How can you play a virtual game with real sports stars and earn money from it?

Fantasy sports is a relatively new wave that has not yet swept over Ukraine, but has long been gaining popularity in Europe and especially in the United States.

In a nutshell, fantasy sports is a way to get even closer to the game than regular bookmaker bets. If in the second case you simply select the teams or players you want to bet on, then in the first case you recruit a team of players, becoming its virtual manager.

This history of betting can be called a thousand-year-old, and its market is long agreed and established, but this cannot be said for sure about fantasy football. Now he is actively entering new niches and getting into a new sport for himself, gradually increasing his potential market.

How popular is fantasy sports?

Fantasy sports came from the USA – and it is there that it is most popular compared to other countries.

According to the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association – the only national organization in the world that represents the interests of fantasy sports – the popularity of this game and betting is about the same. All the main figures are almost identical – up to the annual income of players (45% of bettors and 47% of fantasy managers earn more than $75 thousand per year).

19% of Americans aged 18+ participate in sports betting. And the same 19% are engaged in fantasy sports – so it can be argued that this is practically the same audience – there are practically no those who exclusively bet or play exclusively in fantasy.

At the same time, since 2014, the fantasy sports market has increased by 6%, and in 2017 – the latest available information of this kind – 59.3 million people played it in the US and Canada.

And how did he even appear?

The history of fantasy originates in 1962 in New York. Businessman Wilfred Wickenbach, co-manager of the Oakland Raiders American football team – now known as the Las Vegas Raiders due to their recent move – worked with colleagues and journalists to develop the rules that became the basis of modern fantasy.

A year later, the first league was created, in 1969 a public league appeared, which anyone could join, and in the 1980s the game spread throughout the country. At the same time, football is its basis all over the world.

Fantasy sports came to Europe thanks to the British, who adapted the rules of the game from American football to European.

Now you can compete as you like – for money, just for the sake of greater immersion in sports, against friends – there are a lot of options. The most popular fantasy game is the English Premier League, which has over 8 million teams from all over the world.

What are the main rules there?

The essence of fantasy football is quite simple – you recruit a team of players, choosing them from 20 real-life teams.

Effective actions in real life are credited to the players in the game – goals scored, assists, saves from the goalkeepers and the match played without conceding goals add points in the game, while negative actions – earned cards and penalties – take them away.

Whose team is gaining more – he wins.

Now you can compete as you like – for money, just for the sake of greater immersion in sports, against friends – there are more and more options and venues.

In some applications, you can even create your own league and set rules for it – for example, use only players from specified teams or a certain price category – and compete with other people.

Fantasy sports has recently become more interesting, compared to gambling, the format of games for money. There are more and more strong venues every year, and the prize money on them increases every year, sometimes reaching six-figure amounts for one tournament.

Where and what can you play?

Tournaments can be divided into seasonal and daily.

Seasonal games are tournaments that last throughout the year. Here the player must be able to look not only at the upcoming matches, but also calculate their moves several rounds in advance; he also has to keep a close eye on the league to keep up with the best players and respond to potential injuries.

Daily is a shorter format in which players compete for one in-game week. Typically, such tournaments last from one to three days – here the player must correctly assess the balance of power in the next matches and take into the team those who will play better than the rest here and now.

It is important to note that fantasy sports are not only football.

Increasingly, this direction is beginning to cover other sports – basketball, hockey, tennis, e-sports, Formula 1, handball, cricket, and so on.

The fact that fantasy is just starting to expand its audience shows that the game definitely has potential. Moreover, the entry threshold here is near zero – in many leagues, you do not need to pay anything to participate.