Wildly popular across the globe, fantasy sports are online games where you put together a virtual team of real sports players, manage the team and make predictions. It allows fans to feel more involved and more connected to their favourite players and teams, which creates a very alluring experience for fantasy sports players!
What are fantasy sports?
Basically, fantasy sports are games based on sport statistical data. As a player, you create your own team as a manager, and then the performance of the players in real life determines how many points you get within your fantasy sports game – the better the player performs in real life, the more fantasy points you get! Baseball was the first sport to be used in fantasy sports games, with a fantasy baseball board game created in 1951. Then in 1980, ‘rotisserie baseball’ was created, where the game was based off the current baseball season instead of the players’ performance in the previous season. From this rotisserie game, fantasy sports evolved from a niche hobby to a global phenomenon.
How do Fantasy Sports Work?
Picture this – you are both general manager and field manager of your favourite sports team. You get to choose your own roster through a draft and trades, selecting from all the players in the league. You make your lineup based on statistics and your intuition, aiming to win the most points with your team. There are a huge variety of sports played as fantasy sports (the most popular ones being football, basketball, baseball, soccer), and the athletes you choose will score points based on metrics like the number of shots, goals, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers they make.
What makes them so popular?
The Thrill of Competition
Are you a competitive person? Do you love sports? When playing fantasy sports, you get to experience the same competitive spirit as if you were playing the game itself! As you analyze data, make predictions, and manage your team in order to be successful and win the most points, you’re competing against everyone else doing the same. You also get to connect with other people who share your same passion for sports and experience that sense of camaraderie. And beyond that, fantasy sports enhance engagement with real-life sporting events by introducing fans to new teams, players and sports (instead of only following their own favourite players or home team).
The Strategy and Decision-Making
Fantasy sports are categorised as games of skill rather than games of luck. You’ll be in with the best chance if you have a solid understanding of the rules of your sport or league, and if you are very familiar with the statistics of most of the players within the sport. Value-based drafting is key – don’t draft from rankings that look like everyone else’s within your league! Your chance of winning always ties back into value, not just the value of specific players but also the competition, format, attacking and draft flow. Strategy is vitally important, just as in games like blackjack in some uk casinos, treat your fantasy team in the same strategic way for the best chance of scoring points.
The Social Interaction and Community Building
Even if you don’t play fantasy sports yourself, I am sure you have a friend or colleague you’ve heard talking about it! With 50.4 million players in the US alone, fantasy sports are an intrinsic part of modern life. Playing fantasy sports foster social interactions, playing a huge role in shaping the community of the fans (especially on social media, online forums, chat groups and leagues). Through the staples of sports culture – competition and trash talk – people bond together. Fantasy leagues can be made up of friends, coworkers, strangers or a mix of all of the above. From conversations around the water cooler at work to fiercely loyal friendships in online forums – fantasy sports are an incredible way to form new friendships.
With alluring and strategic gameplay, fantasy sports are an exciting way to compete with strangers and friends, create new friendships and dive more deeply into your favourite sports, all from the comfort of your couch! As team manager you get to use your instincts and strategic skills and experience the exhilaration and competition of an actual game. The thrilling world of fantasy sports awaits for you to explore, have you got what it takes to succeed?