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The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
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As the 2023 League of Legends season ends, the next one begins, bringing another competitive year of fantasy draft based on the game’s thriving esports scene. Getting into fantasy LoL can seem daunting at first glance. However, with the help of our in-depth guide, you’ll be well on your way to dominating the fantasy league, whether you're facing off against your friends or the rest of the world. Check also our general guide to fantasy esports here.
Fantasy esports is a way for players to experience their favored esports titles from an all-new perspective. In fantasy League of Legends, you select your pick of players from a chosen league and draft them into your own fantasy team. Much like fantasy sports, how well your chosen players perform during their games determines how many points you earn. In fantasy, your knowledge of how players perform, how teams adapt, and how leagues play out across the season will be invaluable to your success. That being said, before we go into the ins and outs of LoL fantasy drafts, you first need to learn the basics of the game.
Since we are specifically talking about LoL fantasy esports, you need to have a basic understanding of the game itself to start drafting winning fantasy teams.
League of Legends is a 5-on-5 battle arena where players aim to take down each other’s base or Nexus during a 20–30-minute match. There are over 100 champions that players can use to accomplish this goal who are assigned the following roles: Top, Jungle, Mid, Bot, and Support. As such, there are breadths of strategies that can be used to give yourself the advantages necessary to win the game.
Beginners can get started by heading to the game’s official guide to learn the rules and objectives. When you feel confident enough to do so, you can then start augmenting your understanding of the game by looking up guides from resources such as Mobalytics, ProGuides, and Skill Capped. Remember, you don’t have to be Faker to dominate in fantasy.
Aside from learning about Summoner’s Rift, you should also research the regional leagues you want to play in. Predicting player and team performance goes further than reading the meta; you should also look up the history of the organisations playing and the rosters the teams are fielding while still considering their current form. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the organisations and key players you want to draft by looking through resources such as Leaguepedia, Liquipedia, and LoL Esports.
If you’ve had experience with fantasy sports, then you’ll soon realize that LoL fantasy esports is basically the same. You put together a team of players from a league and try to earn as much points as humanly possible. However, in a LoL fantasy league, you earn points from metrics such as takedowns (Kills, Deaths, and Assists), minion score, objectives taken, and winning the game outright. Of course, you’ll see injuries few and far between in esports, but it can still happen; recognisable players such as Uzi and Pawn have sat out from seasons of play in the past due to their injuries.
When compared to betting, the primary difference is that you try to predict the end result, while for fantasy you predict the team or player’s in-game performance regardless of their win or loss. While it is true that achieving victory can gain you points in fantasy and players tend to earn better scores in their wins, it is not the end-all be-all for winning points.
With that out of the way, we can now start getting into drafting your own championship-winning fantasy team, and that starts with finding the perfect platform with which to do so.
The following platforms have been tried-and-tested for playing LoL fantasy leagues in the LCS, LEC, Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds. While they do follow similar rules for scoring, these fantasy platforms have their own differences which we explain in detail below.
E1 Fantasy is the fantasy platform dedicated to esports. With its sleek outlay and easy-to-use interface, E1 Fantasy makes playing a seamless experience. You'll also have a $1.5 million budget to spend for recruiting your player and team prospects. Much like the standard in fantasy, you draft your team of players per individual role, select a captain from your chosen players, and a team to stand behind per round. E1 Fantasy even gives you points for correctly predicting the champions your captain will be using. You can change your line-up per week, but the fantasy season runs for the league’s duration from start to finish. They explain their own scoring system for fantasy on their blog.
What makes E1 Fantasy stand out, however, is its in-depth library of stats and guides for players to follow straight from their platform. If you’re short on time to do your own research, you can always refer to their guides (such as captain favourites and players to pick), where you can check LoL fantasy stats to help you fill up your own team. Having said that, if you want to try your own hand at drafting, you can check a player's individual stats down to their solo queue history in E1 Fantasy, so you can decide for yourself who you want to bet on.
E1 Fantasy is an exceptional platform for esports veterans and greenhorns to explore the realm of fantasy league. The only downside is the platform only offers LoL fantasy LCS and LEC at the moment.
