What is Sorare and how does it work?

Exploring Sorare – a play-to-earn game transforming online football fandom since 2018.
March 29, 2022 - Tom Peters

Following the popularity boom of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we have seen the adoption of the technology by several sectors, notably in art, gaming and, more recently, sports. 

One of the trending NFT use cases in the market are Sports NFT collections. We’re witnessing Sorare, a fantasy game platform fusing NFTs, sports and gaming as they offer football and NFT lovers the joys of sports fantasy games and opportunities to earn from it. 

This article focuses on Sorare, and serves as a beginner's guide to the NFT game.

What is Sorare?

Sorare is an Ethereum based, play-to-earn fantasy football game that allows players to buy, sell, trade, and manage a virtual football team through NFT player cards collectibles.

Founded in 2018, the game was developed by two French software engineers, Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort, who went on to form a company of the same name that year. Since its launch, the company has obtained licenses from 230 football clubs globally thus far, including big names like Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain FC and many more. The game has made over $184 million in auction volume, according to Sorare Data.

How the game works

In Sorare’s online sports management game, you get to pick your virtual squad of players every week. Based on their real-life performance, each player in your team generates points that total to form your weekly score. Managers' weekly score throughout the game season is then aggregated to determine their standing on a leaderboard.

Sorare is slightly different from the average fantasy football game in that it is tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. The player cards used to build a virtual squad are backed by NFTs, which can be traded on the marketplace.

Each player card comes in one of four rarity levels:

● Limited (1,000 cards)
● Rare (100 cards)
● Super Rare (10 cards)
●Unique (1 card)

The rarer the card, the higher the value. For instance, a Unique rarity Lionel Messi player card means there is just one copy of that card in the game. It is worth noting, however, that new cards are generated every season, managers can't carry over player cards to the next season.

After obtaining cards, Managers can create a 5-player team to play in tournaments and compete with other Managers.

Playing the game

After signing up, new Managers have to set up their profile and choose a football league from different countries.

Upon completing the profile, the game gives the Manager 10 free Common player cards based on their previously chosen league and favourite players.

The Common rarity cards can only be used in weekly Rookie competitions for no rewards. To earn from the game, Managers first have to buy Limited or higher-tiered cards to participate in their corresponding weekly tournaments.

Only Limited or higher tier cards can be traded; common cards can't be bought or sold on the market. 

Next, Managers have to build their squads. Completing a squad requires picking one player each for the goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and extra slots. To conclude the selection, Managers must pick their team captain. 

Once all is set, the Manager can register for a tournament that offers various rewards, mostly in ETH.

Sorare's tournament system

Every week, Sorare hosts tournaments for each rarity category. After playing for four weeks, new players are promoted to "New Manager."

As mentioned before, Sorare tournaments use a scoring system based on players' real-life performance. The better a player plays, the higher the points his card generates. A player's total point is determined by criteria such as minutes played, number of goals scored, clean sheets, and the number of assists. Yellow and red cards also affect a player's score.

Another factor that affects a player card's score is XP. Player cards build XP based on their age, the number of times their Manager used it, and the minutes played in real life.

At the end of each tournament week, a Manager's squad/team score is totaled to determine their leaderboard position and corresponding reward.

Sorare Marketplace

Sorare has a dedicated marketplace where users can buy, sell and trade their NFT player cards. It is also a key part of the platform's play-to-earn system.

After linking their Metamask wallets, users can enter the platform's market to begin shopping for player cards.

There are two ways to buy cards on the Sorare market: the "New Signings" or the "Transfer Market."

New Signings are freshly minted cards auctioned by Sorare; the highest bidder takes the card.

Transfer Market, on the other hand, is a secondary market for the NFT player cards. Here, users can buy cards from each other at a fixed price. Cards from the Transfer Market are often cheaper but don't come with sign-in bonuses. 

Selling a card is also simple. Managers have to click the "Sell my card" button on the card and set their asking price (which is also fixed).

Tips on playing Sorare as a beginner

It helps if you are already a fan of football before getting into Sorare, as knowledge of a particular player and his team can prove valuable. 

The most important tip; when forming your weekly game squad, always pick first-team players (players that play regularly for their team). This means avoiding players who are injured/suspended in real life or players that are a backup for their team. Since your team score is based on players' performance in real-life matches, there is no point in picking a player who won't even make an appearance.

Another one is to field players with the most XP. This is helpful because card XP boosts the points it generates. So, it would be best to always consider the XP level of a card before buying it. You can also send a player to Special Training League to help gain XP.

If you are also looking to earn on the platform, you have to participate in as many tournaments as possible. The point is to win as many high-tier cards, particularly the Unique or Super Rare ones, since they can be sold for huge profits.

Finally, pick team captains carefully. A team captain earns an additional 20% the weekly XP, which effectively boosts their score potential. It is good practice to pick prolific and consistent players who score and give assists as captains.

The future of Sorare and football fantasy game industry

Sorare has proved its huge potential as a global player in the football fantasy game industry. One can see this when looking at what it has achieved so far, including its strong team of partners and executives, appealing rewards and tournaments. As well as venture capital firm backing and support. 

On top of its proven track record, Sorare partners with StarkWare, a prominent blockchain solutions developer and gaming giant Ubisoft. Like Sorare, it also boasts a star-studded board of directors along with superstar footballers Gerard Pique and Antoine Griezmann as members. What’s more, the company recently signed tennis legend Serena Williams to its advisory board as it plans to expand its products to tennis.

Last year the company also raised US$688 million in a Series B funding round, becoming the first French startup to raise that much in a Series B.

As global players flock to its fantasy football game, abound with strong backing and investments, Sorare plans to venture into other sports NFTs in the future. 

Photo: Sorare

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