PRESS RELEASE: World Championship of Fantasy Football Named First-Ever “Matthew Berry Game Changer” Award Winner

June 25, 2018
Contact: Aaron Manogue
(608) 310-7547 –

MINNEAPOLIS – The World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) is the winner of the first-ever Matthew Berry Game Changer Award. The honor was announced at the 2018 Fantasy Sports Trade Association Conference at U.S. Bank Stadium. The award honors moments, businesses, and innovators responsible for setting fantasy sports on a path that has made it a multi-billion-dollar industry enjoyed by nearly 60 million North Americans every year.

Berry selected the winner of his eponymous award from over 200 public nominations. WCOFF – the first high-stakes league that united thousands of fantasy sports players to compete against each other in one massive contest – was selected because of its seismic impact on the fantasy sports industry when it launched in 2003, according to Berry. It paved the way for other high-stakes contests, created a new and innovative scoring system that could accommodate an unlimited number of players, showed that fantasy football players had a much-higher-than-previously-thought threshold for what they would spend on this hobby, and its live, celebratory atmosphere paved the way for daily fantasy sports contests and finals.

“I’m proud to award the inaugural Matthew Berry Game Changer Award to the World Championship of Fantasy Football,” said Berry. “For many years, fantasy football had been played with the same format and rules. Emil Kadlec and Lenny Pappano created The World Championship of Fantasy Football and brought a lot of new ideas and concepts to the game.”

“Receiving the Game Changer Award is a great honor and I am very humbled,” said Kadlec. “The World Championship of Fantasy Football was a once-in-a-lifetime idea that created a new industry and was all about the people.”

A video about the award and WCOFF can be seen here (

Berry is ESPN’s Senior Fantasy Analyst and a member of both the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He boasts nearly 1 million followers on Twitter and has been instrumental in pushing fantasy sports into the mainstream via television, video, podcasting, articles and his New York Times Best Selling book, Fantasy Life. Berry has also launched the careers of several of the fantasy industry’s most well-known pundits and personalities.

“When the FSTA called me to say they wanted to create a new award and name it after me, I cannot tell you how much it meant to me,” said Berry. “Fantasy sports has been so good to me. It’s always been incredibly important for me to continually try to improve the fantasy sports industry and experience for fans and colleagues alike. The fact that the FSTA feels I have done that to an extent that they wanted to name this specific award after me is just an incredible, humbling honor.”

The FSTA’s next conference will take place Jan. 21-22, 2019 in Tampa, Fla. For more information, go to

About FSTA

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association represents the fantasy sports industry with over 150 member companies ranging from small startups to large media corporations. As the voice of the industry since 1998, the FSTA has been the leader in providing demographic data, annual conferences and collective action to ensure unfettered growth. For more information, visit