Founded in 2012, DraftKings started out in fantasy sports and expanded into the realm of fantasy esports in 2015, starting with League of Legends. DraftKings has an interface that goes straight to the point, and is easy to understand for those who want to jump straight into the action. Once on the platform, select the tournament you want to take part in, pay the entry fee (starting from $0.25), and start drafting to win tens of thousands of dollars. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Contests run every day, so there's no shortage of competitions to enjoy.
Since it costs money to enter tournaments on DraftKings, you’ll need a bit of experience under your belt to earn that back. As always, make sure to read their rules and scoring in-depth before going all in. With DraftKings, you have $50,000 to spend on your roster, which includes the individual players per role, the captain, and a team. Your captain will be earning 1.5x the points in his games, so make sure you pick wisely.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, DraftKings is the go-to platform where you can play fantasy and win big while doing so!
In contrast to DraftKings and E1 Fantasy, Thrive Fantasy takes a novel approach to LoL fantasy esports with its over or under prediction system. This platform requires you to predict if a player will go over or under their designated “props” or expected performance in-game. As an example, predicting a likely outcome such as Rasmus “Caps” Winther from G2 Esports getting at least 2.5 kills in game will give you 90 points. However, if you predicted against the odds and won, you would get 110 points. You choose five props out of the ten given and try to get as many points as possible. It’s a straightforward yet fun way of taking part in fantasy esports. The platform even has free contests where you can earn a few bucks if you outwit the rest of the competition.
Thrive Fantasy is a one-of-a-kind amongst platforms in fantasy esports. The barrier to entry is low, given how simple its pick’em mechanics and scoring work. Thrive Fantasy could be your ideal alternative to fantasy leagues if you want a this-or-that kind of experience.
For veterans, DraftBuff runs akin to the League of Legends Fantasy LCS that Riot Games ran years back. The season-long fantasy platform follows the format of E1 Fantasy and DraftKings, where you draft your team and compete for points. However, DraftBuff is geared towards playing with your friends as you draft players and teams from the LCS, LEC, and the LCK.
At DraftBuff, you'll need to choose your players on a first-come-first-serve basis per round of picks. This simply means that you get to take turns in picking your players, which forces you to put your priorities in order. Want DWG KIA’s Heo “Showmaker” Su in your fantasy team? Guess you’ll have to sacrifice Kim “Canyon“ Geon-bu to do so. Furthermore, you get a bench player to put on your team to pad a layer of depth to your LoL fantasy picks.
Sleeper is Riot’s endorsed fantasy platform for the 2021 season. What makes it stand out as a platform is that it offers fantasy play from the LCS, LEC, LCK, and the LPL, allowing players to pick their faves on the Rift. Despite being exclusive to Android and iOS, Sleeper does have a neat-looking interface that is as easy-to-use as E1 Fantasy. Run your own LoL fantasy league with your friends or join leagues with gamers all over the world!
The app operates on a per-round draft pick where you select your players for each role one by one. The decision to keep the draft simple makes it easy for players to focus on their fantasy team across the season. You can choose to make your own rules for your league, whether you want to allow trades or not. Learn how Sleeper’s scoring works and get a free Hextech Chest and Key when you join and start drafting your own team.
No matter which platform you choose, the tenets of fantasy league remain the same. It’s all about min-maxing. In fantasy, you’re given a set budget, and the goal is to always get the highest points possible. It's all about crunching numbers here and there if you want to win. But, before we get into the strategies for getting the most points, you have to learn the lay of the land by knowing the rules of the game.
Below, we will be giving you the rundown of how fantasy leagues are played on platforms such as E1 Fantasy and DraftKings. The rest of the platforms, such as Sleeper and DraftBuff, operate similarly anyway, which means that what you learn here can be easily applied.
