On the eve of another ESL Pro League for CS:GO, a lot of you are looking forward to competing in fantasy eSports for another season. Our partner AlphaDraft has announced new CS:GO fantasy contests and I am sure many of you are already competing there. Below is my comprehensive guide to competing in fantasy CS:GO in 2016.
My CS:GO Background
Before we signed our Counter-strike team, I was heavily involved in watching every match I could on a daily basis for a period of about 8 months in 2014. I analyzed the betting lines and even built up quite the inventory of skins by placing wagers myself. It was a way for me to be invested into learning more about the game and the scene. Of course, I had to stop wagering skins once we did sign our team in January of 2015 due to Valve regulations. Since 2014, I have not been able to get enough of watching CS:GO pro matches. I’ve also managed to work my matchmaking rank up to SMFC (“Supreme”) as a player myself. 90% of my matchmaking games were completed alone by solo queuing. An achievement I am proud of (for good reason). Further, I attended about 80% of the CS:GO LAN tournaments last year and have developed some amazing relationships with the players, teams and event organizers. So with that said, I think I’ve built up some credibility and knowledge when it comes to analyzing the talent in the scene and the impact it has on fantasy games.
Should you play fantasy CS:GO?
The first part of my guide addresses one question: Should you play fantasy CS:GO in the first place?
My reasons you should enter into fantasy CS:GO contests are the following:
-You have a good knowledge of the teams, players and game and want to test how well you can apply that knowledge to fantasy contests.
-You want to learn more about the scene by paying attention to stats and having a personal investment into the game while you are watching.
My reasons you should NOT enter into fantasy CS:GO contests are the following:
-You are trying to get rich from entering fantasy CS:GO contests. As much as many people would like to make all that sick scrilla (which is in fact doable), I am highly against this being your main source of motivation to compete in fantasy eSports. In my humble opinion, it is always best to enjoy these contests as a hobby and a way of adding extra enjoyment to the leagues, tournaments and matches you are watching.
How do you get started with an AlphaDraft account?
This is a fairly simple process.
- Click here to open the AlphaDraft homepage: http://bit.ly/envyalphadraft
- Click “SIGNUP” in the top right corner of the page.
- Fill out the required information. It is free to create an account and you can use our promo code “ENVYUS” on signup for a 100% pending bonus to your initial cash deposit if you decide to compete in cash contests.
- Once you have an account, you can begin to browse and enter contests by clicking “GAMES” in the top menu bar of the page.
- Once you decide on which contest you would like to enter, you will see that you are provided a virtual budget to buy players to your contest roster.
- For CS:GO fantasy contests, you will be selecting 6 players and a team to complete your lineup to enter into the contest.
- Once you have selected your lineup and you are ready to roll, click “ENTER LINEUP”
- Enjoy the games. You’re all set and can constantly monitor your lineup’s progress by clicking “MY CONTESTS” or “MY TEAMS” at the top of the page.
How does your lineup score points?
The following is the AlphaDraft CS:GO point scoring system used to determine your lineup’s performance:
So as you can see, Players will score +2 points for a kill, +1 point for an assist and will lose -1 point for each player death. Teams will score +1 point for each bomb plant, +2 points for each bomb defusal, +1 point for each round win and -1 point for each round lost.
Analysis and Lineup Selection
Ok, so let’s begin to get technical. Your objective when choosing a lineup is obviously to score as many points as possible. So you want to maximize the number of opportunities you have to score those points whilst managing the budget given to you to select your lineup.
I highly recommend taking a look at HLTV.org intently as much as you can for match references, statistics and history. It is BY FAR the most important resource you can have as a fantasy CS:GO competitor and is the best online database for professional CS:GO player/team stats available to you.
