Esports are fast becoming the future of sports as we know it. Many players might not know about the invention of fantasy leagues which are akin to more traditional sporting fantasy leagues but based on eSports gaming tournaments instead. For those uninitiated into the world of fantasy eSports leagues, there are a few important differences from the original model. First, there’s no long season to follow, but a shortened tournament or series of matches.
Second, players are drafted to build a team, rather than playing as a team and drafting players. This means wins are determined by player points rather than how a team performs. Other than these changes, fantasy players can expect to dive into stats, team matchups, and dark horse rookies much like they do in traditional NFL or NBA fantasy league models.
One of the easiest ways to take advantage of the growing eSports betting industry (fantasy leagues and beyond) is to use free bets while learning the ropes. With more sportsbooks expanding their wagering options, many offer competitive bonuses for newcomers. For example, this DraftKings promo code lets first-time punters receive deposit matches for their first bets, as well as free bets that can be used at any of their marketplaces.
Aside from using free bets and other bonus offers, there are a few tried-and-true ways to succeed in eSports fantasy leagues regardless of experience in the world of virtual sports. Let’s take a look at five insightful tips for newcomers.
One: Rely on Analysts
This rule applies to traditional and virtual sports alike, but is particularly relevant to eSports arenas because of data application. In other words, data analytics groups that provide key insight for major leagues like the NHL and MLB know how to translate data points into meaningful changes that can affect how players practice and how teams compete.
The applications for data collection in eSports aren’t quite as transparent. It’s important to consult experts. Even sportsbooks like DraftKings rely on seasoned eSports veterans to help them interpret stats into helpful hints.
Two: Stick to a One Game to Start
Unlike traditional fantasy leagues, eSports follow a single tournament, which means the action ends a bit quicker. This can make it difficult for eSports newcomers to learn nuances related to each game—especially if they don’t have any experience playing the game in question. Popular eSports games include the likes of League of Legends, CS: GO and Dota 2.
By sticking to a single game (or ‘sport’ in this case), users can familiarize themselves with player positions. For example, LoL requires fantasy players to choose eSports pros to fill in five different team positions, including Top, Jungler, Attack Defensive Carry, Mid, and Support. Though not quite as involved as putting together offensive and defensive squads for an NFL team, this is a highly nuanced process.
Three: Skill vs. Value
When building a fantasy eSports team, it’s important to differentiate a player’s style and skillset versus their value related to a specific tournament. Rather than putting together a fantasy team based on stats alone, it’s important to consider how players will work together—or not, in some cases.
For example, a player that carries his or her team may be one of the most promising up-and-coming talents. That being said, the player is still bound to an underperforming team, which will affect their total points on your fantasy squad regardless of how heroic their efforts are.
Four: Be Subjective
Much like how traditional sports teams benefit from home-field advantage, eSports teams will perform better or worse depending on location. Other details matter too, like team matchups and time-specific considerations, which can greatly affect how eSports teams perform.
Unlike traditional fantasy leagues, there’s a shortened schedule for eSports participants. Fantasy teams last only a week or two, depending on how long a fantasy slot runs, which means every minute detail can make or break a performance.
Five: Risk vs. Patience
The chance to correct mistakes from a previous team comes around often in eSports fantasy leagues given their short duration. However, successful players avoid over-calibrating after a tough loss and know that mindful, incremental growth can lead to higher payouts down the line.
Jumping into larger-field fantasy leagues may have higher payouts for real-money contests. However, learning the ropes first can help players differentiate between which risks are worth taking—especially related to drafting players and assessing contest value.