In fantasy leagues, you generally have the following slots to fill up: Top Laner, Jungler, Mid Laner, Bot Laner, Support, Captain, and a Team. The roles speak for themselves, but make no mistake, they fill niche roles for your fantasy team. Roles such as Mid and Bot are usually priced at a higher premium because of how well they can earn points compared to the rest of the roles, which can rather be supportive in nature. Remember, the way these players are priced on fantasy platforms are based on the points they rake in, which is in turn based on their in-game performance. For now, all you have to consider is that your captain will be earning 1.5x the points compared to your starting line-up. Therefore, you must carefully consider who your top pick will be when deciding your fantasy team.
Lastly, the points for the team you choose are scored differently than how players are scored (takedowns versus objectives taken). This means that you have to judge players and teams on a different scale altogether when choosing your fantasy line-up.
In general, your player prospects earn points based on a set points system. The points they get from a game is calculated primarily from takedowns as shown below, where Kills grant them +3 points, Assists net +2 points, and Deaths get a -1 point deduction. Then, creep score or the number of minions slain increases their points by +0.02 per minion killed (ex. 250 CS means +5 points), which brings us back to how players who get the most kills, the fewest deaths, and the most farm are the ones valued the most.
Furthermore, certain platforms have their own added twist to the scoring mechanics and guidelines. For DraftKings, players get additional points for achieving certain stat thresholds, such as having more than or equal to 10 Kills or Assists in a game. For E1 Fantasy, though, that rule does not hold, and you can only get additional points by correctly predicting the champion that your captain will use.
For scoring teams, a win where the team defeats the opposing team’s Nexus grants them +2 points. Winning in a dominant fashion can get you added points to your score as well. Aside from that, turrets taken count as +1 point per turret (a maximum of +11 points), monster objectives such as Dragons and Rift Herald are valued +2 points and Baron Nashor at +3 points every time they are slain. However, kills still do matter for teams, as the team who picks up First Blood gets +2 points.
Remember to always check the scoring guidelines of the fantasy platform you’re playing on, as they are subject to change based on where you’re playing. In DraftKings, assists are worth +2 points, but in E1 Fantasy, they are worth a bit less at +1.5 points. In E1 Fantasy, they also have a special rule which gives teams that win under 20 minutes an additional +5 points, which can heavily sway your team’s score. The value at which you hold a player or team can dramatically change based on the rules for scoring that the platform follows.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, we can now prep you for your journey in fantasy draft picks. We’ve jotted down our LoL fantasy advice, key tricks, and reminders that you can implement in your drafting strategy to optimise your fantasy-points-per-salary spent.
Before you even think of stepping foot onto E1 Fantasy or DraftKings, you must understand how the game works and get to know the league and the players involved. After all, having a good understanding of League of Legends will allow you to predict who will succeed during the season. In 2020, we saw the meteoric rise of Damwon Gaming from 9-9 in LCK Spring 2020 to World Champions in just a few months. No one could have seen it coming! But, by following the rise of farm-oriented carry junglers in the summer and keeping a close eye on a team’s progress throughout the year, you can start to deduce how well they will perform in the coming days, weeks, or months.
Thus, it's useful keep track of things by using Patch Notes, as well as following analysts such as LS and Tim Sevenhuysen to understand how the meta will transform over the course of the year. This is crucial, as there are teams that sink or swim depending on the meta, such as 2020’s Cloud9 which saw the team dominate the Spring split uncontested but fail to adapt, which led to them missing out on Worlds 2020. Since we are entering the season with a revamped item system, games can still end in upsets, as everyone’s still trying to figure out what’s optimal.
It goes without saying, but having in-depth knowledge of North America and the LCS won’t exactly mean much in Europe and the LEC. The burden of knowledge from moving from region to region will be too much to handle if you start playing in all the leagues at once. It can be thereby beneficial to focus on a particular region and hone your knowledge and expertise there before dipping your toes in another league. Since you will be following a region throughout its season in entirety, watching all the teams duke it out can be time-consuming, and may result in your inability to correctly predict match outcomes and player performances.
