Sorare Crypto Fantasy Football Trading Cards Game Review

This is an independent review of Sorare, a blockchain-based fantasy football game where fans can collect player cards, trade them and use them to compete for prizes.

Review contents


About Sorare

Launched in 2019, Sorare is a pioneering fantasy game of football where users manage a virtual team of digital player cards (NFTs) which they can trade with other managers and enter into competitions to compete for prizes.

The game uses Ethereum blockchain technology to create and transfer the NFTs as tokens on the blockchain as proof of ownership. It also uses the latest Ethereum layer-2 technology called Starkware to help scale the transactions and keep the gas fees low

Headquartered in Paris, France, the company has recently raised over €50 million to further establish and expand the game to a wider global audience.

The project is backed by some famous footballers including André Schürrle, Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann and others. The CEO of Sorare, Nicolas Julia, explains more about the project in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

Main Features

  1. NFT football card marketplace – buy, sell and trade football player cards as NFTs.
  2. Fantasy football game – follow your players’ scores in real life (just like Fantasy Premier League). Win new cards and ETH as rewards for performing well in competitions against other managers.

How does Sorare work?

In simple terms, the player cards are created each season by Sorare (minted on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs). Users then place bids on the cards in an auction to buy them (similar to eBay bidding). The winner then owns that card on-chain as an NFT and can then either hold, sell, trade or use them in competitions to win prizes.

Sorare’s new player card auctions example

Along with the primary market (newly minted cards), there is a secondary market where users can list their cards for sale with an asking price.

Sorare’s manager player card sales example

For more about the gameplay, skip to the How To Play section below.

Or, get stuck now in and Sign up for free << Use this link to get 1 free card when you buy 4!


Sorare Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • First mover advantage – this is the first fantasy football game of its kind merging the worlds of football, blockchain and fantasy sports.
  • Extensive financial backing – recent fund raising efforts can see them scale operations into 2022.
  • Blockchain-based – cards are owned as NFTs as proof of ownership which allows for extra utility with third party applications in the future.
  • Cards have utility – unlike CryptoPunks and other computer-generated NFTs, the football cards are “soft linked” to real-life players which gives them added attraction and value as collectibles.
  • Collectible cards – it’s great to see how passionate some people are about collecting these cards, especially early mints and special shirt numbers.
  • Working platform and ecosystem – the web platform is well-built and all features function very well especially the points scoring system which i consider to be an improvement on FPL.
  • Plenty of room to grow – fantasy sports is a huge market and a record number of over 7,800,000 users have signed up to Fantasy Premier League this year. They have also hinted there might be more sports added in the future.
  • Scaling technology – the blockchain transaction fees (ETH Gas) are paid for by Sorare using StarkWare’s layer-2 scaling tech. Whereas most other NFT collections on open marketplaces, you’ll pay a tremendous amount on GAS fees when buying and selling.
  • Seemless experience – the highly technical elements of the blockchain are hidden from the users, allowing them to focus enjoying the game.
  • Ethereum investment – you inherently get exposure to cryptos as your cards are priced in ETH and if the price of ETH goes up, the relative estimated value of your cards goes up.

Cons:

  • Limited teams – so far only 150+ teams are available (Sorare is adding more teams very fast but there are not many EPL teams yet, which would be the main market). I would imagine they would struggle to get licences for all the teams, this could take a long time.
  • No mobile app yet – they are planning to launch one soon, however the mobile web app is usable in the meantime. The launch of the mobile app you would imagine would boost the number of users.
  • Confusing for beginners – in my opinion there are too many different types of cards can be confusing to beginners (Common, Limited, Rare, Super Rare, Unique). Along with that, I feel there are also too many types of competitions which is also confusing when picking players.
  • Cards are priced in ETH – this could be a pro or a con and is a big discussion. In simple terms, if the price of ETH goes up then we could see the game become unplayable for new players as card prices shoot through the roof, and they are unable to put a decent team together.
  • Card supply unknown – nothing stops Sorare from creating more card types which could devalue your current cards. There is no public release schedule and there are clauses in the terms which enable them to do whatever they want.
  • Can’t withdraw to bank account – current Ramp only allows deposits and not withdrawals. To withdraw you need an external wallet provider and exchange linked to your bank.
  • Addictive game traits – fantasy games can become addictive and with the ability to buy cards directly with a Credit Card, this could be lead those of a gambling persuasion astray.
  • Other risks – recently we have seen other platforms such as Football Index collapse with users losing their investments, and some of those users have now joined Sorare. Watch this video to see the potential risks of using Sorare. Stay safe, and only play within your limits.

