Breaking Down the Kraków Major – Fantasy Points & Salary Cap

With the end of the PGL Kraków Major upon us, we can take a closer look at the numbers behind the event to see how things went down in detail. Much like the results of the event’s bracket, with Immortals and Gambit making it to the finals as a surprise to many, the data reveals some interesting tidbits of information about the ESP Fantasy Pools that we’ll explore below. As we walk through the upcoming conclusions, you can refer to our previous blog post that houses all of the data we’ll be analyzing in this post.


Performance based on Point Averages
First, let’s take a look at all of the players that had a higher “Average Points per Match” at this event compared to their all-time “Average Points per Match”.



To begin let’s outline what we are trying to display in this graph. The blue bars signify the all-time Average Points per Match of the respective player. Stacked on top of that in orange is the difference between that player’s Average Points per Match at Kraków against their all-time. The total length of each bar then represents the Average Points per Match for just the event. It is sorted by the greatest difference on the left and then descending toward a 0 point difference.

Now, there are a few things to take away from this set of data. First is to note that this is an exhaustive list of players who performed better than their average, meaning 20 players out of the 80 participants (25%) performed better than usual. The high and low range of this point difference is also worth noting: Na’Vi.s1mple had the highest of 10.46 difference and kioShiMa of Faze Clan (not shown on this graph) had a low of -16.80 difference. For s1mple, this event was a 60% increase in performance against his all-time average, whereas kioShiMa performed 118% worse.

If you take a look at the top 10 Fantasy Point Totals at the event, you’ll notice that only AdreN, lucas1, kNg, steel, and cold performed better than their averages. This implies that a player making a deep run in a tournament can often score you more fantasy points than one who is performing well in terms of point per match averages. More games, more points. Despite s1mple’s strong relative performance, he is only 17th for total points due to an early exit from the group stages. The next time you evaluate who to pick, it’s important to consider additional factors than just the “Average Points per Match” metric.

Making the Right Picks
From Thorin’s Exclusive Major Pool let’s take a look at augie’s picks which got him 1st place in that pool.



augie had full faith in the Brazilian players to deliver and he was certainly rewarded. Not only did the two Immortals players that he picked over perform on their point-per-match averages, but also had deep runs to the 3rd game of the Grand Finals. The combination of these two awarded him the bulk of the points. cold and fer were also great pick ups as both had monster performances despite being knocked out 0-2 in the Quarter Finals to Astralis. augie had the right combination of reliable high-scorers in fer and cold, while also managing to pick up the two Immortal players that made deep runs. Big congratulations to him for coming first in the pool!

However, one glaring omission from the pools top picks is the presence of any Gambit players, the winners of the event. This is not because of some statistical anomaly where Gambit performed poorly, despite winning. In fact, Gambit had some of the highest point totals for this event. Instead, this is because Gambit’s players were actually picked very few times. All 5 Gambit players only accounted for 0.9% of all picks made in this pool. To put this in perspective, karrigan of Faze Clan was 3.53% of picks by himself and fer of SK Gaming was selected 10 times more than the entirety of Gambit at this event. In fact, only 1 out of the top 15 entries in Thorin’s Exclusive Major Pool and any Gambit players at all.

Because of this, the gap between augie’s picks and the theoretical best is quite large as shown below.

The theoretical best set of picks:



As shown in the table above, the best set of picks would have been 826. This is a difference of 159 points, roughly a 24% increase over augie’s.

A further look at the table above, specifically the Salary Used and Event Point Total columns, really shows where the high value picks are in terms of salary. Here’s what I mean: in the set of data in our previous blog post or in the graph below, you’ll see that Points/$100 column is occupied by all 5 Immortals players, along with 3 of Gambits, along with byali & LEGIJA. If you consider the team restriction of 2, all 5 of the theoretical best picks can be found here.


The key point to take away here is that looking at Average Points per Match can sometimes be deceptive; it doesn’t tell the whole story. It is important to also think about how deep of a run will that player go in that tournament and will that be reflected in their Points/$100 metric? Relying just on how far a player will go isn’t a complete stat either. MSL of North went out during the Quarter Finals and was within the bottom 6 of Total Points. tabseN of BIG, who were also knocked out in the Quarter Finals, was 12th highest in the same metric. Obviously predicting these metrics can be difficult, as evidenced by the outcome of this event. Who could have foreseen Immortals and Gambit being the best possible picks? Maybe if you’re a wizard.

The outcome of this major is many respects is considered an anomaly by many in the community: the strong performance by Gambit, Immortals, BIG; the weak performance by G2 or Faze. Even the bracket placing SK vs Astralis in the Quarter Finals certainly screwed up a lot of fantasy picks out there. Because of this, it’s hard to say if the conclusions drawn from the data of this event is indicative of any long-term trends. Perhaps the importance of certain metrics is only the case for this event, but may not for future events that play out in a more expected fashion.

What will really tell the tale is looking at how these data points stack up against each other from event to event. Will the data from the next major be similar to this one? Will it be totally different? What are the explanations of either outcome?

Nevertheless, we hope this discussion helps you stay informed about how to best play fantasy on ESP. We also hope this creates an avenue of dialogue between us and you, our valued community. Let us know what conclusions you came up with or any other comments on Twitter!