Insight 20: Foray into Sorare- Vespasian

Updated: Feb 23

Dear reader,


In this article, we find out how Vespasian is getting on after entering Sorare recently.


Sorare is gripping the interest of many football fans, traders and collectors at the moment.


The platform keeps steadily improving. It is global! I've noticed a lot of website traffic for FTI from all over Africa, the USA and Australia etc, so good news to those of you reading from afar, unlike the other platforms we regularly discuss, you can access Sorare from anywhere in the world!


One of the biggest improvements, since I first trialed it, is the new onboarding process. For those interested in joining Sorare, I have two tips to mention (and yes pump my affiliate link as it helps both of us!):


1- Start again option


If, like me, you signed up ages ago, had a little look but then didn't go any further, I'm sure Sorare won't mind me pointing out you may benefit from 'Destroying' that old account and starting fresh. The new sign up offer is better than ever and the step by step guide is worth going through!


Simply head to 'Settings', then 'Account settings' where you will find the 'Destroy Account' button.



2- Sign up through an affiliate link/friend referral


For new users, or those doing the above, join Sorare through an affiliate link or if you know a friend is already on Sorare, ask them for their referral. Either way, it means you will get 1 free rare card after buying 5 new cards from the 'New Signings' market (not the 'transfer market').


With the affiliate link, if you choose to skip the onboarding steps, you also get an extra 100 million to your free draft squad budget. I'd recommend new users follow the tutorial steps; you get random free players for completing tasks on set up. But if you are rejoining, and know how it works, or if you are keen to select the free common cards you get you can skip the tutorial.


To skip the onboarding and use the 500 mil budget, lookout for the 'Skip' button top right of screen as you get started setting your account up. Again- I highly recommend going through the tutorial style steps though!


Free players wise, I have seen both options all the way through. I helped a friend go through the new onboarding steps and the players received were a good mix in the end; the main thing is you only need 5 decent players to make a team in the rookie league. Getting some Gks is good to as you can use 1 common card in future leagues and GKs are very sought after on the platform- so a common GK filling in means you can still enter with 4 other rares and compete. When I rejoined, the 500 mil drafted squad was interesting trying to squeeze the most quality I could for the money; it was fun too and I did manage to make sure I ended up with a whole squad of regular starters. The choice is yours!


It was great to catch up with Vespasian and hear his thoughts on Sorare. Absolutely kicking myself I didn't back myself early on in the product and also that he got Sangare in an auction whilst I was sleeping! I am moving funds to Sorare as we speak, so I look forward to competing in the leagues with Vespasian and many other well known football traders; it is another element I find very appealing- the transparency of seeing who is bidding, how they are doing in the leagues and seeing their squads!


Any questions or help needed, DM us on Twitter, or use our forum or email footballtradinginsights@gmail.com


Thanks for reading!

Westy


For a long time Westy has been telling me to give Sorare a go, with the same veracity with which I suggested he try Footstock. The world has been in chaos and with bargain prices available on Football Index, Footstock, and the LSE it’s been very hard to stray away from the markets I use so much and know so well. Especially as Sorare comes with some daunting challenges which definitely add a barrier to new users.


However, recent rises in other markets made it a good opportunity to free up some funds and time and give Sorare a fair crack. I had tried before, but not to an extent where I could offer a valid opinion to its pros and cons.

I would also mention, in addition to Westy, a couple of other alt-gambling/football accounts that I respect were talking about Sorare: Quinny (@quinny3001) & MDJ (@football_mdj) and more recently the big man John (@johnnellis_). Seeing them blow the trumpet with obvious excitement for a sustained period of time, seemed like a good seal of approval. These accounts are well worth a follow to anyone who doesn’t already and is in the football and/or alternative gambling/gaming space.


MDJ made a post back in January asking the Football Index community for some feedback as to any barriers they perceive. Below is my answer, and hopefully I can address some of my own feedback in this article.


I’m only a few weeks into my journey, but I think I’ve had enough of a poke around with all the elements to give an honest first impression whilst it’s all fresh. (It is a first impression. There may be some bits I've missed/not fully understood- let me know if so!)


Depositing


I will start with the boring administration of creating an account and getting some funds into Sorare.


I used RAMP which is a service accessible within the Sorare site and is aptly targeted at beginners.


I deposited £500 which was subject to a £4.50 fee (the fees are now covered by Sorare).


My experience with Ramp was one of mild ball ache. It is a little outside the comfort zone as it involves a leap of faith. However, that it is advertised directly in Sorare I think it’s quite risk free. You make a direct transfer to Ramp, they provide you the account details and a reference. Once you make payment, you email them to confirm ASAP, so they can begin the transfer. An added element is verification. It was easy, however, a little invasive. I had to use a live webcam to show both my passport and capture my face. The invasive part is how close you have to get to the camera. I saw my face in more detail than I have for years or would ever want to again.

