Draft Royales with 1000+ People? Winnable!

Welcome to the most exciting Overwatch League Competition outside of playing on stage – the Draftbuff Week one Draft Royales! For those not familiar with the format, you can compete against thousands of other users to create the best fantasy lineup for a single week with some of your favorite communities. You can even win a jersey if you win the week 1 competitive overwatch subreddit competition or Florida Mayhem!

The catch is that every player has a cost and you have a fixed budget, so you can’t just run down main with Viol2t/Alarm, Void/Hanbin, and Fleta/Sparkle.

 Each community has a weekly leaderboard, but also a season-long leaderboard too, so try to build the best lineups that score the most fantasy points within the allotted budget. Think you’ve got what it takes to get first price among the thousands of other users? You’ll need some keen OWL knowledge, sharp Fantasy OWL skills, and maybe a little bit of luck too, so let’s get started helping you win a Draft Royale in week 1!

  1. There are so many players – where do I even start?

In general, the most basic fantasy tip is to try to start two DPS, two flex tanks, and two flex supports. They put out the best stats on average.

  1. That sounds easy! Wait… I don’t have enough budget to get two good DPS/Tanks/Flex supports. What now?

This is where things get really interesting. With players priced so competitively you have to find players whom you think are more valuable than their price says. This is most easily done by picking players who are likely to play in close matchups. Good teams outscore worse teams in general, BUT on any given week, the closest matchup nets the most fantasy points.

Fantasy scoring rewards players for their best three maps in a single matchup for the weekend – closer matchups mean longer game times (think control points going to 99-99 and three points or payloads barely crossing the finish line for both sides and overtime) and more maps (a 5 mapper gives you five chances at scoring well in three maps, whereas in a 3 mapper, all maps count towards fantasy). It’s simple but effective – closer matchups mean more maps and longer game times, which mean more stats and fantasy points. So, which teams have the best matchups this week?

  • Gladiators – Near the top of most power rankings, they get tested right away vs. the Shock. Sound too tough? They also play the Fuel. These should be two solid matchups.
  • Reign – Though not a favorite in power rankings, they play against the Defiant and Mayhem. Though they may not be favored in either matchup, they have a good shot at keeping one of these very close.
  • Dynasty – Though always unpredictable, what better way to test the roster out of the gates than against the Fusion and Charge. Lots of unknowns are out there, but one or both of these could be a great matchup.

That said, this is week one and anything could happen. You may disagree with my opinions above. It will take several weeks before power rankings settle, so… listen to your heart… and be sure to tune in to Plat Chat’s Power Rankings or Yiska’s Scrimbucks to learn as much as you can. Just know that more than any other week, week one is very hard to predict, so don’t get down on yourself if things didn’t go as you thought they would – things will eventually settle.

  1. I’m getting closer, but I can’t settle on which DPS to play – how can I pick among so many unsure options?

If I could answer this confidently, I would either need to be the coach of a team or have a Crystal ball. This gets easier in settled metas where we are more likely to guess who is playing and on what heroes they’ll be playing. Right now, different contenders regions are fielding different metas and on top of that, most teams have 3-4 DPS with meta-dependent heroes. It’s going to get messy but here are some thoughts to help guide the way:

  • In European and North American contenders, we’ve seen a lot of rush compositions with either Mei or Doomfist played by the flex DPS and a LOT of hitscans on McCree. In Korean contenders, the meta is very different with a lot more Tracer/Ashe, some Tracer/Sombra, and a fair amount of Echo with some recent Mei/Doomfist play as well. There are a variety of possible compositions by team and by region.
  • As shared in last week’s season-long advice (Season-Long Fantasy Leagues), it seems like it will be much better to play your hitscan & tracer players over your projectile/flex players as Tracer, Ashe, and McCree on average score much better than Echo, Mei, and Doomfist.
  • If a player on a roster is likely to play a lot in the hitscan role (e.g. Fits) or better yet, they have a very good hitscan AND tracer (e.g. Leave), they are solid starts with very high floors (e.g. they aren’t likely to be benched or put up a low scoring week due to being in Mei jail)
  1. This sounds really difficult. Any other things I should be worried about?

This is difficult, but that’s what makes it so fun! There is so much depth to Fantasy Royales that add to the Overwatch viewing experience. But yes – there’s more! Set reasonable goals for the week and set your roster accordingly. Think about it like this:

  • There is a difference in setting a goal to make the top 10% in a Royale vs. trying to win the Royale. By crafting a great lineup based on logical hero picks and good matchups, you can likely place very well in a Royale… but your lineup may look very similar to many other players. 
  • To win a Royale with over a thousand people, you need to own at least a couple of players who are far less commonly started. Think the Valiant can hang with a heavy ping Fusion? I would bet a lot that Valiant players will NOT be popular starts, but if they do put up a fight, they are cheap and will allow you to stack your roster elsewhere. You will look like a genius when you finish in first place, but you have to go in with an open mind that you might finish in 1000th place as well.
  • Did I take it too far with hinting you should start a Valiant player? Probably. But would it be so insane to start Lastro? myKaylee? These players are a more reasonable high risk high reward and if you get the right lineup with players like this, your unique roster has a higher chance to finish at the top.
  • That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to pick popular players like Jjonak or Viol2t or Sparkle. Just know that a lot of other people will probably be picking up a lot of those same players. Sometimes winning is all about finding the right balance between stalwart superstars and up and comers.

Good luck this week and in the coming weeks! As always, head over to the Draftbuff Discord if you have any community questions or ping me directly on Discord (dhulky#4783)!