Monday , 2 October 2023

The Future Of Fantasy Football & Other Sports In India: An Overview

Football, which is also known as ‘association football’ or ‘soccer’ is a sport in which two teams of eleven players on each team attempt to score goals by kicking a ball into the goal of the opponent team. Football is a sport that is played in more than two hundred countries and dependencies around the world with an estimated total of more than 250 million players playing the game. This makes it the most popularly played sport in the entire world!

Winning football is fairly simple. The objective, as mentioned earlier, of football is to kick the ball into the goal on the opponent team’s side, and the team that has managed to score more goals than the opponents at the end of the game is the winner. A typical football match lasts for 90 minutes, and sometimes games can be played for longer periods of time, such as when both teams are at the same number of goals scored, in which case, the match can go into extra time. If even at the end of extra time both teams are still at the same number of goals, a penalty shootout may be held.

The sport is governed by the International Federation of Association Football, which is known in short as FIFA and is the world football body. The name comes from the French name for the organisation, namely ‘Fédération Internationale de Football Association’. International competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Euro Cup, Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations as well as club championships such as the English Premier League, the La Liga, the Bundesliga and the FIFA Club World Cup are events that draw audiences and spectators from all over the world.

What Is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is a version of football that belongs to the genre of gaming known as fantasy sports. Fantasy sports is a genre of gaming that has been in existence for a long time but has recently been gaining greater popularity across the world and especially so in India. The coronavirus pandemic that has been ongoing since the year 2020 has only helped to contribute to the ever growing popularity of fantasy sports, by drawing more and more players into the genre of gaming ever since lockdowns and curfews were announced.

Fantasy football is a game in which people form their own virtual football teams consisting of real life football players. They then score points on the basis of how these selected football players perform on the day of the actual real world football match. The better the players perform, the higher the number of points that participants score, and this determines their place on the leaderboard. The higher the rank on the leaderboard, the higher the chances of winning prizes, including cash and cash rewards. In other words, participants get to be the managers of their very own virtual football teams!

The evolution of technology as well as the widespread availability of affordably priced and high speed internet services have made it possible for people in countries all over the world to play fantasy football. Consequently, there are numerous gaming platforms available today where people can easily sign up and play fantasy football.

What Makes Fantasy Football So Popular?

Football is a sport that has an overwhelmingly large fan base across the world. It is not a surprise to see people passionately discussing the minutest details of a football match, including how individual players performed, their strong points, their shortcomings, the relative advantages the winning team had, areas for improvement for the defeated team, the prospects for both teams in upcoming matches, player swaps, potential formations, tactics employed by teams and much much more.

Football is a sport that has helped to unite people the world over, and events like the World Cup are watched by millions of people including ardent club and national team fans as well as those who simply enjoy watching the sport. Needless to say, it was only to follow that this popularity would get transferred to the virtual version of the sport as well. Here are some of the reasons that fantasy football is hugely popular:

  1. A large number of people around the world have or have had aspirations of becoming professional football players themselves, but sadly not everyone can make it to a star team. Fantasy football is a channel for them to build an even greater attachment to the sport they love.
  2. Keeping in mind that participants get to select players and create teams as they deem fit, it gives them a feeling of autonomy and control, which in turn makes them feel more personally invested in a match. 
  3. The thrill of gaming is well documented. Fantasy football is a game that provides thrills and excitement, and also serves as an activity that builds bonhomie and strengthens friendships.
  4. Since points in fantasy football are scored on the basis of how real footballers perform on the actual match day, participants get to truly put their footballing knowledge as well as their knowledge of players’ capabilities to the test since team selection is a core aspect of fantasy football.
  5. Given the fact that many fantasy football platforms offer real money, it has led to the creation of income generation opportunities for people.

A Bright Future For Fantasy Sports In India

Over the years, fantasy sports have evolved from a simple form of entertainment and a recreational activity to a booming business thanks to the internet. Even as the pandemic subsides, the sheer enjoyment of sports in general is what will drive the growth of fantasy sports in India. Other fantasy sports too, such as fantasy cricket, fantasy hockey, fantasy baseball and even fantasy golf are popular among their own spectator bases, and with more and more people across India owning smartphones and gaining access to high quality internet, the number of people playing fantasy sports is only set to grow in the coming years. The sheer abundance of fantasy sports platforms, with more being made available on Google Play Store as well as Apple’s App Store, is a clear indication that this is a genre of gaming that has a bright and exciting future ahead. 

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