The “MLS is Back” Tournament is preparing for a grand opening on July 8th. Players have begun to arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. Unluckily, fans will still be unable to attend the games in person. The tournament will be played behind closed doors until August 11th. All 54 matches will be televised and streamed while MLS odds will be available to everybody. One more option is now available to soccer lovers: blockchain powered fantasy soccer.
The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) has signed a deal with Sorare, the global fantasy soccer platform. All the 700 MLS players will be tokenized with the Ethereum blockchain used by Sorare. Each player will be associated with a blockchain Card, a limited edition digital collectible.
Cards can be used to form 5-a-side teams with 2 defenders, 2 midfielders or 2 attackers. The player chooses the formation he prefers and gets ranked based on his players’ performance in real matches. Cards can be freely traded on Sorore’s marketplace. The platform has 76 clubs officially licensed and is adding new ones every week. Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Lyon, Porto area already on their roster. There are whole leagues too, such as Belgium’s Jupiler League and South Korea’s K League.
As for the Americas, MLSPA is the first professional soccer organization to have signed a licensing partnership with Sorare. The deal includes OneTeam Partners, the manager of the athletes’ commercial licensing rights. The players have been added to the platform on an individual basis, not as official Major League teams. This means more freedom for players, who will be able to mix MSL player cards with their favorite champions from all over the world to form unique fantasy teams.
“We are excited to be a part of giving fans the opportunity to engage with their favorite players in a new digital landscape,” MSPA COO Dan Jones said in an official statement. OneTeam Partners chief product officer, Henry Lowenfels, believs that “blockchain will play an important role in the future of collectibles, and through Sorare’s innovative fantasy experience, fans can collect, manage and own digital cards representing all their favorite players forever.”
Sorare issues limited editions for every season. Typically, that would include one unique player card, ten Super Rare, and 100 Rare cards. This policy increases the value of popular player cards. The company quotes the example of a Christiano Ronaldo player card that fetched more than $3,100 when sold on their platform.
Players take on the role of team managers when choosing their five-cards formations. They compete with other managers in different fantasy soccer divisions. Managers can earn rewards either in Ethereums or more digital cards. The role of blockchain technology is to guarantee the authenticity and unicity of the games. Blockchains are digital ledgers that can be used to record all sorts of data.
Every month 3,500 active users play on Sorare’s platform. The company recorded over $350,000 in sales for June, according to CEO Nicolas Julia.