We are very pleased to bring you something new today and it would be fair to say we haven’t been this excited about a new service for quite some time – probably years in fact!
This is a relatively new concept and is a little bit different from the type of thing we normally review here at Honest Betting Reviews. In fact it isn’t really betting at all – but it does have significant potential for a budding trader and someone with good football knowledge to benefit from.
The service in question is called Sorare and it is perhaps best described as a mixture between fantasy football and online trading cards.
We have just joined the platform recently and bought some cards ourselves and are really enjoying the experience. Our initial investment has more than trebled in a short space of time as the platform has taken off recently.
What particularly interested us about this is that unlike a lot of other fantasy football games where only a handful of people win prizes out of hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of entrants, Sorare provide a guaranteed payout for simply hitting certain scores. And those scores are very achievable – in fact with a reasonably good team you should hit them fairly often.
Plus there are other prizes of cash, goodies and cards (currently worth hundreds and even thousands of pounds) for those who do really well in the twice-weekly contests, meaning the value proposition here is superb.
Add in the additional collectibles aspect – a Cristiano Ronaldo card went for over $100,000 in a recent auction and Kylian Mbappe cards are regularly going for over $50,000 for example – and you a have pretty awesome mix!
That’s not just our opinion though – Sorare just raised $50m in Series A funding from a group of investors including Benchmark, who were early investors in Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Uber and Spotify.
Other investors include footballers Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Andre Schuerrle, venture capital firm Accel, Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Gary Vaynerchuk. So this is serious business!
Here is Bloomberg announcing the $50m in funding for Sorare:
Benchmark, the venture capital firm that was an early backer of Uber, Twitter and EBay, is leading a $50 million investment into Sorare, a digital network focused on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah https://t.co/btdHAwnJw0
— Bloomberg (@business) February 25, 2021
Sorare have already signed up some big clubs including Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Ajax and Athletico Madrid. Licences for trading cards are hard to come by so it is impressive for Sorare to have already partnered with these clubs.
There’s quite a lot to take in if you are thinking of joining though so we have put together some content to help you out:
- Our review/guide to Sorare, which is below.
- Our strategy and hints for getting the most out of Sorare, which you can read here.
- And we will be tracking our own team’s performance which you can check out here.
Before getting started though it is probably best to read our guide below explaining what Sorare is all about and how it works and then take some time exploring the strategy guide.
So first up we will explain what Sorare is all about and why we are so excited about it.
In the article below we will cover some key aspects of Sorare including:-
- What is Sorare?
- How to play – buying cards, selecting your team and entering competitions
- How to win rewards and what the prizes are
- What makes Sorare special?
- What is the potential of Sorare?
- Additional value of cards – use in third party games
What is Sorare?
Sorare is a mixture of fantasy football and online trading cards (collectibles). You can buy cards on the platform and then use them to play in fantasy football games to win prizes.
There are a limited number of cards produced – hence the name “so rare.” These cards are currently split into the following categories:
- Common cards (white) – these are a set of cards you get for free upon joining the platform and there are an unlimited number of them. You can enter them in the Rookie League (which you can only play for 8 weeks) and in higher leagues, but only one card per gameweek competition in the higher leagues.
- Rare cards 1/100 (red) – these are cards that have value and that you can buy and sell on the platform. There are a maximum of just 100 of these printed per player per season. These cards start with a 5% scoring bonus in the season of issue.
- Super Rare cards 1/10 (blue) – much like the Rare cards, but there are only 10 of these printed each season so they have higher value and come with a 25% scoring bonus.
- Unique cards 1/1 (brown) – as the name would suggest, there is only one of these minted each season. They have extremely high value and come with a 50% scoring bonus.
The Sorare platform is operated on the Ethereum blockchain which means it is fully transparent and cards are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) meaning every card can be tracked, traced and verified and cannot be forged or copied.
Signing Up and Buying Your Cards
Okay, so you have decided you want to give Sorare a go. After signing up, you will be allocated 10 free common cards to get you going.