That’s why learning how these teams play and how their players perform against rivals and bottom-feeders can be critical in racking up those sweet, sweet fantasy points. For instance, if you followed the LEC closely in the past year, you'd know how fast-paced G2 Esports can play against a team such as Mad Lions. Thus, you'll know that whoever wins the game will come out with a ton of kills and assists on their belt, resulting in loads of fantasy points up for grabs. These minute and seemingly insignificant details can be your one-way ticket to scoring fantasy points that others wouldn’t be able to see so quickly.
Additionally, studying the Academy and rookie leagues of your chosen region will allow you to predict how up-and-coming prospects will perform when given the chance on the big stage. Star rookies such as Team Liquid’s Edward “Tactical” Ra or Team SoloMid’s Mingyi “Spica” Lu don’t just come out of nowhere, after all. They come from the academy system that helped shape them into players they are today.
It's important to manage your salaries while racking up your fantasy points, meaning that prioritising carries who will prop up your fantasy scoreline by providing a steady flow of points is a useful tactic. Mid and bot laners who have high KP% (Kill Participation) and CS (Creep Score) can be worth the chunk you give them off your limited budget. What makes a great fantasy pick-up is a player’s stat line, which you can look up for yourself on resources such as Oracle’s Elixir and Games of Legends. There, you can check player and team LoL fantasy stats, champion win rates, and player rankings.
You'll also be able to see how much players are valued at in the fantasy system. Upon looking at LCK Spring 2021, you’ll see that Gen.G’s Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong boasts a 12.3 KDA with an average of 5.8 kills per game, which would equate to around +18 points alone. By seeing how players perform on average, you can get a sense of how they'll perform against their opponents. Moreover, you can even check how certain teams stack up against each other by checking their match history. Then, once you’ve figured out your primary carries, you can figure out how to spend your budget on value picks. Players who are consistent and reliable can just be the push that your fantasy team needs to get the edge over fellow drafters.
In essence, you want to choose players who have the potential to perform when it matters. Don’t get us wrong, though; at times, Junglers and Top Laners do tend to enjoy the spotlight every now and then, so it’s all about doing your research at the end of the day.
A player’s skill is solely based on the scoring system; someone who is “on top of the player rankings”, or is supposedly invaluable to his team but contributes little to no kills or dies too often can be detrimental to your fantasy standing. If we look at Cloud9‘s Robert “Blaber” Huang’s performance in the LCS Spring Playoffs 2020, you will see that despite averaging 4.1 kills per game, he also averaged 2.9 deaths per game, setting his value as a fantasy pick way back. So, you must take into consideration a player’s playstyle; whether they are too headfirst or overbearingly passive can decide how those fantasy points stack up.
Furthermore, although creep scores can passively add up to your player’s score, kill participation is what gets you the majority of your points. If your gamble pays off, you can earn a good number of points from games and series that rack up takedown after takedown. Thus, what you should always remember is that points are the name of the game, and if a player or team can get you those points, that is what makes them a great prospect.
Once you’ve had your eye on a few prospects, it’s time for you to look at the calendar. A player or team’s performance always changes, and to predict when players will rack up points is to look at who they’re going to be up against. Will a top contender be facing off a stack of rookies? Are they missing their starters? Is the meta in their favour? Everything we’ve told you thus far ends with this, and it can only come from experience. It’s only through experience that you'll begin noticing when top-performing players start to slump, or when rookies begin to step up. It takes a combination of knowledge, ability to see into the future, and a hint of luck. Even when you’ve crunched all the numbers, your fate still relies on a team that, ultimately, isn’t you. World Champions such as DWG KIA can fall to no-names, as seen when they lost to Brion Blade 0-2 in Week 2 of the LCK Spring 2021. At times, teams can throw or just be off on the day of the series. No matter, though, because over time, the better team will most likely win.
However, the element of risk in LoL fantasy drafts is ultimately inevitable. There is never really a clear-cut “best” decision, and the only way you can figure out who comes out on top is if you do your research and invest in the right players at the right time. Take, for example, Evil Geniuses’ Matthew “Deftly” Chen in the LCS Lock In 2021. In the past, he would have been considered a low-value pick-up. But because of how up-and-down the 2021 season is, and how Evil Geniuses stepped up in the preseason, he now stands at the top of the standings for bot lane pick-ups in fantasy draft. However, the question still looms as to whether the up-and-coming marksman can hold the same calibre of performance come the playoffs, where you'll need to decide if he's still worth investing in or not.
