The NFT-based fantasy sports platform Sorare is currently one of the most discussed platforms in the crypto space. Well deserved, if you consider the active players. Sorare is a fantasy football manager game. Managers ( the name given to players) can create a virtual team, which consists of digital player cards. These player cards are NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain and can be purchased as well as traded there.
Sorare is one of the most successful NFT games and allows players to make decisions and optimize their squad based on the real-life performance of professionals.
Own Your Game — Experience football like never before, bringing fantasy to reality. — sorare.com
Sorare SAS was founded in France in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. Prior to that, they both gained experience in the blockchain space by working together at the tech startup Stratum. Quickly, Sorare became the most popular game in the soccer NFT universe. There are currently well over 600,000 managers from 170 countries.
In September 2021, Sorare announced that another 580 million euros had been invested in a new funding round by Japan’s Softbank Group. Sorare is now valued at around $4.3 billion. The company employs around 200 people in Paris and New York, making it the most valuable startup in France.
Sorare now generates several hundred million US dollars a year by minting soccer trading cards.
The company also has expansion plans in other areas. It was recently announced that Sorare will soon launch its own platform for the American baseball league MLB.
Sorare has official license agreements with 245 clubs from 39 different leagues, with a total of 6000 different player cards. Among them F.C. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris St. Germain, and others.
In addition to the numerous official licenses, Sorare has many well-known personalities backing the startup. Investors include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and the well-known multi-entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Sports stars such as Antoine Griezmann, Gerard Piqué, André Schürrle, Rio Ferdinand, Oliver Bierhoff, and Serena Williams are also among the investors.
- SoRare is a blockchain-based football fantasy game with real players and teams or leagues.
- Soccer NFTs are issued as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain (ERC721 token standard).
- Earning money with Sorare NFTs is possible in two ways: trading soccer NFTs after value appreciation on the one hand, or weekly income based on the performance of soccer players lined up in the team.
The player cards are licensed digital collectibles: Each digital card is registered as a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. The cards have a verifiable rarity. The cards’ existence and transaction history are transparently stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
As a result, the cards cannot be altered and are tamper-proof. Player cards come in five different categories. The starter cards “Common” cannot be traded, they are unlimited and not very useful for the game. Players of the four other rarity types “Limited” (of which there are 1000 per footballer), “Rare” (100), “Super Rare” (10) and “Unique” (1) are available for purchase.
On the cards, there is other information, such as the serial number, the season from which the card comes (there are new player cards every season), and the age, position, and nation of the player.
How To Play Sorare With NFTs?
The player card NFTs are not only valuable assets, they can also be used in the game. For each match day, the managers create their virtual teams with five players each. A goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder, and a striker, plus another player of choice. With the fantasy team, the manager participates in match days and competes for prizes. The more players, the higher the prizes. After the match day, points based on a player’s performance (e.g. goals and assists) determine the winner(s). Depending on the rarity of the card, players also receive different boosts for the points scored.
Depending on the rarity levels of the players and other requirements, the managers can sign up for tournaments. There are different tournaments in the individual classes, which are categorized according to the league or the age of the players, for example.
How Much Do The NFTs Cost?
Prices vary significantly depending on the rarity and potential of the player. The most expensive player card to date was Erling Haaland’s “Unique” card, which sold for around 630,000 USD in January. However, less rare Limited cards can be purchased for a few dollars.
The free cards can only be played within the Rookie League. New player cards can be bought in auctions after minting or traded between managers in a secondary market, the Sorare Marketplace. Buying or trading NFTs requires an NFT wallet.
Other than the Ethereum Gas Fees and the cost of the cards, Sorare is free to play. You can also pay by credit card.
The Sorare Coin is … just kidding! There is none. In fact, the game does not require its own utility token. Only Ethereum is required to pay for soccer NFTs and gas fees associated with blockchain transactions.
That means a way to invest in the platform’s success is to buy and hold Ethereum tokens.
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Since its launch in 2020, the Sorare NFT soccer platform has experienced tremendous growth, increasing its user base by over 500% to around 150,000 users in 2021 alone. Revenue from soccer NFT auctions has also increased by more than 5100% (51x). Considering that the global fantasy football industry is worth close to $16 billion and already had an active user base of over 60 million players worldwide in 2020, Sorare NFT still has enormous potential in the existing market alone. Also, Sorare is the market leader and has an immense asset on its side with the exclusive licenses of soccer clubs and leagues; it’s almost a monopoly in this niche. At the same time, in addition to constantly expanding its base of football fantasy fans, Sorare can still grow in two directions: Women’s Football or even other sports.
Technically, the project originating from France is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Managers can buy the trading cards with ETH and any winnings are also paid out via the Ethereum blockchain.
Due to its success, Sorare is planning to expand its ecosystem in the near future by creating a new platform for the American professional baseball league MLB.
Sorare combines classic fantasy soccer with real leagues and soccer NFTs based on the Ethereum blockchain. One of the best play-to-earn concepts I have spotted so far.