Regardless of whether you’ve played fantasy sports in your life, the new Dota 2 Battle Pass event is sure to pique your interest with the promise of additional levels. But there’s one caveat: You need to finish in the top 10 percent of participants.
Fantasy sports are all about condensing player’s stats and achievements into a digestible point format. In the case of Dota 2, things like first blood, tower kills, and farming speed all translate into points by Valve’s rubric. Our guide here is to provide you with an overview of how the fantasy system works and get enough fantasy points for sweet, sweet Battle Pass levels.
Dota 2 fantasy is a lot more forgiving than other sports because TI season lasts a matter of weeks, while fantasy football or basketball could last months.
If it sounds daunting to try to get in the top 10 percent of participants, don’t worry. From experience, a lot of the player base doesn’t even bother with fantasy, which removes most of your competition. And with these four tips, you’re sure to clear the hurdle easily.
Stats don’t lie
A fantasy team isn’t about putting together a well-balanced team with proper roles, one to five. It isn’t about picking who you think are the best players. It’s all about those sweet, sweet points.
Use sites that track fantasy points to help gauge your decision. A quick glance at the top reveals that active, aggressive core players and five positions tend to score the most points. In Valve’s fantasy rubric, kills and observer wards are the two most valuable stats, which explains the distribution.
Since the fantasy roster is broken into cores, offlane, and supports, feel free to throw in two mids and two sacrificial five positions. That team might not win TI, but it’ll get you points.
More is better than less
More games equal more points. It’s just mathematics.
An average player earning 15 fantasy points per match who plays three games will earn a total of 45, while a fantastic player earning an average of 20 fantasy points per match will earn an expected 40 points if they play two games.
The schedule during TI is hectic, and teams are almost certainly going to play more than one match a day. During the group stages, teams can play up to four matches, or as little as two. But during the main event, there will be days where teams can play up two series, which can amount to six matches. TI8 runners-up, PSG.LGD played seven games on the last day.
Since the schedule is released officially by Valve beforehand, check to see that your players are going to be playing multiple games each day before locking in your roster
The clock is ticking
Match length is an important attribute to consider. Unlike most other sports with fantasy, Dota 2 doesn’t have a set game length. It could be the length of a basketball quarter or a full soccer match. As games go longer and longer, more stats are accrued, which means more fantasy points.
If one team stomps another in 15 minutes, despite the clearly superior advantage, their fantasy points would look low. Conversely, a tight battle between two teams that goes on for 80 minutes would yield a high amount of fantasy points on both sides
Just take a quick look at the difference between these two matches. Although this is an extreme example, you can use this tip by picking out players whose teams are expected to have close games or teams who favor a late-game slugfest rather than an early tempo.
All that glitters is not gold
Don’t get too preoccupied with the shininess of your new golden card. The real meat is in the stats column.
While golden cards do have more lines of stats, they might not be beneficial to your player. An “Observer Wards Planted” stat for a greedy carry isn’t going to earn you many points, if any. Read the stats carefully and keep the card that you think is worth the most.
A Reddit user compiled some fantastic data here and you can check which stats give you the most points so you can decide which card to dust.
Even then, there are times when it’s worth it to put in a common card over your shiniest card. Good players on good teams tend to earn more fantasy points, and the bonuses on a weaker player simply don’t make up the disadvantage.
Fantasy Dota 2 is a nice step away from the hustle and bustle of ranked games, but don’t take it too seriously. Fantasy points are in no way a good indication of actual player skill or team synergy, so don’t obsess over it too much in your bid to find the new Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi. Treat it as a welcome distraction with a mini-prize at the end and have fun.