League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): July 17
Christopher Troeh guides you through Friday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
LCS enters Week 6 with a waning TSM relying on a new support to face off against a suddenly surging 100 Thieves, and EG make a similar substitution in order to find a victory over a TL who is riding a win streak.
Bjergsen is a big name, with a big brand, and has a big price tag. He’s the face of the NA LCS and while picking up big brands isn’t advisable, it’s necessary. While we think that 100 Thieves may be legit this time, we don’t think it’s possible to be a top 3 team when your mid laner is Ryoma. 100 Thieves brought something to the table that Cloud9 was not expecting: aggression. Cloud9 is known to be one of the only teams in LCS that are capable of crushing the early game and ending games, but 100 Thieves have shown that ability and toppled a complacent Cloud9. Bjergsen’s veterancy should give him this match-up for free: Ryoma has definitely appeared to have a mental block against TSM in the past, so now is the time to seize the moment for TSM. If you want to try a different option, we’d recommend TL Tactical. Team Liquid’s bottom lane is one of the most dominant in the league, and it is definitely off the back of their young ADC prodigy Tactical. He’s the same price as Bjergsen though, and Bang is no slouch himself, so it’s definitely a little more risky that just picking up Bjerg.
Alternatives to consider: Tactical ($11,400)
100 Thieves’ split has been turbulent, and while Ssumday’s form has waxed and waned throughout his tenure in North America, he’s definitely hitting his stride once again after the substitution of Contractz and Poome. Even when Ssumday performs poorly, people know he will bounce back as he has done each time before, he holds one of the highest KDAs out of all top laners, and Broken Blade seemed shattered last week, and contributed to TSM’s 0-2 week. We think TSM have the overall edge, but we don’t expect Broken Blade to be a big performer for TSM against his opponent in Ssumday. The other option to consider is Impact, who is facing off a questionable Huni in the top lane. Huni has been looking okay in academy, maybe top 5 at best, but not much higher relative to the “elite” top laners. He’s also known to die at an unparalleled rate once he gets behind, meanwhile Impact has been doing relatively well this split.
Alternatives to consider: Impact ($6,200)
Broxah hasn’t been playing incredibly well this split, but with an opponent like Svenskeren we don’t need an all-star performance to do well. Truthfully, I don’t think any jungler will perform “well” on Friday, but I do think Broxah will look the best against the wavering Svenskeren. He holds a decent 4.88 KDA across the split, and while Contractz has a higher KDA, he has the benefit of a smaller sample size. That being said, there is a good amount of merit in believing that Contractz is the better choice here, if you want to gamble on it, you can choose the 100 Thieves jungler. He’s aggressive, he moves fast, and he looked great in academy. We simply are not convinced by 100 Thieves’ performances elsewhere.
Alternatives to consider: Contractz ($6,400)
Jensen has been a quiet performer on a surging TL team, and he’s facing off a mid laner that was teamless last year and is being substituted in suddenly for unforeseen circumstances. We don’t think Golden Glue is bad, or that he doesn’t deserve a spot in LCS (hint hint, Dignitas and 100 Thieves), only that Jensen against a ~6th best mid laner in LCS who hasn’t even competed in the split yet should be a wash. Jensen is likely top 3, top 4 at worst in the role and we enjoy the pairing of Broxah/Jensen over Svenskeren/Golden Glue, even though neither are likely good. Bjergsen being captain is helpful too, but if he’s available due to you picking someone else as captain, here’s your shot for some more free points.
Alternatives to consider: Bjergsen ($7,600)
There’s no other option we want here, which is a big reason to avoid choosing Tactical as your captain. Doublelift and Cody Sun have been inconsistent, and Bang has to lane with a relatively weak support in Zeyzal. Meanwhile, Tactical gets his world class, world championship winning super support CoreJJ. We love CoreJJ, we love Tactical, they are great and have delivered TL from so many defeats. If you seriously want a different ADC for whatever reason, the only other one we would consider is the extremely expensive Doublelift. Treatz Doublelift is a legitimately hyped lane that has serious potential of succeeding. We are slightly afraid that it will be “too many cooks” when it comes to voices though, because Treatz certainly likes playing one particular way.
