Fantasy League. Two words every sports fanatic – guy, and perhaps girl – like to hear before the start of a new season. Plenty of banter, fun, intrigue and of course bragging rights. Yet, it never quite seems to work out that way.
In the past year or so I’ve enrolled myself in at least five to ten different sporting fantasy leagues across different sports and countries for that matter. From the English Premier League, to rugby league, to cricket and the NBA. Plenty of variety is out there that is for damn sure.
In case any of you don’t quite understand the concept of fantasy leagues, you basically get allocated a sum of points to choose a ‘dream team’ of sorts, made from players of the league you are taking part in.
For example, a fantasy league I’m currently playing in for the upcoming FIFA World Cup gives you 100 points to pick your choice of 15 players from all the teams playing in the competition. Of course, the more talented players will cost you a few more points to buy compared to the players who aren’t as skilled.
But why then, with so much on offer, does each season result in a familiar story.
You know the narrative. Start of the season, you pick your team, get all your mates together – enthusiasm all over the place. And the first few weeks are golden, plenty of excitement with plenty of bragging and competitiveness.
But give it a few weeks and that buzz is all but gone. You don’t check your team as much, nor make many changes and the banter is staler than Johnny Drama.
Fantasy League is unfortunately a commitment where if you simply don’t have the time to become invested enough, you lose all interest. You don’t have the time to check your team regularly, make changes, stay up to date with the actual league, injuries, the list goes on. And on. And on.
So where exactly is the future of fantasy league? Steven Pirois and Chris Baker from Melbourne have started up their own project, and reckon they’re onto a winner.
The two gents have devised a new idea and structure for a fantasy league that they’ll be testing out during the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup – called WC’14. The unique aspect being that it’s a bit more involvement than your regular office sweeps, but less commitment than the usual fantasy league.
The way the game works, all you have to do is rank each of the 32 teams playing in the tournament in the order you’ll think they’ll finish. That’s it. No altering teams, no fiddling or chopping.
“The reason our game works well is because it complements the action on the pitch,” says Steve.
“The structure of the World Cup tournament, and the way our points system works means that more people are in with a shout of winning for longer.”
But why did the boys start up the competition in the first place? Chris explains that after consistently running a Premier League fantasy league, his mates wondered if he could do something for the World Cup.
“My mates weren’t too keen on a World Cup version of the standard Fantasy Football competition because they didn’t know all the players, and there were too many games in too short a period,” he says.
“What we came up with was a game that was easy enough for everyone to join and play, but gave an advantage to those who really knew their football.”
The boys both agreeing that in modern times, the amount of commitment needed to be fully involved in a normal fantasy league is just too time consuming.
“I think for the most part it is because maintaining a fantasy team becomes a chore,”
“It takes the fun out watching the game with your mates, or chatting about the highlights the next day with your friends – instead you’re analysing stats like assists or minutes played.”
So football and sports fans for that matter, with the World Cup only days away, why not try your hand at this new breed of fantasy? With live scoreboards and game tables throughout the cup, a cash prize and an official Brazuca match ball up for grabs for all players, it’s a no brainer.
Simply head to http://wc14.com.au to sign up. You can also join our exclusive 5Why competition by searching for ‘5Why’ in the comps section, where the winner will win their choice of absolutely any national football jersey! Game freaking on.