I recently entered into LOL $1.6K Skill Shot (LPL). There were 235 entrants. However, they permitted multiple entries per entrant; up to seven in total. Each entry cost $8.00. This was my very first contest. How I ended up there? Several failed attempts at participating in beginner contests. It seems that contests in which there are not enough entries get canceled. For those who don’t know, there are ‘missions’ that can be completed for crowns, a sort of currency on DraftKings. These missions are used to stimulate participation on site, it’s a way of getting you to keep playing so the business can keep making money. The mission I received was to enter an eight-dollar contest, and so I found myself entering into this one.
This contest’s mechanic was a budget: $50,000. Take that money and hire your players. That’s it. But the various roles of a League team have a hierarchy of importance. At least, that’s how I understood it when undertaking the construction of my lineup. Foremost, ADC. It’s common knowledge that a skilled ADC can be a deciding factor of winning or losing. So, I looked to pick my ADC first—I wanted the highest possible budget to work with. After that, I looked to Top. Top Lane is a hardy battle that takes a while. It can drive momentum for your team, which is why it deserves priority over other positions. After Top, I looked to Team Captain; a Mid could also be chosen at this time.
Team Captains earn a multiplied score. It’s not even doubled (only 1.5x) but any boost of score, I thought, might be worth investing in. Also, you have to reconcile the fact that the Team Captain might be the most expensive member of the team. “But, wait, why wouldn’t you buy it first then?” Simple, a Team Captain can be a player chosen from any other position. It might not be smart to place someone as captain when they would perform better as ADC or Top. Better to put a player in their specialized role. After choosing a captain, I simply went down the list. Jungle, then Mid, then Support, and finally Team.
This was the third choice in the process, which meant that it I wasn’t very cautious yet wasn’t nonchalant. The reason for the care that I did have for this choice came from the cost. As I said before, Team Captains tend to be the most expensive parts of the lineup. The trade-off for that, if you could call it that, is that they earn 50% more points during the competition. For my Team Captain, I hired cheaply—as I don’t remember very many that exceeded ten grand in salary. I picked up ASURA from LNG Esports for $7,200. ASURA typically plays ADC, but I was happy with my choice.
I hired GIMGOON for $6,400 from FunPlus Phoenix. I was working with $42,000 and so there was not much concern about budgeting. Many times when there are two options that are very close, I break it down into how many Fantasy Points per dollar am I buying. For example, if player A earns 50 points and costs $5,000, and player B earns 58 points and costs $5,200, then there’s a calculation to be done. Are those eight points worth the extra two-hundred dollars? Mathematics weren’t something I was concerned with enough to put effort in while building my lineup, but I don’t remember any options that were close to GIMGOON.
After I picked my captain, I went to pick a Jungler. By this time, I was concerned with three variables yet generally insouciant. The first variable was point-earning. The second variable was salary. The third variable was my remaining budget. I ended up hiring AKI from Top Esports for $6,200. I don’t remember this player being particularly high on the list, but I wasn’t too concerned about who would be roaming the jungle.
The Mid Lane is undeniably important. Not extremely, but important. It’s in the middle of the map, after all. But, I was aware that the battle for that lane goes back and forth consistently throughout the match. So, I wasn’t looking for an ace that could push and win it right away; I was looking for someone competent who could hold the line. That’s all. Hold the line and keep the lane. Simple. I hired PLEX for seven grand from LNG Esports.
My first choice of the process, I looked for an ADC with a high FPPG or Fantasy Points Per Game. I wasn’t very concerned about cash, as I wouldn’t put a price on a star player. I hired LWX for $8,000 from FunPlus Phoenix. I considered the ADC as the cannon of the team—so long as the other members weren’t horrible, I could still do devastating damage to opponent.
My budget was narrowing, and so I selected a Support based on how much would be left over for the final position. That said, I wasn’t completely careless about my player. Of course, a good healer and supporter can greatly improve a team. More than that, a great Support can enable the other players to maintain their performance longer. That’s critical for matches that get very close and droll on, nail-biting minute by nail-biting minute. With all of that in mind, I picked up QIUQIU for $5,000 from Top Esports.
The last position on the team, I felt the least pressure for my decision. I’d spent my budget on some players that I had confidence in. So, with what remaining funds I had, I chose FunPlus Phoenix for $5,800.
My lineup completely failed. It scored 264.06 fantasy points, placing me in the 233rd spot of 235 entrants. But, this loss doesn’t mean as much as you might think. According to the average results, data collected over the past thirty days, 13% of beginners like myself come out as Net Winners. Only 9% break even. It comes out to an overwhelming 78% of beginners end up as Net Losers. So, don’t let a few rough games where you didn’t put too much effort into your picks discourage you. Keep playing. Keep researching. You can’t win if you don’t play!