Fantasy leagues have been a staple of traditional sports for quite some time, but they are relatively new to the esports scene. Last year was good starting off point, with plenty of new platforms coming forward and getting the Overwatch community familiarized with the concept. This year fantasy apps and sites have taken a massive step forward by introducing more traditional season-long options.
Most fans of American football are quite familiar with this game; however with OWL, plenty of esport fans will own a fantasy team for the first time ever. Nothing feels worse than going into something completely blind, which is why the fantasy team here at TGH created a basic guide for fantasy OWL.
What is Fantasy OWL?
Fantasy OWL is a game that people play throughout the Overwatch League season. Players are managers of a fantasy team, which that team has matches against other fantasy teams in the league. As a manager of a team, each player creates their team during the draft. Leagues typically have 8 to 10 players, meaning teams usually will have equal shots at grabbing top talent.
How Do You Play?
The first step to playing fantasy OWL is to join a league. Leagues are held on various sites and apps, but once the group has decided on one location the commissioner can start the league. Once the league is created and people have joined, it is time to start the fantasy OWL experience.
There are two major segments when it comes to fantasy sports and esports – the draft and the season.
The most important part of any fantasy league is the initial draft. This is where teams will build their initial rosters for the entire season. To draft, team managers will pick a player from the pool of OWL pros, and add that player to their team. Once a player is selected, they cannot be added to any other team. The most common draft format is called “Snake-Draft”. It works like this –
- Before the draft, a draft order is set randomly by the app or website where the league is held.
- The draft order determines who picks first, and who picks last. For this example, it will be a draft of 10 people. The person in the 1 spot will draft first, and the person in the 10 spot will have the last pick.
- In a Snake-Draft, players will draft the first round in ascending order – 1 through 10.
- In the following round, players will draft in descending order – 10 through 1.
- Players again draft back in normal ascending order. The draft will continue to flip between ascending and descending order until completion.
- For a visual example:
- Round 1: Ascending
- Round 2: Descending
- Round 3: Ascending etc..
- Yes, this does mean the player in the first and tenth spot will receive back to back draft picks. They also have to wait the longest in between picks.
After the draft players can trade players with one another, pick up some free agents that weren’t drafted, or just wait patiently until the league starts. Once the first weekend of games arrives, the fantasy season is kicked off.
As new players may expect, the regular season is the longest part of fantasy OWL. Each weekend teams face off against one another, much like the real Overwatch League. Fantasy owners select a certain roster for that weekend, and it is locked until each OWL match is played. The goal is to select the players that will earn the most points for your team. The team with the highest score at the end of the weekend wins the match-up.
It is important to note that the initial drafted team isn’t what players are stuck with for the whole year. The “waiver wire” is where players can select new OWL players, by dropping someone currently on their roster. Maneuvering the waiver wire is often times the small difference between first and second place at the end of the year. Snagging a great player that other league members missed is certainly one of the better feelings in fantasy.
Teams can also trade with one another, adding another level of roster management into the fray. Trading is when two teams agree to swap one or more players to each other. It seems simple enough, but be ready for other league members to object to some trades. People don’t like missing out on a deal!
Managers will need to use a combination of both trading and picking up player from waivers in order to fix problem spots for their rosters.
What Types of Game Modes are There?
There are currently two different types of fantasy OWL people can play this season. The first is the “Season -Long” format, which is extremely common in traditional fantasy sports and is explained above. The second is the “Daily Fantasy” format. Daily fantasy leagues are vastly different from the traditional season-long league. These different leagues have players “buy” their roster using a certain allocated amount of funds. Each option has a set value, and teams are constrained to the original amount.
For example a daily fantasy team may have $500 to build a roster for the opening weekend of OWL. If that player wanted Sung-hyeon “Jjonak” Bang for their support, it would probably cost them around $100. To finish the roster, the manager now has $400 to fill out 5 other positions. If this team doesn’t win one week then no worries! Next week players have a new budget and can make their team completely different.
Where Can People Play?
As of writing, there are three places people can play different types of fantasy OWL.
DraftBuff is an app for iOs and Android that specifically does standard drafts. They have several other fantasy esports as well, featuring fantasy CDL and fantasy LCS.
Highnoon.gg is a site that is offering multiple formats for fantasy OWL. Highnoon will be offering “Unlimited” leagues for larger communities, alongside classic standard drafts and weekly pick’ems.
FantasyOwl is one of the top sites for daily fantasy esports. Here you can join public leagues and put your daily-drafting skills to the test.
Important Vocab to Know
Sleeper: A pick in a draft that may not have obvious value at the start of the season. Usually a lesser known pick or a pick people wouldn’t consider normally due to various circumstances.
Bust: A player that did not perform up to expectations throughout a season. Typically saved for high value picks or picks that were hyped up before the season.
UTIL: Short for utility. Any player may be used in the UTIL roster spot.
BN: Short for bench. A player on the bench will not add towards your total points.
PF: Short for “Points For”. A total of all the points a team has scored so far in the season. Bench players do not add to “points for”.
PA: Short for “Points Against”. A total of all the points opponents have scored against a certain team. Opponent bench players do not add to “points against”.
FA: Short for “Free Agent”. Players that were not drafted become free agents, and are available to be claimed through waivers.
Ceiling: Refers to a player’s overall potential for greatness. Higher skill ceiling means a player has the chance to hard-carry a match.
Floor: Refers to a player’s overall potential to play poorly. Lower skill ceiling means a player has the chance to feed.
This list will be updated if and when more information is needed!
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul and Blizzard Entertainment
Did we miss anything? If so go shoot any questions over to @esportsbrock who can help with any and all fantasy OWL topics!
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