Now that we’ve gone over the pitfalls of drafting your own line-up, it's time to go over the most valuable LoL fantasy picks for your team in 2021.
Spring season has started for the LEC, LCK, and the LPL, closely followed by the LCS with the start of the LCS Lock-In. In 2021, we expect to see the top-performing players and teams of the past season to keep their form. However, always be on the lookout for up-and-coming stars that can disrupt the standings throughout the year-long season.
Stats are taken from player performance in 2021. (Source: Games of Legends)
Captains are the lifeline of your LoL fantasy drafts. When looking for a captain, it is always a good idea to look at their history of being able to perform at the level you expect them to. Players who can consistently perform up to a golden standard, such as Cloud9’s Zven, who averaged a 7.8 KDA and 9.5 CS/minute during the past season, are your ticket to winning your fantasy leagues. Look out for players who can do well in lane, keep themselves alive, and secure Kills and Assists while doing so. As a side note, players such as Gen.G’s Bdd who roam around the map to secure advantages for their teams are also highly valuable. Despite the drop in CSM when compared to his counterparts, his 66.3% kill participation can be well worth the trade-off.
After you’ve chosen your captain, you'll still have the luxury to choose a player or two that can rack you up fantasy points when you need ‘em. Putting your money on these players is all about timing. Players such as G2 Esports’ Caps can be a captain-level prospect, but due to his rash approach to the game, his KDA can take hits that will hurt your fantasy scoreline. In the 2020 season, the mid laner averaged a 4.5 KDA with an 8.7 CSM, compared to his standout 2/0/17 performance against Mad Lions in their first game of the 2021 season. As such, remember to always look out for who they’re going to be up against in their coming matches before investing what’s left of your budget.
With your carries locked in, you’re now looking for valuable picks for your line-up. In general, Supports will be running you low because of their lack of access to farming minions and tendency to die for the team. That being said, it’s worth looking closely at your Supports and Top Laners who can contribute to the team while still finding ways to survive following their selfless engages. An example would be 100 Thieves’ ‘huhi', who, despite costing $120,000 (as of writing in E1 Fantasy), contributes an average of 18.0 pts/game, which is comparable to mid-tier carries. Never underestimate the sheer amount of points you can get from these kinds of players.
It can be very worthwhile to invest in teams who can sweep objectives and end the game fast. Assuming your team takes down all their turrets, Dragon soul, a Rift Herald, and a Baron, you can get an easy +24 points right from the get-go. That’s not even considering if they end the game early, or if they get First Blood or the First Tower. Thus, the potential of aggressive teams, such as G2 Esports and DWG KIA, can be invaluable.
Then, you have teams like Team Liquid who play it slow and steady, which can get you those Epic Monsters and turret takedowns over time resulting in – you guessed it – points. Lastly, you can definitely get your money’s worth off teams who rise steadily over the course of the season, such as FunPlus Phoenix, who just picked up former World champion Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon in the offseason. Teams who can perform well when given the opportunity, such as 100 Thieves in the LCS or Schalke 04 Esports from the LEC, can be potential alternatives to these costly top-tier teams at the front of the standings.
Always remember that League of Legends is ever-changing, meaning that guides and top-tier lists can only take you so far. Time affects players, teams, and leagues alike. What we say now can be outdated by tomorrow. That’s why it is of utmost importance to learn how to be critical and follow the regional leagues on a day-to-day basis. Try to figure out when these players are on a slump or when they’re on the rise, and you’ll easily gain an advantage over fellow drafters with careful planning and tactful predictions.
Another reminder is to take note of player injuries, as well as when or if they get benched or banned from competitive play. Despite injuries being a scarce occurrence in esports, they do still happen, as FunPlus Phoenix’s jungler Tian will be taking a break from pro play for health reasons. Players can encounter visa problems too, such as Counter Logic Gaming’s Broxah being unable to compete at the LCS Lock-In, which will inevitably affect how his team performs.