Alternatives to consider: Doublelift ($7,800)
Treatz has been THE BEST support in Academy hands down. There are maybe 3 people with a somewhat coherent argument about how Matt may be better in some circumstances (he’s not an import!) but as the split has went on, subbing in Treatz was an obvious choice: Biofrost has been ok but not great, there is an open import spot, we have the best NA academy support. Treatz is the man. If you have more open TL spots, we would recommend CoreJJ too, but Treatz is more than ready to hit the stage running.
Alternatives to consider: CoreJJ ($5,600)
Team Liquid ($5,000)
This new 100 Thieves roster is 3-1, and they just took down the only undefeated team in the league. An accurate assessment of their power level is next to impossible. Did Cloud9 get complacent? Is 100 Thieves actually good? No one can know for sure. Team Liquid is the only team playing who has not made a single roster substitution the entire split, and we definitively know: yes, these five players have been doing well, on average. Golden Glue seems like a downgrade to Jiizuke, and Huni seems like a sidegrade at best to Kumo, and this change disrupts team chemistry. We think Team Liquid has this one for free, but maybe we’re wrong. While the other match-up is tightly contested, we think that the mid lane difference in the favor of TSM will lend TSM a massive advantage. The top lane is too contentious to give TSM our full approval, but it’s better than betting blindly.
Alternatives to consider: TSM ($5,200)
Bjergsen & Treatz
Treatz may be the “something new” that will push TSM up a peg. Biofrost was known for being quiet, and while Bjergsen’s voice has been law in TSM, we think that TSM will be able to acquiesce to their rookie voice. Treatz is legit, even if he doesn’t do well particularly this weekend, he is still legit. You don’t “luck into” those kinds of performances in academy. It’s factual: something is there. Additionally, Bjergsen has been the pillar that has kept TSM afloat in these trying years. Nothing against Doublelift this split, but he has made some questionable moves and had some questionable games, we are a fan of Bjergsen on this one.
Contractz & Ssumday
While it’s too late to say for certain, I think Contractz is the jungler Ssumday needs. Ever since Ssumday came to North America, I figured at this point there would be no non-Korean jungler he would ever synergize with: Meteos, AnDa, Amazing, Meteos again… Each have been mixed bags, but not inherently positive. Contractz stepped it up in academy, and his aggressive play style allows 100 Thieves to shatter teams in the early game, and they blew through Cloud9 who was not anticipating the fleet-footed jungler to
Tactical & Jensen
The two main carries of Team Liquid. There’s not a massive amount of discussion here other than the fact that they each use gold well relative to their competition. Jensen is a little lower on the totem pole as opposed to the monster that is Tactical, but he is by no means bad. Anyone should rest assured that each of these are great picks for their position. Jensen was one of the only solid players in spring split, and he’s still solid.
Top Picks: Bjergsen, Treatz, Tactical
Each of these players occupy a different position, and while CoreJJ may in theory be the better support than Treatz, we expect Treatz to have the ambition to come out strong this weekend. He’s deserved this for a long time, and now is really his chance to show people what he’s made of. Bjergsen has always been a great, world-class mid laner, and Tactical is a star in the making, and has been showing promise for over a year now.
Top Value: Ssumday, Poome, Contractz
Oh yeah! 100 Thieves! Nothing wrong with any of these guys, Cody Sun has been good too, on the weaker side this split but looks rejuvenated with Poome: speaking of Poome, he looks really good with Contractz, but his inexperience has left us as a 3rd pick behind Treatz and CoreJJ. Contractz has been a great choice for 100 Thieves, he was one of the best early game junglers in NA academy, but has a propensity of dying randomly at inopportune times. Ssumday is Ssumday, he’s just great.