The European Championship is an international football competition that takes place every four years. It began in 1960 and has expanded since then. This year, there are 24 teams taking part. The tournament is being hosted in France, with the host nation also being the favourites to win the trophy.
In true DriveWorks style we’ve created a cool project that automates the DriveWorks Fantasy Football league for the European Championship.
The project was created by our Technical Team Manager, Phil, and it involves selecting players who earn points for a variety of things, for example if they score a goal.
The idea arose when one of our Reseller Application Engineers created an NFL fantasy draft project using DriveWorks. The excitement of having DriveWorks running our Euro Fantasy League meant that many more people here at DriveWorks wanted to take part.
The project didn’t take very long for Phil to create. He emailed everyone asking their thoughts on the Monday and the project was complete by Thursday. Firstly, he compiled a list of all 552 players in the tournament and matched them to their position – either Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder or Attacker.
He then created variables with DriveWorks to make it easier to filter and search for players. Not everyone entering had extensive football knowledge, so this made it possible for them to identify players from the teams that were tournament favourites.
The next task involved assigning each selected player to the fantasy team. This was relatively straight forward and done by using a Group Table export document to add the name in a ‘Selected By’ column in the list of players.
Once a player had been selected, they have to be removed from the list of available players. This involved going back and adding checks to the filter variables to remove any players where ‘Selected By’ was not blank, guaranteed that players could not be selected twice.
Ensuring that people could only pick the correct number of players in each position based on their chosen formation was done by first creating a list of all the selected players and their position and then doing a count of the items in the list and comparing them with the selected formation. If it exceeded the maximum, a warning message would appear.
With all of this complete, it was ready for the start of the tournament on Friday 10th June. Every Friday, we treat ourselves to Fish and Chips – a DriveWorks tradition!
We completed the draft whilst eating them and the draft order was selected randomly, each pick had to be made within 30 seconds. This made it a high pressure environment with many entrants having done lots of prior research. A few members of the team arrived with huge lists of players that they would choose from in addition to elaborate plans of the order they would pick each position.
A nice feature that Phil added was the randomise feature. Anyone could hit the random player button and the project would select a player randomly and add them to the squad. This created added fun and suspense to the draft. Once every team had 11 players selected, the teams were locked in. Phil then sent a graphic of every team and updates the leader board after each game.
As DriveWorks is a rules based system the idea of using it for our league works really well and the draft selection went smoothly. In order to improve the project, having a way of tracking the points automatically would save manually entering them. The ideal scenario would be to link the project to a free web service with a list of points scored by each player. Phil says that the manual process doesn’t take long but he would rather spend that time having a beer and watching the games!
The project has been thoroughly enjoyed by all of the DriveWorks Team so far but it’s not over yet! Watch this space!