Introducing… The Empire League

by • August 4, 2018

Note: Originally Published August 4, 2012

The term “dynasty” in dynasty leagues is a misnomer. What happens when a dynasty is achieved in a dynasty league? Nothing!

That ends now.

I’ve created a new kind of league, a league that actually ends when someone actually has a dynasty. It’s called an Empire League.

What’s an Empire League? It’s a dynasty league with two unique twists:

1) Each year, half the pot goes to the year’s winners, and the other half is set aside in a rolling Emperor pot.

2) When someone wins an Empire League in consecutive years, they win the rolling Emperor pot. And the league disbands.

I can hear what you’re thinking: “Disbands?!? Oh, no! That’s just wrong!”

First, every league will come to an end eventually, right? Disinterest could end it. A dispute could end it. A freak dirigible accident could end it.

Why not prescribe the end of your league on your own terms? And is there a better way, than by crowning the ultimate champion?

And when it disbands, if the owners want to keep playing, they can just start fresh the next year with the same owners. And, everyone would draft/auction new dynasty rosters.

The strategic ramifications alone will make The Empire league a fascinating one. Imagine what happens when you win the first time. You’re going to be a marked owner the following season. Everyone will be gunning for you, doing anything possible to keep you from a second victory. Would anyone dare trade a good player to you? Free agent bidding would be furious and competitive. Even the last-place team is going to make moves designed explicitly to defeat you and make your repeat run impossible.

Draft strategy would also be fascinating. Do you play it as if it’s a two-year league and attempt to win it all in the first two years? Or do you assume it’s going to last at least 4-5 years and take a longer-term approach and build with young players that will potentially allow you to win two seasons in a row at some point down the road. And if you do manage to repeat? The pot could be huge, and who doesn’t want to be crowned the Emperor of their league?

For just one example of how the Emperor Pot could grow, assume a 10-person league with $150 entry fee, with $75 going to the Emperor Pot each season. You’ve got $750 in the pot for the current year, plus an additional $750 going to the Emperor Pot each season. If someone manages to repeat in years 5 and 6, they’ll take home the single season champion’s portion for each of those years, plus a whopping $4,500 for becoming the Emperor!

Thinking of starting an Empire League? Don’t do anything until you read this follow-up article “The Empire League Strikes Back.”