The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is off to a stunning start as tournament favorites Argentina were beaten 2 goals to 1 by underdogs Saudi Arabia. The game saw an early lead gained by the South Americans through a Lionel Messi penalty in the 10th minute canceled out by two quick-fire goals from the Saudis after half-time. The result sent shock waves across the world, even causing shakes in the crypto market.
Sales of the Saudi Arabia-themed non-fungible tokens (NFT) collection “The Saudis” increased by 387% right after Tuesday’s historic game. The profile picture (PFP) avatars depicting Saudi males in their traditional attire were launched back in July. After Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win over Argentina, 52 NFTs from “The Saudis” were sold for an average of 0.2 ETH, worth about $280 at current market rates. The collection with total sales of 21.75 ETH (worth $24,000) on Tuesday, saw trading volumes rise to a peak of 1,200% right after the game. The floor price of the PFP avatars have dropped since its early peak of 0.31 ETH, back to 0.24 ETH on NFT marketplaces in the after hours of Saudi Arabia’s shock victory. During its debut weekend in July, the Cyberpunks inspired derivative collection generated $7.7 million in sales.
On the other side, Argentina’s ARG fan token dropped by 24% in the last 24 hours and is currently trading at $5.62. Going into the game, the token issued by Socios.com, – world’s largest issuer of sports fan tokens, was trading at $7.5. Before the World Cup, fan tokens of Argentina (ARG), Brasil (BFT) and Portugal (POR) were surging from the hype created by the world’s most-watched sporting tournament. ARG tokens had surged 39% in the week before Argentina’s first game in the competition against Saudi Arabia.
Out of the 5,555 generative art pieces in The Saudi collection, most (180) are listed on OpenSea at a floor price of $280. The ARG token, which represents the Argentina team led by soccer superstar Lionel Messi, is available on all major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and KuCoin.