Fantasy esports gaming works in a fairly simple way: you pick your squad of players, and hope they perform better than other players’ squads throughout the duration of an esports event. Your team will get points for kills, map wins, game wins, tournament wins, spike plants or other in game achievements. If your team outperforms other teams, you will get a share of the prize money.
Fantasy esports are a relatively new phenomenon. While fantasy sports have long been popular on sites like DraftKings, esports fantasy games have only recently come into prominence. Now, you too can win a share of the prize money by choosing the best squad at a professional gaming competition and playing your cards right (so to speak).
The Best Site for Fantasy Esports: DraftKings
Already the most prominent site for fantasy sports, DraftKings have also recently added fantasy esports to their portfolio. You'll be able to play and win real money prizes on the following fantasy games:
- Fantasy League of Legends
- Fantasy CS:GO
- Fantasy Rocket League
- Fantasy Call of Duty
Your first deposit will get you a free $3 ticket, and you can get up to $500 as a deposit bonus for both fantasy sports and esports betting.
The site accepts players from most US states and Canada and it also has a UK version, which accepts players from the UK, Ireland, as well as most other countries in Europe or around the globe. It has a licence in the UK, Malta and various US states.
How to Play Fantasy Esports at DraftKings
Playing fantasy esports at DraftKings is very easy. Simply follow the below steps:
- Create an account at DraftKings.
- Choose an upcoming esports event.
- Choose your line-up of players.
- The more points your team wins, the more money you can make!
Betting on Esports vs Fantasy Sports
While DraftKings offers fantasy esports, they also have a sportsbook which allows you to bet on esports, as well as most other professional sports. Both types of markets have their advantages:
- Betting on esports means betting at fixed odds offered by your esports betting site, meaning you'll immediately know how much you will win if your bet is correct. Your payout will be a fraction or multiple of your stake, so the higher your stake, the more you can potentially win. In order to win meaningful sums, you will need to place sufficiently successful bets.
- Fantasy esports are much less risky. A ticket costs just $3 (though you can buy multiple tickets), so there is generally not that much you can lose compared to odds betting. There is usually a fixed prize, which will be divided between players based on their scores.
The fewer players there are with a high score, the more prize money they win. How much you win depends on how well your squad performs, as well as on how many points your peers manage to score.
Popular Esports Fantasy Games
With the rising popularity of fantasy games and esports respectively, an increasing number of esports now have fantasy options. You can choose between games and play just for points, or games where you have a chance to win real money or other prizes.
Below are some of the most popular esports fantasy games.
Fantasy Esports League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends (LoL) is one of the most renowned fantasy-themed games, and is by far the most popular title for fantasy esports. You can find fantasy esports gaming offered for virtually any LoL competition, including LoL Allstars, LoL LCK, LEC LoL, and LoL LCS.
LoL fantasy gaming is available at most esports fantasy sites, including DraftKings (where you can play for cash prizes), Esports One, Draftbuff, and esportfantasy.com. For more, check out our extensive article on LoL Fantasy betting.
How to play Fantasy Esports League of Legends at DraftKings
To play fantasy esports League of Legends at DraftKings, you will need to choose a line-up. A line-up consists of players in five categories, and you have to pick one of each. Pick a player for the Top, Jungler, Mid, Attack Defensive Carry (ADC), and Support position, as well as an overall team.
You will win points if your players get kills, assists, and collecting objectives on the map, and lose points for deaths. If your esports fantasy team outperforms those of other players, you will get a bigger prize.
Fantasy Esports CS:GO
CS:GO betting has been around for a while, but now you can also play CS:GO fantasy esports – one of the four esports available at DraftKings. Pick a team of players and they will receive points for Kills, Assists, while they will lose a point for a death. Extra points are awarded for First Kill, 1v2 Clutch, 1v3 Clutch, 1v4 Clutch, 1v5 Clutch, Quad Kill and Ace.
Fantasy Esports Rocket League
Fantasy Esports Rocket League is another fantasy game available at DraftKings. Rocket League also has its own fantasy game, available on their website. To play the game, choose a team of seven players within your budget. Points will be awarded according to their performance on major tournaments such as the Rocket League Championship Series.
Read our guide to Rocket League real money betting here.
Fantasy Esports Call of Duty
Call of Duty is still one of the most popular team shooters. You can find a popular real-money fantasy COD game at DraftKings, while there is also a free version at Draftbuff (more on Draftbuff below).
Fantasy Esports Overwatch
So far, we have not found any real-money options for options for Fantasy Esports Overwatch. However, there is a free Overwatch league at Fantasyowl.com. The site allows you to compete for real prizes, as well as XP points.
Fantasy Esports Rainbow Six Siege
Fantasy Esports Valorant
As Valorant is still a relatively new game, and with the whole phenomenon of fantasy esports also a newcomer to the scene, we are still waiting for a fantasy esports Valorant game. However, if the game manages to rise to the popularity of games like CS:GO or LoL, we will probably see things change in the near future.
Esports Fantasy Royale
Clash Royale League also has a fantasy option, though not for real money. For most of their major tournaments, players make their picks for a chance to win prizes. To play Clash Royale fantasy esports, follow these steps below:
- Open the Clash Royale app and navigate to Fantasy Royale on the esports tab.
A window will open displaying the participating teams.
- Select four players for your team.
Esports Fantasy Team Clash Royale offers the following rewards:
- Top score: get 250,000 gold and 100 gems
- Top 10 percent: get 50,000 gold and 25 gems
- Top 25 percent: get 10,000 gold and 10 gems
Esports Fantasy Football
While the EPL has its own Fantasy Football game, you can also create your own fantasy leagues (including for esports) on their website. Of course, you can also play Fantasy Football (soccer or American football) on DraftKings.
