Loopholes in super selectors

One of the most popular pastimes when a major tournament is on is in terms of super selectors or fantasy leagues. In this, you create your own team drawing players from various teams participating in the particular tournament, and get points every day based on the performance of the players in your team. This kind of a game is especially popular for games like cricket where the contribution of each member of the team can be quantified, rather than for say something like football.

Now, what can be really irritating when one takes part in these games is loopholes. Most of these games seem to have some inbuilt loopholes and the person who exploits these loopholes usually wins. And you usually realize that after the tournament is over, when you realize that despite your best tactical acumen you’re not in the leaderboard.

For example, during the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, people in our office organized a fantasy league. The problem there was that there was only 1 match a day in the world cup and the cost of making substitutions in the team was really low. So what does the winner (incidentally the same guy who organized the tournament) do? He changes team every day depending on who is playing. It’s australia today? Put in Hayden, Gilchrist and Ponting. Sri Lanka tomorrow? Drop these 3 and put in Sangakkara, Jayasuriya and Muralitharan. And the guy had made the rule that 3 substitutions would be allwoed every day so it became a question of betting on who are the 3 best performers in every game rather than betting on who are the best performers in the tournament.

Then, another common loophole is to give too much money to the managers. Usually, players’ costs and money given to managers are such that every manager is forced to include 2-3 not-so-well-known faces in the team. Now, you have these tournaments where the money you have is no constraint and you just end up picking 11 proven studs. Takes the whole fun of it. There needs to be a tradeoff!

Now, cricinfo has introduced a fantasy league for the ongoing 2020 World Cup. A well designed league in most aspects. You are forced to bet on 2-3 unknown faces. Number of substitutions is limited (11 after the tournament begins). However, as usual, there is a loophole. Now, when I started writing this post, I wanted to write aboutt he loophole. But now I think I want to exploit it all by myself. So go figure out!

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