Esports betting can be a challenge when you’re playing against a bookmaker. No matter how good, dedicated, or creative you are, gambling sites tend to have a significant edge over their customers, turning any attempts to become a winning player into an uphill struggle. But what if you were to gamble against other bettors?
Enter League of Legends fantasy!
Unlike conventional sports betting, LCK, LEC, and LCS fantasy drafts invite you to enter a battle of wits against gamblers from all over the globe. Research, patience, and game knowledge are heavily rewarded here, and the bookmaker doesn’t get involved in any way, shape, or form other than taking a small cut and providing a platform for the betting action. In this ultimate guide to League of Legends fantasy betting, we’ll explain how fantasy LCS works, give you tips on how to get started on the biggest fantasy esports contest provider in DraftKings, and walk you through exactly what goes into making a perfect LCS fantasy draft. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
What is Fantasy LCS?
The first thing you need to learn before jumping into the exciting world of League of Legends fantasy is that it’s very different from traditional forms of gambling. In fact, NA LCS fantasy has more in common with poker tournaments than conventional esports betting. Much like with poker, there’s a wide range of contests to choose from and a real money fee (buy-in) to pay if you want to get in on the action. And much like with poker, your skill is the main thing that determines whether you win or lose.
The reason behind this is that you’re not putting your money on teams. Instead, you’re betting on individual players. You do this by making an LCS fantasy draft out of the pool of available LoL esports pros and getting points based on how many kills, deaths, assists, and creep kills your players get over the span of the next few games. Afterwards, bettors with the most points get a chunk of the prize pool and become the fantasy LCS League of Legends winners.
Sound simple enough, but there’s a lot of depth to it.
For instance, DraftKings fantasy contests have salary caps—fictional budgets that determine how much you can spend on your NA LCS fantasy team. Players also come with their own salary requirements. Signing a star player will cost a small fortune, but bottom feeders and middle-of-the-pack pros will be much more affordable. With that, making a perfect LCS fantasy draft often comes down to budget management.
That’s not the only limiting factor either. Fantasy teams mirror the structure of actual League of Legends lineups, so you have to find a top laner, a jungler, a mid laner, a bot lane player, and a support. On top of that, you need to fill two additional roles in Captain and Team. The Captain is the ace of your team. His salary will be larger compared to that of other players, however, he will grant you 1.5 times more point for every action he makes on the Rift. This position isn’t limited to a particular role either, so you can get a second jungler or mid laner as your Captain.
The Team role works in a similar way to other positions, but instead of picking players, you select an organization. It will rack up points based on its win/loss record and the number of objectives (turrets, dragons, Barons, and First Bloods) it captured, so choose your Team wisely.
How To Get Started in League of Legends Fantasy?
Now that you know how fantasy LCS works, let’s see how you can get in on the betting action! The best place to get started is DraftKings – an American platform with a long history of providing qualify fantasy contests. New DraftKings players that make a deposit of at least $5 get a $3-$20 free ticket (the exact amount depends on your promo code) to a contest of their choice, which is a great way of trying your hand at fantasy LCS League of Legends without putting your bankroll to risk. Another thing to note is that the first 50 contest you play on DraftKings will take place against other rookie bettors, so you won’t be fighting against pros and grizzled veterans.
Signing up for the site is as easy as going to the DraftKings homepage and choosing the “Continue With Facebook” option. Alternatively, you can click the “Sign Up” button to fill in the blanks manually. You only need to enter your username, email, password, birth date, and country of origin, so you don’t have to share all your personal information to try out the site.
Once you’re done, you can log in and access fantasy contests. From then on, the world is your oyster. DraftKings offers a huge selection of League of Legends fantasy contests like major leagues, head-to-head clashes, 50/50 tournaments, double ups, satellites, and multipliers. Alternatively, you can start your own fantasy league by clicking the “Create a Contest” button and outlining the rules of your competition. You can even hold private (and free!) contests with your friends to get a hang of the ins and outs of NA LCS fantasy. And when you’re ready, you can start participating in real money contests. Which brings us to our next point…
How to Make a Perfect LCS Fantasy Draft?
We’ll be frank: there’s no foolproof blueprint that ensures your LCS fantasy drafts are always the best. However, there is a number of tips, tricks, and proven strategies you can implement in your game to dramatically increase your chances of winning.
1. Do Your Research
The first thing you need to know is that information is key. Much like with all other types of esports betting, you need to keep up with the competitive scene to be a winning fantasy LCS League of Legends bettor. After all, you have to be able to tell which players are doing well and which players are slumping to create a good fantasy lineup.
One of the best places to get your information fix is the fantasy LCS Reddit. There, you will find a multitude of other bettors sharing their thoughts and betting strategies for the fantasy format. You can also keep up with general esports news on the official League of Legends subreddit and sites like Dotesports, Blitz Esports, and ESPN. However, the fantasy LCS Reddit is still the most efficient way of doing your research for LoL DraftKings contests.
2. Crunch The Numbers
Even if you stay up to date with the latest fantasy LCS Reddit trends, you have to remember that this is a numbers game. The number of points you earn is determined by player stats—and that’s very different from player performance. For instance, a tank top laner that’s initiating fights, soaking up damage and dying in place of his teammates is an absolute godsend on the Rift, but the fact that he’s so willing to give his life away makes him a liability in a fantasy contest. After all, every death detracts from your total amount of points.
With that, you want to be drafting players with the best numbers available. DraftKings makes this process as streamlined as possible by highlighting how many fantasy points per game (FPPG) a player earns on average. Keep in mind, though, that averages can be deceptive. A player’s stats can look great when he’s beating up bottom-tier lineups, but there’s no guarantee he can replicate this performance against stronger opponents. Fortunately, DraftKings solves this problem with a handy opponent’s ranking (OPRK) metric that lets you know what kind of enemies your players will face next. And if you want more data to work with, you can drop by Oracle Elixir to get detailed player stats like KDA, kill participation, CS per minute, and more.
3. Set Draft Priorities
If you want to build a good League of Legends fantasy lineup, you need to set your draft priorities. The most important one is that carries tend to rack up a lot of points, so try to pay a little extra for good mid laners and bot laners. In a similar fashion, don’t go over budget for a great support or a powerhouse jungler since these roles won’t provide the best bang for the buck.
Another thing to note is that match result matters. Average players on winning teams earn more points than superstars on losing lineups, so don’t chase big names blindly. Instead, analyze the matchups and determine which players offer the most value for your fantasy team.
Finally, recognize when you need to take risks. If you’re participating in small leagues and head-to-head contests, it’s fine to assemble a nice well-rounded fantasy lineup. However, if you’re taking part in massive tournaments with hundreds of entries, you need to be able to gamble on upsets or speculative players. Sure, most of the time, these risks won’t pay off. But when they do, your winnings will frequently cover your losses.
Verdict on League of Legends fantasy
There’s a lot of depth to fantasy LoL. Of course, you can jump straight into action right after learning the answer to the “what is fantasy LCS?” question. In fact, fantasy leagues can be very fun if you’re playing them with your friends recreationally. But if you want to strive for more, you need to remember that fantasy League of Legends is a game of skill, patience, and resilience. And it’s only when you start applying these virtues that you will become a winning fantasy player.