Welcome to eSports: League of Legends 101

Written by Nick DeFrancis

I’ve been following the competitive League of Legends scene for longer than it has existed, and am ridiculous psyched to see League of Legends and eSports enter the big time on DraftKings!

Maybe you’ve played season-long fantasy LCS, maybe you’ve played season-long fantasy traditional sports like NFL, or maybe you’re a big Cloud9 fan trying to learn how to turn that knowledge and passion into something more. As a seasoned Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) veteran my goal here is to illuminate some key strategies that can help turn your LCS, LPL or LCK knowledge into DraftKings winnings. It’s incredibly exciting for me to see League of Legends enter the fray and truly be appreciated as the great spectator sport it is.

Before we dive into the specific strategies, let’s start with a brief overview of Daily Fantasy eSports.

What is DFS?

Daily Fantasy (e)Sports, or DFS, is a fantasy sports format in which players compete against one another in head-to-head matchups or larger leagues and tournaments by drafting a fantasy team from players competing in that day’s games exclusively. Similar to traditional season-long fantasy sports, your fantasy team will score points based on how your players perform during that single day’s games. It’s turned into an incredibly fun, and fast-paced way to enjoy your favorite games, and can becomes even more exciting when you add the option of putting real money on the line, with the ability to win some pretty outrageous sums of cash if your fantasy team does well, all in a day’s work.

League of Legends on DraftKings

Building a League of Legends lineup on DraftKings is incredibly straight-forward. Players and teams accrue fantasy points for completing important in-game actions and objections, like kills, assists, Dragons, Barons, and Towers. Below is an outline of the different position requirements for your DraftKings League of Legends lineups, as well as how each player or team will be scored.

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Your fantasy team will consist of a Top, Jungle, Mid, AD Carry, Support, as well as two Flex positions (which can be any of the 5 roles) as well as a Team. Importantly, as you draft your team, you’ll have to be savvy and keep your entire lineup under the $50,000 DraftKings salary cap.

It’s also important to understand how fantasy-point-scoring works. On DraftKings we wanted to take the most meaningful elements of in-game play and translate them into fantasy statistics. An important note is to look at how kills, deaths and assists are weighted. Since a lot of emphasis is put on kills and assists be mindful to look for games you think could be pretty long and bloody, resulting in “tons of” fantasy points for all players involved. Similarly, Team scoring is heavily weighted towards objective control, so having an idea of how mid-game objective control battles will unfold can give you a big leg-up on your competition when drafting your Team-position.

Building a Lineup

Now that you’re an expert in how DraftKings Daily Fantasy eSports and scoring works, let’s get to the most important topic at hand: how do I build a lineup? There is no right or wrong way to build a lineup, but here are some of the most important factors you should consider when drafting your team.

Know what kind of contest you’re playing in

– DraftKings offers several different types of contests, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

– In Double ups and head-to-head contests it’s important to build a lineup that you think will do pretty well all the time. These contests you want to pick safer players, like Bjergsen or Rekkles, who you think can perform decently even if their team loses.

– In “tournaments”, large-field contests where first-place wins a ton of money, a good strategy is to go all-in on a riskier team, like Impulse or Unicorns of Love, who you think could take a game to 40+ minutes in a 20+ kill bloodbath. Because assists are valued almost as much as a kill, picking 3-4 players from a bloody game can accrue you massive fantasy points if everyone is getting kills and assists in mid- to late-game teamfights.

Create a lineup-building process that’s repeatable

– After you build a lineup, think about what you like about it. Afterwards, think about what assumptions worked and what didn’t, and go from there. Was your lineup too risky? Did you not take enough risks? Think about your lineup and what you can do to make it even better.

What data are you using?

– DraftKings player cards provide a great outlet for Daily Fantasy eSports research. You can easily see if a player has a tough or easy matchup, as well as detailed stats on their recent performances. Is Pobelter in a rut? Does xPeke have an easy matchup? Use the DraftKings player cards in the draft screen to help answer these questions.

Hopefully this provides you with a better understanding of Daily Fantasy eSports and DraftKings League of Legends strategy. Stay tuned for more detailed matchup analysis and expert picks here on the DraftKings HUD. And most importantly, have fun on DraftKings! It’s a super exciting time for eSports, and here at DraftKings we’re thrilled to finally be a part of the fastest growing sports in the world.