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Study A Pro: Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker + and Brian ‘Bric75’ Hooper | League of Legends Lineups

Jake Hari

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Alex 'Awesemo's Baker's CSGO DFS Primer, breaks down everythning you need to know for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on DraftKings + FanDuel

Over the last couple weeks with no live sporting events, many have been looking to get their DFS fix wherever they can find it. NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, NASCAR, and MMA are not options for the time being. At first, we saw small prize pools on DraftKings and FanDuel for League of Legends. Recently, though, we’ve seen regular $100K+ prize pools on DraftKings. DraftKings even ran out a $150K prize pool with $50K to first on Saturday! Perhaps it’s time to start taking LoL DFS seriously? Many DFS pros and familiar names are grinding multiple LoL DFS slates each day. This creates an opportunity to learn from them to adopt profitable strategies.

Awesemo dropped his LoL DFS Projections (free, for now) last week and Fantasy Cruncher launched their LoL optimizer, so now is a great time to jump in!

Getting Started

Learning to play a new DFS sport can be daunting, especially when you’re like me and have no idea how LoL works. When this is the case, it can’t hurt to look at some familiar users to see which strategies they deploy. Specifically, I like to look at the lineup construction of top players. Should you stack (if so, how much)? Are underdogs viable? And with DraftKings and FanDuel both having a captain spot, how can you use that spot to your advantage like we’ve learned how to do in other sports (think Showdown NFL)? There is no late swap on DraftKings LoL, so this is a low-maintenance sport in terms of league news. These are a few topics we’ll look at below, and we’ll be looking at two of DFS’s top pros – Awesemo and Bric75 to decipher the best LoL DFS strategies we can use in our lineups.

Stacking

Stacking plays a huge role in DFS sports, especially MLB and NHL, as well as NFL to a lesser extent. In Awesemo’s Five DFS Lessons article, he says that “the odds of picking nine players that all excel are astronomical; the more correlated players you have in your lineup, the less luck you need for them all to excel.” So how does that apply to LoL DFS? Is LoL DFS the ultimate stacking game?

Alex hinted at his almost-exclusive stacking strategy in a tweet this weekend when encouraging others to hunt some LoL DFS overlay in the lobbies.

Stacking Strategy

Because League of Legends is a team game, and players on the same team can score points at the same time (similar to MLB, NHL, and NFL DFS), stacking is not only viable, but seems like it is an absolute must. Nearly all top-10 lineups in any DraftKings LoL DFS tournament I’ve looked through have at least a four-man stack. Let’s look at what a couple of the top DFS pros are doing with their stacks.

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Overview

Both Bric75 and Awesemo use four-man stacks in essentially every one of their lineups, and Alex (Awesemo) details why in the final portion of his LoL Strategy Guide “League of Legends is a game where players become stronger and score more fantasy points as they build up an advantage over the other team, so to build a winning lineup it’s important to pick several players from the same team and avoid players from the other squad.” From this quote and by sifting through his lineups, Awesemo seems to be against the idea of game-stacking even though we’ve seen some players have success. One thing is for sure in Lol DFS: If you aren’t stacking in GPPs, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.

How many teams should you stack? Should you stack everyone? Well, we see both Alex and Bric75 use a spread-out approach in their lineup portfolios. Awesemo stacked every team at least five times in his 150 lineups in the $50K to first contest on DraftKings, while Bric75 stacked nine teams. In terms of stacking teams, they appear to agree that stacking many teams is the way to go if you’re multi-entering a large-field GPP.

LoL DFS Strategy: CPT Slot

In order to take down a GPP, you’re going to have to nail your captain, and it because this game lends itself to stacking, you’ll see Awesemo, Bric75, and other top pros will build their lineups through the captain, stacking up two to three additional players from the same team – the thought process being that if the captain performs well, the rest of the team is going to generate a lot of points, and are more likely to be in the winning lineup.

Bric 75’s CPT Strategy

There are multiple approaches to the CPT spot in LoL DFS. Bric75 has been using a “play everyone in CPT” approach, where Awesemo likes to hone in on a few top CPTs. Looking through Bric75’s lineups in the $50K to first tournament, he only used a couple players over six times (4%) as a captain in his 150 lineups. Of course there is more to Bric’s game plan than “play everyone,” but you get the idea. Bric’s strategy makes a lot of sense because we often times see viable captains at 1-3% ownership, so overexposing yourself to one or two players in a team game can limit your binking possibilities, which is extremely important in a sport that has a lot of ties as well as top-heavy GPPs.

