The stakes in fantasy esports just got higher. Much higher.
Fantasy esports website Vulcun will award $1 million to players of its fantasy games this year, a huge increase over the $250,000 it guaranteed at its launch three weeks ago.
Fantasy sports is a billion-dollar business. Popular fantasy sports site FanDuel doled out $400 million in prizes last year alone, thanks to its bit-sized daily format. Companies like Vulcun, which founder Ali Moiz has called the “FanDuel of esports,” are trying to make that same formula work in esports. And through three weeks, it’s clearly working.
Vulcun features daily fantasy games based around the League Championship Series, the professional League of Legends competition hosted by Riot Games. Competitors on Vulcun pick a team of players that fit under a salary cap, with player values dynamically adjusted each week based off performance and schedule. The goal is to pick a team that outperforms all others in a chosen league.
Vulcan’s daily format differs from other fantasy esports offerings, like the Riot Games-built Fantasy LCS. While Riot’s version is a season-long league, Vulcun offers bite-sized daily competitions, with offerings of a multitude of sizes for any kind of player. There are leagues with small prize pools but $1 entry fees. Some are even free. Another splits the prize pool evenly among 100 of the 200 competitors. Some are winner-takes-all, with a single player nabbing the entire prize pool. There’s even a high-roller league, where 20 people will each throw $100 into a pot.
That’s the appeal of daily fantasy—there’s something for everybody. And since each competition runs over a single day, it’s easy to pick up and put down, unlike the full-season commitment required for Riot Games’ Fantasy LCS.
The site is growing by “30 percent” each week, says Vulcun founder Ali Moiz. It’s that growth that’s allowed the company to commit to the biggest prize ever amassed for fantasy esports.
Through two weeks of the LCS season, Vulcun has already paid out over $36,000. This week $22,000 is on the line.
Some players, like Colton Jordan, champion of Vulcun’s first winner-takes-all game, are already raking in the cash.
The platform is still essentially in a closed beta, with access available by invite only. You can request an invite on Vulcan’s home page, and given its growth, it isn’t stingy with them.
“With a one million dollar prize pool on Vulcun I might just quit Twitch streaming and make a living off of Fantasy eSports,” former Dignitas marksman Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana said in Vulcun’s promo material, in what can only be taken tongue-in-cheek from the notorious prankster. With popular streamers like Santana raking in at least $20,000 a month streaming by conservative estimates, it’s unlikely he’d give up his day job for fantasy esports.
But with $1 million in prizes available, the possibility is more realistic than ever. With the right picks and a little luck, you really can make more money than the pros.
Photo via Riot Games