Observations on Fantasy Top and its Impact - MVHQ

Observations on Fantasy Top and its Impact

TPan
May 31, 2024
Project
Platform
General Strategy
Observations on Fantasy Top and its Impact

This article was originally published to Tpan's Substack on May 17, 2024.

 

A few months ago, I came across Fantasy Top while it was on Blast Testnet and wrote about it because I felt that the SocialFi mechanics that it introduced were novel and interesting. Fast forward to today, Fantasy Top has become one of the most successful apps on Blast, with thousands of daily active onchain users, over 17k ETH in transaction volume, and 4,300 ETH (~$12 million) in the treasury coming from pack sales and royalties from card sales.

 

If you want to check it out, use the invite code ‘tpan_web3’ (you need one in order to play).

 

 

For those unfamiliar, TLDR of how Fantasy Top works:

  • Players purchase packs of cards or individual Hero cards (X accounts/influencers) off the marketplace

  • Players enter lineups into tournaments that have prizes including Blast Points, Blast Gold, Fantasy Stars, FAN points (which will likely convert into a token in the future), and more Hero cards. The goal is to get the highest score.

  • Hero scores are determined by various social engagement metrics on Twitter/X. The scoring methodology continues to be tweaked to address various factors like botting and follower counts

  • Heroes receive royalties from the transaction volume of their cards, so they’re incentivized to participate

 

And…that’s pretty much it lol. There are many more details that I won’t get into. To put it even more simply, Fantasy Top is like fantasy sports, with more features and financial incentives.

 

If you want to learn more about Fantasy Top, I’d recommend diving into the following:

 

Because there’s already been so much good content covering what Fantasy Top is and the latest developments, what I find more interesting and is less covered is the impact that Fantasy Top has in terms of second-order effects and the emergent behaviors associated with them.

 

Fantasy Top has some impressive numbers to back up the hype. One chart that sticks out to me is the user retention chart:

 

 

These numbers are decent by themselves, but the kicker is that these stats are based on onchain actions, not offchain ones. AKA: The retention numbers are understated. For example, I would show up as 0 for my respective cohort over the past couple of days because I haven’t done an onchain transaction. However, I’ve been participating in tournaments, checking my Heroes’ stats, and claiming my daily streak.

 

So what are some of the Fantasy Top observations that have caught my eye over the past 2 weeks as it has gone live on Blast Mainnet?

 

Note: These are somewhat half-baked thoughts because as I said, this is all so new and emergent.

 

Fantasy Top is a 3-sided marketplace, but not in the way you think it is

 

When we think of 3-sided marketplaces we think of some of the top tech companies that have formed over the past 15 years:

 

 

With Fantasy Top, two sides of the platform are clear:

  • Supply: Creators and their Hero cards

  • Demand: Players

 

So what’s the third side of the Fantasy Top marketplace?

 

The Social Platform: Twitter/X

 

 

Compared to the other ‘third sides’, X sticks out like a sore thumb. However, if we think about the third side as the party that connects the first two, X plays a vital role just like a delivery driver does for food delivery apps.

 

Examples of how X’s role in the three-sided marketplace is vital:

  • If X for some reason doesn’t like what Fantasy Top is doing and pulls the API plug, Fantasy Top is in deep 💩

  • If X changes their algorithm, this would positively impact some Heroes and negatively impact others. This would also impact marketplace dynamics for those respective Hero cards

  • If X suspends a Hero, that would significantly impact the price of that Hero’s card

 

Of course, these scenarios suggest that something like Fantasy Top would be better suited with a more neutral platform like Farcaster but for now, X has the largest and most relevant audience.

 

Fantasy Top’s impact on X influencers

 

As Fantasy Top’s Main tournament began a couple days ago, influencers got their fingers warmed up to post.

 

Quick refresher for why Fantasy Top Heroes would want to be active and leaned in:

  • Heroes post more on X

  • More engagement on X

  • Higher Hero Score

  • Players who have Hero in deck rank higher and get more rewards in tournaments

  • More demand for Hero

  • Higher price of Hero

  • Higher transaction volume of Hero

  • Hero gets 1.5% of transaction volume

 

Heroes also split 10% of pack sales revenue (incentive alignment with platform) and free editions of their card to give away to their followers/fans.

 

 

It was interesting observing the different strategies to gain more engagement and since the Hero Score model isn’t public, there has been a variety of creative strategies.

 

Before I saw Franklin’s strategy, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would do a piece on Fantasy Top because there was already so much good content out there, but here we are, thank you Franklin 😂. IMO Franklin’s approach is the most unique I’ve seen thus far. What’s he doing?

 

 

Obviously, if my X feed was filled with Franklin’s 5 minutes announcement posts, I’d immediately mute him, but I gotta give it to him for the creativity and dedication to the game. Additionally, his niche 5 minutes meta has led to more interesting developments:

 

 

Fantasy Top isn’t the only product that is thinking of social media dynamics beyond the standard ‘like this to get points’ or ‘repost this for a chance to be on the allowlist’ either:

 

Portalcoin was one of the most prominent social engagement campaigns in recent memory which rewarded those who were willing to risk some social capital.

 

Pacmoon, a memecoin on Blast that airdrops supply to people who create content about it and the number of views it gets, but with a twist to avoid low quality content:

 

 

The evolution of content monetization

 

What’s interesting about Fantasy Top is that this is a net new revenue stream for these creators/influencers without requiring behavioral change. Yes, some of them are completely changing their approach to maximize this revenue stream (lol, gotta give points to Franklin for going all out), but most are just doing what they normally do, maybe with some minor tweaks.

 

And dare I say…it might be sustainable? Or at least some future version of this combining fantasy sports and social media. There are significant incentives that help make Fantasy Top lucrative to play in its current state: Blast Points, Blast Gold, and an eventual FAN token.

 

So…what could a more mainstream version of Fantasy Top look like? Perhaps a layer on top of Creator LeagueAlthough it never took off due to one of the creators creating a shitstorm around the blockchain tech and NFTs aspect, the whole premise of bringing creators and their fan bases closer in a co-creative and interactive way shows where we’re headed. Adding a ‘fantasy’ layer on top of Creator League could be quite complementary.

 

 

For now though, we have another interesting game, and another case study to reference in the world of SocialFi.