This is my monthly run down on what’s been happening in the world of Sorare. It might be a bit of a long one because absolutely tons has happened. A quiet summer period? Nah…
August was also my one year anniversary on the platform but I’ll cover that, including my recent buys, in a separate post.
Limited cards launched
The biggest development of the month was the launch of the new scarcity, Limited. I’ve done a deep dive into this here and also hosted a fantastic guest blog from SoSpursy so make sure you take a look at those.
The main aim of Limited is to give new managers an easier route to get into the game without spending a fortune. It’ll take time for prices to settle but I’ll pick three players at random to give a sense of where we are at the moment:
On the whole, prices seem to be settling in the 0.020 range for most outfield players and are clearly much more affordable than their Rare counterparts.
Unsurprisingly, goalkeepers are still trending considerably higher:
Even still, it now looks feasible to buy a starting squad of a goalkeeper plus four outfield players for less than 0.2 ETH (around £470).
The launch of Limited cards generated some questions from the community about progression, with Sorare (sensibly) keeping the Limited cards completely separate from the existing cards and structures in the game. Entering Division 5, you’re aiming at either winning Limited cards and selling them on to build up a war chest to buy into Rare cards or hitting one of those podium spots for an ETH prizes (which came in a little more generous than I predicted).
We’ve seen a raft of new cards hit the market this month including the return of regulars from the Russian Premier League, the Belgian Pro League and the Eredivisie.
As previously hinted by the team, we’ve also seen them make some big moves to bring new clubs onto the platform.
First we got the addition of the a whole new league – the Austrian Bundesliga. I’ve got to admit to being a little lukewarm about this because a) I know bugger all about the league and b) it dilutes the existing pool of Euro Challenger players.
The bigger surprise was the addition of FC Sion and coverage of the Swiss Super League. I didn’t see that coming and again, I wasn’t sure how much it added to things, although I haven’t put any time into researching the team or the league.
But ignore me because that’s all a bit short-sighted. The more leagues and teams on the platform the better it is for growing Sorare as a global game. We’re still really early here and I’m sure that in time things like the leagues and division structures we’re playing within will change to accommodate new additions. It’s up to us how much research we do on these news clubs in the meantime and the structure of Sorare means you can take it or leave it really, which i think is great.
I was more excited to see a number of new Ligue 1 clubs joining Sorare. AS Monaco, Stade Rennais and FC Lorient all joined in August, meaning almost half of the French top flight clubs are now on the platform. Some decent players in those squads too, with Tchouaméni for Monaco and Camavinga for Stade Rennais grabbing the headlines (although my choice would be Benjamin Bourigeaud). Could we see the whole of Ligue 1 before too long?
Decimal point scammers and other moans
The darker side of Sorare this month has been the number of scammers that came out of the walls with the introduction of an extra decimal point to cope with the reduced starting price for Limited cards.
I’ve always stressed the importance of having your wits about you when dealing with crypto and the last month has really demonstrated the importance of that. When Sorare introduced the extra decimal point, it gave scammers a new route to con people, by placing offers that look right at first glance but are actually way off the asking price (so offering 0.0049 for a player that you’ve got listed for 0.049 for example).
This was compounded by the block button disappearing during one of the recent UI updates, meaning that scammers were free to keep on sending offers, much to the disgust of the community. This eventually got fixed but it took a few days to respond and in the meantime, dozens of managers got hit.
This of course comes on top of the bots operating to sweep up any accidental low listings and the various other crypto phishing scams that have caught people out in recent weeks. As I’ve said before, this is the Wild West.
Sorare are doing what they can to stop this but perhaps they could do more. If Sorare is aiming at the mainstream and crypto-newbies then we need as many safeguards as possible – remembering that an unhappy customer tells a lot more people than a happy one. They need to find a way to get a handle on things like this, and quickly.
Ultimately though, we’re all responsible for our shit. Check everything at least two or three times, don’t give your details to anyone else, don’t click links you don’t recognise and don’t download any unsolicited attachments either.
Staying on the subject of moans, it’s been a rough month for the team with a few technical hitches overshadowing the good news of the month. Problems with email notifications, glitches with Opta scoring, the Goldin Auctions turning into a disaster class and inconsistent prize pools have dominated the discussions on the Discord server. As others have said, we’re in a sticky place at the moment where the platform is still rough around the edges and in a growth phase, but the whole ‘we’re a small team’ thing probably doesn’t cut it anymore. Hopefully we start to see the impact of recent hires in the next few months.
My Sorare and SorareData improvements
With everything else happening, you may have missed the introduction of My Sorare during August. This makes account information more easily accessible to managers including a transaction history for the first time. You can also keep track of your transfers, bids and trades on My Sorare.
This is just the first iteration of My Sorare but already a big improvement. I like that the team aren’t resting on their laurels when it comes to the user experience of the platform.
Never to be outdone, SorareData also launched a rather nice update this month. Who is your best SO5 card and what does your winning percentage look like?
Sales volume, marketing and profile raising
In previous months I’d looked at the stats on DappRadar for comparison but Sorare is not longer listed on there – possibly because of the move to layer 2… or maybe some other reason? Looking at SorareData though, both auction volume and offer volume is up quite a bit on July’s numbers, which looks really positive.
The impact of Limited cards is also easy to see in terms of new users on SorareData:
The arrow marks 13th August – the date the cards were released. There are around 5,000 more users with at least one blockchain card (about 28,500 at the time of writing).
Sorare encouraged managers to share the word about Limited cards on social media and that was evident in the number of blogs and podcasts about them, all of which helped people to take notice.
We’ve also seen a bit of mainstream advertising during the month – adverts on social media and on the advertising hoardings at some La Liga games. Sorare have told us that they are gradually stepping up advertising but not aiming to rush people onto the platform while there are still a few rough edges to smooth out. This makes a lot of sense to me too.
And we are still early.
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