open, we are pleased to take part in this innovative tournament format.”
Thomas Schweda, Managing Director of the Austrian Tennis Association (ÖTV): “We are proud to be part of this VR tennis tournament and are sure it will delight the tennis community. We see VR as a great opportunity to make our sport accessible to an even larger audience.”
The VR tennis tournament will take place from October 2nd to 27th and is open to everyone. In contrast to real tennis tournaments, any number of participants can play here – no matter how old, whether with or without physical impairments, amateur or professional. The only technical requirements are: VR glasses Meta Quest 2 or PRO, the TENNIS ESPORTS app, an internet connection and a playing area of approx. 3m x 3m. The VR Racket Handle is optional.
The first 20 local players will receive a ticket to the tennis esports final on October 27th at Heumarkt, where they can look forward to an extensive Wilson package worth 250 euros. The winner of the tournament will receive an additional 1,000 euros in cash and the runner-up will receive 500 euros. The final will take place at 6:00 p.m. on the center court of the Heumarkt and will be streamed on laola1.at, among others.
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