How to Play

Getting started is simple, Sign up for free on the website with your email address.

Once you’ve verified your email and logged in, you can select five free Common cards (white background).

Sorare Common cards example

You can then enter your free team into a competition from the main menu: select Play > Gameweek, then select Starter League Rookie. Select your five players and click Confirm.

Sorare players competition selection example

When the real-life football matches have finished, your players will get points and if they do well you may even win a free card!

Sorare players performance results example

Once you have got the beginner team done, to play in the other competitions you will need to purchase additional cards. To do this you’ll have to deposit some Ethereum (ETH) into your Sorare account.

Types of Cards:

There are currently five types of NFT cards with varying degrees of scarcity, and specific cards are required to enter specific competitions.

  1. Common – Unlimited (these are the free cards given when you sign up)
  2. Limited – Only 1000 minted per season
  3. Rare – Only 100 minted per season
  4. Super Rare – Only 10 minted per season
  5. Unique – Only 1 minted per season

Competitions

There are currently eight types of competitions you can enter. The prizes vary, so check the competition prize info on the site.

CompetitionRequirementsPrizes
Starter League Rookie1 division, entering Common cards and 2 Rare Cards. Rare is required for Captain (scores double)Top 3 Rare card, Everyone gets 1 Common just for entering
Global All Star5 divisions entering all types of cards. Division 5 you can use Limited cards only.Varies depending on division. Combination of cards and ETH.
Global Under 235 divisions entering all types of cards, under 23 age players onlyVaries depending on division. Combination of cards and ETH.
Champion EuropePremier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.Varies depending on division. Combination of cards and ETH.
Champion AmericaPlayers from MLS, Liga MX, Brasileiro Série A, and the Superliga ArgentinaVaries depending on division. Combination of cards and ETH.
Champion AsiaPlayers from K-League and J-LeagueVaries depending on division. Combination of cards and ETH.
Global Unique1 division with only unique cardsETH
Special TrainingSend your unused players to the training ground to gain XPPlayer XP bonus
Special WeeklySpecial competitionsVaries
Sorare competitions comparison table

Bidding on Players

You can bid on new cards to bolster your squad of players. To do this, go to Market > New Card Auctions from the main menu.

Sorare player auction

From here you can place your bid. If someone else outbids you, the timer will reset to 1 minute; if under that, you will then have a chance to put in a higher bid. Once the timer ends, the card is transferred to the new owner.

Sorare bidding on a player example

Tip: Before you buy, check out the player on Sorare data to see if they have been playing, recent scores and typical purchase price ranges.

Mohamed Salah player performance on Sorare data

Depositing ETH into Your Account

To participate in the player auctions, you’ll need some ETH in your account. There are two different ways to achieve this:

1) Direct purchase on the platform using credit card or bank account

To buy using your card, click the Blue button at the top right, then click ‘Ramp’ and follow the instructions.

The Ramp service supports 170+ countries (including Australia) and allows buying with credit/debit card or bank transfer. Typical fees are around 3%. You’ll be required to complete a KYC which involves taking a selfie with your mobile and submitting your drivers’ licence and proof of address. Verification is fast, typical approval within 5-10 minutes.

