Interviews, Daily Fantasy
6 months ago
The largest daily fantasy tournament ever on FanTeam with €500,000 prize pool has just started, and we are chatting with no other than FanTeam's all-time profit leader TTriBL. The man has a maximum of 10 entries into SCOFF and more than 200K+ in profits on the platform. In this interview, TTriBL talks about what he likes best about FanTeam, compliments its rapid growth and highlights some areas that can be improved. Maestro also shares his thoughts on how stressful a full-time DFS job, highlights some key skills any fantasy player must have and provides some advice on how to approach the upcoming EURO 2020 game.
There's been a number of new competition formats introduced this year on FanTeam: NBA, single-game leaderboards, Euro League, Formula 1, CS:GO season-long games, different UCL formats, etc. Which ones do you find the most interesting?
Nice to be talking to you again guys, greetings to all fellow DFS players! I am very happy FanTeam are introducing new formats to make the platform more accessible to even a wider audience.
I especially enjoyed the introduction of Leaderboards, which finally made its way to my prime area of expertise on Fanteam – football. New formats introduced in single-game slates made you alter your strategies and think outside the box, the same can be said about the season-long Champions League game. I also tried the new CS:GO season-long game failing miserably, but I found the format rather interesting. Now I am itching for SCOFF to start, prize pools are growing and with fans back to the stands, I hope we witness some great emotional action on the pitch and enjoy both real and fantasy football this week.
As for the Leaderboards, I hope they are here to stay on FanTeam. They promote steady and sensible play, focusing on long-term results – precisely what we need in our unstable world. Speaking of steady, I hope FanTeam stay consistent when creating tournaments keeping the guarantees or the format the same even when things get rough. Understanding how player prices fluctuate, clear and accessible scoring are the pillars of stability that help players come up with winning strategies.
I also can’t stress enough how important informing all players beforehand about any changes to the rules or scoring is. The same goes for the introduction of new formats and sports on the platform.
FanTeam made a gigantic leap forward this past year, surviving the COVID crisis admirably. The prize pool are growing, new sports and formats are being added, experiments are being made with the site layout. I hope some little things will soon be tweaked as was the case with the withdrawal commission that FanTeam abolished a few weeks ago. I truly hope the platform continues to grow and evolve!
Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the platform?
Here is something that I had talked about in my previous interviews and had communicated directly to FanTeam before as well. It’s evident that the platform stands firmly on its feet having attracted the necessary investment and found its audience. It feels like they are on the brink of making that next step – becoming a truly solid, respectable and automated company.
Apart from the leaderboards which I love, it’s high time some Bonus system with different levels and benefits was introduced. Perhaps a shop with memorabilia, tickets to various tournaments, online and offline events (thank vaccination for that). This will make users more loyal, improve the ecosystem and attract new users.
Is DFS your main source of income? What about the risks involved and overall job security?
You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, so playing daily fantasy is not my only source of income. I understand that my income from playing on the platform may decrease over time or stop altogether. I would be very disappointed if it were the case since FanTeam has become so dear to me over these past years. Fantasy is my passion that I have no desire to part with.
Just recently I read in one of our fantasy chats that presumably nobody can win betting on sport, that the bookies are the only ones making money. Most people seemed to agree with the notion, disbelieving that you can turn a profit similar to poker or DFS betting on sports.
Of course, in any sphere with a mediator present (bookie, FanTeam, poker-room, bank etc.), where multiple players compete against each other, the mediator is the biggest winner. How big the winnings are depend on the number of deposits and the margin. Most players are losing money in the long run, 80-90% players, and I’m being optimistic with those numbers.
On the other hand, there will always be people in any sphere of our lives that will make money in similar situations. They will be successful simply because they are more hardworking, more passionate, have a stronger mentally, bigger talent and more luck. Exactly in that order. It’s all in your hands as much as it is in your head.
Just remember – there’s no such thing as easy money. Even if you were lucky enough to get into FanTeam 2-3 years ago or invest in crypto in March 2020, it will get tougher for you sooner or later. Easy money attracts big sharks and you have to be ready to fight them for your slice of cake.
Why am I telling you all this? Just to stress my point that I haven’t yet made as much money playing fantasy as I had betting on sports. Before you rush off to open an account with a bookie, let me tell you that FanTeam is still the best place to play. There aren’t that many sharks here yet and their teeth aren’t as big.
A word of warning. You shouldn’t aim to become a full-time DFS player if you have an interesting and promising job or lack the qualities I have described above. It’s a very dangerous thing to do – quitting your job and doing DFS full-time after a big-time win without having had long-term success previously. Just remember how most big-time lottery winners ended up. Don’t fall into that trap. Be honest with yourself, understand what you are truly good at and devote your life to it. Or pump up your skills to be better than most before going head-first into a new enterprise.
How stressful would you say your job is?
I would rate it at 8-9 out of 10. When I feel I have some free time and energy left, I try to either create and play more tournaments or develop skills in other areas of my life. Playing at FanTeam is good fun, and if you know how to control your emotions, you will end up enjoying the process rather than being stressed about it.
Do you even have time to watch sports? Do you take things emotionally when a lot of money is at stake?
I usually have time to watch about 3-5 games a week. I do it more for enjoyment's sake rather than assessing teams' performance. I have a favorite team and a few others I cheer for in every national league pretty much, but I have never been a die-hard fan of any club in particular. Speaking of emotion, I have learned not to take anything to heart during both the highs and lows of my career.
One of the most emotional memories of late was the Leipzig - Manchester United game in Champions League round 6 this year. I had a Leipzig defensive stack with their goalie and a defender in many of my best teams. I turned the TV on in the 80th minute with Leipzig 3:0 up and turned it off when it was 3:2 at the end of the match. I really needed those points and I was rather emotional when it all was over.
