It’s summer, which means that football season is not far away. That is, if it 2020 will even see an American football season. Either way, what we will have is fantasy football with crypto so it’s time to get ready and learn all about it!
The concept of this popular game among sports fans came to be back in 1962 if you can believe it. In a New York City hotel room during a Raiders cross-country trip, Wilfred “Bill the Gill” Winkenbach, had an idea. With the help of Bill Tunnel (the Raiders Public Relations man) and Scotty Stirling (Tribune reporter), they would develop a system of organization and a rule book. These would eventually become the foundation of modern fantasy football.
This game, of course, would grow over the following decades. It has achieved astonishing popularity, making it an annual tradition that many football enthusiasts look forward to. It has grown into a $7 billion industry and would inspire various industries to make other fantasy gambling games. Participants can assemble a virtual team by drawing information from the performances of actual football players.
However, it goes beyond the sport. There are now a wide variety of online gambling websites that utilize the idea of skilled-based gambling. Notable examples include FootballCoin and Fantasy Gold Coin. Moreover, they combine the concept with blockchain technology in an effort to add more competition to the market.
This raises an interesting question. Are blockchain and crypto capable of taking the industry to new heights? Furthermore, how is it keeping the sport alive in these hectic times?
First of all, what is Fantasy Football?
Fantasy football is a game where the participants are put into the role of general managers. They serve as directors of virtual professional American football teams. The competitors choose their rosters by way of partaking in a draft in which all relevant NFL players are available. The point system draws from the actual performances of the players in the real-world competition. This game typically pertains to the National Football League, but it can also involve other leagues, like Canadian Football or college football.
Overall, there are three main types of fantasy football:
- Traditional: The competition has the capacity to run for an entire season, often culminating in playoffs.
- Dynasty or keeper leagues: Dynasty leagues draft in a similar way to a traditional season-long league. The main difference is that they continue indefinitely. There will be a follow-up draft taking place each year for rookies (i.e. players new to the league). Keeper leagues are identical, the key difference being that not all the players are maintained year to year. A keeper league will have a certain number of players that each owner can decide to keep on their roster.
- Daily: This is a comparatively quicker version. The contests are conducted over shorter periods of time, like a week or even a single day. The management of daily fantasy football is typically by commercial internet companies who charge a percentage of each betting pool.
It is still up in the air as to whether or not one should classify the industry as “gambling.” Advocates claim that success relies more on skill than it does luck. Opponents, however, believe that falls under the definition of gambling. Specifically, where the money is bet on an unpredictable outcome.
At its core, fantasy football is primarily math-based. Whatever components go into the game comes from the real-life production of NFL players.
Each week, you need to fill out a roster by essentially “starting” players at the positions permissible based on your league settings. These will often include the following:
- One quarterback (QB)
- One tight end (TE)
- Two running backs (RB)
- One kicker (K)
- Two wide receivers (WR)
- One defense (D/ST)
- One FLEX (typically RB or WR, but some leagues allow for a TE or a QB to be playable, too)
Your starting players’ statistics from the field (yards, touchdowns, etc.) will contribute to their week’s point total. The point totals of each and every one of the players in your starting lineup will tally into your weekly score. Moreover, if you have a higher total than your opponent (another league member), you will win that week. Players who you do not start are basically on your “bench.” They will still score points just like everyone else, but those points will not count towards your weekly total.
How does it work?
Fantasy football gives you a platform to test out your skills as a fantasy owner. After joining a league, you will scout for players and draft them into the league. In doing so, you can compete against other fantasy owners and incorporate your skills to come out on top. Learning how to play fantasy football is actually quite easy. Defeating your competitors and taking the champion title? Well, that’s an entirely different story.
Each week will follow this same procedure until the fantasy regular season comes to an end. This will usually be Week 13 or Week 14; it all depends on your league. When you reach this point, the teams with the superior win-loss records will enter the fantasy playoffs. Here, they will participate in a few more win-or-go-home head-to-head events. Whoever wins the remaining games in the playoffs will claim the crown of ‘league champion’ after Week 16.
It is important to remember that these time frames are not set in stone. Plenty of leagues have their own rules, so make sure that you know yours.
1 – Join a league
You can join one of two leagues. A public league, where pretty much anyone can sign up for a spot. Alternatively, a private league, where one needs an invitation in order to be able to play. There are some people – usually beginners – who play just for fun. Others will play for money, and there are times when they play for some serious coin.
