Fantasy sports have become increasingly popular worldwide over the past two decades with the advent of social media and daily fantasy games appealing to sports fans and casual viewers of almost every sport. Fantasy football in particular has become a household game in the US, and is no longer just a game played by diehard sports fans. Its reach has expanded to casual fans and gamers too as the skill-based element of the game appeals to a broad audience. All the biggest sports leagues and competitions in the world now have some fantasy games attached to them, from the NFL and NBA in the US to Premier League in the UK and even cricket games across the subcontinent. The gambling aspect attached to these games, whereby players can win money from participating in season-long leagues, or daily fantasy matchups, has certainly helped accelerate the growth of the game and is a big reason for its appeal to gamers too. Let’s see why are fantasy drafts a gamers favourite.
Top-level gamers are used to playing for big prize pools in competitions in games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty, so the chance to win money playing fantasy games certainly translates and appeals to them. In this regard, daily fantasy games are hugely appealing, not only to gamers, but to gamblers too as there are myriad opportunities to win money every day across dozens of sports leagues worldwide. The skill and research required in drafting a successful fantasy team, regardless of the sport, is another appealing aspect for gamers. Gaming requires a high level of skill, concentration and studying different tactics in order to become successful, and fantasy sports are much the same. Fantasy football drafts in particular can be very long processes, and plenty of research is required in order to find value selections as it goes on.
Gamers who play games such as Madden also have transferable skills here as in franchise mode of the game, one must draft a full roster before playing a season. The skill and knowledge required to do this puts experienced gamers in a strong position to draft a good fantasy football team, which requires patience and a deep understanding of players in order to gain an edge over other players in a league. Fantasy drafts in a 12-team PPR league, for example, take a long time and the psychological and strategic battles that go on between players all competing to craft their ideal roster is thrilling. This kind of draft is very similar to the feeling for gamers who play strategy based games like Call of Duty in that there is a lot of planning that goes into it, one must stay sharp at all times ready to react to an unexpected move by an opponent, and the high of a plan coming off successfully is exhilarating. It is easy to see why fantasy games that involve drafts have therefore become popular with gamers as the entire concept of a draft appeals to the nature of a competitive gamer. Many gaming websites and publications will even do fantasy drafts of various different topics just for fun now, such as the best games of the year, or the best games of all time, which highlights just how popular the concept of drafting has become in the gaming world. The fun doesn’t stop at simply drafting a team either, as the grind of the full season and managing a roster, using the waiver wire to good effect, learning when to cut players loose and changing strategy depending on the schedule or opponent are all key components to a successful fantasy team. The longevity of fantasy leagues offers gamers a slightly different feeling to their usual online games too which is another reason they are often keen fantasy players. The draft is just the start and even if gamers are just hooked by that, the thrill of watching live games and seeing how they impact your fantasy team certainly keeps players interested long term. And, when you add in the gambling aspect, the chance to win money based on implementing all these successful strategies and research is an entirely separate thrill that appeals to gamers and fans alike. Competing with friends and high-profile personalities and prevailing victorious at the end is a big reason why gamers play online games, and the same is true for fantasy players too, particularly when money is involved so there is a shared competitive spirit that clearly helps make fantasy sports appealing to gamers.
There are even fantasy games and drafts available that pertain to esports leagues now, which is another huge point of interest that inevitably pulls gamers into the fantasy world. Ultimately, there is a strong correlation between the natural skills required to be successful in strategy-based gaming and fantasy drafts, and although not all gamers are interested in every sport, the enormous variety of sports that offer fantasy leagues these days mean that there is something out there for everyone. Fantasy football is the most popular, but fantasy MLB is also very appealing to gamers because of the heightened importance of statistics in the game. Gamers study strategy in depth in order to succeed in their world, and the same is true of successful fantasy players so it is no surprise that there is an appeal between the two particularly for those gamers that already play sports games like Madden where aspects of fantasy sports already exist.