A Quick Look At Fantasy Sports Around The World

Fantasy Basketball in Japan

The love for fantasy sports is hardly a novel experience among major gaming landscapes around the world. Whereas soccer, and soccer betting in particular, is a more universal phenomenon, fantasy sports have a tendency to differ more among cultures and geographical regions. Global gaming trends indicate consistent variations in the preferred fantasy sports in the dominant countries. North America currently carries the mantle with widespread popularity in fantasy sports and is highly likely to continue leading in the foreseeable future.

Avid followers of this niche enjoy the control they get in determining the team’s success. They act as both field and general managers with critical roles such as trading in players, adapting lineups to different games and so much more!

Below is a list of esteemed fantasy sports into gaming landscapes.

Fantasy American Football in the United States

The United States is the undisputed king of fantasy sports. The country has a rich history in developing, and legally protecting fantasy sports.

A large fan base of about 19% of the total adult population play fantasy sports in the US. In 2017, the total number of fantasy sports players in the country amounted to about 45.9 million.

The most preferred fantasy sport in the US is American football, owing to the population’s interest in the NFL league. In 2019, this fantasy sport attracted 35 million participants. The ‘Mile High City’ of Denver recorded the most significant number of players. Other fantasy football hotspots included New Orleans, El Paso, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. Young adult males are the most passionate supporters of fantasy soccer in the US.

Fantasy Basketball in Japan

The expansion of fantasy sports to Japan started with basketball. Neo Sports, Japan’s first Fantasy sports company, took the initiative to host a One on One Fantasy event as part of the Basket League Championship in 2018/19. The initiative emerged in response to the rapid rise in popularity of Fantasy sports in Japan. Basketball is the most popular sport in Japan, outnumbering both soccer and baseball in terms of viewers and participants. Prioritizing the sport in a country where the majority of people were fantasy sports amateurs contributed significantly to the growth of the fantasy basketball fan base. While initially focusing on basketball, Neo Sports has stated their intention to expand into other sports as well.

While the public has shown great interest in Fantasy sports, the Japanese government perhibits cash prizes which limit the number of fantasy sports that can be launched in Japan. Despite the challenges, fantasy basketball is gaining traction in Japan, thanks to more reliable fantasy sports outlets. The feedback from the Japanese sports industry to the introduction of Fantasy sport has been extremely positive. Keita Maruyama from Casinosnavi says the government restrictions is the only barrier to the industry reaching its full potential and others within the Japanese sports betting market have expressed the same thoughts. 

Neo Sports and the American Fantasy Sports Association are working to expand fantasy sports beyond fantasy basketball, which may increase the popularity of other fantasy sports in the future, but it’s unclear how much the industry can grow without real prize money.

Fantasy Soccer in the United Kingdom

Popularly known as football, soccer supersedes all sports in the fan base in the UK. The English Premier League, Europa League, the Champions League, and the Europa Conference League enthrall many people living in the country.

Similarly, fantasy football attracts an overwhelmingly large number of people. The fan base is steadily growing, owing to the presence of several private fantasy leagues. The Premier League, for example, has about 8 million participants in its official Fantasy Premier League. The online platform is experiencing a steady growth in the number of players and expects a much larger number of gamers in the future.

The preference for football in the UK is expected. The region invests a lot in football, which is the world’s most favorite sport. Investments in fantasy football also significantly contribute to the rising number of gamers. For example, creating a global ranking system has increased players’ choices, heightening people’s excitement from playing fantasy football.

Fantasy Cricket in India

India has a large population of 1.3 billion people, and their love for cricket is awe-inspiring. About half of the population are cricket fanatics.

The inclination towards fantasy cricket is assuming a similar course as real-life cricket. The pastime is gathering large numbers of players from around India, to the tune of millions. In 2020, there were around 100 million fantasy cricket players in the country. The fast rate at which the country gains the requisite infrastructure signals that the country might have about 400 million fantasy cricket players within the next decade.

Fantasy companies working in India use the annual statistics gathered from ongoing cricket leagues. The Indian Premier League (IPL) statistics have enabled the creation of Dream11, which has garnered massive support from the league’s fan base. The intricate but enjoyable nature of cricket also spices up the sport, thereby contributing to the rise of fantasy cricket as the primary fantasy sport in India.

In other gaming landscapes such as Australia and Canada, there are different inclinations towards certain fantasy sports. Amongst the other popular fantasy sports in the countries include fantasy hockey, fantasy golf, and fantasy esports.