The World Squash Federation (WSF) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Virtual Sports Association and game design studio One Hamsa.
The partnership, which will focus on the Virtual Reality (VR) Sport Racket:Next (also known as Racket: Nx), has been made to ensure the WSF is well placed in the rapidly evolving Esports landscape.
Racket:Next is a VR racket game that allows players to play in the comfort of their own home. Racket:Next, which has been a top selling VR racket sport game for over five years and has 96% positive reviews on STEAM, can be played single or multi-player, with players able to compete against opponents from all over the world.
Following the initial agreement, the WSF – in collaboration with its new partners and the International Racquetball Federation, which was the first international federation to adopt Racket:Next – submitted Racket: Next for consideration at the upcoming Olympic Esports week in Singapore and will begin exploring the feasibility of an official VR Squash discipline.
WSF Chief Executive Officer William Louis-Marie commented: “I am delighted that the WSF has come to this agreement with One Hamsa and the Virtual Sports Association.
“We have seen an explosion in the growth of Esports over the last decade and there is no doubt that is set to continue. It is vital for the long-term growth of the game that squash is properly represented in the world of Esports.
“By working together, we will no doubt introduce more potential squash players to our sport and reconnect with plenty who may not have picked up a racket in some time.”
Virtual Sports Association CEO Victor Bond, who drove and facilitated the agreement, commented: “This is a marriage made in future-sport heaven: a world-class developer and a unique, successful, and wonderful game with a fully global international IOC-recognized sports federation that has the vision and the grit to not just look around the corner but to go there.
“This is one big step in our collaboration and one gigantic leap for the new technology of sport.”
One Hamsa CEO Assaf “Usul” Ronen added: “This endorsement supports Racket:Next’s core design principles as a fully athletic and visceral game, allowing players of all racquet sports – not only squash – to make every racquet sport move, except for those that would not work in the average living room, immersed inside a lighted, responsive, audio-filled dome, in a game that is purely skill based.
“Racket:Next has already surpassed 250,000 players worldwide, led by the fastest-growing VR headset, the Meta Quest 2, in which it’s been a top-rated title since its launch in 2019. Since 2021 we also witnessed a surge of players on emerging China-based platforms, like the PICO 4.”