January 10, 2023

Ballerz AMA

BALLERZ is a basketball inspired generative NFT set on the Flow Blockchain. Here's our interview with Jeremy Born (CEO & Co-founder NFTG) and derfpunk (Community Lead for Ballerz)

Please introduce yourselves, your personal background up until founding/working with BALLERZ

(Jeremy Born) CEO & Co-founder NFTG, joined the crypto space in 2016 and sees bear markets as a huge opportunity to build and expand into some of the stuff we want to do. Prior to getting into the crypto space did a lot of different things but really focused on digital marketing for some of the world’s best brands and had a development shop specifically revolving around mobile gaming. A lot of synergy exists with those worlds and digital assets which is why I am passionate about collectables. The NFTG mission is to bring the world together through collectables.

(derfpunk) - Community Lead for Ballerz, previous work as an Event Coordinator for a non-profit, Receiving Manager at a high-end supermarket chain, and as a Field Rep for a large corporate company.  Started out on Topshot in Feb. of 2021 and started to exit leading up to Ballerz public sale in November 2021. After minting a couple, I just jumped in feet first and became active in the community. In December 2021 started publishing the Ballerz Bulletin on Twitter. This got me noticed by one of the co-founders and led to me joining Ballerz in January 2022 as a Discord Moderator. After working on Ballerz events during NFT NYC in June, I was offered and accepted my current role as Community Lead.    

How big is the BALLERZ team? How much overlap is there between Gaia and BALLERZ - is there any intersection/overlap?

(Jeremy Born) Definitely, we have some dedicated folks that just do Ballerz and then we also have some people that do both (Ballerz/Gaia) because you know we have some incredible technologists as an example, that build great technologies and marketplace technologies that apply directly to that of the Ballerz ecosystem. Something I say a lot of times when i'm with the Ballerz community is that one of the biggest opportunities that we see is building a world class marketplace that brings liquidity and buyers into a place where they actually want to purchase one of the best, if not the best, sports PFP in the world which is Ballerz. 

For Gaia, are you planning to integrate more collections in the future or go multi-chain?

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What can collectors/holders look forward to for BALLERZ in 2023?

(Jeremy Born) 2023 is going to be an interesting year because there are a lot of interesting factors that are flying into like how this crypto world is going to play out from the macro perspective, but it’s not deterring us from moving the ball forward. We’re exploring a lot of different things because at the end of the day we just want to bring value to collectors. We are excited to have this incredible team that is building up the UBL (Unofficial Ballerz League) to become the BBL (Ballerz Basketball League), exploring what the next iteration of games will be, concepts that involve maybe digital or physical cards and this latest iteration of Ballerz you see on Twitter showcasing different varieties of what Ballerz could look like that are maybe not pixelated. Going back to our roots, we just want to build stuff we want to see as collectors. 2023 we plan on going pretty hard on Ballerz and just expanding it.

Can you tell us more about what the current game is about?

(derfpunk) Right now we have the UBL, soon to be BBL. It’s a simulation game, so think of play-by-play action. Holderz of Ballerz NFTs can use our Skillz Calculator tool, skillz.ballerz.com, to enter a Ballerz NFT and pair it with a Sneakerz NFT to see how their combination will translate into the sim. Here you’ll see our common stats (dunking, playmaking, shooting defense, etc.) expand to the full stats of the sim. The UBL has created various league types for Holderz to enter. Standard League is where most of the high-skilled Ballerz go to play and LVP League currently welcomes Ballerz with an OVR of 82 and under. These varying types help ensure everyone has a shot at competing on the court. We’ll also run shorter tournaments in between full seasons to offer a variety of game types. UBL has been an active game for the last 6-7 months and we are entering season 6 in January. Sign-ups should begin around the last week of December.

What interests you about Flow? What factors made you choose to build on it? How do you see the Flow ecosystem evolving over the coming years?

(Jeremy Born) It all started back in the day.  We saw some really early indications of mass market appeal on things like NBA Top Shot. I started my journey on WAX with Garbage Pail Kids digital collectables, followed sites that announced upcoming NFT drops, but it was seeing the NBA in the space that blew my mind. Here’s this incredible property, this huge IP, that’s probably really protective of its brand entering the space really early. As soon as I saw that I reached out to the Dapper Labs team. Three years ago, I put on the first digital conference, at least to my knowledge, called NFT Day.  Invited Roham and Mickey from that team and they spoke about the future of NFTs and where things were going. We connected with them and they watched us build over the next year and a half or so, we’re thoroughly impressed with what we built, understood we had the chops and that we had built across multiple blockchains. Then we came together and realized there was an opportunity to bring all of our talents and technology to FLOW. Seeing the success of NBA Top Shot, the other leagues they were bringing in and the ease of use through the Dapper Wallet, to us that was a game changer. 

How do you view the future of PFP projects?

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Favorite Flow NFT apart from BALLERZ?

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What's your journey been like with BALLERZ to date? How has 2022 been? 

(derfpunk) Overall it’s been fun. Seeing the lore expand through the Sneakerz NFT collection and now potential environmental pieces of the game. Such a learning experience collecting in through the market changes. Developing relationships with other collectors has really been special. 

Share 1 piece of life advice/alpha that you’ve learned from your own life experiences.

(derfpunk) In life, don’t hold any resentments. Try to let things go. Carrying the past and revisiting it really dampens the present. Accept it, find a healthy way to process it and move on. In web3, be active in communities you connect with.  Jump in the chat, help others, and contribute to the community as best you can.

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