Mike Tyson is launching his second line of NFTs – 10,000 unique Iron Pigeons.

The Iron Pigeons are an algorithmically generated collection that will be integrated into Ex Populus’ forthcoming trading card game. Owners will be able to battle other pigeons, “GigaUnits,” or other decks that come to the game.

Iron Mike is known for his passion for pigeons, owning a collection of 1,000 and having raised them as a young child in Brooklyn. His first-ever fight involved beating up a bully who killed one of his pets.

“I’ve loved taking care of pigeons for as long as I can remember,” Tyson said in the press release.

“I’m incredibly excited to share what we’ve been building with Iron Pigeons and give my fans and the world a chance to collect pigeons like I’ve been doing my whole life.

“These digital pigeons will be immortalized on the blockchain for eternity.”

Tyson is working with 1ofOne for the drop, the same collective he worked with for his Mike Tyson NFT Collection by Cory Van Lew, described as the largest NFT drop by a sports figure on Opensea in total volume traded – 5.3 Ether (US$16,700). Items in the collection this morning were selling for a minimum of 0.123 Eth, or US$388.

“Working with Mike Tyson and the Iron Pigeon project has been an exciting experience for our teams. We’ve had remarkable success with helping celebrities launch passion projects and navigate this burgeoning space,” said 1ofOne chief executive Jeff Hood.

1ofOne has also partnered with Ex Populus, an Animoca-backed Web3 game publishing company, which will own and operate the trading card game that utilises the NFTs.

Ex Populus chief executive Tobias Batton said he spent hours playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! Nintendo game as a kid and that working with the champ was a dream come true.

India-based crypto gaming guild raises $6m from VCs

An India-based subdivision of a leading crypto gaming guild has raised US$6 million in funding from venture capitalists, just a month after its Southeast Asia unit raised $15 million.

IndiGG, the India subDAO of Yield Guild Games, raised the funds from Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Jump Capital, Variant Fund, Dune Ventures, Griffin Gaming Partners, Transcend Fund, Animoca Brands, Play Ventures, Backed and Sfermion, IVC, Emfarsis and others.

Angel investors included Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management; and executives from the Indian gaming and entertainment industry.

“India is set to take a leadership role in establishing this new Web3 frontier. We have the talent, capital and confidence to ensure that we are in the driver’s seat and games are the perfect vehicle to engage our next generation of talent,” said Hemant Mohapatra, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

IndiGG will initially support NFT assets for Axie Infinity, Pegaxy, Fancy Birds, Nyan Heroes and Nitro League, lending scholars the virtual equipment they need to earn money in the games in exchange for a cut of the proceeds. The guild is being built in association with Polygon.

“The play-to-earn guild model was first proven by YGG in the Philippines; our partnership with Polygon Studios will bring this life-changing model to one of the gaming communities in one of world’s largest emerging economies so they can reap the benefits of web3,” said Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games.

Bitstamp inks $8.5 million sponsorship pact with Beckham’s esports company

Meanwhile European-focused crypto exchange Bitstamp has signed a sponsorship deal with Guild Esports, a London Stock Exchange-listed esports company co-owned by David Beckham.

The three-year, £4.5 million ($8.5 million) deal makes Bitstamp the company’s exclusive cryptocurrency exchange, with prominent exposure across the guild’s team jersey. Bitstamp’s logo and brand will be integrated into Guild’s new London headquarters, due to open early this year.

“Working together to reach esports and gaming fans is a significant moment for us and our growth plans as we continue to bring our trusted service to more mainstream audiences that recognise the benefits of investing in crypto,” said Julian Sawyer, Bitstamp chief executive.

It’s the largest sponsorship deal in Guild Esports’ history.