With the 10 common cards, you can enter the Rookie League, but only for a maximum of 8 weeks. The Rookie League is a good place to get started and learn the ropes, but you will probably want to step up and enter the higher leagues after a little while.
In order to do so, you will need to buy some rare cards. You can do this in two ways:-
- At auction, which are regularly held on the site throughout the day; or
- On the secondary market, by buying from other managers. You can view all the cards currently available for sale from other users by searching for and then clicking on a player. As well as paying the asking price for a card, you are allowed to make direct offers to other managers for their card which they can choose to accept or reject.
All transactions on the platform are made in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, although the equivalent values in Euros are displayed next to the player, in case you are not familiar with Ethereum values.
You can deposit via a debit/credit card using Sorare’s payment partner Ramp, or you can connect your Ethereum wallet if you have one of those and transfer funds from there.
Selecting Your Team
To enter the fantasy contests on Sorare, you need to select five players. Hence the name of the contests, “SO5.”
Each contest requires your team of five players to be comprised of the following:-
- – One Goalkeeper
- – One Defender
- – One Midfielder
- – One Forward
- – One “Extra” – which can be any of the above outfield players.
So it is a good idea to get a good mix of these players in your squad – or “Gallery” as it is called on Sorare.
And of course, you probably want more than five players in your squad in case any of your players get injured, suspended or dropped.
Below is a recent team entry of ours into the Global All-Star Division 4:
The “extra” player we selected here was a midfielder, Rafinha of PSG.
You may also want to enter multiple contests/divisions in each gameweek, so buying a diverse portfolio of players in different positions is a good idea in that case.
The Fantasy Games – Leagues and Divisions
There are a number of different fantasy contests you can enter on Sorare, depending on the players you have at your disposal.
The leagues are generally split by region and then have numerous divisions:
- Global All-Star League (4 divisions): you can enter players from anywhere in the world into this contest. Division 4 is the one that has the ETH threshold payouts for hitting 200 or 250 points so is a very popular contest.
- Champion Europe (4 divisions): this is limited to players playing in the top 5 big European leagues: Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.
- Global U23 (4 divisions) – this is limited to players under the age of 23 at the start of the season, but they can be from anywhere in the world.
- Challenger Europe (4 divisions): this comprises players from outside the top 5 European leagues – e.g. Belgium’s Jupiler League, the Dutch Eredivisie, Russian Premier League and Portugese Primeira Liga.
- Asian League: currently the Japanese J League and Korean K League.
- American League: currently just the MLS but other leagues are due to be added soon.
- Rookie League: this is where you can enter your free “common” cards to try and win prizes.
- Special Weekly contest: the rules for this differ each gameweek but there are often some interesting prizes on offer so it is worth keeping an eye on.
That is how it currently stands but we expect more leagues and divisions to be added as more clubs are onboarded and more users join the Sorare platform. Below is an example of the entry options for some of the leagues you can join.
Part of the challenge, if you have a big enough squad of players, is deciding which contests to enter each gameweek and what the best utilisation of your players is. You can only enter one team per division per gameweek, so getting this right matters in terms of your chances of winning a prize.
It is important to note that the gameweeks run at the following times:-
From Friday 13.00 UTC to Tuesday 13.00 UTC
From Tuesday 13.00 UTC to Friday 13.00 UTC
So you need to enter your teams by the deadline in order for them to be eligible for the contests and to be able to win prizes. Note though that each “gameweek” is in fact just a few days, so there are normally two gameweeks per actual week.
Scoring on Sorare
Okay, so you have bought some cards, entered them in a contest and are all ready to see how your team gets on. Let’s have a look now at how players score points in the fantasy game SO5.
The scoring matrix is quite complex but is essentially comprised of three elements:-
- A player’s Decisive Score – this is for big things like scoring a goal, getting an assist, winning a penalty or making a clearance off the line. For each of the positive things a player does, he moves up a level and for each negative thing he does (red card, own goal, penalty conceded), he moves down a level. The points go from -15 at level -1 up to 100 points for achieving level 5.
- A player’s All-Around Score – these are small points a player can get for all the little things they do in a game: 2 for a block, 3 for a tackle, 3 for a big chance created, -3 for a yellow card etc. All these little points add up (or come off) during the course of a game.
