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Michael Bitton: My First Foray Into Fantasy Sports with LCS

Column By Michael Bitton on May 21, 2014

I never got fantasy sports. I saw the posts come across my feed all the time and watched as my friends became insufferable once their fantasy football leagues picked up, but I just never saw the appeal. It all seemed a bit silly. Well, now I think I’ve become that insufferable friend – only with something far nerdier: fantasy League of Legends.

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Yep, we’re in new territory now. I follow League of Legends’ LCS (League Championship Series) pretty closely and I’ve been a diehard TSM fan for several years now through the best and the worst of times for the team. If you go through my Twitter feed you’ll find a scant few tweets, but many of them will be chants of ‘TSM!’ from whenever the team was involved in an important match. I’m the guy Riot Games is probably targeting with the introduction of its new Fantasy LCS site and I’ve jumped in head first, despite having never played any sort of fantasy sports before.

I already knew most of the top players, except for the EU LCS, so I figured why not? A couple of my friends watch LCS as religiously as I do and even some of the more casual observers in my group decided to join in. We even took things a bit further and sweetened the deal by putting some money into it. The worst performer at the end of the split has to buy the winner a game on Steam. Simple, but it adds just the right amount of spice.

While the Fantasy LCS site is in beta and stability has been hit-or-miss as a result, the overall experience was intuitive. As a neophyte to fantasy sports, the website quickly acclimated me to how the whole thing worked and what the rules were for scoring points from week to week. If you’re remotely interested in partaking in Fantasy LCS but find it all intimidating, I would suggest you give it a shot. It’s really not that complicated.

 

Drafting was a simple process, too. Assuming the site has drafting enabled when you’re looking to begin, all you have to do is get all players on the site and click a single button to get going. From there, you’ll pick your starter players, a team, three alternates, and a flex pick (an extra starter for any position). This is all done in snake order, meaning first to last and then last to first. I came into our draft prepared with multiple pick options in every position, but I ended up boned by pick order (last pick) so a bunch of the good talent was picked up before I could grab it. I did manage a pretty solid team consisting of CLG Seraph, ROC Jankos, ROC Overpower, CLG Doublelift, C9 LemonNation, and LMQ Ackerman as my flex pick. But I definitely wish I didn’t need to resort to digging into the EU pool for my jungle and mid laners as I honestly had no idea who those guys were before I picked them. I just don’t follow the EU LCS as closely. Sorry guys, your games are pretty boring to watch.

Now I will have to follow the EU LCS every week as I have players from the league in my roster and I can already see how annoying I’ve become. I spent most of my day freaking out at friends about how my untested jungler fed 0/5 his first game and how I was feeling buyer’s remorse about my pick. A couple of these people couldn’t care less about what I was saying, but I inundated them with my breathless ranting nonetheless. Yep. I am now that guy.

But so what? I understand the appeal now. Fantasy sports are an exciting way to get even more invested in the sports you follow from week to week and I feel like the introduction of Fantasy LCS can only enhance the LCS viewing experience. Heck, just today I noticed some guy in Twitch chat pleading, “Gambit please don’t die. I need points!” And so it begins!

Are you an avid LCS viewer who has jumped into Fantasy LCS? What has your experience been like so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB

 

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