Then it is a waiting game. This is annoying. I act spontaneously and I don’t like waiting… I’d finally taken the leap and I wanted to start buying some cards immediately. I think it took between 48-72 hours for the money to reach my Sorare wallet.


To avoid this pain again, I have since been buying from Auction with a credit card (I think I have run up a £3-4k bill already!). Buying from auction is commission free and Sorare pay all ETH gas fees. Alternatives and probably the best option is to use Starling bank debit card as they don’t have any currency exchange fees.


Some of you may already have Wallets for crypto in which case that would be your preferred method. I will cross that bridge when I want to withdraw funds!


Pros and Cons


At this stage, I assume the readers know the concept of Sorare, if you are completely in the dark I suggest doing more in depth research.


I have begun to keep a short list of what I deem to be the pros and cons as I go along.


Pros:


  • Auctions – bidding on auctions is great fun! It is a live auction with a countdown clock and you see the change in highest bid instantly. You can also dive into the card details and see all of the bids and bidders. Already, in my short time, I have found myself up against a handful of the same users several times so (perhaps only in my head) there is already some rivalry and I love it when I get one over them! When you get to the last minute, any new bid restarts the clock from one minute again. This is when the real fun and games begin.


  • P2P – Prices on the P2P side are quite high and the spread between auction and P2P is quite large in the majority of cases, so my experience of the P2P is that it is quite slow. However, there is an option to negotiate, by ways of making an offer. This entails offering cards and/or ETH to try and land your target. I’ve had some very entertaining, though drawn out, negotiations and I find it one of the more fun and interactive elements of the game so far. I’ll show some examples later in the article.


  • Contests – There are a few things I really like about the contests; they are free to enter, there is a threshold score to win money (rather than purely where you place against other users – so in a high scoring GW you are still rewarded for a good team, and the threshold score seems quite reasonable), your team gets automatically entered if you forget (great for if you go on holiday etc). Also, I think there is just enough types of contests to build your squad to a specific strategy (target a league, region or go global!).


  • Transparency – as mentioned with the auctions and the ability to see who is bidding and how much… the whole site is very open. You can view other managers gallery (collection/portfolio) see what they paid for cards, who they are selling etc. Some may find this too intrusive? But a good example is I can check MDJ's and Quinny's gallery and see if their Twitter campaign was a pump and dump or not!! I can confirm they both have lovely galleries and aren’t trying to sell all their cards!


  • Football – one of my concerns that I raised to MDJ was that I felt having leagues like J1, K1, Jupiler would make the contests less fun as I do not watch or follow those leagues. I also felt that I may be disadvantaged against other people who do follow those leagues. My personal experience is that now I have money in and I can buy these players… my love and passion for football is growing again and I find myself doing the research and watching what I can of the alternative leagues. I’ve focused mainly on J1 league which starts again at the end of Feb. But I have also picked up a few Jupiler players and have added both Jupiler and Eredevisie to my favourites on Flash score. So it’s two more leagues sending me goal alerts on match days! I haven’t played Football Manager for a few years now, but the Global nature of Sorare almost brings back that wider Football thirst for knowledge and scouting. For instance, I’m now desperate to land 26 yr old Adam Taggart from Cerezo Osaka. This won’t appeal to everyone, but you can ignore those leagues if you wish as there are contests purely for Europe and these are split into the main leagues (champion contests) and the minor leagues (challenger contests).


Cons:


  • Auctions – once the auction is complete you can no longer see the bid history. There is no impact of this, I just would like to see it for reference and for the social aspect i.e. retrospectively showing your mate a fun bidding war. One of the big bug bears so far for me is that you can’t bid a specific amount. I presume this is to stop petty penny wars and keep the auctions ticking along at a high speed. That said, when the card you want is on the market for 350 Euro, the highest bid 320, but the next bid you can make is restricted to 370 (for example) it is frustrating to say the least. It’s an element of luck who lands that bid that sits one rung beneath the spread between auction and market price.


  • P2P – First and foremost, I find it currently quite illiquid. I think with market growth and it being new, there are far more buyers than sellers. Therefore, there is very little evidence of undercutting once you list a card for sale. However, this means sellers (including myself) are perhaps being too greedy and setting very high offers… still the lowest on the market. Therefore, people are willing to spend more on the auctions. Making and receiving offers to other managers can be laborious as with time zones there can be lengthy delays in receiving a response. Also there is no message facility and no counter offer function. It would be great to be able to reject or counter the offer with a message to the user i.e. add another 0.5 ETH or “I’m looking for a Challenger league GK in the deal”. I have made a few flips and also I am aware I could set lower margins if I want quicker sales.