- The Card Bonus – each individual card has its own bonus percentage, which you can see below it. A rare card gets a 5% bonus if it is from the current season, your allocated captain for each contest gets a 20% bonus and then players can earn additional experience “XP” points by playing more and training.
So to calculate the player’s score for the gameweek it is simply:
The Decisive Score + the All-Around Score x by the bonus.
That might sound a little complicated so let’s take a look at an example.
Here is a score from our Bentancur card from a recent gameweek:-
- Bentancur’s Decisive Score was 35 points
- His All-Around Score was 48.4 points
- His Bonus was 22.5% (as our captain)
So that meant: decisive score of 35 + all around score of 48.4 x the bonus of 22.5% = 101.33 points.
You add up the scores of your players in the contest you have entered them in and then you get your team score for that gameweek.
Winning Prizes on Sorare
Now for the exciting part – how you can win prizes on Sorare.
Each contest has its own prize structure, which you can view by clicking “play” in the top menu, selecting the relevant gameweek you want, then towards the top of the page clicking “View Prize Pool.”
The lower the division, the more people that will receive prizes. However, more people will enter those contests, so as a percentage there’s a bigger chance of winning a prize in the higher divisions.
Anyway, as an example let’s take a look at the prizes for the Global All Star Division 4 at the time of writing. Please note these are subject to change so may well be different when you are reading this.
1st: 1x Star Rare
€644.52 0.5 ETH
2nd: 1x Star Rare
€386.71 0.3 ETH
3rd: 1x Star Rare
€257.81 0.2 ETH
4th to 13th: 1x Tier 1 Rare
14th to 34th: 1x Tier 2 Rare
35th to 130th: 1x Tier 3 Rare
Score > 250: €25.78 0.02 ETH
Score > 205: €12.89 0.01 ETH
So as you can see, the winner of the contest get a star rare card, currently worth hundreds – or even thousands – of Euros plus 0.5 Ethereum, currently worth €644.52.
Prizes go right down to 130th place though with those entrants receiving a Rare card reward.
And as we mentioned above, the real beauty of this division on Sorare is that you get a guaranteed payout if you hit the threshold of 205 points for 0.01 ETH or 250 points for 0.02 ETH.
These thresholds are very achievable and with a reasonably good team you should hit them quite often. There are many players on Sorare who average around 50 points per gameweek, then you have the card’s bonus, plus your captain’s bonus of 20%. So the scores can really add up.
Don’t forget that each “gameweek” is actually 3-4 days, so there are normally two of them every week. So many chances to win!
Hopefully you will win some cards if you have a really good gameweek, but in between times you can keep accumulating that ETH and either withdraw it and convert to cash or use it to reinvest in new players on Sorare.
Either way we see these threshold payouts as a huge selling point for Sorare and they were ultimately what led us to join the platform. A nice steady flow of additional income is always great to have. 🙂
What Makes Sorare So Special?
You might have read this far and be thinking – that all sounds good, but there are quite a few fantasy football games out there already, plus the likes of Footstock which is a similar concept, so what makes Sorare special?
Well there are a number of factors we see as combining to make it a unique platform:-
- Scarcity of the cards – this is a big one and is something Sorare seem to understand very clearly. By having so few cards available, with a maximum of just 111 rare cards of each player produced each season, the scarcity ensures there is value in the cards and helps to drive the market upwards. Interestingly, up until this point Sorare have not even been releasing the full allocation of cards – often less than 100 per season have been minted. Thus they have been careful to maintain scarcity and to match supply with demand. As the platform grows this is something we will keep an eye on as it is a key part of maintaining – and growing – the value of the cards but we are confident they will manage this successfully.
- Transparency of the blockchain and NFTs – another factor that differentiates Sorare from the crowd is that the platform is built on the blockchain. This means the whole Sorare platform is transparent and accountable, with every transaction publicly recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. Cards are unique and as NFTs or “Non-Fungible Tokens,” cannot be forged, faked or copied and have their own unique digital signature which can be tracked. The success of other NFT projects like NBATopShot shows the potential of this asset class and its utility.
