A few weeks ago I asked a question on twitter – ‘if you’ve not made the jump over to Sorare yet, what’s stopping you?’
I got loads of engagement with that tweet so I wanted to take a few minutes to address some of the barriers that people spoke of. I’m going to split this up into a series of posts, probably five in total, so that I can go into a bit more detail about each one.
Random leagues – a real misconception
The second biggest issue was the perception that Sorare is all about obscure leagues that a lot of people won’t have heard of or have much interest in.
‘When I hear people talk about it, they’re generally talking about players and teams I’ve not remotely heard of.’
This is a fairly easy barrier to breakdown (considerably easier to write about than my journey into crypto last time!). The simple answer is that it’s up to you which leagues you get involved with. Sorare covers 23 different leagues, from the big five that we know so much about to the more obscure ones like the K League and Liga MX.
Sorare’s first big break was getting the licence for the entire Jupiler Pro League (Belgian league) in October 2018. This kickstarted the platform and very quickly some fan favourites emerged, many of whom are still near the top of the scoreboards today, like Hans Vanakan at Club Brugge. This was followed by a number of European teams, like Napoli, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Lyon and West Ham, and then new leagues – the K League from South Korea and the MLS.
Things have moved on a long way since then and there are now 123 different teams represented on the platform, with more being added every few weeks. Sorare has come a long way in a relatively short time, especially when you consider that they have to negotiate the licence for each team so it’s not a simple process of just adding them.
This scattergun approach to adding European teams has led to a perception that you need to have a handle on the inner workings of the more ‘exotic’ leagues to get the most of our Sorare. But with so many teams on the platform now, is that really the case?
The league structure
Sorare tournaments are broken down into a league structure. All players, regardless of where they play, are eligible to compete in the Global All Stars and the Under 23s leagues. Below is a typical Global All Stars entry, showing a range of teams and leagues represented.
Global All Stars is the most popular league and also the only one with ETH prizes for reaching points thresholds. Even with a bang average team, its quite possible to hit the threshold for a 0.020 ETH reward every game week, which is equal to about £40 per week if you really nail it.
There are also regional leagues, bring together players from the same continent and levels of leagues:
European Champions League: Players from teams in the top 5 European football leagues: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.
American Champions League: Players from teams in the American leagues: MLS, Superliga Argentina, Liga MX, Colombian Primera A and Brasileiro Serie A.
Asian Champions League: Players from teams in the J League, K League and Chinese Super League.
European Challenger League: Players from European teams outside of the top 5 European leagues: Portuguese Liga, Russian Premier League, Eredivisie, Belgium Pro League, Scottish Premiership, Turkish SuperLig and the English Championship.
There is also a Rookie league for new managers, a Training League to train unused cards to gain more XP and a Weekly Challenge which has different eligibility every week (and occasionally some bonus ETH rewards).
As you can see, there are plenty of options to get involved with and really no reason to get involved with leagues that don’t interest you. You don’t have to enter every league – and you’re pretty unlikely to do so unless you have a lot of money (and time).
So you don’t need to find out about the more obscure players to play the game but there are some fairly significant price differences that might lead you down that road anyway. As you would expect, the household names on Sorare command a bigger fee than their less known counterparts.
If we compare the average current market prices of the top 10 scoring players across different SO5 leagues, the difference is clear:
- Champion Europe: 0.722 ETH
- Challenger Europe: 0.615 ETH
- Champion Asia: 0.377 ETH
- Champion America: 0.163 ETH
*as of 30th January, using SorareData and using the average value if no card is currently on sale
So if you have the time and inclination to broaden your football knowledge, it could pay off. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed this aspect – getting to know new clubs and players – although I’m avoiding the Asian leagues altogether as that’s just more than my head can take at the moment. I think it’s fine to pick and choose what works for you.
It’s worth also looking at the competitiveness of each league – the number of cards paid out versus the number of entrants. This is how the payouts stack up for the most recent game week (GW138):
As you can see, it’s getting really tough to compete for cards in the Global All Stars league in particular, with so many more users joining the platform recently. The ETH reward is still very doable though – that’s not affected by this as it’s purely based on hitting a certain number of points.
So if you’re on a budget, you’d be well advised to grab a few bargains to compete in the individual league structures and grind out the ETH in Global All Stars.
what about performance?
It’s not just about cost of course, you’ll also want to consider whether your cards can compete for you week in, week out (their utility value). If you’re entering the Global leagues, it doesn’t matter where your player plays, all that matters is that he can hit those high scores which give you a chance of being in the payouts. So if you can pick up a Junya Ito for a third of the cost of a Memphis Depay, why wouldn’t you?
It’s also worth considering whether some of the players in the likes of the Dutch, Belgian or Portuguese leagues could eventually find themselves securing a transfer to one of the big 5 leagues. This can be a double edged sword – for every Bruno Fernandes there’s a Sander Berge, so you can’t assume they’ll automatically gain in price and utility if they move. But if they go to a club not covered by Sorare (so no more cards can be issued), and they hit the ground running, you’ll be sitting on a potential goldmine.
Of course, if they move to a league not covered by Sorare (like Saudi Arabia) then that’s their utility gone… be warned!
- You can play Sorare purely with household names if you wish – there are plenty of teams and players to choose from now.
- If you’re on a budget, you’d be better off looking outside of the main leagues/clubs and picking up cheaper players that have the ability to post high scores. You might even enjoy getting into some new leagues…
- Don’t forget that players can move from one league to another – if you can foresee the impact of this, you can pick up bargains and offload potential deadwood before they lose value.
I’ve got a few more barriers to tackle over the coming weeks, including perceptions around complexity and high prices. If you missed my post about crypto as a barrier, you’ll find it here.
If you want to give Sorare a go, sign up using my referral link and get a free Rare card after you buy your first five cards from the New Signings market: https://sorare.pxf.io/MDJ (and please let me know if you’re doing that so I can walk you through some potential pitfalls at the start!)