For too many reasons to count, people love to collect things. Whatever it is, if you can get it, someone is in the business of collecting it. However, not everyone is passionate about stuffing entire rooms — or crypto wallets — with massive collections without a clear-cut way to interact with them in mind.
In the case of NFTs, that experience is doubly true. Interactivity with NFTs is often limited to what its creator intended. In most cases, especially outside of the blockchain gaming arena, that translates to NFT utility. So what if there was an NFT collectible designed with interactivity and play in mind? Answer: This is what Sorare aims to do.
What is Sorare?
Wonder what would happen if you could meaningfully interact with your NBA Top Shot NFTs? Besides trading them, of course. Sorare hopes to realize that scenario for sports collectible enthusiasts throughout Web3 — seamlessly integrating the trappings of fantasy sports leagues with NFT collecting.
In Sorare, users play as general managers of “fantasy” professional sports teams, building them out with NFT cards representing a sport’s active roster of athletes. It’s not that kind of fantasy if you were expecting an experience akin to a pro-athlete version of the Pokémon trading card game. This is less of a “game” game and more of an interactive experience intended to deepen a sports fan’s enjoyment of a season. As such, the core gameplay loop largely revolves around managing a virtual team, and competing against other users for points to see who was able to construct the statistically strongest team.
Through its unique format, Sorare provides sports fans with an experience that combines two of the biggest hobbies built on top of professional sports leagues: fantasy leagues and trading cards.
How does Sorare work?
Instead of acquiring players for fantasy teams via a draft, users do so via the acquisition of special NFT cards. Since these cards double as NFTs, player performance can be logged in real-time, and is used as the basis for each player’s Player Score (PS) on any given day. This is calculated based on the statistical figures of each athlete while they’re out there actually playing the sport in the real world. Additionally, users can opt to further push the statistical value of the cards they have using Card Scores (CS), which dole out bonuses, potentially increasing any given athlete’s PS enough to lift a user over the edge and into a favorable position.
When a user is ready to test the strength of their team, they can pit a selection of their players against other users, earning in-game points upon each victory.
NFT cards players receive are also split into rarity, with common-tier cards freely available for players who are looking to give Sorare a try first before investing any money into the game. Upon creating a Sorare account and joining one of its leagues, players are gifted with sets of common card packs to help build out their starting roster. That means if you’re looking to check out, say, Sorare’s NBA offerings, you probably won’t be landing a LeBron card straight away. But you might stumble into a Westbrook.
A new meta for sports fans
Sorare is designed to go beyond serving only one sport’s fanbase. Sorare began development by securing licensing deals with various soccer teams around Europe, but the firm’s scope has since rapidly expanded across multiple sports. Currently, fans of baseball, soccer, and basketball may enjoy dedicated Sorare modes.
Additionally, with the game’s continued development and success, it’s also been able to attract some of the sporting world’s biggest names as investors. So far, soccer legend Lionel Messi and tennis icon Serena Williams count among Sorare’s athlete investors, with more certain to follow as the game continues to keep getting bigger and better.
But why does it matter that Sorare is out there, anyway? Put simply, it’s a glimpse into the future of possibilities for everyone in the space, and that includes sports fans. While the premise of actually owning digital assets might not seem like a big deal to many, sports fans stand the most to benefit from this new meta. You can only have so many Steph Curry posters on the wall — but you can theoretically store an infinite amount in your crypto wallet.