- Great rewards – as mentioned above, there are excellent rewards on offer. Many fantasy football games only reward those at the top end, with just a handful out of hundreds of thousands or even millions of entrants winning prizes. Sorare not only gives rewards to a much higher percentage of entrants, but also has the ETH threshold which is such a strong selling point and gives users the chance to win cash just for having a reasonably good week and not having to “hit the jackpot” to win a prize.
- Beautiful platform – the platform itself is very well designed and looks great. Whilst that might not seem of the utmost importance in itself, it does help to attract new users and gives the impression of a professional, well-run service.
- Official Licences – Sorare cards are officially licensed by 126 clubs at the time of writing including big names like Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG and Liverpool, which is impressive. It is tough and competitive to get these licences so Sorare have done well to achieve this in a relatively short space of time and the clubs must have enough belief in the product to partner with them. There are likely to be many more clubs and leagues coming on board in the coming months and years so watch this space.
- Huge backing – the financial support of venture capital funds like Benchmark to the tune of $50m is a massive endorsement of the Sorare project and should help propel them to new heights. They will now have the firepower to attract thousands of new users, onboard new clubs and leagues, build an app, expand their team, improve the platform and take Sorare to a whole new level. The support of famous footballers like Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann gives them added clout and reach and is further endorsement of what they are doing.
- Using cards in third party games – we will go into this in more below but another benefit of running Sorare on the blockchain means that other developers can set up their own games using Sorare cards – and indeed a number already have. Sorare users can utilise their cards in these games at the same time as they use them directly on Sorare, giving the cards significant additional value and utility.
- Global reach – one advantage of the way Sorare is set up is that they have a potentially global reach. Whilst traditional gambling websites need to go through lengthy processes when looking to enter new territories, Sorare is actually based on trading cards (collectibles) combined with fantasy football which are well established and do not have such requirements. Already we have seen Sorare attract new users in Russia recently for example. As they expand and garner more attention, the platform will potentially be open to people all over the world and there are four billion football fans globally.
So there you can see just what makes Sorare so special. We think it is the combination of all these facets that gives it such huge potential and could see it grow significantly from where it is today. There is no rival platform that combines all these features and has such substantial backing.
Using Sorare Cards in Third Party Applications
As mentioned above, a big added bonus of owning Sorare cards is the ability to use them in games and contests developed by other companies.
This is already happening, with the following developers offering separate games for Sorare cards:
Ubisoft with their One Shot League
Ubisoft’s One Shot League is a game focused on the Belgian Jupiler League and allows you to enter five players per week into a tournament to win prizes. You don’t need to already hold Sorare cards to play it but if you do, you can use those players and they get bonuses. Ubisoft has a market cap of over $8bn and is behind video games such as Rayman, Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Just Dance, and the Tom Clancy series.
Soraredata with their own leagues and cups
Soraredata is a third party site and is the go-to place for analysing players on Sorare. They have a huge amount of data available including a full list of SO5 scores for players, details of completed and ongoing auctions, the volume of sales on Sorare and much more.
Soraredata have their own league and cup competitions you can enter where you compete head-to-head against other managers in a gameweek and can enter a full team of 11 players plus subs. There are prizes available for the top managers including rare cards.
SorareMega – with their Mega League and Sorare Dice
The latest addition to the third party Sorare universe is SorareMega, which has introduced two different games for people to play – the Mega League and Sorare Dice. With the Mega League you compete head-to-head with other managers using a team of eight players whilst Sorare Dice involves rolling a random number each week and then picking which of your cards you think will get a score closest to that number. Prizes include rare cards.
So for no extra cost you can potentially win more prizes and use your cards on other platforms. We stress that you can enter your cards in these other games at the same time as using them in contests on Sorare itself – it is not an either/or choice. This is possible because of the blockchain and the transparency and portability it brings.
This means the cards have even more utility and value. This is likely to be just the beginning though – we expect many more partners to spring up and want to jump on board as Sorare expands. Once again the potential is limitless with this project.
