🏆 The Comprehensive Guide To Fantasy Basketball NFTs
The NBA season is here, and @GhostOfGregOden takes a dive into all things Fantasy Basketball x NFTs — Including NBA Top Shot, Sorare, LeagueDAO and Swoops.
The 2022-23 NBA season is HERE! And as NFTs continue to creep more into the mainstream, there are several ways to incorporate hoops into your Web3 diet this winter.
Here are a few of the top projects that combine basketball, blockchain and fantasy sports to have fun all season long:
NBA Top Shot
Launch: Summer 2020
Total Marketplace Volume: $1.03B
Highest Sale: $230,000 — LeBron James S1 Legendary #23/79
📜 The Lowdown: If you’re in the NFT space (or are a reader of my twice-weekly Basketball & Blockchain newsletter), you’re probably familiar with the flagship NBA digital collectible from Dapper Labs.
After entering public beta in October of 2020, NBA Top Shot exploded onto the NFT scene around the New Year — with a surge of new users, media coverage and limited supply creating a perfect storm of excitement and speculation.
It hasn’t been all sunshine since then, with the Top Shot market going through a prolonged rough patch for most of the last two years. While it has been a rollercoaster for collectors, this coming season marks Series 4 on the platform — a pivotal
🕹 The Fantasy Spin: While Top Shot moments are digital collectibles first and foremost, the platform has added several gamification avenues to add utility to the ecosystem.
Flash Challenges occur frequently throughout the season — and users can utilize their collection to earn packs and additional moment rewards. The necessary moments vary from challenge to challenge, but often revolve around the live NBA action — allowing users to speculate on the market and enjoy the games. Example:
Introduced in Series 3, Crafting Challenges build on the concept above, except users must burn the required moments to earn the reward.
In addition to the challenges on-platform, several third-party sites have built around Top Shot moments and the FLOW ecosystem to bring even more gamification to the table:
Collective Play (Formerly MomentRanks) is a free daily contest that allows Top Shot collectors to utilize their moments in a daily fantasy format. Users can win Dapper Balance for placing highly in the daily tournament, or play against friends in a head-to-head format.
aiSports is another daily fantasy site that integrates with your Top Shot collection, with prizes awarded in Dapper Balance.
Gameday+ has free-to-play pick’em challenges with prizes awarded in $ FLOW.
🏁 Get Started:
Launch: 2018 (Football Product) | October 2022 (NBA)
Discord: 47,000 | N/A (NBA)
Twitter: 130,000 | 7,000 (NBA)
Total Marketplace Volume: $447M
Highest Sale: Erling Haaland Unique — $687,000
📜 The Lowdown: For the first time since NBA Top Shot launched 2020, a new basketball competitor has emerged.
Last month, the NBA announced an agreement with Sorare to become the league’s NFT fantasy partner — with ‘the first officially licensed, free-to-play digital collectible-based fantasy basketball game’ coming this Fall.
Sorare initially launched in 2018 as a football (⚽️) platform, where users can buy, sell, collect and trade player NFTs to enter in competitions for rewards (including ETH and additional cards). Statistics are based on the real-world performance of each player, with a game structure similar to fantasy sports.
Last year the company raised a $680M Series B round at a 4.3 Billion valuation, which included investments from Serena Williams, Kylian Mbappé, Rudy Gobert and Blake Griffin.
Sorare’s flagship product finds itself in the Top 5 of NFT collections over the past 30 days, with over $22M in sales volume (over $400M all-time):
🕹The Fantasy Spin: Sorare NBA has a similar scoring style to fantasy basketball, with managers building lineups to compete in twice-weekly competitions. Our thread breaking down a lot of key information:
Contests are gated by rarity, with the ability to earn card rewards based on your team’s performance on the court (rewards vary by tier of competition entered). In the NBA version, there is also a points cap — which functions much like a salary cap restriction in other daily fantasy games to prevent players from playing 5 superstars in their lineup.
Unlike many other sports NFTs, Sorare does not sell packs — with the supply entirely released via auction or held back to be distributed as rewards.
There are many variables to consider when building your collection and forming teams, so make sure to check out the How to Play blog for all the important details.
🏁 Get Started:
Launch: September 2021
Total Marketplace Volume: N/A
Highest Sale: N/A
📜 The Lowdown: If you checked out my NFT Fantasy Football Guide, you might’ve already heard of LeagueDAO — but their game offerings extend into basketball as well.
While not licensed with the NBA (hence the card artwork), LeagueDAO’s Nomo basketball league is an interesting crypto twist on fantasy basketball. Users can mint player tokens ($150 each) which can then be staked to earn rewards distributed based on their real-life statistics.
The platform also incorporates a DeFi element, and the player cards have utility from year-to-year in a keeper-league format:
🏁 Get Started:
Launch: September 2022
Total Marketplace Volume: 59 ETH
Highest Sale: .5 ETH
📜 The Lowdown: Pivoting to a drastically different type of basketball NFT is Swoops — a simulation-based strategy game that combines fantasy, strategy and digital ownership for a general manager-type experience.
Unlike the other offerings that utilize NBA players, Swoops’ uses robot-style fictional players and relies on video game-style sims to generate information, stats and eventually game outcomes:
Swoopsters minted in September 2022, and each generated player contains different attributes — with the amount revealed based on the age of the player.
Just like in an NBA 2K franchise, it’ll be up to users to build the right team of Swoopsters — with the mix of physical traits (offense/defense/position) and intangibles like (leadership/IQ/coachability) creating unique challenges to consider.
Gameplay will include daily contests against other managers, with the ability to win cash prizes.
🏁 Get Started:
That’s it for this year’s list! Are you stoked for all things basketball and web3? We cover it daily on The First Mint Twitter, so head on over for a follow.
Follow Zach on Twitter at @GhostOfGregOden.
**This is not financial advice. Nothing in this newsletter, podcast, or publication should be considered financial or trading advice of any kind. Please do your own thorough research and make your own trading decisions. This is not advice.”
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