  • Transaction History – this could be something I am missing, but so far I don’t seem to have any trace of my deposits or my transactions. Over time I can see this becoming difficult to track spend/success etc.


  • Search Criteria – when searching the market for a bargain I find the options in the filters a little lacking. You can’t search by player scores, average scores, minutes played (it was there but as an odd 1-100 range which I think was minutes played rather than %, very odd). I hope they build on this so more research and specific player scouting can be done in one place.


  • Contests – I will discuss this in my summary*


  • Deposit/Withdraw – no need for detail here. At the moment, depositing is cumbersome. I haven’t withdrawn yet, but knowing that I will have to set up a crypto wallet and pay certain fees and conversions is not a pleasant thought. Under rug swept!


Cost


I see the high cost as both a pro and a con. Obvious downside is affordability, both in terms of building your collection quickly enough to have a decent contest entry, but also as a barrier to entry for new users (and we know these products live on their growth!). I know some in the community say it can be done on a budget – if you want to have a go with say less than £500 then I would ask around and get some advice on how to. Personally, I think £500 minimum, but more like £1000 + to enjoy it and have a good crack at a couple of contests.


That said, I like the high prices as an alternative. In Football Index, putting in large sums meant I held 1000s of shares in players or others have hundreds of shares across hundreds of players. It can be high risk when needing to sell in that volume, it can also be a challenge to manage a portfolio of so many players. In Footstock, you can buy multiples of all the cards you would need for around £5000. Putting in more than that is purely betting on the future of the company, as short term there is no utility for surplus cards (though things are improving as new games, rewards and card circulation mechanics are coming at a rate of knots!).


So the high pricing in Sorare, gives the users more flexibility of how they want to manage large amounts of investment. If you want an easy life small gallery, you can put £50k on one card as we have seen with the Mbappe Unique. It means it is accessible to smaller and medium budgets of £1k-10k but also really appealing to the big budget players.


Buys


I have spent over £3k. I’ve accumulated 32 rare cards and 2 super rare cards to join my 10 free common cards.


My first purchase was Ibrahim Sangare of PSV. Great age, Westy had him topping a stat list from his research and I had seen him play a few times and passed the eye test.


I paid 331 just over two weeks ago. Last night, Sangare issue number 9 hit the market for 380. His contest scores are proving consistently high and I’m very pleased with this purchase. I have employed Westy to scout me a few more of similar ilk.






My biggest purchase to date is only a little more expensive at 358. It’s 18 year old Chelsea loanee, and my second super rare card, Armando Broja. He is starting quite regularly for an 18 year old and his goal per game ratio is very healthy. Participating in just over 50% of minutes for his team, he has contributed to 25% of their goals. Being a Chelsea player, I can see him being loaned out to some very interesting teams for the next 10 seasons! I’m excited to see how he progresses. I see this purchase as both an investment in his future, but also good value now for u23 contests.







My bargain buy is Sergi Samper. Former Barcelona wonderkid, still of a good age, is plying is trade in the J1 league. As I have begun to target this league, he really stood out to me as a deep lying playmaker; he should be capable of some good scores. I’ve been poking around various blogs and lots suggest he should be first team choice for Vissel Kobe, having played most league games for the past two seasons.


I picked up Samper in a trade with another manager for 19-20 edition of De Sciglio.


If you use Sorare, or join, you can view my full gallery and track my trades and progress;

Sells


I like to be an active trader on all platforms. So when I first dipped my toes into Sorare, I wanted to see what kind of flips were available. I have made a few nice profitable sells in quick turnaround. These were cards I picked up in the instant rush of joining and diving straight into auctions. But essentially, in the cold light of day, I realised they didn’t really fit my strategy and could make some money off them to buy more targeted players.


Jon Bamba, Ben Rienstra and Kerim Demirbay respectively. 80 euro profit on 270 outlay – a nice 30% margin made on my first few cards sold.


I’ve also had some fun bartering with other managers. I think my longest drawn out negotiation was for Dusan Tadic. I picked him up for 580 Euros and almost immediately envious managers were tapping me up to have him. The pricing was difficult – the lowest on the market was over 2000, I listed for 1200, which felt a little greedy. Another manager came in back and forth with a lot of swap ideas. After batting him away a number of times, he reached out on Twitter to find me so we could discuss the deal. At which point I was able to tell him he was very close and all I needed was either a better GK or a second GK. We struck a deal which suited both parties. I got around 900-1000 worth of cards. The main appeal was Broun & Vukovic (two goalkeepers that go for 200-300 each on the market), Melluso (a young CB with quite high scoring potential) and Yuma Suzuki, capable of consistent good scores and only 23. Aouar bulked up the offer as I envisage a move for him next season and could be a very valuable card.


