Sorare AMA – July 2021

Sorare continued their tradition of quarterly AMAs today, keeping managers in the loop with everything that’s going on at Sorare HQ. You can read the full breakdown over on Reddit but I’ve summarised some of the key points below.

Big changes are just around the corner

The main news from this AMA is that there are some big developments about to land. The new scaling solution is due to be implemented on Wednesday and this should transform the platform, making transactions almost instant and reducing the high transaction costs that come with building a platform on Ethereum.

The new solution is something called StarkWare and the benefits should be immediately felt by us and by the Sorare team. Check out this medium post if you want to find out more.

Moving to StarkWare means that the team can also push on with plans to implement a new scarcity. They’ve not given us a date for this but I would imagine that it’s likely to come in at around the time the European leagues start up again, hopefully alongside a lot of marketing.

There’s still a bit of nervousness in the community about what a new scarcity could do to existing card values but I feel pretty bullish on this. A new scarcity seems pretty essential to growth and I think the deflationary risk can be managed by timing it alongside a push for new users and by ensuring the new scarcity has its own league and only the Rare cards and above continue to have access to ETH rewards.

The other big change coming is the new Academy format but the team had little to say on this, only that the principles remain unchanged and they need more time to get it right before releasing further details.

Two new leagues coming soon

The addition of new leagues is big news too. Not only does that mean there’s more chance for us to grab the players we want but it’s really important for marketing Sorare, putting it directly in front of new eyes.

There’s plenty of speculation about which leagues these will be. All we know is that it’s one league covered by SO5 and one that isn’t (but presumably will be from that point forward). If I had to guess, I’d say Ligue 1 and perhaps the Austrian Bundesliga… but that’s a pure guess! Wouldn’t it be great if the Championship came onboard…

They’re working on the things we’ve asked for

Sorare are in the middle of a recruitment exercise at the moment so they won’t be a small team for much longer. Perhaps then they can start to really drive forward the improvement that managers are asking for.

In the meantime, they’ve given us a signal that there are various things in development at the moment:

  • They’ve drawn up initial plans for a Sorare app – but warn that this is still some way off.
  • The training UI is getting overhauled to make it more interesting.
  • They are making changes to improve the onboarding for new managers (I imagine this is a priority before any marketing push).
  • They want to increase the utility of tier 2 and tier 3 players (and they have previously spoken about possibly adding a tier 4 as well, to deal with DNPs etc).
  • They’ve developed a counter-offer function but have paused the roll out until after the new scaling solution is implemented.
  • Additional utility is planned for Legends, Retired, and Coach cards, with more news on this to follow soon. Their goal is for every Sorare card to be useful in some way.
  • They’ve taken note of suggestions to improve the scoring matrix and are testing some things out before sharing more news on this (probably at the end of the summer).
  • They’re working on adding the new Europa Conference League for scoring in SO5.
  • Ramp are working on a fiat withdrawal feature (something we already knew but hopefully made easier by the new scaling solution).

And they poured water on a few things

There are a few things that managers won’t be seeing, at least not anytime soon:

  • The One Shot League won’t be returning. It’s not clear why but it seems to be Ubisoft’s decision and perhaps it was only ever meant to be a pilot anyway. Despite the teething problems last season, this is a bit of a disappointment as it was a good way to introduce new managers to the game but hopefully the new scarcity will offer a new low-cost way to bring people in.
  • There are no plans to bring in a formal loaning system for managers to loan out their ‘spare’ cards. The current ‘fairness regulations’ will continue to apply to ad hoc loans between friends.
  • It doesn’t look like Sorare are ready to sponsor any football clubs just yet, so there’s little chance of seeing the logo on a jersey next season. They want to build their teams and iron out the tweaks in the platform before going big with the marketing – which makes a lot of sense (providing a rival product doesn’t try to steal a march on them in the meantime).
  • The next iteration of rewards will include an element of hitting targets to win ETH – but the threshold rewards as we know them now are definitely going (which we already knew but bears repeating).
  • Adding a dark mode isn’t on their radar at the moment. Boo.

A couple of other things

The issue of BlackPool came up again, with the question of whether there was a conflict of interest with Fabric Ventures being investors in both BlackPool and Sorare. They batted this question away but it’s obviously a touchy subject with some parts of the community. A good summary of how I feel about it is in this brilliant twitter thread from @ThePortugueseT1

On a brighter note, the rumours around a multi-million pound investment were raised and not denied by Nicolas. They have nothing to share yet but there seems to be some truth behind it…

All in all, this was another positive AMA from the team and sets things up nicely for the rest of the summer. I’ve been on Sorare for a year now and it’s completely transformed in that time. Imagine how it will look in summer 2022?


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