When all is said and done, if you believe that fantasy leagues aren’t for you, then perhaps you should consider esports betting to satisfy that competitive itch. To get started, head over to our guide on League of Legends, which includes in-depth previews on the regional leagues such as the LCS, LEC, and the LCK.
Regional leagues all over the world have already begun. To help you catch up, we’ve listed the schedules for the Spring and Summer seasons for the incoming tournaments.
As a note, the Western regions follow a best-of-one round robin format, while the Eastern regions follow a best-of-three series format for the 2021 season.
The LCS have already released their extensive schedule for the 2021 season. Follow all the action from North America on Twitch.
Read our complete guide to LoL LCS betting here.
The LEC’s 2021 Spring season started last January 22, 2021, and will run until March 14, 2021. The Summer season’s scheduling has yet to be announced. Follow all the action from Europe on Twitch.
Read our complete guide to LoL LEC betting here.
The LCK began mid-January on the 13th, and will continue to run until March 28, 2021. Their schedule for the Summer Season and the following Regional Finals for Worlds qualification have yet to be announced. Follow all the action from LoL Park Korea on Twitch.
Read our complete guide to LoL LCK betting here.
The Spring season of the 17-team league began last January 09, 2021 and will continue until March 28, 2021. Its playoffs have been announced to run from April 1 to April 18, 2021. They have yet to announce their schedule for the Summer season and the Regional Finals. Follow all the action live on Twitch and YouTube.
Since the pandemic, Riot Games have had to put their international tournaments on hold while countries continue to recover. In 2021, these tournaments being held will depend on how well countries control the outbreak. If it does take place, the Mid-Season Invitational will be held in the middle of the year in May 2021.
Regarding LoL Worlds, Riot has already announced that they will be hosting the 2021 Finals in Shenzhen, China. That will be an opportunity for Riot Games to hold the calibre of international tournament that they wanted to achieve in 2020. Lastly, LoL All-Star is set to follow at the end of the year in December just as it was held last December 18 to 20, 2020.
Read our comprehensive guide to LoL MSI Betting here.
In fantasy League of Legends, you choose your pick of players from a chosen league on a set budget and draft them into your own fantasy team. Much like fantasy sports, how well your chosen players perform during their games determines how many points you earn.
After choosing a platform to play on (such as E1 Fantasy or DraftKings), you simply pick your players and teams to draft into your own team. Then, your chosen players and teams earn points based on a set point system. For players, you earn points from kills, assists and minions slain. For teams, you earn points based on wins, turrets taken, and Epic Monsters slain.
Fantasy sports and fantasy esports run along the same lines. If you’ve had experience playing fantasy football or basketball, you will find it easy to transition to fantasy League of Legends. It’s just that in fantasy league, your players are scored based on League of Legends’ game mechanics.
If you want to test your wits and earn cash while playing fantasy, head over to E1 Fantasy, DraftKings, and Thrive Fantasy. For those who want to play with their friends in fantasy leagues of their own, try out Sleeper and DraftBuff.
To get your value from your LoL fantasy picks, do your research on player and team stats. While fantasy platforms themselves have stats ready for you on their blogs, dedicated resources such as Oracle’s Elixir, Leaguepedia, and Games of Legends are invaluable to your time drafting in fantasy.
Be on the lookout for players who have impressive KDAs and have 9-10 CS per minute. In general, prioritise mid laners and bot laners when it comes to your budget. Players such as Cloud9’s Zven or G2 Esports’ Rekkles are good prospects heading into the 2021 season.
You can follow all the games in the LCS, LEC, LCK, and LPL on LoL Esports.
Yes! You can. Earn bytes and turn them into gift cards on E1 Fantasy, or earn prizes on DraftKings starting at $1 for entry fees in tournaments. Remember to read up on our LoL fantasy tips and advice so you don’t miss out!
Looking for other esport games? Try betting on FPP games like Valorant, Overwatch, Fortnite, Dota 2, CSGO, or the action-packed Starcraft or Rocket League. For football lovers, we also have a guide to betting on FIFA.