Let's talk about the biggest DFS tournament on FanTeam to date – SCOFF. Have you qualified before?
Yes, I have participated in every single €1100 tournament. I had 2 entries in the very first one a few year back, and then the €30,000 guarantee felt truly monstrous. Sane’s last-minute goal in the slate’s final game saw me drop out of the ITM zone, but it was a thrilling experience and I qualified for every single big tournament afterward.
How did you qualify for SCOFF 2021?
Qualifiers started running in early 2021, and it seemed like netting the maximum number of tickets (10) wouldn’t be a problem. There weren’t too many satellites after all and I had only 5 or 6 tickets one month before the tournament start. I managed to win my remaining seats only in the final mega-satellite.
The situation with satellites needs attention for sure. There are not many satellites to win seats in the finals in the early stages for big events like SCOFF, but closer to the main event itself, the lobby is busting with multiple satellites. There is gotta be some miscalculation involved with a huge number of 55 euro Step2 tickets to be won with just 2 days till SCOFF. There might not simply be enough tournaments to use these tickets in with such little time left. I believe this situation can be avoided.
Here is something else that needs addressing. I had just one ticket to win under the entry limit for the €1,100 WCOFF Main Event this past winter. The rule at the time was that no user could have more than 10 tickets in the Finals. I tried as hard as I could not to win more than that, but in the final satellite with 200 teams entered, my teams finished 1st and 2nd (I made a total of 10 emtries). I was hoping to see the situation resolved somehow, but I just lost that hard-earned extra ticket worth €1,100 euros without getting any reimbursement of any kind.
Here are some of the things I had proposed discussing the situation with FanTeam officials following the incident. I hope the issue is resolved in the near future since the problem is still there.
The most obvious solution in my opinion is creating some sort of Tournament money system. A player receives tournament money he can use later either entering a specific tournament (a stricter option) or any tournament on the platform (more liberal). It could be some combination of both. Besides, tournament money could be earned with the implementation of the Bonus system. I understand that many platforms don’t offer direct cashback since rake is their main source of income. The Bonus system would make users more active on the platform: earn bonus points, reach a certain status, spend it on a t-shirt or a cap with FanTeam logo or a ticket to Weekly Monster. In my case, I would receive 1,100 Euros worth of tournament money and spend it on whatever tournament I want in the future. It might take time to implement such a system, but I am willing to wait.
Easy to pull off option - just credit the player affected with 55 Weekly Monster tickets.
An even easier solution. Affected player may use this ticket in a future similar event - SCOFF.
I truly hope FanTeam opt for option 1, as it is a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Now, the funny thing. I had 8 SCOFF tickets when the final mega-satellite was announced last week for GW36 of the EPL. I wanted to clarify the situation only to receive the same answer – no user may win more than 10 tickets. I, again, was trying to be rational about it using 7of my Step2 €55 tickets and entering 50 teams into the €20 satellite. I thought that would be enough to win me a total of 2 remaining tickets. I was 'unlucky' in winning 6. Without breaking any of the site’s rules, entering teams simultaneously with only 8 SCOFF tickets in hand at tournament start, I ended up with 14 tickets. I have been writing and ringing alarm bells about this possibly happening for the past six months only to end up losing 4 of my tickets - they will go to the next people in line outside the ITM zone ignoring the sporting principles. I feel that I have been mistreated in this situation and any player could find himself in such circumstances as things stand now. I hope steps are taken to find the best possible solution for both the players and the platform before the next major event.
We managed to get a comment from FanTeam Brand manager right off the bat:
"We respect the opinion of TTriBBL and we are working on a better technical solution for the future. However, we want to point out that the rules were very clear in our Support pages and also communicated via communities towards the players. It is our goal as company to protect the newer players and to establish a fun environment for everyone.
Going back to the upcoming event, what is there to like about the tournament format?
SCOFF is a great tournament for sure! It is run over two gameweeks which reduces variance and emphasizes the importance of drafting quality lineups. Huge guarantees with a huge buy-in – these types of tournaments make even the best of the best excited.
Unfortunately, there are many clear-cut favorites and underdogs in gameweek 37 making balanced teams hard to draft. Besides, many teams have nothing to play for impacting some players’ performances. A combination of these factors adds a lot of variance making the slate somewhat similar to the lottery. But we have to live with that as the last two gameweeks of the English Premier League is the most logical time to host a big tournament such as this one.
How confident are you going into it?
I stay focused every gameweek, play even the smallest of slates. I am well-informed and my performances have been good and steady. I do make mistakes, of course, and am rather self-critical, always working on my game. Still, I am full of confidence and will try to enjoy this magnificent event.
Who would your main competitors be?
There are many standout players on FanTeam nowadays. Here are some I can still learn from off the top of my head: top, daaaceofdiamonds, nevermind. They were the first who sprang to mind.
TTriBL in his fantasy driver's seat at home
Speaking of the next massive tournament, what is the best strategy to use with a single entry into Euro 2020?
First of all, I strongly advise you to enter at least a couple of teams. There are many good cheap satellites to be found in the lobby every week. Even if you are just starting to take interest in daily fantasy, you can relatively easily manage 3-5 teams. The problem with a single entry is that players usually go either for a very aggressive or very conservative approach. You may apply different strategies to different teams when you multientry, and there are plenty of strategies for sure.
If you are still set on making a single entry into Fanteam’s EURO 2020 season-long game, take risks, try to single out good under-owned players, aim to be different and stand out from the crowd. Use your own judgment and create a unique squad that will be enjoyable to manage.
Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.