Is Esports the Future of Fantasy Gaming? Ankit Anand, Business Head, Dangal Games Throws Light

by October 11, 2021 0 comments

Fantasy gaming has been on the rise. With the ongoing IPL and the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the popularity of fantasy gaming is only set to increase. We talked to Ankit Anand, Business Head, Dangal Games, about the same and asked him if esports was the future of fantasy gaming.

According to you, what is the future of fantasy gaming in India and where do you see fantasy gaming growing in India?

Fantasy sports as an industry, I think, will continue to grow. And as you can add, you would be knowing that there are around 100 active apps currently in India which are promoting fantasy platforms and consulting now that after cricket, the popularity among kabaddi and different other sports is on the rise, I think fantasy sports industry will be seeing huge growth in the coming years.

How do you think cricket is shaping the response towards Fantasy Gaming?

Even though our national game is Hockey, I think if you take a sample set of hundreds of people, 95 would be watching Cricket, and that’s the reason why cricket is the bread and butter of fantasy sports. To date, 90% of the revenue is coming from cricket only. The last two years have seen massive sports events in Cricket only because the other sports like NBA fell because of COVID and Football resumed now after one year, everything was all relying on Cricket as it became the bread and butter of this industry. You have a different format for everyone, and different format is limited. And I think Cricket will still hold a major share, I think the maximum share of the revenue.

Do you think Cricket at times overshadows the importance of other sports in fantasy gaming, that other people don’t get to know about because they’re so fixated on Cricket?

It’s my habit that I usually talk to my user, the players once in 10 to 15 days. So many people who I have been talking to or communicating with, are asking me to get sports like Kabaddi or NBA basketball on the platform. So I ask them what is the reason behind this? They tell me that Cricket has become a massive game. It’s all gambling. Gaming is all about money. Everyone is paying to win, and 90 per cent of users now think that we can easily make money because that sport is not famous. If 90% of the Indians are following cricket, then everyone knows that we have to take Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the team. However, they now to talk about a match between let’s say Lakers vs Warriors in NBA. What you get is that so many players are trying to follow other sports as well, I feel that they can get their first mover’s advantage. If they’re a little aware of that, then they can win easily.

The ICC Mens T20 Cricket World cup is around the corner in October this year, so will it affect people’s inclination towards fantasy gaming? Also, do you think that the same enthusiasm is extended towards Women sports?

Hands down, Cricket beats every other sport. So if you don’t want IPL, there are shorter formats like t10 that will always do well. So if you talk about Pakistan Super League they also do well just like IPL. T20 has a massive following because it is a shorter format. You get the result in three and a half hours, and you win or lose in three and a half hours. You don’t have to wait for 10 to 12 hours, and the money rotation is very fast. So hands down, the Cricket T20 world cup would be a big, big work. A big surprise for the users because just after IPL, there will be a big tournament. Additionally, I think the biggest match will be between India and Pakistan that will be watched and followed on a massive scale.

Do you think fantasy gaming is still a very men’s centric thing to do, like is it only focused on the sports that are played by men, even though the female counterparts are involved in the same sport? Like Cricket, or Football or Volleyball or every other sport, there is always a women’s team? So do you think fantasy gaming is currently all about men around the world? And if so do you see it changing?

Women in sports are gaining momentum, which is also getting visible on the numbers as well. Earlier two years back when there was a match going between India(W) and Australia(W). So if the mega prize or the contest right is on fantasy, another platform was x. Now it’s 20x. It has grown massively, and I think it will only grow further. The kind of traction we witnessed during this India-Australia woman test series, and then again when Smriti Mandhana scored a century becoming the first woman to score a test 100, is out of the world. Earlier when I used to ask who is Smriti Mandhana, it was 1 out of 10 people who would be knowing her, but now I think that number has come to four or five and I think this is a very big, big opportunity for new players, or some small level players that they can get.

Can you throw some light on the most hilarious myths that you’ve heard about Fantasy Gaming? And are any of those ever true, or they’re just going around the mind?

So there are many myths in this industry. Firstly, you get to hear that “Sir, we are losing on your platform.” We tend to lose on your platform, we always win on other platforms. But then in live sports events, you have zero control on the ground, you have no control on the pitch. So this is the biggest myth that the person is losing it. Can he easily blame the website or the application? Yeah.

Do you think eSports can be the result of fantasy gaming? eSports? Do you think eSports can be the future of fantasy gaming in India?

With games like PUBG or BGMI and Call of Duty: Mobile, the mobile gaming industry along with esports is growing rapidly. If the popularity of the same keeps rising, there will be a big market for esports in fantasy gaming very soon. People need to shun the belief that esports is not real sports, because that is not true. Esports has been around for a very long time now, and I think it’s time people understand the potential.

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