There can be a lot of deception you can create for yourself when you begin to select your lineup. For example, you may think “I’m going to select a player who I know will provide the most frags for his team” – this isn’t the type of mentality you should have. Remember, you lose -1 point for every death a player takes and assists give you +1. So with that said, yes there are fraggers who put up big kill totals, but who also take a lot of deaths when playing the role of maybe the entry fragger or 2nd man in on a T side execution for a team. The players I tend to look for are the players who will have the most Kill to Death separation who also provide a good number of assists. You want to pay attention to that differential when you are looking at match statistics. Here is a screen-shot of what a match report looks like on HLTV.org:
The above is a match report from the Global eSports Cup Grand Final our team won this past weekend vs Dignitas. These are statistics for map 1 on Cobblestone where our team won 16-4. Let’s compare Happy and NBK’s statistics from a fantasy perspective.
We can see that Happy provided the most kills at 24 (+48 fantasy points), added 2 assists (+2 fantasy points) and took 9 deaths (-9 fantasy points) for a total of 41 fantasy points.
We can see that NBK provided 22 kills (+44 fantasy points), added 6 assists (+6 fantasy points) and took 9 deaths (-9 fantasy points) for a total of 41 fantasy points.
Although Happy provided more kills, NBK made up for it with assists. They both finished with the same amount of AlphaDraft fantasy points for this map. Both players had great kill to death differentials finishing +15 and +13 respectively and both players finished the map with more than 20 frags. These were 2 very solid games from a fantasy perspective. These are the types of statistics you are looking for when choosing a player for your lineup. You want to find players who are consistently providing high kill to death differentials who also add in a good number of assists. The more consistency you can find in a player’s match history regarding these statistics, the more likely that player is to perform for you.
An often overlooked factor in selecting a lineup are player vs specific team match-ups. I can tell you that there exists a definite difference in the way a player or team performs vs one team over another. Professional CS:GO is largely based on match-ups. Some teams and players struggle with a specific match-up vs another. Often times these might not be what you expect. For example, our CS:GO team is 12-4 in our last 16 maps vs Fnatic, but only 8-8 in our last 16 maps vs Na’Vi. Although Fnatic has outperformed Na’Vi in most tournaments, our team has recently had more problems facing the Na’Vi lineup over Fnatic. The same is true for player vs team match-ups. You want to pay attention to how players are performing historically vs different teams and chose the better match-up in a certain lineup you are creating. The strength of match-ups tend to change every couple of months depending on the form of teams as a whole. Be sure to pay attention to those trends.
Online vs LAN
Another factor to consider is player/team performance in online matches vs LAN tournament matches. There can be a large difference in the way players perform online and at LAN. Take a look on HLTV.org to see how those players are performing on both and make sure you know whether your fantasy contest’s matches are being played online or at a live LAN tournament.
Look for value
The key to separating your lineup from other fantasy competitors is going to be finding value players. I am referring to the players who are not always the huge stars and the players who are going to cost your fantasy budget less. I like to take risks on low-cost players who I have seen have some monster games. I encourage that you do that also. When looking for value, analyzing the match-ups is key. Look for a value player’s past performances vs a team they will be earning points for you against.
Consider player roles
The roles of players certainly play a factor in how many kills, assists, or deaths they will have on the scoreboard. For example, apEX is one of EnVyUs’ most explosive players. We rely on him to create entry frags and he is one of the best in the world at this. However, he is going to take a lot of deaths in that role which sometimes makes him less valuable from a fantasy perspective. Top level snipers are usually going to give you the most points as they create a mid to high number of kills for your lineup and typically will take less deaths as they have more range and elusiveness in games. As such, they are going to cost you more budget. Be aware of what role players have on their teams to increase pick value.
Good luck, have fun
Competing in fantasy esports should be fun for you. If you are new to CS:GO esports, then this can be a great, enjoyable way for you to learn more about the teams and players. If you are a veteran spectator then this can be a great way to test your knowledge. Regardless, I hope you all enjoy playing fantasy CS:GO on AlphaDraft. They also have League of Legends contests if you prefer or want to play that too.
I hope you all enjoyed the guide. If you’re ready to get setup on AlphaDraft, you can use our team link (http://bit.ly/envyalphadraft) which will give you a 100% pending bonus to your initial cash deposit if you decide to compete in cash contests or use our promo code “ENVYUS”