Fantasy leagues first found huge success within the US in sports such as American Football, but the growth quickly spread across the world as the UK quickly adopted the favourite past time for the football leagues too, one of the most recent places that fantasy leagues have found a strong foothold are within esports as it boasts nearly five hundred million yearly viewers, the audience is certainly there. The success in part can be found thanks to the way the platforms work – fantasy leagues operate on data that comes from these sports, and esports games offer a lot of data.
The growth of betting within esports hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down as many betting sites and multiple casinos that aren’t gamstop registered offer a suitable place for fans to bet on many games across many different platforms, but as the age of esports fans range throughout a wider bracket, fantasy leagues can serve as a great alternative as many don’t see them as actual gambling and free fantasy leagues are everywhere.
As mentioned, fantasy leagues do well because of the data driven base that they operate out of and esports collects a lot of data in its games to rank players accurately – in games such as League of Legends, data can be broken down by role and the figures that judge the success for playing that role, in games such as Counter-Strike, roles are less clearly defined than in other games or sports but overall figures provide accurate numbers on how well a player has performed overall – but this data all helps in to the growth in the sector.
Another factor that has helped the growth of fantasy leagues in esports is the social factor from viewers of the games – these games are all live streamed on platforms such as Twitch which allow fans to actively talk amongst each other, sometimes with hundreds of thousands of users in a single channel, about what is happening – adding a large social aspect to see changing opinion and to see how players are performing live with the same data providing live feedback on how their fantasy team may be shaping up and performing.
There seems to be no sign of slowing with esports growth as numbers are predicted to continue growing year on year, and one of the biggest changes that is currently happening is many are transitioning from a firm view on esports whilst watching the more traditional alternatives to also tuning into viewing esports too – the lockdowns may have also impacted this in a way as other sporting events have been cancelled leading many to seek an alternative whilst esports events continue as usual, but with the increasing interest in the sport also comes the increasing interest in ways to benefit from the sport – more and more fantasy league services are popping up within esports and they’re all passionate about the games they represent, and through that passion they hope to keep interacting with and pulling in a much wider audience.