A new era of blockchain-based fantasy sports is emerging, pioneered by Sorare, a fantasy game of football where players buy, sell, trade and manage a virtual team with digital player cards.
According to Sorare data, at the start of the year there were 3055 users owning at least one NFT; that number has since risen to over 30,553 users, a 900% increase.
Headquartered in Paris, France, the company has recently raised over €50 million to further establish and expand the game to a wider global audience. A notable investor in the Sorare project is Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and chairman, who has openly stated that NFTs will also be big for women’s sports.
This technology will allow Sorare to scale its platform to support millions of users with very low gas fees and achieve 9,000 transactions per second.
The NFTs are minted and stored on the Ethereum blockchain through the ERC-721 SOR token. The wallet private key can be exported from the game into a wallet enabling the NFTs to be sold on other NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea or Rarible.
Some of the Unique cards (1 mint / colour brown) have sold for substantial sums, with the unique Ronaldo card, for example, selling for 52.885 ETH (approximately A$114k). Others such as Kylian Mbappé sold for A$88k back in November 2020.
NFTs with Utility
Other than the collectible aspect, 99% of NFTs have no utility and no use other than for social profile avatars, or to sell on to the next person.
Sorare and other platforms such as Axie Infinity have re-invented the usefulness of NFTs, allowing you to actually use them in competitions to earn rewards.
Prizes can be won weekly in the form of new player cards and ETH rewards if your team does really well.
Cards can also be bought and sold in the player auctions, and direct manager-to-manager exchanges for cards or ETH.
Some managers are flipping cards to try to make a profit, utilising their football knowledge to buy players who they think will do well and then selling them once they post good scores.
NFTs are the Future of Fantasy Sports
The NFTs can also be used in external side games such as SorareMega, where you can also enter a team into competitions. This allows the NFTs to be used across multiple platforms in the future, only adding to their utility.
Projects like Sorare have been largely flying under the radar, and with a flurry of new NFT projects set to launch in the next 12 months we could see blockchain tokens become the new standard when it comes to fantasy sports through 2022.
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