It was a generally strong split for me in the beta of Fantasy LCS! I had a lot of fun, and it changed the way I watch the LCS! See my results, as well as my thoughts on how they can improve the system!
Fantasy sports change you. When I started doing fantasy football and basketball, I noticed that fandom changed. I wasn’t more objective, per se, but I was able to recognize a lot more players and trends, and thus I was more engaged in the sport as a whole. The same thing definitely happened here.
Without fantasy LoL, here’s what would have happened. I would have watched every game (as it is sort of my job), but I would have focused on Cloud9 (my favorite team), CLG (my favorite bot lane), and Fnatic (in Rekkles we trust).
Sure, I have other favorite players, like Kev1n, Shiphtur, Quas, but I was interested in them from a distance. I’d watch highlights, or watch the games passively.
Last season, I called Kev1n the best top laner on Europe, and I predicted that KottenX would make them a top 4 team next split. As a result, I drafted 4 Millenium players between my important two drafts, and thus I found myself watching Millenium games. It’s safe to say I probably would have watched some of their games as a result, but I found myself on the edge of my seat. Most particularly, I drafted Kerp, and found myself rooting for his snowball-heavy style. I picked up Selfie as a flex pick when my original flex pick proved a disappointment, and suddenly found myself in love with the fact that every player on Supa Hot Crew is a playmaker.
Even the teams I drafted nobody from soon became exciting to watch, because I’d gotten invested in watching them against my fantasy picks. And when teams I already liked like Cloud9 slumped? Well, that was just one more reason to root for them. Not only were my chops as an analyst on the line for calling them the #1 team in NA when they were #5 in the standings, but my fantasy team was at risk too! Thank god they recovered, or my LemonNation first pick and Cloud9 third pick could have come back to bite me :p
The system was generally well done, in my opinion, but I had a few small complaints.
1) I wish we could see our matchups more than a week in advance, as it would allow for more planning, and also ease people’s minds. I actually noticed that the schedule that was released in advance often changed at the last minute, which was just confusing!
2) A playoffs system would be great. There are 11 weeks, so why not have the first 7 weeks (everybody plays everybody, even in an 8-man draft) be the regular season, and the last 4 weeks be a playoffs seeded based off of performance in the first 7 weeks? I suppose you could also have a playoffs during the actual playoffs, but with teams getting eliminated, you’d probably need to redraft each week.
3) Why aren’t head-to-head records part of tiebreakers? It just seems a bit weird to me. I didn’t really look at the tiebreaker rules until the end of the season when it was over, but I just sort of assumed head-to-head would matter because…I dunno. I guess it does make some sense to exclude because Fantasy LCS is much like golf in that you’re not really playing against somebody and just being compared to them. But then why are there weekly matchups in the first place? I dunno. It just seemed odd to me.
3) There are just too few players. If one of your draft picks got subbed out, or benched, or removed from his team, you were often down to his replacement or the very bottom of the barrel as your replacement. Opening the LCS up to 10 teams would certainly help with that problem. So would removing the flex pick and one of the bench positions. This would force you to consider what players you were holding, as currently, the undrafted picks are pretty useless unless they have a random comeback (like RobertxLee/Altec towards the end of the week).
4) Maybe there should be prizes? Obviously, Riot doesn’t want people spamming leagues for prizes, so perhaps you only get one “prized” drafts per year, and you have to mark it as such before drafting? Or maybe just cap the number of drafts you can do? I guess there’s some worry of collusion or somebody making 7 smurfs to force a win on his main, but I’m sure Riot could find a solution to that. How cool would it be to have a “#1 in Fantasy” ward skin?
5) An upgrade to the standings screen. The ones I’m posting here should be available throughout the season.
First, we’ve got my Freelance LoLEsports writer league! I pulled an Alliance, pulling into first place from week 1 and holding it for the entirety of the season! This does speak well for the Riot autodrafter, however, as Code Monkeys had an autodrafted team (although he did some trades to get rid of his Gambit Gaming picks), and yet still came in second place (although only had the 5th most points, and some lucky matchups).
The other league that you’ve been following on a week-by-week basis is my league with my friends, and while I did win my last week’s matchup, I lost thanks to the “points amassed” tiebreaker. That’ll tell me not to read the rules. As I alluded to in past weeks, I thought head-to-head matchups were the tiebreaker, and Photosynthesia and I would have split first place. However, she has recently been hired to work at Riot in Cologne, so I suppose if I *have* to lose to somebody, Photosynthesia is not the worst option. At least Melkorthefoul didn’t beat me.
I still maintain that Gideon should have been 5-6 and ahead of aybaran/Amphialus. He had the hardest schedule of anybody, and Cloud9 was so weird this split.
This was the first draft I did, and I was using it to see how people would react to oddball strategies. In this case, I attempted to draft all Fnatic. I ended up with sOAZ, Rekkles, YellOwStaR, and Fnatic, as well as Froggen, IWillDominate, and Doublelift, and as you can see, drafting Fnatic is quite the winning strategy, netting me an 11-0!
I also did another test league with friends, although I must admit I wasn’t really paying attention during the draft, as I had a friend over. Luckily, the autodraft function, as mentioned, is not bad, and it got me Froggen as my first pick. I was going to go for Rekkles, but I guess I’m ok with Froggen. I didn’t pay attention to this league much; I swapped KottenX (my star jungler) out for Dexter one week because of matchups, and then left Dexter in for the last 4 weeks. Oops. I could have picked up one more win here, but Mavryck would still have beaten me. I’ll take 2nd place for minimal attention.
I may have trolled this draft. My team was made up of entirely players from yellow teams: ZionSpartan, Crumbzz, Shiphtur, Rekkles, YellOwStaR, Genja (I stopped paying attention and it auto-drafted!), and Fnatic. I’m pretty sure I could have moved up to second place had I paid attention to this league and not drafted (or started) Genja.
Overall, I went 40-14, although if we count only drafts I was serious about, 16-6 is probably a better indication. Either way, I consider this a pretty good hall, and I hope to take what I’ve learned into the next season!