Will you pay $102,000 for a digital sports collectible? Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia tells @emilychangtv about the record sale of a Cristiano Ronaldo card and the rise of NFTs https://t.co/oheutRfXvP pic.twitter.com/FutloZ4Otn
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) March 4, 2021
In the video above Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia talks to Bloomberg about the cards potentially having real-world usage, like giving you access to a team’s stadium or being able to take part in a chat with the player. We would stress such applications do not exist yet, but it looks like this is something Sorare are considering for the future.
What is the Potential of Sorare?
We believe Sorare has enormous potential to grow and become a global fantasy football hub used by people all over the world. The recent securing of $50m in funding is very significant for Sorare and gives them the ability to scale up quickly and grow their user base.
At the same time, big backers like Benchmark, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and footballers Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Andre Schuerrle would not be investing in Sorare unless they felt it was really going places.
At the time of writing, Sorare has around 20,000 users entering the fantasy contests each gameweek, which is growing all the time. Even at this level though it has been enough to create volumes of over €11m of sales on the platform in February 2021, stimulate a very active secondary market, create a competitive fantasy game and engage an active community of users on Discord and Telegram.
We could well still be in the early innings of Sorare though; there is so much more potential to grow with over 4 billion soccer fans globally and millions of fantasy sports fans. Imagine what the volume of trading could be, what the value cards could reach and what the rewards could be if there were 100,000, or a million, users.
Looking at it from the point of view of new users, clearly the prices of cards have risen significantly lately and this may be acting as a barrier to entry for new customers, who understandably might not want to pay hundreds or even thousands of Euros for a new card at the moment.
However, Sorare’s CEO, Nicolas Julia said that “You can expect actions from us in the coming weeks to lower the entry price point while preserving the value of existing cards in circulation.”
It seems likely this would be best achieved through introducing a new level of scarcity and Sorare have stated this is something they are exploring.
A new level of scarcity could actually work very well. Let’s say it’s 1/1000 and they have separate leagues/divisions for these cards, with their own reward structure. The current leagues can continue on with their own rewards and perhaps you can only enter one of these new cards in existing leagues (as is the case with common cards now).
The great thing is Sorare would have the ability to issue as many cards as is needed at this new scarcity level, without harming existing users. They don’t need to issue all 1000 of each card, just as many as is required to maintain a healthy, balanced market. They have been very adept at matching supply and demand so far so we expect would be able to pull this off effectively.
Thus you could have good players available at €20-€30 again at the new scarcity level, bringing in a whole host of new users without harming existing ones, who can carry on playing in the higher divisions for the bigger rewards. And Sorare can just keeping doing that ad infinitum as the user base grows.
Summary – Sorare and So Good
Sorare is a global fantasy football platform based on tradable cards on the blockchain. It has recently raised $50m in funding from a group of investors including Benchmark and is supported by footballers Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Andre Schuerrle.
We recently joined the platform and have been really enjoying it. There is a very achievable payout to be won each gameweek (which is actually twice per week) of 0.01 or 0.02 ETH, currently worth €13 and €26 respectively. On top of that you can win additional cards, which can be worth hundreds of even thousands of Euros.
We think there is considerable scope for Sorare to grow and for the rewards to grow as well, making this a very exciting opportunity.
As with anything else, there is also the risk that it could all go wrong, so as ever we would only advise putting in an amount you can afford to lose. There are always inherent risks in something like this, including a possible crash in the value of ETH and how they would deal with that and their ability to continue making payouts should the value of cards or volume of sales fall significantly.
And of course any business or concept like this has a chance of failure. So as we say, bear those risks in mind and if you are going to join, only put in an amount you would be happy to lose if the whole thing went best.
But we have invested a moderate amount in a number of cards ourselves with the aim of taking out our initial investment as soon as possible so we are only playing with “the house’s money” as it were. And as we say we will be tracking our portfolio’s performance here on the site so you can see how we get on.
You can also check out our strategy guide where we share what we have learned so far.
In the meantime, we hope you have found this guide useful and good luck if you do join Sorare and participate in everything it has to offer. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.