Sorare deposit funds by card

or 2) Deposit ETH via an external wallet

Use an external crypto wallet (such as MetaMask extension for the Brave web browser, which can connect you to the site easier for transfer of ETH back and forth).

If you don’t have any ETH, you can buy crypto from a popular crypto exchange and then send it to your MetaMask wallet. Another option is to create a Trust Wallet on your mobile and connect that using Wallet Connect.

Sorare deposit funds by Metamask

Beginner Tutorials

Be sure to watch the awesome Sorare beginner tutorials playlist by John Nellis, a seasoned expert in the space. Big thanks to John for validating all the information in this review.

Must read: We also have recently published a Beginners guide with some tips on how to play the game and win.


FAQ

Why can’t I sell my Common cards?

Common cards are given to you for free by the platform (starter pack players when you sign up and as rewards). This type of card cannot be bought or sold.

Why can’t I pick a captain for my competition?

Some competitions require a specific card type to select a captain. For example, the Starter League Rookie requires a Rare card to put up as captain.

Can you sell Common cards on OpenSea?

Common cards which you are given for free when you sign up cannot be traded, bought or sold.

Why won’t my cards show on Sorare Mega?

Common cards do not show on the Sorare Mega game. You’ll need Rare or above to play.

How can I sell a player?

See this Sorare article on how to sell players.

How to transfer my Sorare cards to another Ethereum wallet?

See this Sorare article on how to transfer your card wallet. And add the custom token SOR to your wallet. Watch video on how to add the custom token.

When the new 2022/2023 season starts, do the previous season cards become useless?

Each season, new cards are released. There is a current season bonus of 5% if the card is from the current season, ie, your player will score 5% more points.

What happens if I lose my phone which has my 2-auth login on it?

Sorare can reset your 2-auth code but require some information to do so.

If my player joins another team will they still score points?

For example, if Renato Sanches joins an English Premier League team from Portugal? The short answer is yes. The long answer is if a player leaves his real-world team and joins another team in a league that Sorare analyses from a data perspective, your card will continue to earn points.

If my player’s card is age 23, but the actual age of the player is 24, can I still enter it in the under 23 comps?

From Sorare discord: “Tomorrow is July 1. This means that only players that are 23 or under as of July 1, 2021, are eligible for the U23 tournaments. Starting Game Week 181, you will only be able to select players who are 23 or under starting July 1, 2021. We will also update the prize pools in time for GW181.”

Why can’t I see my cards on OpenSea? I’ve exported my private key to MetaMask and logged in.

tba

Is Sorare gambling, and could it be shut down by regulation?

This seems uncertain at the moment, as there isn’t a direct entry fee to enter the competitions (although there are card requirements). If betting companies adopt this “NFT free entry game” approach to start accepting cryptocurrencies, could we see the regulation change? It could be likely that they remove the ETH rewards as prizes completely. It could also be a possibility that the competition element of the game is run by an entirely different “co-owned” platform (such as One Shot League), which is financially regulated but still makes use of the cards you own.

How does the affiliate program work?

Click the ‘Invite Friends’ link in the main menu. Then copy that link and send it to a mate. When they sign up and buy five cards from the player auctions, you’ll both get a free limited card. Use this link to sign up if you don’t have one.

Additional notes and tips:



Conclusions

For the millions of fantasy football players worldwide, it is truly a dream to see such a platform finally get developed where two popular worlds – crypto and fantasy sports – meet.

The Sorare user base has grown rapidly in 2021, to a reported 30,000 managers that own at least one NFT – so it is still very early considering how large the fantasy football market is on other platforms such as FPL with almost 8 million players.

Recent large capital raises should see a growth in the team, improvement of product and marketing efforts for onboarding and scaling.

The recent release of the new Limited cards (1000 mints / color yellow) which are more affordable for new managers, together with new leagues and clubs signing up should see plenty of action for the platform leading into the FIFA World Cup 2022.

You don’t know until you try, give Sorare a try free here.

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