Jun 5, 2020

How Sleeper uses PandaScore for esports fantasy

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We’d like to welcome a new partner to the PandaFamily, Sleeper is a social fantasy app that’s absolutely blowing up right now. Sleeper recently announced a $20m round of financing lead by the legendary venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz AKA a16z who’s been actively investing in gaming (Super Evil Mega Corp, Improbable, Roblox) and watching esports for awhile now. That same day Sleeper announced the launch of the League of Legends fantasy league, which I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, is powered by PandaScore 🐼. It’s all there:

  • Deep historical data on players, teams, and leagues
  • Speedy live updates to your fantasy score
  • Streams integrated for following the action
  • A fun and social fantasy gaming experience for esports

Just like the rest of the industry, Sleeper pushed its esports plans forward to make up for the lack of sports during the pandemic and they were successful in creating a beautiful esports fantasy experience. Esports is part of Sleeper’s long term vision to provide bring people together through competition.

“The single most important role of sports (and esports) in society is its unique ability to bring people together.”

Sleeper has published a great overview on the inner-workings of the league and some of the design decisions that were used to make the league. A highly recommended read. The focus was providing a game that fun to play for both noobs and experts alike. This is how the industry continues to expand the audience of esports to traditional sports fans that aren’t familiar with the games. They can learn through a fun and engaging competition. Here’s Sleeper on working with PandaScore:

“Our engineering team explored several options for League of Legends statistics. PandaScore was our choice for a few reasons.” said Eric Brown, who led backend engineering on Sleeper’s Fantasy LoL product. “The most important reason is that the stats were comprehensive. It includes a real-time kill feed, which is necessary for how we want to do scoring for our games around first bloods, first towers, and first drake. PandaScore’s push feeds are also very fast, everything felt real-time and in sync with what was happening on live streams. It’s a very pleasant API to work with, and the account management and support teams were very responsive to any questions we had during the integration process.”

The finished product starts like most fantasy leagues, with a draft between friends for the players you need to win it all.

The app is filled with beautiful layouts with deep historical data for understanding who to draft for your team. Live updates and fast settlements keep the action moving. You can follow along with the live performance of your drafted players and the action in the livestream at the same time.

Source: Sleeper

It’s not just the draft that matters either, Sleeper has integrated “Picks and Bans” into the experience for another level of competitive play.

Sleeper’s League of Legends fantasy leagues have an added level of strategy that many League of Legends players will be familiar with, the concept of picks and bans.

Teams can receive scoring bonuses by accurately picking the champions that their own players use during the week, and can also penalize their opponents if they ban the right champions that their opponent’s players use. This creates a fun and dynamic element to the fantasy experience where you can outsmart your opponent based on your predictions.

Source: Sleeper

The secret to building a great fantasy experience are choosing the right game mechanics and high quality data to make those mechanics work. We’re happy to be providing the latter to Sleeper. Set up a league with your friends today.

Thanks to Flavien Guillocheau