The online fantasy sports market is large and growing larger.
Current online portals have made it easy for players to set up competitions and track their
progress. We propose a system of interactive visualizations that allows players to project
potential outcomes as well as explore future scenarios. We assert that having this makes
games vastly more compelling (socially and cognitively) and serves to differentiate our
portals from the others.
While current systems allow players to easily track
the current state of fantasy competition, we propose a suite of interactive
visualizations that allows players to project future outcomes within their
competition as well as to generate interesting “what-if” scenarios. Many players
try to do this manually, only to be frustrated with the amazingly complex combinatorial
nature of the problem. Providing access to this functionality would not only differentiate
the services we offer and drastically improve the user experience (i.e. making it more fun),
but also cause players to spend more time on site, hence increasing potential advertising revenue.
For example, with our system, a player could look at their projected odds of winning
the fantasy competition given the other players’ picks. It is interesting to note that
these odds are not equal even if you assume random outcomes of real world games and even
if none of the games have yet been played. These odds will dynamically update themselves
as games are played in the real world and more information is available. Alternatively,
a player might want to know the scenarios that would need to happen in order for their
chances of winning to be the highest (e.g. if Germany wins then you should root for Italy
to win, else you’re better off if the United States wins, etc). Such systems could also be
used to help with the picks in the first place.
Throughout the course of the tournament, players monitor the brackets
to track progress and to compare predictions made by multiple players. This is often a complex sensemaking
task. The classic bracket visualization was designed for use on paper and utilizes an incrementally
additive system in which the winner of each match-up is rewritten in the next round as the tournament progresses.
Unfortunately, this representation requires a significant amount of space and makes it relatively difficult to
get a quick overview of the tournament state since competitors take arbitrary paths through the static bracket.
AdaptiviTree is a novel visualization that adaptively deforms the representation of the tree and uses its shape
to convey outcome information. AdaptiviTree not only provides a more compact and understandable representation,
but also allows overlays that display predictions as well as other statistics.