Blockchain fantasy football platform Sorare is thriving despite the postponement or cancellation of all national football competitions in Europe. They are keeping the competitive spirit of fantasy football alive amidst the COVID-19 outbreak with a new game mechanic and rewards for successful players. All this by giving players true ownership over their cards on their blockchain-powered fantasy football platform.

With COVID-19 keeping many countries in its grip, all kinds of public events including sports matches have been cancelled. As a result major sports events, including the upcoming Olympics, the Euro 2020 football tournament and all kinds of national sports competitions have been cancelled or postponed. Currently we’re simply living in a time without physical sports.

The lack of football in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and other national competitions has put a halt to many secondary activities, including gambling. In theory fantasy football should also be put to an halt, but blockchain-powered Sorare has decided differently.

Unique among fantasy football platforms

Sorare is now ‘replaying’ previous weeks from the 2019-2020 football season in Europe. Players need to make their teams. After all teams have been created, the week is randomly chosen. This way one of the core mechanics of Sorare fantasy football can continue: leveling up cards and earning rewards from league results.

This approach is different from other organizations. Take for example the official Fantasy Premier League, which is basically handing out zero points because the matches have been postponed. The same can be said about the Euro Fantasy League, and the UEFA Champions League Fantasy, which both have cancelled or postponed their competitions.

Sorare getting more popular

At the beginning of this year Sorare attracted approximately 50 users per day. According to data from DappRadar these users were responsible for approximately 40 ETH in trading volume per day. That number has been increasing, and saw some major growth in the past few weeks during the Coronavirus quarantine.

On April 9th the volumes peaked according to DappRadar. Sorare attracted 228 users who spend a total of 261 ETH, which roughly equals 41 thousand users. Even without this peak traffic has significantly increased in the past seven days. With 130 users per day and 150 ETH in trading volume, Sorare can be seen as a behemoth in the blockchain gaming space.

However, Sorare isn’t a behemoth yet. This is fantasy football we’re talking about. The earlier mentioned platforms attract tens of thousands of players per day. There’s a whole lot of potential to attract football fans to Sorare, especially considering that the platform is still in its beta phase. You can sign up, start playing for free, and invest when you get the hang of it. Let me explain how it works.

How does Sorare work?

When a new player signs up for Sorare, he or she will receive a random pack of common cards. A team consists out of a keeper, a defender, midfielder, attacker and an extra player of your choice. Based on their rarity and level, these players all together will have a certain amount of points. Depending on the league there’s a maximum amount of points that can be invested into a team.

Sorare has a deal with football data companies, like for example Opta, to supply all kinds of data, like yellow cards, assists, goals, fouls etc. Based on this data and the card multiplayer, players will earn points. In each league the best performing players can win cards, with the biggest rewards have 100 euro value or sometimes even more.

There are different kind of leagues available. For example, there’s a league that only allows cards from players from the Belgian competition, and there’s one for under-23 footballers only. The most common division is the all-star division, which allows all players from every league.

Every week players can select a new team based on the scheduled matches. At least, that’s how things happen normally. However, now in times without actual sports matches, Sorare has taken a new approach. Players need to create a team, and then hope that their line-up is a good fit for the one of the earlier weeks from the football season. These are selected at random, and only revealed when the deadline for team selection closes.

Invest some to make money

When you start playing Sorare, you’ll receive a free pack of common cards. These cards can be used to play with, but their score multiplier is very low. That means that there’s a big chance you will never earn a reward. To make things ‘worse’, you can’t sell them on the public marketplace. Only rare, super rare and epic cards can be bought and sold on the in-game marketplace.

That’s why you need to buy yourself into Sorare. A rare card starts in price at $1.60, while a super rare card often has a minimum price of 15 dollar. However, the more wanted a card is, the more prices will go up. An unique card sell for hundreds or even thousands of euros.

One of my league rewards was a rare Michel Vlap card. I’ve been able to sell this card for 0.3 ETH, which equals approximately 40 euro. Other rewards I haven’t sold yet. So far I’ve invested approximately 50 euro into the game, and I haven’t cashed out anything. The value of my collection has now approximately quadrupled.

Still under construction

Sorare is still in its testing phase. They approach the football fantasy game currently as a beta test. Every month new clubs join the program, and almost weekly the team adds functionalities. For example, this week they made it a lot easier to search the marketplace based on certain criteria.

Because Sorare is still in beta, there are still many clubs that need to join the program. Even though certain clubs are missing, the game is fully playable. It just might be that your favorite club isn’t part of the program yet.

Currently Sorare has licensed the complete Belgian league. In addition the company made partnerships with clubs like Napoli, West Ham United, Bayern Leverkusen, Spartak Moscow, Valencia, Juventus and many more. There are also obviously many clubs still missing, think about Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, or entire leagues like the Dutch Eredivisie.

Even though COVID-19 is being a major problem for football competition all around Europe, fantasy football can go on thanks to Sorare. Sign up, join a weekly league, create your team, and have some fun. Like I said three months ago:

The concept of digital card ownership and making money will appeal to a wide variety of football fans. Gambling on football matches is already a multi-million dollar market. Many of these football fans would like to invest twenty, fifty or one hundred euro in an effort to earn more money in return.

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Also published on Medium.

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