Sorare, a playground for NFT experts interested in soccer.Photo: sorare.com
03/16/2022, 18:1603/17/2022, 18:30
What is Sorare?
Sorare is a fantasy football manager game. Managers (as participating players are called) can form a virtual team made up of digital player cards. These player cards exist as NFT (more on that later) on the Ethereum blockchain and can be bought and traded there.
Really big clubs like Bayern Munich have official licensing agreements with Sorare.Photo: sorare.com
It is important to know
Who is behind this?
Sorare SAS was founded in France in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. The two previously gained blockchain expertise together at tech startup Stratum. Sorare has quickly become the most popular game in the NFT soccer world. There are now more than 600,000 managers from 170 countries.
Nicolas Julia (left) and Adrienne Montfort.Photo: Surari
In September 2021, Sorare announced that another €580m has been invested in a new funding round by the Japanese Softbank Group (telecommunications). Sorare is now valued at around €3.7 billion. The company employs about 200 people in Paris and New York.
What’s new in the cards?
Player cards are licensed digital collectibles, called NFTs – non-fungible tokens. Thus, cards are rarely verified – they are unique files and in the personal possession of managers.
Renato Steffen’s “Super Rare” version from the 2021/22 season. Screenshot: sorare.com
The history of the cards’ existence and their transactions are stored transparently on the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, cards cannot be changed and are not subject to forgery.
What are NFTs?
In the case of trading NFTs as shrouds or parts of a collection, this data is often links to actual working companies (jpgs or mp3s). Minting the most comprehensive image or music data on a token would make both minting and subsequent trading many times more expensive. Very few projects do that.
But the address method is not without problems. If the actual photo or music data is stored on a simple server (eg from Google or Amazon) and is offline, the NFT link will do nothing. The owner is gone, the point of a complex NFT exercise using a decentralized blockchain is gone. Therefore, data must also be stored decentralized. One possibility is the IPFS (Interplanetary File System) storage system. It does not have a single point of failure. Wikipedia also uses it. For NFT projects, IPFS is an indicator of seriousness.
How is the map organized?
Player cards come in five different denominations. “Common” starter cards cannot be traded, are unlimited and are hardly useful for the game. Players of the other four rare types are “Unlimited” (of which there are 1,000 pieces per player), “Rare” (100), “Ultra Rare” (10) and “Unique” (1).
The cards also have other information written on them, such as the serial number, the season the card belongs to (there are new player cards every season), the player’s age, position, and nation.
One of the rare 100 Nico Elvede cards from the 2021/22 season. Photo: sorare.com
Average performance points for the past five matches, cumulative point bonus and any U23 badge (for participation in under-23 tournaments) are also listed below the player card.
In addition to the usual cards, there are also special “Player of the Year” or “World Football Legends” cards.
How much do tickets cost?
This is very different. The most expensive player card so far was the “unique” Erling Haaland card, which was sold in January for the equivalent of 620,000 Swiss francs. This card is currently being offered for CHF 1.2 million.
Less rare Limited Cards from the single digit Euro range are already available. Depending on the player’s rarity and potential, prices vary widely. The 38-year-old Sion striker Guillaume Hoarao, for example, is available for €1.
How does the game work?
Player cards are not only valuable assets, they can also be used by managers. On each match day, the managers assembled their virtual squad of five players from their deck of cards. A goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder and one striker are required, and you can add any other player you want. The manager can select his squad before each match day.
Possible deck of “popular” cards for the upcoming match day.Screenshot: sorare.com
What is match day?
With the fantasy team, you can participate in game days, the so-called game weeks, and fight for prizes there. The more players participate in game days, the higher the prizes.
There are different game classes. Depending on the players’ rarity levels, managers can enroll in the corresponding tournaments. There are different leagues in individual divisions, which are divided, for example, by league affiliation or players’ age. Depending on the tournament, there are different entry requirements.
Tournament for beginners: 5 “common” rare cards are enough to participate.Screenshot: sorare.com
What are the points?
Points are awarded for the player’s performance in real games. Goals, assists, games to zero, but also other stats like success rate or goal chances created are crucial. This gives players a certain rating. To get these rankings, Sorare works with British sports analysis company Opta Sports. The composition of the points is quite complicated, and here is one Detailed overview.
This is how the points stack up:
Rewards from experience points (XP), rarity level, and card issuance time are also important to players’ rankings. In addition, the player appointed as captain gets an additional bonus.
- player performance
- Rarity Level (Ultra Rare: +20%, Unique: +45%)
- XP / Card Level (0-10%)
- Map release time (existing maps: +5%)
- Captain’s armband (+20%)
Points (left) plus bonus through rarity level, experience points, and captain’s armband.Screenshot: sorare.com
Player cards receive experience points for the times they are used. So your card level goes up as players are spawned. There are 20 levels in total, with each level increasing the bonus point by 0.5%.
How do you buy tickets?
There are three ways to do this.
- New card auctions
These cards are newly created (mined) by Sorare. These cards will be auctioned off. Whoever presents the card is its first owner.
- Sales manager
This is the transfer market where managers can view and sell their cards to each other.
- Trade and barter
You can make trades intended for managers on their user page. You can offer your player cards as well as ETH for exchange.
Look at the new card auctions.Screenshot: sorare.com
What is there to win?
There are fundamentally new player cards that can be won on game days, and trainers at higher ranks receive prize money in the Ethereum cryptocurrency ETH. In addition, managers also receive ETH as a reward if their teams reach the minimum score.
However, many managers speculate not only on winnings from tournaments, but also on increasing the value of their cards. They are looking for talented players who can then hit the ground running so they can resell the player’s cards for a profit.
Example Christopher Nkunku:
The Frenchman is having a great season at RB Leipzig. The price of his limited edition cards was around 250 euros in October 2021. At the end of November 2021, these cards were auctioned for more than 900 euros.
Of course it also goes the other way. When players experience disappointing seasons or get injured, the price drops.
Example Florian Wirtz:
The 18-year-old Wirtz had a good season in Leverkusen. The price of his rare cards has risen from around €400 in September to around €1,800 in February. After his cruciate ligament was ruptured in mid-March, its value plummeted to around 500 euros.
Rare Florian Wirts card prices have evolved this season. Screenshot: soraredata.com
Who supports Sorare?
Sorare has official licensing agreements with 228 clubs From 39 different leagues, there are a total of 6,000 different player cards. Leagues include the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Italian League, among others.
Premier League should be officially available soon. The rights to the Premier League football club are set to be sold to Surari for half a billion Swiss francs.
The Swiss Super League is already licensed, but the only club that participates so far is FC Sion.
Sion players on the transfer market: prices vary according to rarity.Screenshot: sorare.com
In addition to the many official licenses, Sorare has many well-known personalities who support the startup. Investors include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and celebrity entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Sports greats such as Antoine Griezmann, Gerard Pique, Andre Schurrle, Rio Ferdinand, Oliver Bierhoff and Serena Williams have also made investments.
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