Be sure that you fully understand the type of league you are joining, as well as its rules. League selection is a vital factor that is definitely not to be taken lightly.
2 – Make preparations for your league draft by way of scouting players
Prior to choosing your fantasy team, you will of course need to research all the available players. This way, you can pre-rank them according to whatever your personal preferences may be. Possessing a proper understanding of your league’s scoring system and roster setup is critical. Without it, creating a bulletproof draft strategy will prove to be difficult.
3 – Construct your fantasy football team through the draft
The draft is by far the most exciting day of the fantasy season. Each fantasy owner during the draft makes a selection of one NFL player at a time until the rosters reach completion. Fantasy football drafts can occur online, but there are some leagues – commonly friends or co-workers – will execute the draft in person. Keep in mind that you need to draft all of the correct positions in order for you to have a full team roster.
4 – Your team competes against a different rival team every week
During the NFL season, the real teams go up against each other and. At the same time, the fantasy teams in your league compete with one another. The players’ stats in real-time undergo conversion to fantasy points by your league provider. At this point, winning the game of the week is straightforward. Whichever fantasy team scores the most points will come out on top. The primary objective is to win as many games as possible so that the team can make it to the playoffs.
5 – Make necessary moves towards improving your team
As someone who is in the position of “fantasy owner,” you have complete control. You are able to drop players who you think are not good enough and bring in free agents as replacements. Should one of your starters receive an injury, you can bench them and throw in a healthy player instead. Moreover, you may even conduct a trade offer to another owner.
6 – Your team (hopefully) makes it to the playoffs and becomes the champion of your league
Fantasy football lives by the phrase “only the strong survive.” At the end of the season, the top teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament. Doing so will ultimately decide who the league champion will be. The last team standing will win a variety of things. It could be a trophy, a cash prize, or even just honor. Whatever the price is, make no mistake that there can be only one winner.
Entering the mainstream
It’s no surprise that one of the biggest appeals of fantasy football is its connection to sports. That much is painfully obvious. Sports have the ability to bring people together to mingle and engage in a fun activity. Of course, people will flock to something that incorporates elements of something that many people love.
However, it also brings out the natural competitive instincts inside all of us. And indeed it is this social competitiveness that draws so many people into fantasy leagues. The potential audience for this type of game is humongous. In addition, it is quite easy to dive into fantasy football and get started. The fact that you can play it for free is another perk. Initially, it seems as though there is nothing to lose.
Last but not least, participating in a fantasy league can have a profound effect on viewing pleasure. Specifically, from watching the actual games. You are able to see the performances of your players in real life.
So, right from the beginning, we can see that fantasy football has a very large potential audience. Still, it is not just the love of the sport itself that made the fantasy game a mainstream success. There are actually a number of factors that led to the industry capitalizing on the market.
Between 2007 and 2008, we saw a huge spike in the total number of players. It would skyrocket from 19.4 million players to 29.9 million. That is an additional 10.5 million players, all within the span of a single year. What could possibly have led to this astonishing increase? The answer is simple: smartphones.
By using smartphones, people could now play fantasy sports wherever they are. All they have to do is download the gaming app and that’s it; they are ready to go. Mobile adoption also means that more people have easy access to the Internet on a regular basis. As a result, this would lead to a noticeable boost in user rates.
Another impressive spike pertaining to player numbers occurred between 2014 and 2015. In this spike, the number would go from 41.5 million up to 56.8 million. The main reason for this boom is largely due to the breakout of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). DFS gives you the ability to shorten your commitment to a single day. This is in stark contrast to staying with your virtual team throughout the entirety of the season. Players are now able to pick their teams in the morning. Moreover, the announcement of the winners would happen at the end of the day.
So, where does fantasy football with crpto fit in?
The application of the blockchain to real-world markets is being put to the test in various industries. Its capacity to create theoretical disruptions are gradually becoming more accepted. Still, is it possible for these projects to be effective in truly disrupting the market of fantasy gambling?
Fantasy football relies primarily on statistics and how exactly players perform on a weekly basis. The performance will be what governs just how many points that a user’s virtual team will receive. Should the data that goes into the system wind up being inaccurate in some way, then the scoring itself will be inaccurate as well. In this sense, blockchain technology provides a solid solution. Probably the greatest advantage that blockchain can bring to the table is near-perfect data integrity. This will totally eliminate any scandals of trust, in turn making it extremely difficult for gambling platforms to be untrustworthy.
