The newest fantasy league on the block is for … sport climbing?

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No, you can’t draft the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the Nugget’s Nikola Jokić or the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado. But you can pick Korea’s competitive climber Chaehyun Seo.

Move over, Draft Kings. No one cares about your silly little NFL, NBA and MLB. Fantasy Sport Climbing, which claims to be the first and only fantasy sports site for sports climbing, is the new league in town. (Like, literally. It’s right up the road in Boulder.)

“There’s a lot of interest in fantasy sports — soccer, football, baseball, basketball — but I don’t really know of any opportunities to play fantasy sports for independent sports like speed climbing,” Fantasy Sport Climbing co-founder Ari Schneider said.

Sport climbing is not your typical outdoors climbing that you may have seen Alex Honnold do in the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo. Instead, athletes compete against each other in either bouldering, speed climbing or lead climbing in a controlled indoor environment as spectators watch in person, on TV or over streaming. Oh, and another thing to note about sports climbing: It’s having a bit of a moment right now.

RELATED: Alex Honnold poses nude for jaw-dropping climbing photo in ESPN’s Body Issue

Although the sport started growing in the 90s, it’s really boomed in the past couple of years, Schneider said. Starting in 2019, ESPN began televising National Championship Climbing Competitions. In February, about 25,000 fans flooded downtown Denver for the Ice Climbing World Cup Finals, making it both the largest Ice Climbing World Cup audience in history and one of climbing’s most well-spectated events. And next year, sport climbing will make its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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“I was thinking about this maybe a year ago as I was starting to get more excited about the upcoming Olympics — that there should be a fantasy opportunity for sports climbing,” Schneider said.

Here’s how it works: There

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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