Getting Started at Daily Fantasy LCS
In the past few weeks, a number of daily fantasy LCS sites have sprung up. These sites are modeled after the daily fantasy sports sites like Fanduel and Draftkings. For those who don't know, in less than five years, Fanduel has grown to the point where they're expected to pay out a total of two billion dollars in prizes in 2015. That wasn't a misprint...two billion! While daily fantasy LCS is less than two weeks old, I think it has the same kind of potential.
The basic idea of daily fantasy LCS is that you join a contest against other users, pick players from a single day's LCS matches, and win (or lose) based on their performance in that day's matches. Sites offer freerolls (free contests with small cash prizes) or you can play for more substantial money by paying an entry fee.
The advantages of daily contests over 'full season' leagues are that you get all the excitement packed into one day (of just a few days), people tend to play for much more money, and a lot of new strategy elements (match-ups, for example) are brought into play.
Each of the three sites that have launched so far (AlphaDraft, Vulcun and FantasyGG) have their own roster requirements, scoring systems and features. So you'll probably want to try them all out. In addition, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses as sites.
Here are a few notes about each site. Keep in mind that these are brand new sites and that things are changing every day.
AlphaDraft: Very smooth, appealing user interface (by far the best at this point). Has mostly run freerolls up till now, but I think they'll start having more cash entry contests very soon. Live scoring actually updates during matches, making the 'sweat' of following your picks especially fun. Rather than offer one-day contests, they've actually been offering either two-day contests (EU LCS only or NA LCS only) or four-day contests (EU and NA in the same contest). I'm not sure how this will change going forward. AlphaDraft also appears to have the sharpest player pricing so far.
Vulcun: Has had the most cash contests up until now, with tournaments as high as $100 entry fee. Like AlphaDraft, the scoring screens contain embedded streaming of the games as they're happening. Unlike AlphaDraft, the scoring doesn't update until shortly after each game ends.
FantasyGG: One really major difference from the other sites is that your lineup locks as soon as you submit it. There's no editing a lineup once you set it, so make sure you don't put in an entry as a place-holder ahead of time! In addition, you and your opponents can see each other's lineups as soon as they're submitted. I think it's likely that this (and some other user interface stuff) will be changed fairly soon. The main advantage to FantasyGG right now is that it's the only site offering head to head contests, so if you don't like the top-heavy prize structures of larger tournaments, it's a good option.
In the next few days, I'll post another article with some strategy tips for getting started. If you don't feel like waiting, check out the posts on my blog.