League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): June 19
Christopher Troeh guides you through Friday's League of Legends North American Championship Series for esports DFS contests.
LCS begins on Friday with extremely one-sided match-ups: TSM vs IMT and GGS vs CLG. While it may be obvious who wins, it does prove difficult to balance the best players in the best match-ups relative to their cost.
Typically, I’m not the kind of person who flocks to big brands like Bjergsen or Doublelift, but in this match-up I do think Bjerg is worth the cash. He faces Eika, the worst mid laner in LCS by far. Bjergsen is overpriced, and you’re paying for history as opposed to performance, but against Eika it’s by far worth it for the match-up alone. If you want a different option, I’d highly recommend Closer, who was considered a fantastic jungler last split and faces a weak opponent in Wiggily.
Alternatives to consider: Closer ($9,900)
While both match-ups seem one sided, it’s likely worth it to save face with Hauntzer over Broken Blade. The volatility of TSM’s solo lanes is not worth banking on proportional to their cost, therefore, a top laner that’s capable of operating with low priority is worth it here: and Hauntzer is your guy. Hauntzer is a consistently stable force for his team and continually holds his own against top laners above his weight class, and is capable of punishing players below, and Ruin certainly falls into the latter. If you want more volatility, don’t let this stop you from selecting Broken Blade, who is more than capable of crushing a weak sOAZ
Alternatives to consider: Broken Blade ($6,600)
We covered it in the Captain section but just a quick rundown: Wiggily is an extremely weak opponent, and Closer is someone who is particularly efficient in picking apart and crushing players who he’s better than through intelligent pathing and gank set-up. Furthermore, he is a maestro on aggressive picks such as Nidalee, who are especially effective at crushing junglers in the early game. It’s hard to choose an alternative to Closer, but we’d have to choose Spica. Spica is completely unproven and likely not worth the money, but he is likely to win against IMT due to better solo laners. He’s young and new to the league, but he’s an extremely raw talent who still needs more time to be developed.
Alternatives to consider: Spica ($7,000)
Don’t get me wrong, Pobelter is no slouch, but Pobelter is incapable of carrying the fetters that are his four teammates. Meanwhile, Damonte and Closer have already been shown to be an extremely lethal and explosive 2v2. Mid lane is a role that’s relatively reliant on your team to avoid dying, as your pool mostly consists of characters who are easy to kill, and Pobelter just doesn’t make the cut in this regard. If you can’t choose Damonte, we implore you to go with Bjergsen. Having a mid laner who will die as he loses the game will only be a negative on your scoring.
Alternatives to consider: Bjergsen ($7,600)
Doublelift isn’t performing to his standards this season, but when your options are Altec, Stixxay, or FBI, the answer is very clear, we will take Doublelift, thank you. Each other ADC has a support who has been questionable, perhaps the least would be Smoothie (foreshadowing) who only has to lane with a deadweight Stixxay. Meanwhile, Biofrost has consistently been a positive for TSM and is a continuous upper tier support despite his shuffling through rosters. If Doublelift isn’t an option, FBI isn’t a terrible choice. He’s prone to making some seriously boneheaded decisions, but if he avoids those he’s actually a really solid ADC. There’s nothing wrong with FBI, but it’d be bad to spin the chamber on the revolver that is FBI.
Alternatives to consider: FBI ($7,600)
It’s hard to think of Biofrost as a “veteran” but he absolutely is. And his career has featured him consistently ranked among the top half of the supports in LCS. Biofrost is expensive for supports, but with his competition consisting of Huhi, Smoothie, and Gate there is no other option for us. Biofrost is heads and shoulders above any of the other names competing on Friday, particularly the latter two. Therefore, if you must choose a non-Vincent Wang option, the answer is Huhi, the role swapped mid laner who is a complete mad scientist in the position. It only seems as though Huhi has many inventions that work, but just as many that blow up in his face.
Alternatives to consider: Huhi ($5,200)
Golden Guardians ($5,000)
Between TSM and Golden Guardians, we choose Golden Guardians for a big reason, they beat the teams below them, and lose to the teams that are above them. This consistency is extremely valuable. Meanwhile, TSM lost both games to Immortals despite being the favorites in both, and they were the only team to beat Cloud 9 in the regular season. That variability makes us turn our heads. Don’t hesitate to select TSM, they’re a better option than IMT or CLG, but we are more than happy with Golden Guardians with their revamped roster.
Alternatives to consider: TSM ($5,600)
Closer & Damonte
Oh yeah, you saw this coming. I am a self-professed Damonte fan, but even I was skeptical of Closer as we left the LCS Spring Split with some underwhelming performances. That skepticism was washed away when Closer and Damonte stepped onto the rift and dominated people with their aggressive 2v2. The only real 2v2 that reminds me of these two would be a combination like Larssen and Inspired, and while they’re good, Damonte & Closer just seem to have a magic that isn’t quite with their EU counterparts. These guys are great, you won’t be disappointed picking them or watching them.
Doublelift & Biofrost
Doublelift and Biofrost’s last three LCS splits together ended in three championships. The math adds up, but when you look at Doublelift’s last split you realize that results based analysis may not necessarily be indicative of future success. That being said, between Doublelift & Biofrost and their opponents in Altec & Gate… Altec isn’t bad, but Gate is not the person you want to place bets on. We are more than happy to endorse TSM’s bottom lane. It helps that Doublelift is the winning-est player in the history of LCS.
Hauntzer & Closer
Yeah, this one is a stretch, but it’s not like we are going to mislead you by picking two players who we would never pick. Hauntzer and Closer may not directly have extreme synergy with each other, but they do complement each other in different ways. Hauntzer is an amphoteric top laner, playing both weak side and strong side relatively effectively. This is extremely uncommon for the league, and allows Closer to be highly variable with where and how he strikes. This ability unlocks Golden Guardians to play ways that other teams simply cannot, and flexibility lends Golden Guardians to being a dangerous opponent that’s hard to read.
Top Picks: Closer, Bjergsen, Damonte
Each of these players have a large benefit in playing against extremely weak opponents, aside from Damonte. Closer against Wiggily and Bjergsen against Eika are expected to be complete slaughters. Damonte is a good pick because his jungle centric play style also allows him to farm Wiggily and CLG’s weak side laners for points. It’s a win-win!
Top Value: Hauntzer, Huhi, Pobelter
Hauntzer we’ve spoken at lengths at in the past, Huhi is a fine choice if you don’t want to go with Biofrost, or if you like Huhi’s propensity for occult support picks (Ziggs? Seriously?). Pobelter is more of an honorable mention. You’re getting your money’s worth, but your money is better spent on a mid laner who will win the game by virtue of not having several of the worst players in their respective positions on his team. We love you Eugene, we hope you understand.