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If a low-owned player goes off to the point where they are going to be in the winning lineup, there’s a good chance Bric will have them somewhere in his 150 lineups with a couple chances at a bink.

Awesemo’s CPT Strategy

Awesemo has a bit of a different strategy with the captain spot. He says “The best players to put in your 1.5x multiplier spot are MID and ADC players. The champions players pick for these positions tend to be more focused on damage dealing than defensive ability, making them ideal to get high numbers of kills and assists.” Fair enough. But how does he deploy this strategy?

Awesemo tends to be more aggressive with his usage compared to Bric. In that same $50K to first GPP mentioned above, he used Johnsun in the CPT slot in 28 lineups, WildTurtle CPT 28 times, plus both Stixxay and DoubleLife 18 times (12%) each in his 150 lineups. This is day and night compared to Bric. Just four CPTs accounted for over 60% of his lineups. If what Awesemo projects to happen (highest projected players post the highest scores on the slate) ends up happening on a specific slate, he will have many chances (likely more than the field) to get the nut CPT and double stack construction.

The CPT spot is where we see these two pros differ a bit, but either look viable depending on your risk tolerance.

Choosing One-Offs

Because the players on each team are so heavily correlated, it appears one-offing is difficult, but one strategy that we’ve seen work is one-offing the TEAM slot. Going back to the LoL Strategy Guide, Awesemo says “The team slot is less correlated with the other spots, so it’s not essential to stack up the team spot but it improves your odds of having each player in the lineup be on a winning team.” While it is sound to correlate the TEAM slot with your stack, and we see Awesemo and Bric75 do that in the majority of your lineups, one-offing the TEAM in your lineups seems like an interesting way to differentiate your tournament lineups. You can do this easily in Fantasy Cruncher by getting creative in the the Advanced Options tab.

If most newcomers (like myself so far) are firing only 4-3s, 4-2-1 or 3-3-1 seem like reasonable differentiation strategies in GPPs.

*If you want an in-depth look of LoL DFS, check out Jeremy Schritt’s How to Play and Win at League Of Legends DFS!*

Ownership/Variance

As is the rule in most DFS sports, ownership is relatively efficient, in that the heavy favorites tend to carry a lot of ownership, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Sometimes the spot is just too good, and there are still 3-4 others spots to account for in your lineup even if you are stacking the chalk. Looking at Awesemo’s most recent DraftKings victory,  he was able to leverage a low-owned team to capture a GPP-winning score while only tying with one other user despite using the cookie-cutter 4-3 stack.

Awesemo Winning GP

VG was projected to be one of the lowest scoring teams on the slate, as they were +500 (about a 16.6% chance) to win against RNG. If you’re multi-entering a large-field tournament, it makes sense to get to these teams, though. On a three-game slate with only six teams to choose from, Alex used a VG 3-man (all under 2% owned) to navigate his way to the top. For good measure, he took down 3 top-10 spots in total. While this sport seems to have less variance than MLB or NHL DFS, there is still room to take advantage of low probability plays as many subscribers have done in other sports using Awesemo’s Top Stack Tools!


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LOL DFS Projections

Because Awesemo’s LoL DFS Projections are currently free, it isn’t too difficult to jump into tournaments and build competitive lineups, especially at lower stakes. However, if this is the only DFS game with $100K+ prize pools over the next couple weeks or months it will become sharper. Ownership will become more important. Stacking may change. The approach to different leagues – LCS vs. LPL – may even change. We will update this article as we continue to try to profit at our newest DFS sport!

Jake Hari is the Director of NHL Content at Awesemo.com and contributes to the site's NHL and MLB coverage as a writer of the spotlight stacks articles and host of Strategy Videos and Livestreams. Jake has been dubbed "the Baseball Savant" thanks to his immense knowledge of MLB but he's achieved some of his best success as an innovator in the world of NHL DFS. You can contact Jake by emailing [email protected].

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