The Top 5 blockchain Sports projects to watch in 2023

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2023 has certainly been a rollercoaster ride for crypto assets and Web3 Sports. Top companies like Dapper Labs and Autograph have laid off key staff and the shock collapse of OneFootball’s AERA platform has left their collectors outraged and out of pocket. 

Yet as we approach the new Premier League season the buzz around Web3 Sports seems to be returning with some old heads making new moves and fresh upstarts blazing new paths. 

Here are 5 of the top Web3 sports businesses that promise to be well worth watching in 2023. 

Sorare

The goliath NFT fantasy football platform Sorare has over 5 million players in 180 countries and is valued at a staggering $4.3 billion valuation. Its investors include Serena Williams, Zinedine Zidane, Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann, Gerard Piqué, Blake Griffin and Rudy Gobert. Growth has not necessarily matched expectation yet one man’s move this summer has timed perfectly with their expansion into officially licensed NBA and MLB collectibles.

Lionel Messi is the first face on the Sorare website. He invested in Sorare in 2022 and now we are seeing the value of the Messi effect and his 479 millions instagram followers. Since joining David Beckham’s Inter Miami the club has gained over 10m Instagram followers in just a few weeks. His global recognition driver millions of potential new customers to Sorare in exactly the market they are seeking to penetrate and  his personal cards on the platform have also increased in value. Expect to see Sorare gain a strong foothold in the USA and also introduce a new american audience to their European fantasty football games. 

NFL Rivals

Let’s look at the stats of NFL Rivals. Launched in a bear market, although with hundreds of millions in funding, it has achieved over 1.1m downloads with a 4.8/5 rating from 34,000 reviews and with the average player spending 2 hours a day on the app it is by far and away the hottest game in the web3 space. It’s incredible to think that only 10% of players are interacting with the marketplace yet NFL Rivals nailed the most important factor when it comes to official games. It’s fun. A lot of fun.

NFL Rivals is spearheading the play-and-own model by allowing players to own, collect, and trade in-game assets while building their teams. Built by Mythical Games, a true pioneer in the Web3 gaming space, Mythical Games’ “gamer-first” philosophy gives gamers true ownership over the gaming experience and in-game content. Launched during the off season it’s arcade style play and different modes make it easily accessible and seamlessly onboards users into using the powerful underpinning blockchain technology. It will be interesting to see how far NFL Rivals can go as marketplace transactions grow and player count scales. 

KarateCombat

The next UFC is a DAO. If you think DAOs are for niche crypto nerds then prepare to be swept off your feet by the fastest growing sports franchise in the world. Having recently pivoted to become ‘fan owned’, KarateCombat is a knockout combination of cutting edge virtual live production with video game looks, blockbuster Hollywood effects and fast paced live action full contact Karate.

“Younger generations grew up with social media and gaming culture, and the sports world needs to move rapidly to increase access and engagement.” said Adam Kovacs, Karate Combat president. As football, rugby and other sports struggle to engage audiences and embrace Web3 Technology, a 18-34 predominantly male audience has flocked to see elite black belts fight in a unique padded arena. The action is nonstop and CGI graphics created by Unreal Engine create a backdrop of immersive environments where advertisers can use cutting edge technology to engage fans. “We’ve been pioneers in everything we do, from our signature fighting pit to our groundbreaking virtual production utilising the Unreal Engine”. “And now we’re doing it again. DAOs are the future of professional sports, and we’re the first global sports league to fully adopt one.” Said Kovacs. 

TopGoal

TOPGOAL is a technology based football platform with enormous capabilities that has recently been given the fuel to grow by a multi million dollar investment from DWF labs. Topgoal’s team have extensive experience in football game development, including the creation of proprietary Football AI algorithms, advanced 3D motion engines and innovative gameplay design. They worked closely with binance and added official rights from over 3,000 ex footballers such as Kaka, Michael Owen, Patrice Evra and Alessandro Del Piero.

By using digital football star card assets, players can construct their own teams, participate in leagues and tournaments, and earn $GOAL token rewards via Play-2-Own and Win-2-Earn models. This browser-based football manager game adopts cutting-edge cloud gaming technology and a high-quality 3D gaming experience. Yet Topgoal has even bigger ambitions to create the ultimate metaverse experience for bridging sports to Web3 and the technology to do so. 

Akshun 

Perhaps the worst kept secret in Web3 Sports this year maybe the most innovative new business to debut in 2023. Akshun has been quietly built by a seasoned group of sports loving early NFT adopters based in London that includes the Ex-Head of Sports at Binance. Akshun could eclipse others mentioned here without the massive outlays for licensed sports brands and players. This is because Akshun partnered directly with the Premier League’s official sports data partner Opta and spent a year developing a game where players buy premiership footballer’s touches and are connected to them in a way that has never been thought of before.

True pioneering blockchain technology. Owners of Akshun NFTs are directly linked to live games as each touch is made and win prizes if a player scores with the touch they own. It’s beautifully simple gameplay with a deep technology platform that can be applied to any sport and a way to engage sports fans on their key second screen. The potential is mind boggling. With their NFT drop for the premier League on the 3rd August and a waitlist in the thousands already, it could be worth getting in early on the Akshun. 

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