How to Make Your Esports Fantasy Picks
If you are new to Esports Fantasy, you may be at a loss as to which players to pick for your Esports fantasy team. To help you out, we've listed five tips below to help you create your esports fantasy draft.
1. Shop for Odds at Esports Betting Sites
A good way to choose your esports fantasy team is by looking at the odds at an esports bookie. While fantasy esports gaming is not the same as esports betting, bookies will use all relevant stats to decide which team or player is likely to do well.
A player or team who is a heavy favourite according to the bookies is probably a great addition to your draft. The better the odds for your team and players, the more points your team is likely to score. Sites like GG.bet or bet365 have odds on most relevant esports competitions.
At the same time, there are likely thousands of other players picking the same favourites, which means if you win, you will likely have to share your prize money with more players. That is why it can occasionally pay to pick underdogs instead. An esports fantasy draft ticket with more underdogs is more likely to have a bigger prize.
2. Buy More Than One Ticket
Since esports tickets are quite cheap, there's not much keeping you from purchasing more than one ticket for the same game. This allows you to see how your esports fantasy picks affect your bottom line, and is good advice to keep in mind for beginners.
3. Check the stats
No matter which esport you want to play fantasy games for, whether for real money or just fantasy points, you should always consider stats; these can show you which players offer real value.
4. Look for value
Most fantasy esports games give you a finite budget, which you can use to pay for your players’ salaries. That means you usually cannot select an ultimate team with only the best players. Just like in regular betting, you will have to look for value, which means attempting to buy the best players for the best price.
5. Consult the Meta
Each game in esports is constantly evolving, with new patches and updates often changing how a game works, ensuring that no strategy, weapon, or game character is OP (overpowered). For most esports, you can find comprehensive META (Most Effective Tactics Available) guides, which can help you understand the game and strategy even better.
Other Fantasy Esports Platforms
While Draftkings is the most popular Fantasy esports option, allowing you to win real money with fantasy LOL, CS:GO, Rocket League, and Call of Duty, there are plenty of other options where you can win fantasy points, as well as other small rewards.
Fantasy Esports One
Fantasy Esports One is one of the most famous sites for Fantasy League of Legends. The site is free to play. The site will give you more points as your players get kills, destroy turrets, slay dragons, win games, and more. The site was launched in 2017, but has seen plenty of success in 2020, with over 30,000 active users.
Fantasy esports 1 will give players weekly missions, such as:
- Pick a team that goes 2 – 0
- Rank up to 3 times
- Score over 300 points
- Pick a jungler or top as captain
You can create your own league to compete against your friends, or choose to climb to the top in the global standings.
The site also contains plenty of data, stats and analytics, which can help you make your fantasy LoL picks. The site is rapidly expanding, so we expect more Esports to be added soon.
Fantasy Esports at Esportfantasy.com
Esportfantasy.com is exclusively for CS:GO fantasy. Choose a team with Coach, IGL, AWP, and Rifler. You can also create your own private league to compete against your friends. The site is free to play and you can win a $1,000 cash prize as winner of the year.
Fantasy Esports at Fantasyesports.gg
Fantasyesports.gg offers fantasy games on Dota 2 and League of Legends. They will soon be adding Overwatch and CS:GO. You can also watch live esports on the site. Every week, leaders can win prizes from the world’s leading gaming brands (such as gaming keyboards, mouse, pc, etc.).
Fantasy Esports at Draftbuff
Draftbuff is a popular website and app for Android and iPhone that lets you play fantasy games on Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Counterstrike Global Offensive. The app lets you win virtual prizes, which are great for bragging rights.
Choosing an Esports Fantasy App
There are plenty of esports fantasy websites (see above) from which to choose. However, when it comes to an esports fantasy app, the choice is more limited.
Draftbuff Esports Fantasy App
Draftbuff has a popular app for Android and iPhone, though you can also play through their website. Their games on Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Counterstrike Global Offensive can be a lot of fun, though you can only win virtual prizes.
Draftkings Esports Fantasy App
Draftkings not only has a fully functional website, but also an excellent app which you can download from the site itself. The site is the main option for fantasy esports in most countries, offering real-money fantasy esports gaming for League of Legends, CS:GO, Rocket League, and Call of Duty.
If you are good at making esports fantasy picks, we suggest taking your skills over to Draftkings to see how much real prize money you can win!
Esports Fantasy FAQs
How does fantasy esports work?
Fantasy esports requires you to choose a team of players who will compete at an upcoming esports event. Usually you will get a fantasy budget, meaning you cannot select only the top players. The better your selection performs, (wins, kills, assists, deaths, spikes, defuse, headshots, etc.) the more points you'll gain.
How can I win fantasy esports?
To win at fantasy esports, you will need to choose the best team. Our top tips to win at fantasy esports include:
- Look at the betting odds at an esports betting site.
- Buy more than one ticket.
- Check the stats.
- Look for value.
- Consult the META.
How can I create the best esports fantasy draft team?
The best way to make a winning fantasy draft team for esports is to look at the game odds (Vegas odds). Most games available on fantasy esports games are also available on esports betting sites, meaning you can easily see who the bookies think is most likely to win.
How can I join a fantasy draft?
There are plenty of options for fantasy betting. For example, DraftKings lets you play real money fantasy esports games, while the Draftbuff app lets you play for virtual prizes.
Does DraftKings offer esports?
Draftkings offers esports fantasy games on League of Legends, CS:GO, Rocket League, and Call of Duty. They also offer odds on the same esports.
How does Draftkings fantasy esports work?
At Draftkings, you buy a $3 ticket. For each ticket, you choose a number of players and a team to compete at an upcoming esports event. The better your players and team perform in the game, the more points they rack up. Draftkings will then award cash prizes to the draft that performed best.