Overwatch League Fantasy: Strategy & Advice

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Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment Overwatch League kicks off Wednesday night.

Overwatch steps into the Esports spotlight on Wednesday, as Overwatch League makes it’s long-awaited debut. With 12 teams and full rosters with guaranteed contracts, Overwatch League is as close as Esports has ever come to franchises that resemble major sports.

Of course, with major sports comes fantasy sports. Blizzard hasn’t unveiled anything official, but the stat wizards at Winston’s Lab have developed multiple formats for playing this season. The scoring system is simple, and makes each match even more exciting.

Here’s how it works: Every single player, regardless of role, is bound by the same scoring rules. Players are awarded two points for a kill, and lose one point for a death. Additionally, a player earns an extra point for each ultimate ability used.

Lastly, Winston’s Lab places a large emphasis on initiation of team fights. A player earns three points for scoring the first kill in a teamfight, and loses two points for suffering the first death in a teamfight.

With those rules in hand and a heap of preseason data, we can give some early season advice for both season-long and weekly leagues.

Mercy is Bad For Fantasy Overwatch

It makes sense when you look at the rules. Of all the support characters, Mercy gets significantly less kills than her counterparts. In addition, Mercy is a top target for teams to eliminate to start a teamfight. So if Mercy is bad at earning points, and good at losing points, it makes sense that any player with significant Mercy time should not be considered a viable selection.

When Dallas faced Houston in the preseason, Outlaws support Boink played most of his time on Mercy. Though he finished with a high rating for the match, he finished with only four kills and 30 deaths. Boink’s play may help his teammates achieve high scores, but it would be foolish to roster him if he continues to spend most of his time playing Mercy.

Blowouts Are Best

This one comes from traditional sports. When a team is dominating a game, they’ll typically score more fantasy points. Because one of the biggest ways to lose points in Overwatch is dying, try to find players in great matchups that might die less than usual. Early in the season, I’ll be riding with teams like Seoul, London and NYXL against teams like Boston and Philadelphia.

During the first day of preseason, San Francisco Shock defeated Florida Mayhem 3-1 in the first matchup. Although the final score doesn’t look so close, the Shock barely recorded more kills (235-229) than their opponent. Later that night, Seoul Dynasty blew away Shanghai Dragons. They won in a 4-0 sweep, and had a ridiculous 243-151 kill difference. It’s a good call to have at least some portion of Seoul Dynasty on your roster, as those scores could become common this season.

Minutes Matter

Averages don’t count in this scoring. It won’t be clear early in the season how much substituting teams will do, but the smart bet is playing the people that won’t be subbed out. That includes banking on stars like ShaDowBurn and ryujehong, but it’s also worth looking at smaller rosters. Florida Mayhem will open the season with just six players, so they will be unable to substitute for quite some time. Even if they don’t dominate, their main DPS TviQ will consistently put up numbers each week.

It’s early in the season, and Heavy plans to be covering Overwatch League through the championship in June. For a look at the top selections for this week, click here.