Beating Sideshow: Using Data and Analysis to Create the Perfect Overwatch Fantasy Team

This article was written by @dhulky who hosts the Fantasy Overwatch Underground Podcast, go give him a follow!

Want to win Sideshow’s next Draft Royale contest? While we can’t promise a victory over the 4head himself, here’s a breakdown on how you can beat him and the rest of the competition this week. First of all however, make sure to download the DraftBuff app for iOS and Android or check our Website!

Draft Royale Introduction

If you’re new to Draftbuff Draft Royales, here’s the quick summary: draft a one week fantasy squad and pick whichever player from whichever team you want, except each player comes at a price. You must fit your entire roster within the budget. Want to start Carpe and Profit? You’ll have to make sacrifices elsewhere, but it can be done!

General Advice

To win a Draft Royale or to place well, your team has to check the box on three key areas

  1. Your players selected actually play (easy enough, right?). Every map they miss hurts their score, so aim for players who get the lion’s share of stage time.
  2. Your selections play high value heroes. Remember – you get points for damage, healing, elims, and fewer deaths. Nearly every time, the Tracer will outscore the Widow and the Ana will outscore the Mercy. Pick players who will be dishing out big damage and big healing. This will generally be your flex tanks and flex supports, but not always.
  3. Your players need to play in close matchups. Sure, Carpe may play every map and do so on valuable heroes, but if his Philadelphia Fusion win in a one-sided matchup against, say… Boston, he won’t score well. Why? Because points are averaged across an entire match. More time spent playing means more fantasy points, so picking players in a close matchup is important. Said another way, try to pick players who will be going to map 5’s.

Matchup Advice Plus What we learned from the May Melee

We want to pick players who score well on a per match basis. Check out the chart below from the May Melee on teams that performed the best in this category:

Surprising, right? This isn’t an endorsement of the teams at the top going forward, but let’s see what they had in common:

  1. Guangzhou was one and done in a close 3-2 to Seoul
  2. Vancouver was one and done in a close 3-2 to Toronto
  3. Paris beat the uprising 3-2 but then lost to the Valiant 3-2
  4. Chengdu was one and done against New York in a close 3-2
  5. Shanghai beat London 3-2, beat New York 3-0, then beat Seoul 4-3

While there is no easy answer because we saw what may have been the worst team at the time (Vancouver) score 2nd highest while Shanghai, who may have been the best team at the time, score 5th highest, the common denominator is finding the team that plays in only close matches, whether they win or lose, with the added bonus that the finals are a best of 7 instead of 5, offering a chance for an extremely high scoring match.

If applying that forward to the Summer Showdown, below is a quick grade of teams from whom you should/shouldn’t select players. However, keep in mind that the bracket is built as we go based on who the top teams select, so it’s hard to predict exact matchups. The notes below are highly subjective so read up but feel free to make your own decisions based on your gut:

  • A
    • Outlaws – They just played the Mayhem close last week in a 3-2 battle. They are not favored to win, but should make for a close series, making them a candidate to be the “Charge” or “Titans” of this tournament – high risk, high reward.
    • Fuel – With Decay expected to be back in the lineup, they could have a really close matchup with Paris. Similar to the Outlaws, they could have a lucrative single round of the tournament with the ability to punch up and take a map or two if they make it to the second round. If word comes out that Decay is not playing, abandon ship!
    • Eternal – Similar to Dallas, they should have an interesting first round matchup. The winner of Eternal/Fuel seems to be a good candidate to face the Reign next, which should also make for a solid match.
  • B
    • Fusion – As third seed, they won’t have an easy matchup to start, likely seeing either the Valiant or Mayhem. Expect every matchup they’re in to be close, unless they make it to the finals with the Shock where they are guaranteed at least 4 maps.
    • Mayhem – See Fusion above.
    • Guangzhou – Though expected to win their matchup vs. Excelsior/Spark, it shouldn’t be a blowout. They also could take a map or two off Shanghai which would yield a 5-6 map series in the final.
    • Spitfire – A tight first round matchup with Seoul could happen. They also seem to have a way of taking maps off good teams if they advance and face Shanghai next.
    • Reign – Could find themselves in close matchups right out of the gate with immediate possibility to exit. Advancing vs. Fusion could also yield a close match.
  • C
    • Titans – A good one and done candidate, the Titans could find a way to make their single match a closer one.
    • Excelsior – New York has been a little Jekyll and Hyde, but they could have multiple even matchups with the Spark and Charge while also being a close one and done candidate with the Spark if the Spark can fix their previous week’s woes.
    • Dynasty – Very tempting to load up on the Dynasty with what should be a great first round matchup with the Spitfire. However, if they advance, they could have a quick 3-0 exit vs. Shanghai.
    • Shock – They are just too good to have close matches. They could have a golden tournament which would not be great for fantasy, but the possibility of a close final brings them up to a C-.
    • Dragons – Much like the Shock, they are too far ahead of the competition right now.
    • Spark – Struggling of late, there’s some worry that they suffer a quick and nasty loss to New York. However, don’t forget it was also only a couple of weeks ago they played the Excelsior close in a 3-2 fantasy bonanza.
  • D
    • Justice – Though they have some momentum after beating Boston, it’s hard to have faith in a close match with the Gladiators, and even if they do, I expect a second-round drubbing vs. the Shock.
    • Gladiators – Easier matchup vs. Justice could be followed by a tough one with the Shock.
    • Valiant – Their matchup vs. the Defiant could be the most one-sided of the tournament which will weigh down their scores. I see a world where Titans get stuck with them in the second round followed by the Shock. Tough to say, but I’m not betting on other matchups bringing them back up from an easy one vs. the Defiant.
  • F – These teams are likely to suffer 3-0 losses in the first round
    • Defiant
    • Hunters
    • Uprising (N/A – didn’t make the tournament)

Hero and Meta Advice

While predicting the meta can be very difficult, we did see no hero pools last week and can make a fairly safe assumption that what teams played last week, they will continue to do. Make sure you know who played which heroes if you want to increase your chances of winning. Let’s take a look at overall hero play time across all teams as well as the rate of scoring for each of these heroes last week by map, match, and 10 minutes:

Fantasy Scoring

Here are some snap judgments based on the above:

  • Keep a close eye on prices, but if there were ever a week to save a few coins by picking a main support, this is the one. There isn’t a big difference between flex supports on Bap and Main supports on Brig, or whichever player is playing whichever hero as we saw a lot of variance by team here (e.g. Haksal and Rascal playing Brig).
  • Players with a higher frequency of Genji have a higher chance at scoring well. Think players like Sparkle, Architect, and Doha.
  • Tracer players are a safe bet to score well.
  • While it may be tempting to start players like KSP, Ans, BQB, Fits, Godsb, or Happy, they all have a propensity to play Widow. Not to say they are all bad plays, but their ceilings are limited based on how poorly Widowmaker scores in Fantasy and how well/often they play that hero.

Last but not least, look for Value

Players who have scored poorly recently yield a lower price. Some players who present value based on high rates of scoring but low total output (short matches) recently include:

  • Glister – A quick 3-0 win over the Spark will deflate some prices
  • Decay – Benched two weeks in a row but expected to be back
  • Note – Put up big damage numbers on Sigma in short matches
  • Hawk – Looks very solid on Sigma in a heavy Sigma meta
  • Highly – Displaying some very solid Baptiste play
  • Dogman – The ever-aggressive Baptiste scores points quickly

Good luck this week and happy lineup hunting!