Some other deals that I have been offering managers (I’m still trying to land Adam Taggart and Go Hatano if anyone reading this wants to contact me for a trade);


Contest Lineups


When you join, you are given 10 free common cards to use in Rookie league. My selections were good and I have had some competitive finishes winning several good common cards. However, the real fun is finally being able to enter the Global Division 4. You need to acquire at least 4 rare cards to do this.


Here is my first entry and was able to beat the threshold score of 250 (I think I scored 258) to win 0.02 ETH.


This week I am skipping the GD4 contest and I have targeted the Challenger Europe D4. Here is my lineup;


I’m not particularly optimistic but I want to have a go. I think it will be a smaller pool of entries to compete against. There is no ETH threshold prize in this division. But based on current number of entries it looks like the top 10% will get a rare card reward.


I have also entered the special weekly as it feels like a fun contest this week. You can only enter players whose 5 game average is maximum 45pts. So in theory, we should see some weaker teams or off form players entered. The top 200 teams will win a Goalkeeper which is a great prize to win! There are currently 992 entries at the time of writing (Friday12th Feb).


The teams are subject to today's trading and last minute checks for injuries


Contests


In the cons section I skipped over this, as I feel for me it is the biggest negative. Maybe it’s a one off due to the schedule, but I have found this week very boring outside of auctions. My spending will have to stop at some point and without auctions I don’t see where the engagement really comes from within Sorare. The P2P market feels a little slow, I had 15 or so cards as lowest offer on the market and went 3 days without so much as a negotiation on them. And in terms of contests, we are talking about just 5 player squad selection, so your team could be finished in a matter of hours into a contest.


The contests last days! And there are just 2 a week by the looks of it. Here was this weeks;

I entered my team on the 5th and it is a whole week until I next enter a team. Engagement is everything for me and for this reason, I could never replace the other products with Sorare. I think it’s going to be a very interesting addition to my gambling/gaming resources, but not a sole focus.


Football Trading Insights has always been focused on multi-platform enjoyment. I think it’s important to consider using different products to enhance your enjoyment and value from football, rather than put all your eggs in one basket. For instance, in Football Index my main hold is Messi and he will compete maybe twice a week (once a week considering subs and being rested etc). When he’s playing, it’s exciting and I have a handful of other holds that compete for PB. Trading wise, I trade a little bit between the spreads, but my trading has become very limited since the removal of IS.


I have much more regular involvement with Footstock, trading, games and contests are around the clock. But there is a limit to how much money you need etc.


Sorare will fit nicely with the other two, but for customers not using other sites, I think they should consider increasing the utility of cards and add more engaging elements to the game.


Future plan


In terms of budget, I will probably slow down and aim for around £5k total spend in my first month until I feel I understand it more and enjoy it. I’d also like to test out the withdrawal process before committing much more money into the product.


Squad building is my main project for the future. I aim to target the u23 market, giving me flexibility in which contests I enter. I think I will focus on the alternative leagues as I can already get my EPL fix in Footstock and top 5 leagues in Football Index. Sorare can be my J1 league fix!


I also need to keep an eye on squad balance. I’ve already fallen into the trap where my outfield players significantly outweigh GK so some cards can’t be entered in any contests until I buy more GKs. That’s my priority for the next 2 weeks.


Good luck if you join!

As always, feel free to send us your experiences of the football platforms,

Vespasian

A couple of our sign up offers have been boosted recently!


Get a head start on the platforms!


Sorare:


⭐ Get one free rare card as a reward if you purchase 5 cards from the new card sales (primary market, both individual card sales and bundle sales), after the 5th card purchase, you will receive the free rare card.

You can choose to go through the onboarding process and pick up random free players as you go through the steps (recommended for learning!) or skip it. If you choose to skip it, you draft your own free starter squad- you will receive an extra 100mil to your budget for this by using our link.

Click here

Terms and Conditions apply

Footstock:



Use this sign up offer to receive:


⭐ 10 top players to use in contests for two weeks ⭐ Access to new user contests including a £200 freeroll every week ⭐ 50% deposit bonus up to £100 (Double as good as the regular deal!!)

Click here

Terms and Conditions apply

BeGambleAware

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For more, head to www.footballtradinginsights.com/offers




Please Be Gamble Aware!


Lastly, just a quick note to remind and raise awareness of gambling support on offer.


GAMSTOP is a free support site with options to helping you stop. You can enter all your details on there and then they send them to bookies to stop you being able to join/deposit.


Be Gamble Aware is a more well known support site.


This article explained the method of Bankroll Management which helps to limit your exposure each time you trade/bet.


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