1 year ago

Top of FanTeam's Food Chain: Interview With TTriBL

Today we are sitting down (following all the precautionary measures, of course, as we are thousands of miles apart) to talk with the man from the top of Fanteam’s food chain. TTribL sits on top of the all-time profit list with nearly €100,000 won. We talk football and fantasy as well as all the latest format and payout developments on FanTeam. What is more, you may submit your questions for TTribL on our forums till Sunday, June 7th in our Ask Me Anything with the champ. 


Vladimir, when we talked about a year or so ago, you were second on FanTeam’s top-earners list with 20,000. Now you are first with nearly 100K in profit! What is the recipe for success?

It was definitely a good year and I had luck on my side. Besides luck, nothing new: work hard, follow bankroll-management, and have patience. Several years ago I looked at top-earners on FanTeam (Nevermind, Quirell and others) and thought that I had no chance to ever take the first place in the leaderboard. Prize pools were low and EV was low too. Very happy these times are long gone.


Is it important for you to become the first-ever player to make 100K on FanTeam?

The most important thing for me is to make the best decisions in every tournament I play. I am sure that this will help me go over the 100K line.


What do you think of esports fantasy introduced on FanTeam? Have you tried CS:GO fantasy while waiting for big football to resume?

Esports, like any new product, requires a step-by-step development. For me, it started with a 50K monster guarantee out of the blue. Players are pleased to compete for such large prizes, but there is no future with such a start. As in many other Fanteam initiatives, there is no consistent development of a new product in a game line. I'm afraid that interest in esports will decrease and may disappear after the restart of major sports events.


Let us talk about football then. What can you say about the Bundesliga and daily competition on FanTeam?

For many years I have been playing seasonal fantasy, so the start of Germany was a great joy for me. This is a major European championship with strong teams and interesting players. The level of the daily fantasy game is quite high right now, largely due to strong regulars from Germany who are competent in their country’s biggest league.


Do you find it more interesting than the English Premier League?

Both championships are interesting in their own way. I like them both. As for fantasy, it's usually easier to play a game about which people have less information. So for now, this makes Bundelsiga fantasy easier to play, but the level of play is growing with each game week.


What do you think of the Pursuit format on FanTeam? 

It is a very good and serious question demanding a huge answer. Beginners and housewives can skip this part :)

Pursuit is ok for 1-match tournaments. Pursuit can be an option in 2-4 match slates if we talk about football.

But I think that Pursuit is the absolute evil in classic tournaments (more than 7 matches in a slate).

I'm not an oldfag but if you see serious changes, you always try comparing it to what was before and what will be coming next. Now, I have more of an intuitive feeling about the situation, but as we know, intuition can lead to many insights in the field where you have a lot of experience.

And my intuition says Pursuit (for 7+ matches slates) is bad. It is not right for the classic fantasy game, a game we all love. I was a professional poker player for seven years, I am good at betting, been doing that for the better part of my life so I understand how the gambling industry works. Pursuit will turn the game into just another bookmaker. Already, there is a big commission, low mathematical expectation and scoring that most players do not understand.

I'm not a whiner, there is a silver lining in every cloud. The best players are great at adjusting.

Top regulars will find a way to win in new conditions. But other players will not.

Fanteam tells us that new players can now create a team in 20 seconds (with the 178 million budget). What it also means is that new players can now lose money faster. You can fit any players you want in Pursuit mode with such a huge budget to build a lineup. The game includes a safety net as well now, dear player, you can tap the screen drafting without any thinking and lose. Well, that looks easy, but a lot of other scoring nuances and the increased number of possible player combinations make the game more difficult. 

If you want to go down the bookmaker route, change the Fantasy section for something like Games based on fantasy. And when you do, remember to explain to new players, who you probably worry about introducing these changes, why they do not hit the jackpot. How do you explain that their easy-to-draft teams did not receive the required 27.55 bonus points to win on top of their players’ scores? Instead, they are like 19th out of 2500, winning 50 times less than the team from 1st, where cheaper players scored less but had more bonus points. 

Fantasy is a game for smart people. We enjoy thinking and being creative but hate when someone takes us for a fool. If you think it’s difficult for beginners to understand the rules and draft teams, then maybe the rules are not the problem? There are people who find everything difficult, no matter how you try to simplify their lives.  You will not retain these sorts of players anyways, even if you have the only button available - the auto pick. 

I would try to attract, and most importantly, keep new players who want to stay for a long time, those who like to think and explore. Fantasy is for nerds and people who love sports. If you want to compete for a typical bookmaker clientele, then I have bad news for you - you will not succeed. No offense, but I know these people, this game is not for them.

Respect your players, create training courses, not just minute-long videos tipping to captain Lewandowski every week. Make people feel like they are doing more than just push buttons. Build the foundation of loyal players who know what they are doing on Fanteam and why they are doing it.

Do not be a one-night stand girl for a player, become a wise and faithful wife with whom he would want to spend his whole life (pardon the analogy).


What about another debated topic — the prize money distribution?

The community has spoken on the matter of prize pool distribution, and detailed research has been done, I will not repeat any of it.

I can only add that the prize pool system of old was ideal in my opinion. 10% of the prize pool for first place and at least 5K guaranteed for the champion of the weekly monster. A substantial amount for marketing purposes. If you want to increase the prize for the first place to 10K, I would recommend raising guarantees to 100K then.  

In the current system, which is further randomized by Pursuit, 150 euros for 21st place out of 2263 entries is a big disappointment for a player.

You have to beat 99% of your opponents to get only 7.5 times more than your initial €20 buy-in.

And this is with an overlay in the tournament! 

I think FanTeam turned in the wrong direction. As a result, only the best players with big bankrolls will survive. Casual players will continue to lose their money. But the worst is the middle-class player, who can not wait out thousands of losses for a big win. If under the previous system they confidently kept afloat, not winning much, but not losing money either, now the majority of them will lose it all. It is necessary to protect the middle class, and I’m not talking about politics. These people make up a sustainable fantasy community. Destroy them, then there will only be unsociable top regulars like me and recreational players who are interested in playing easier games anyways.

Vladimir, thank you for your time! We sincerely hope you end up the first person making 100,000 playing daily fantasy — a game we all love. Remember, you may ask TTribL any fantasy-sports related questions on our forums

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey Bobrov

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.