A natural outgrowth of fantasy sports betting, daily fantasy eSports serve a rapidly expanding market niche. Communities, too, have cropped up organically at a breakneck pace, enabling managers to collaborate in sharing and refining tactics.
The former, helmed by CEO Ali Moiz, raised $12 million in venture capital earlier this year. In May, AlphaDraft drew in $5 million to expand its operations, cementing the Todd Peterson-led organization’s role as another major player in the market.
Last week, Vulcun announced that a player had surpassed $100,000 in winnings for the first time. The feat, achieved by the user Yjingtong, represents a significant milestone for the nascent industry.
Similar, but not the same
Both Vulcun and AlphaDraft offer cash betting and free token-based participation in daily fantasy League of Legends, CounterStrike: Global Operations, and DOTA 2. Only Vulcun offers fantasy Hearthstone, while Smite is covered exclusively by AlphaDraft.
Both sites offer a variety of contests, including Triple Up, Half Will Win, and Head to Head games.
But despite taking a nominally similar approach to fantasy League of Legends operations, Vulcun and AlphaDraft differ in several key respects.
By Vulcun’s rules, players must draft a total of eight players. In addition to three “flex” players, from any position, players must select one player at each of the game’s five positions (top, jungler, mid, ADC, and support).
In AlphaDraft leagues, a total of seven slots exist. Players must similarly draft one player at each position. But unlike Vulcun, AlphaDraft players may only draft one flex player.
In addition, AlphaDraft reserves a slot for which players must draft a team, for which statistics are tallied as a whole.
Scoring also differs slightly between the two systems. While kills net three points in Vulcun fantasy leagues, they net AlphaDraft managers only two. Both systems subtract one point per death.
The sites appear to use slightly different weighting algorithms for players. While player values roughly correlate between AlphaDraft and Vulcun, significant disparities exist at times.
Salaries as percentage of cap: EU LCS W5D1
Note that there are seven slots on AlphaDraft rosters and eight slots on Vulcun rosters. Adjusting for this difference, salaries are similar but not quite the same.
AlphaDraft: $10000 (20%)
Vulcun: $1793 (17.9%)
AlphaDraft: $9000 (18%)
Vulcun: $1608 (16.1%)
AlphaDraft: $9700 (19.4%)
Vulcun: $1351 (13.5%)
AlphaDraft: $4800 (9.6%)
Vulcun: $891 (8.9%)
Key differences between AlphaDraft and Vulcun
Figures accurate as of June 21.
AlphaDraft: Seven players (one per position, one flex, one team)
Vulcun: Eight players (one per position, three flex)
AlphaDraft: +2 points
Vulcun: +3 points
When weighted, individual player salaries are comparable, but still differ slightly.
Cash entry fees
AlphaDraft: $0.01 – $100
Vulcun: $0.05 – $250
EU LCS prize pools
AlphaDraft: $27 – $4500
Vulcun: $18 – $2650
AlphaDraft: Leaderboard not available
Vulcun: Yjingtong ($104,709)