A new simulation-based Fantasy game launches this weekend to help us fill a Fantasy Premier League-shaped void.
With Premier League football on lockdown and in no danger of restarting any time soon, we look set to be deprived of our FPL fix for a good while yet.
We are thrilled to be joining forces with Ragabolly to bring you content on this new game, which will include regular round-ups of this simulated season.
The Virtual FPL Gameweek 1 deadline is on Saturday 11 April at 19:00 BST, so we urge you to head over to the sign-up page to register your details and begin picking your team.
But first, a quick guide to this easy-to-play new game.
How Does it Work?
Ten times more intelligent than the rest of the Scout team put together, Ragabolly has come up with a Fantasy game that is very similar to FPL – but with the key difference, of course, being that the matches are simulated.
This isn’t just any old random results generator, though.
Ragabolly’s advanced simulator takes into account actual player and FPL data to statistically generate line-ups, substitutions, attacking movements, shots, injuries, cards and so on.
Games are played out on a play-by-play basis, much like in Football Manager/Championship Manager:
At the end of each game, a match report is generated detailing player scores (including bonus!) along with an ‘underlying stat’-type summary of how often certain Fantasy assets were involved in their team’s attacks:
As with FPL, the basic idea of the game is to pick a team and make transfers based on your knowledge and interpretation of the simulator results – as well as your previous Fantasy Premier League expertise.
Form, suspensions and injuries can all have an impact on team line-ups in Virtual FPL, just like in real life.
What Are the Rules and Scoring System?
Anyone who knows how to play FPL will be able to pick up Ragabolly’s game very easily.
Managers are handed £100m to pick a squad of 15 players (two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders, three forwards), with the player prices being the same as they were in real-life FPL as of Gameweek 29.
To make life a whole lot easier, there won’t be any price changes throughout the season.
Virtual FPL bosses are limited to three players from each club, as is the case in FPL.
Once signed up, managers will be able to cycle through the usual ‘My Team’, ‘Transfers’ and ‘Fixtures’ tabs as they would in Fantasy Premier League.
The chips are the same as regular FPL, too, along with the scoring system (five points for a goal scored by a midfielder, four points for a defender who keeps a clean sheet etc) and free transfer allowance.
Every Gameweek, each manager gets to arrange five extra friendlies – more on which later.
What Are the Fixtures?
Virtual FPL is a full season with a completely fresh set of fixtures scheduled for Gameweeks 1 to 38.
Liverpool certainly catch the eye over the opening ten sets of fixtures, while Southampton and Aston Villa also look like they have decent starts.
When Are the Gameweek Deadlines?
As we mentioned in the introduction, the Gameweek 1 deadline is at 19:00 BST on Saturday 11 April – so get your teams in fast.
Five top-flight games will be simulated on Saturday and the other five on Sunday, with the results released every ten minutes starting at 20:00 BST on each day.
Ranks and points will update as soon as a game is released, so there’s none of the usual hanging around and waiting for the site to refresh.
Ragabolly tells us that Gameweek 2 won’t take place until the following Saturday, just to give him extra time to ensure that the simulation is working as well as expected.
From that point, the plan is to stage four Gameweeks every week, with deadlines on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 19:00 BST.
We’ll keep you posted if there are any changes on that front.
Why are the Pre-Season Games and Mid-Season Friendlies Important?
There are ten matches in all, with all 20 Premier League clubs involved.
Analysing the line-ups, results and scorers in these friendlies can help with your Virtual FPL squad selection for Gameweek 1 and beyond.
Of course, these pre-season games equate to just one trial match per team – a very small sample size.
However, Virtual FPL managers can supplement this information by scouting more games for the teams/players they are interested in.
With that in mind, each manager gets to arrange five more friendlies every Gameweek to get a better understanding of how the simulator works and to monitor player performance.
When arranging a friendly, you can only specify one team and whether the game is home or away.
Virtual FPL managers can now set up their own mini-leagues.
We’ve set one up already (imaginatively titled ‘Fantasy Football Scout’) and you can join by entering the code 9RV4A via the below link.
Once Gameweek 1 is up and running, managers will be able to see additional tabs:
- “My Points” – where managers can see their points and rank live.
- “Overall Standings” – where the table of all players is updated live.
- “Stats” – where managers can see most-selected players, most-captained players, chip usage etc.
As if he hasn’t done enough for us already, Ragabolly tells us he is planning to buy an actual trophy for the eventual winner.
Make sure to also follow the game on Twitter and give him a follow.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below and either ourselves or Ragabolly will attempt to answer them.
A previous Hot Topic from the game’s creator has responses to a number of the most frequently asked questions.