Like moths to an online flame, eSports fans are flocking onto DFS platforms. With Daily Fantasy eSports, fans get to play alongside their favourite eSports contests, and even win cash. Seasoned DFS players can also discover this emerging area of fantasy sports, referred to as Daily Fantasy eSports (DFeS for short).
Read on for the DailyFantasyUK lowdown on eSports, Daily Fantasy eSports (DFeS), and how you can enter this increasingly popular and lucrative DFS community.
What are eSports?
Electronic Sports includes competitive sports events where the main ‘playing field’ is electronic, and players compete using online personas. There are professional eSports players and teams (Cyberathletes), who typically play in multiplayer video game competitions for prize money. Many Cyberathletes have salaries for their eSports careers.
eSports competitions can take place in many genres of video game, including –
- first person shooters such as the Halo and Call of Duty franchises and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
- real-time strategy games like South Korean favourite Starcraft.
- fighting simulators like Tekken and Streetfighter.
- multiple online battle arenas (MOBAs) such as League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients (Dota).
One of the most popular games for eSports competitions is League of Legends (LoL). This game has its own annual World Championship, which has been running since 2011. Countries all over the world, from Sweden to South Korea, have hosted the championship contest. LoL Worlds means big money, with teams of players winning prizes of up to $1 million, and the tournament has a growing fan-base of viewers reaching millions.
Additionally, other eSports tournaments include The International, in which players compete in Dota and more recently its sequel Dota 2, and the Evolution Championship Games (EVO), created exclusively for fighting games competitions.
What do eSports have to do with DFS?
It was only a matter of time until the eSports popularity boom translated into a new area of opportunity for daily fantasy sports. Both platforms thrive online. Many eSports tournaments are streamed online, so it’s easy to hop onto a DFS website and watch your fantasy team’s progress.
Daily Fantasy eSports takes a similar form to that of more traditional DFS. You choose a contest to enter, roster a dream team made up of individual players involved in that day’s matches, and see how you do on the day – and how much you can win!
The layout of the team depends on which eSport game platform you choose. There are small differences in points systems depending on which DFS website you go for, but overall the experience isn’t dissimilar if you’ve played DFS before.
For example, on DraftKings LoL contests, your players gain points for their Kills (+3), Assists (+2) and Creep Kills (+0.2), while losing points for Deaths (-1) during each match. For each contest you roster 8 players from at least 2 of that day’s games, with no more than 4 players from each participating team.
Where can I play Daily Fantasy eSports?
Vulcan and Alphadraft
There are specific sites for DFeS (Daily Fantasy eSports) and the main two are Vulcun and AlphaDraft, which both began in January 2015. Vulcun runs fantasy contests for LoL, Dota2, Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and World of Tanks, whereas AlphaDraft concentrates on LoL and CS:GO.
Vulcun does not offer cash prizes for contest winners, instead using a ‘Gold’ virtual currency system and in-game item rewards. This cleverly avoids some of the legal issues DFS has been suffering with in the United States. ‘Gold’ can be purchased using real money, but cannot be converted back into cash. The real draw for Vulcun account-holders seems to be in-game rewards. These include weapons, rare items, increases in skills or other statistics, and anything else valuable in the game. Players can also translate gold into in-game items, and are encouraged to watch livestreams to gain items too.
AlphaDraft, on the other hand, operates in terms of real hard cash prizes. It is currently only available to certain U.S. and all Canadian players. It was acquired by DFS operator FanDuel in September 2015. Fanduel don’t currently have a UK base, though apparently a UK launch is in the works.
For those of us in the UK wanting to play DFeS for real money, DraftKings have opened up an eSports contest area with plenty of cash to be won.
Kicking off in January 2016 with League of Legends contests, DraftKings have clearly recognised the appeal of daily fantasy eSports. Cash prizes range from contest tickets to thousands of dollars. There are free entry contests too, so there is something for everyone.
A unique aspect of DraftKings eSports is that you can also gain points based on team performances, as well as individual players. The 8th spot in LoL rosters, for example, is for the team of your choice. You gain points for Teams who achieve Turret (+1), Dragon (+2), Baron (+3), First Blood (+2), a match Win (+2) and a Win Under 30 Minutes (+2). This adds another strategic aspect to your choices and gives you more chances to rack up points.
Have you played daily fantasy eSports – what did you think? Get in touch!