I was never quite drawn to the fantasy Dota 2 models heavily promoted in the past six months. I think it was mostly because going through the rules, setting myself up with a team, following the progress, securing the inside information needed to actually do well felt more like a chore than something that would make my experience more enjoyable.
It wasn’t until recently that I came across eSportsPools (ESP) and I was immediately sold, not only because it’s free, but also because it literally took me one minute to actually own a fantasy team from the moment I opened the website: that included reading the rules, creating my account and making my picks for The International.
I didn’t really analyze the prizes, but at a glance, off the top of my head, I would say they’re worth about $300 – all hats, of course, but it’s free and it takes a minute, so I’m not going to complain.
Let’s summarize how to enter the TI5 pool.
ESP sign up process
Signing up for ESP is definitely painless and guaranteed free. All you need to do is go to your upper left corner, hit the “log in/sign up” button, enter your email address, choose an username and password.
Don’t forget to verify your email address once you’ve received your validation email, and you’re in business. Pro tip: I am Pericles there, so when my five-carry team takes home the first prize, shoot me a message.
ESP rules and system
Here comes the simple part: you pick five players who will make you points. Every kill or assist they add to their name during the event you’re signing up for is one point. Every time they die, you lose a point.
Example: If you’re joining The International 5 pool and you have Arteezy in your fantasy team and he gets 120 kills and 40 assists during the event, you get 160 points. But then he’ll also die let’s say 30 times, so overall Arteezy has brought you 130 points.
The system won’t let you pick more than two players from the same squad. You can change your picks up until five minutes before the event you signed up for starts.
Another interesting feature is the tiebreaker.
It’s perfectly possible than two or more players end up with the same number of points, so just to make sure they don’t leave anything to pure chance, ESP use a tie-breaking question. Specifically for the TI5 pool, the question is: “How many seconds untill the first tower is destroyed in the final map of the tournament?”
Mind you, this is only secondary to the total number of points and applies only if there are two or more users that end up with an equal number of points. However, in the highly unlikely case that even after points and tiebreaking question, there are still users ending up on the same winning spot, the winner is whoever signed up first.
Once you’re done with everything, you should end up with a nice five men roster that you will put to work in this year’s International. A nice little feature is the ability to share your picks with a plain link. Here’s mine. Don’t steal my roster!
ESP: everything else you need to know
I reached out to the team at ESP and got in touch with Jason Fung, Chief Marketing Officer.
We are excited to make an impact on the Dota 2 community and we’re looking to expand our event coverage substantially after The International 5. We take pride in how simple and fun it is to participate in ESP, in a fantasy esports landscape that is becoming more and more a part of how games are enjoyed these days.
Interestingly enough, these guys have mobile apps as well. I’ve only briefly tested the Android app, but I’m expecting the IOS version to perform similarly: same looks, feel and functionality of the desktop site.
In closing, and maybe as a reward for reading this far, I’m excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with ESP for a level 50 TI5 Compendium and one Shadow Fiend Arcana raffle. Check it out!