Wizard Manager 2014: Dota 2 Launches Fantasy League

Scanning my Dota screenshots folder, evidently I save a lot of hilarious jokes.

While many developers will talk about treating digital sports like ‘real’ sports, only Valve have fully realised that a real sports culture needs real sports fans. More than simply watching and playing games, sports fans idly think about matches, have favourite players, identify with teams, and will tell everyone who’ll listen that they know better than teams’ managers. Dota 2 already sells virtual team flags to wave, virtual wizard shirts officially endorsed by famous players, and virtual sticker albums to collect pictures of your favourite boys. Now Valve are having a real crack at another sports culture staple, fantasy leagues.

Like a fantasy football league, Fantasy Dota lets fans join up with their chums to draft a dream team. Fantasy captains each ‘play against’ another captain each week, which means Dota tracks how well their team’s players perform in actual real tournaments then whoever’s have done best ‘wins the match.’ Points are meted out based on metrics from kills and deaths to heals and stuns.

Each league can hold up to ten players, who each pay £0.59 for a ticket (check the Community tab within Dota 2). One’s included with the Compendium, so if you’re a big Dota fan you’re probably already set up to be the amazing professional team manager you know, deep down in your heart of hearts, that you would definitely be. You can be in as many leagues as you fancy, too. Season One will run from May 19 to July 28, and players can already set up their little leagues and start drafting.

This isn’t the first Fantasy Dota, but it’s certainly Valve’s first big serious attempt at the idea. They experimented in February with the Dreamleague tournament [Edit: and during last year’s International, readers remind me], but they more experiments. They only tracked matches from those tournaments, meaning players were often idle and it was all a bit slow. This new launch follows every tournament, and Valve plan to follow with a second fantasy league season “shortly after” its big tournament The International ends in July.


  1. AngelTear says:

    Strangely, today Riot released THE SAME EXACT THING for League of Legends.

    • Cinek says:

      They did NOT release it. It’s just an announcement of a planned feature. Valve is the one releasing.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        It’s hilarious how his link has “COMING SOON” in huge fucking letters as the first headline & yet he still missed the whole “this is just an announcement of something we have planned” vibe it has all over it not to mention the huge “Beta” in the image at the top.

  2. Formanovo says:

    *Beaten to the punch :)
    It’s on I guess, since Riot announced a fantasy league for LOL as well

    link to fantasy.lolesports.com

    Announced on the same day

  3. Terragot says:

    That header image sums up DOTA perfectly.

  4. ddm999 says:

    I mean, those other comments would be correct in saying LoL has beaten them to it, if that were actually true.

    LoL LCS has just announced it; the Dota 2 TI4 Fantasy League was just RELEASED.

    Not only that, but there’s been a Fantasy League for another tournament about a month or two prior to this in Dota.

    AND the Dota version is covering EVERY MAJOR TOURNAMENT UNTIL TI5, after this trial for TI4. Where-as the LoL one is just covering LCS, and that’s it. No future plans for it at all.

    So, all you people saying LoL beat them to it are about a billion light years away.

    • Herzapplikator says:

      Actually, not only Dreamleague (which is the tournament you were talking about), but even TI 3 already had a fantasy league attached to it, and that was a year ago.

    • Jockie says:

      No-one is saying anyone ‘beat’ anyone and it’s not a race…

      The beaten to the punch comment is clearly because they both posted about LoL announcing at the same time, but feel free not to let that get in the way of your amusing tribalism.

  5. Zankmam says:

    I really don’t get all the hype about this Fantasy League thing. It is absolutely boring to tears and completely uninvolved…

    If it actually *was* a Football Manager-esque type of thing, now *that* would be great!

  6. Polifemo says:

    So this is the only post under the “DIGITAL SPORTS” tag.
    Someones been enjoying the Stanley Parable announcer I see (why didn’t this make it into the news damn you?)
    link to dota2.gamepedia.com

  7. Universal Quitter says:

    Yes, let’s take the worst aspects of our society, and continually foist them on the gaming community! Hooray for everyone!

  8. chargen says:

    Dammit I was really excited about “Wizard Manager 2014”, a magical bureaucracy simulation.

  9. vivlo says:

    i don’t understand, what is a fantasy league ?

    • MojaveMusic says:

      something football nerds do.

      I was going to clarify American Football but I’m sure football/soccer nerds have their own fantasy leagues.