When Wilfred Bill Winkenbach, co-owner of the Oakland Raiders first contemplated the poignant question in the 1960s– ‘Can we build a Fantasy Football League?’, the entire world gasped in disbelief. Today, with more than 70 million user-base in India itself, fantasy gaming is a testimony to the constantly evolving landscape of virtual gaming. This bedazzling growth is funded by the increase in the population of youth, enhanced connectivity, and an efficient social interaction – the marketplace today is brimming with a multitude of options.

“As the internet has grown, so has the business [of fantasy sports], and that’s no fantasy.”

Benderoff, 2007

Yes, the mobilization of tech-based visual interface and features have assisted the popularity of fantasy games astronomically. And this growth is bound to climb in the coming years as the internet advances. Well, a very intriguing question crops up at the very mention of fantasy gaming – Do you have to be a real-life sports fanatic to ace at fantasy gaming?

Guess! We’ll wait.

Fun Fact: The best Fantasy Football player in 2010 was John Rozek, a Chicago-based accountant. What’s surprising? Rozek never attributed this success to being a real-life football fan, instead, McNamara in 2010 called Rozek an intellectual with good analysis and judgment skills. This notion of problem solving and analytics in equal parts changed the way people played fantasy games. And the rest is history!

Which factors are driving it, you ask?

With the ESPN Star Sports legacy, Super Selector, the first-ever fantasy cricket experience when ran on the channel in 2001, it was considered way ahead of its time. Thanks to the high-speed internet and freemium models introduced by the fantasy gaming leaders like My11Circle that the industry saw massive adoption and it became a pull from the former push model.

The fact that there were no assured factors associated with fantasy gaming yet – with the advances in technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure built within the applications, 3 Ps of fantasy gaming have taken birth and how!

Fantasy cricket that epitomizes the popularity of fantasy sports in India works on Predictability, Performance, & Probability. And there are myriad theories and techniques associated with it with every passing day.

THE SHEER POWER OF PREDICTABILITY –

If you’ve played fantasy sports before, it’s a no-brainer for you since match predictions are your go-to web pages before hitting a real game. You know how important it is to derive the right player analysis and accurate projections.

The effects of tonic taken in the name of predictions are showing good results so far – think about reengineering them and backing them up with something as advanced as machine learning or artificial intelligence? Performance indicators, statistics, and insights can be as valuable as gold when it comes to fantasy gaming.

Consider this – If you make your own performance indicators for teams rather than individuals to identify their strong and weak points; that too based on the current and historical data – this will help fend against any anomaly in predictions! There could be n number of ways to reach a strong ground of prediction – but again, that’d require your skills and capabilities to mix with.

This, therefore, is one of the most important aspects for a fantasy gaming enthusiast – Separate right from wrong, data from assumptions, and later, play wisely with wit, grit, determination, and brains!

PERFORMANCE WILL SHAPE SUCCESS

Like any other game, performance backed with the right tactics and approach would make a player successful. Being a game of skill, fantasy gaming requires consistency, perseverance, and most importantly, being informed about everything around it. From knowing the type of contests to considering the best time to make a team, there’d be something new to learn after every game.

While you could give an inordinate amount of time to read and research about making a perfect fantasy cricket team, for instance – it’d still demand practice and prior experience to be a pro at it. The best way to the road of success, you ask. We say patience!

PROBABILITY, PROBABLY!

Risk assessment? Yes, why not! Did you consider the players with a few injuries after you make the team? This is what you need to factor in while making a team too. For instance, it wouldn’t be tough to figure out that the players who play more games win more versus those who play less. There could be many such scenarios around making teams and that’s what sums up the essence of probability in every fantasy game.

If you ask whether the ‘Probability’ card would work every time you play -we’d say, yes, probably!

Is there room for another P? – No and yes. The fact that fantasy gaming is booming and will continue to rise in the coming years says a lot about a multitude of factors getting associated with it every now and then. In other words, like the above 3Ps have made an entire fantasy gaming ecosystem today – they could be redefined at any point of time.

Are you prepared for the fantasy sports wave gushing through the nation?

We hope you are! With the changing consumption patterns and user behaviour, fantasy gaming has now become very dynamic while being mainstream at the same time. These could be the confusing times we’re living in where the same rules won’t work every time you make a team or play a game – and this is the very nature of the sport!

Therefore, it becomes important to keep every tool in your arsenal before wanting to become a pro at it. Consistency, practice, and sharp judgment skills is what you’ll need to ace any fantasy game!

The future of fantasy gaming? It looks bright with no scope of darkness for the coming years. How? The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has estimated how more than 30 crore fans in India will watch online sports by 2020 and around 33% of them will play fantasy sports…Removes the last shred of doubt!

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