Smart contracts enable the facilitation of automation where there is too much dependence on human trust. This typically includes scoring rules and the calculation of scoring. Upon the activation of a smart contract, not even the gambling websites will be able to meddle with it.
The blockchain enables authentic peer-to-peer markets. With it, players are able to see that there is no secret tampering from the gambling platform. Moreover, having your account balances locked in tokens provides an additional layer of security in the event of a breach in security.
Fantasy gambling occurring on the blockchain also alleviates the risks pertaining to funding distribution. This includes the following:
- The up-to-date transfer of your winnings
- No involvement of a third-party, therefore reducing the fees
- No discreet terms, which means you will receive your expected winnings without any issue
The intent of FootballCoin is to take advantage of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies and put them into the fantasy football industry. It is important to note that the project is based on European football, which is arguably the most popular sport. Users act as real-life football managers that draw from the performances of real-life players. You can buy players and trade them by going off of their actual performance during the week. What’s more, stadiums are also up for grabs.
This is the first blockchain-based fantasy league centering on European football with its own cryptocurrency (XFC token). You can use this token in-game in order to purchase players and stadiums. You can even trade it via peer-to-peer exchange outside of the game.
The token cap of 1 billion certainly sounds like a lot. However, most of it has already undergone allocation. This ultimately places a limit on new players who are able to actually join the platform. It’s difficult to determine how they will develop and increase the value of the XFC token beyond the initial stages.
Fantasy Gold Coin
Fantasy Gold Coin (FGC) is both a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and a blockchain. Once upon a time, it was meant to serve the fantasy sports industry in both the B2B and B2C spaces. This also extended to the $1.5 billion competitive eSports industry back in 2017. Since then, it would expand its horizon to transform into a multi-purpose platform offering Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
It was mostly based on smart contracts and efficient transactions. It accomplishes this by way of the revolutionary ‘Account Abstraction Layer’. This allows the EVM to effectively communicate with FantasyGold’s Bitcoin-like UTXO blockchain. With it, the system enables compatibility with most existing Solidity smart contracts.
The FGC project does not charge any extra fees for transactions or services to use the payment network. Senders pay a considerably small transaction fee that those who stake receive as a reward for processing the transactions. They are responsible for keeping the chain running, so that adds more weight to the reward.
By utilizing smart contracts, anyone can make use of our blockchain. It significantly simplifies the process of creating your own project with your own token. Aside from this, FGC is always trying to expand by itself by “adding new features to its chain, site, and infrastructure.”
In order to bridge the gap between online payments and betting options, there is an alternative form of payment. That alternative is Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency available in the global market. Thanks to its rapid growth and escalating popularity, Bitcoin comes across as the safest way to bet online. So, how exactly does it work?
The process is actually quite simple and rather easy to grasp. You use your bitcoin to bet on your team and put your luck to the test. If your team ends up performing great, then you can win a generous amount of money. If not, well there is always another day.
By using Bitcoin, you unlock an array of advantages. First and foremost, Bitcoin is a completely anonymous form of payment. Basically, there is no possible way that someone can link you to the winnings that you earn through bitcoin gambling.
An additional benefit deals with the overall safety of bitcoins. There is no connection between Bitcoin and your banking accounts. There is no need to worry about any online security breaches that could potentially endanger your money.
Because of its nature, Bitcoin is an ideal way to place bets online. You don’t even have to use multiple forms of money deposits and withdrawals. Everything is straightforward and you are able to place any bet in the span of a couple of minutes. It would be much more difficult to choose another payment option and then have to wait for it to become acceptable. And this is all before you can even think about betting.
Lastly, Bitcoin is capable of overcoming any restrictions regarding gambling. For example, in the U.S., you do not have free rein to bet on gambling websites. With bitcoins, though, you can sidestep these restrictions and partake in online betting. If you want more security, you can use anonymous currencies, such as Zcash, for betting. However, there aren’t any Fantasy Sports sites available that accept Zcash; at least not yet. This is crucial towards the improvement of user experience in fantasy sports.
Fantasy sports and crypto are sure to see a rise in popularity. The phenomenon itself is only continuing to escalate and it will keep on growing in the future. They offer amazing betting opportunities to everyone. Moreover, it is inclusive of people who lack extensive knowledge of games. Blockchain technology brings together fantasy football with crypto so another whole demographic is onboarding. This ensures a larger audience, as well as another step closer to widespread adoption of the technology.