By Rachel Lee - an independent digital media specialist.
The FIFA World Cup is undeniably one of the biggest sporting events on earth, followed - no, celebrated - by hundreds of millions across the globe, thus attracting fans of its fantasy games as well. Fantasy football (or soccer) is best said to be fans’ avenue to draw up their best XI, and effectively manage their teams. It is tricky to figure out the best fantasy provider (besides football giant FIFA themselves) that has the most offerings, so here is a look at some fantasy football games you may want to try:
1. FanXT Fantasy World Cup & Prediction Game
FanXT.com, although relatively new in the fantasy games arena, has got a lot to offer. Their game Fantasy World Cup (http://fantasyworldcup.fanxt.com) welcomes World Cup fans with a Rio-inspired interface. A fantasy manager chooses 15 players (11 starters, 4 substitutes) to fill out the roster for each game round and they all accumulate points based on players’ statistics, with help from injury report, weekly graph analysis, performance table and upcoming matches. There doesn't seem to be any prizes offered for now (although rumours say they are revealing soon), but, for those who love the game, this fantasy football World Cup 2014 game is certainly a solid choice with virtual medals and manager badges. Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian and Chinese languages, the game also supports captaincy, substitutes, formation options, dream team, transfers history; as well as ease of use like instant team creation, team auto-completion, player search and sorting undo changes, in addition to live scores, fixtures, and standings.
The game has thorough social media integration, enabling users to login, like, invite friends via Facebook (allowing users to earn extra budget) and share team performance; as well as Twitter and Google+ share options. A World Cup Prediction game (http://goo.gl/hzS9qW) is included in-site, which challenges users to predict the outcome (including the score) of all 64 matches.
As for users who want to compete among friends, family or co-workers, FanXT offers a mini-league option, which includes easy invitation processes, either via a URL (without code) or Facebook. A delightful addition is the ability to have friendly banter via Facebook comments in each mini league, as well as comparing performance via mini league ranking. Users also have the option of having their mini league to be public or private.
FanXT doesn't simply stop with that. They've also got a Daily Fantasy Football for World Cup (http://ultimatefantasy.fanxt.com) option that allows users to join free and paid daily or weekly fantasy contests – enabling users to have a completely new fantasy World Cup team each day or week. This is most welcome, as footy fans are given the chance to participate in weekly fantasy games like American Football fans.
2. The Sun: Road To Rio
The Sun is one of the leading tabloids in UK and Ireland with a great football section and had its hand in fantasy games – so it is not surprising that they have a fantasy game for World Cup as well; Road to Rio. Although the game only offers player statistics and upcoming matches, users are recommended to stay up to date with the latest news from The Sun for injury reports and weekly performance before finalizing their team.
Available in English, Road to Rio allows player search and sorting, as well as management functions of substitution, formation change, dream team, viewing transfer history and fantasy rankings. Road to Rio also has a mini-league with pin-code required invites, mini league ranking and option to make the league private or public, although there is no Facebook integration for communication within the mini-league.
As overall view, Road to Rio would fall under the usual fantasy game, but it is certainly fun to play, as users get the latest and informative facts from the close proximity of The Sun Sports itself.
Claiming to be “a comprehensive fantasy sports platform packed with features and supported by excellent customer service” as stated from its site, Fantastar’s world cup offering includes the basic features of fixtures and standings. Offered only in Spanish, the features to draft the team include captaincy, substitution, formation, team of the week, transfer history and fantasy team rankings, as well as the ability to search players and sort them by categories.
Their mini league offering requires a pin code for invites, but also uses Facebook for invites and comments. Although there is no choice to make the mini league private or public, they still have ranking; which really is the priority for mini league competitiveness.
4. ESPN Word Cup Predictor
The sports giant has a prediction game which would have fans on their edge to see if they had correctly predicted the outcome of World Cup matches, thus includes livescore, fixtures and standings to keep its users updated. Users can also monitor upcoming matches, an important feature for match prediction.
Although there is a possibility of many games popping up much nearer to the World Cup kick off, the fact that these games are already up and running show the integrity of the fantasy providers, as well as their concern for fans to be able to get a headstart with their World Cup Fantasy teams.