When the principles of Riot Games set out to build a new entry for the PC gaming market, it was clear from the get go that they intended to build a strong brand with a thriving community of gamers. One could argue that they built League of Legends specifically for what was at the time the virgin industry of eSports.
To build a sense of fellowship among their players, they created the LoL professional league, running tournaments worldwide while employing a top notch broadcasting system for online streaming. There are star teams and legendary gamers. There is a regular season culminating in a championship playoff for the Summoner’s Cup, which has lead to an active player base of 67 million people worldwide.
It was only a matter of time until the DFS industry took notice and started offering contests on these tournaments. Our League of Legends Projections focus on the strength divide between regions, assigning power rankings geographically. We then supplement this data with game flow projections, as eSports daily fantasy scoring favors matches with a long run time over those with a quick finish.
LoL Summoner’s Cup
A key facet of the game is that players are separated geographically to ensure that gamers experience limited lag time when competing. If a player in the United States attempted to join a competition in South Korea, the few milliseconds more that it would take to transmit the data would lead to an unfair advantage for the competition. As a result LoL employs 11 active servers which group players into the following regions: Brazil, Europe Nordic and East, Europe West, Latin America North, Latin America South, North America, Oceania, Russia, Turkey, South East Asia and the Republic of Korea.
Players from separate regions rarely face off save for the the Summoner’s Cup, the League of Legends championship played before a live audience with a $1 million prize on the line. Head to head data for these matches is scarce at best, resulting from the lack of cross region play leading up to the final.
Daily Fantasy Projections
A League of Legends tournament match pits two teams of 5 players against each other on the Summoner’s Rift Map. Three other LoL Maps or ‘Fields of Justice’ exist; Twisted Treeline, Howling Abyss and Crystal Scar but they are not used for championship game play. Each team then has their players select the character or ‘Champion’ that they will compete as. There are over 100 options available to be used, which means it’s quite a challenge to produce daily fantasy projections.
Before each team selects their Champions, they are able to remove 3 characters from the available pool which the other team may not chose. Knowing what Champions each team favors, while understanding the strengths of each region are key to producing a winning lineup. We touched on the regional bias earlier. Much like projecting the strengths of NFL teams, we use the following as a rule of thumb when determining power rankings of a teams originating from a certain region: South Korea > China > Europe > North America > all other regions.
Winning League of Legends Lineup
Each team has the goal of capturing the opposing squad’s ‘nexus’, which is essentially their home base. Think of it as an electronic version of capture the flag. While this is the main objective in winning the game, producing a winning League of Legends lineup is another story.
Points are awarded for achieving the intermediate objectives in the game, and thus you want to identify which teams will not only win their tournament match but do so while completing the secondary tasks. These range from destroying turrets and inhibitors, to defeating Baron Nasher and Dragon, to finding the Blue Sentinel and Red Brambleback. All of these provide extra advantages which will aid the team in victory. Knowing which teams prefer to achieve these vs those that only want to capture the nexus will are important factors when making eSports picks.