League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): July 24
Christopher Troeh guides you through Friday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
Friday on Week 7 pits a new EG coming off a win against C9 against an IMT who have been a promising, but inconsistent team. First place Team Liquid faces a similarly inconsistent FlyQuest who seek to claw their way back on top of the standings.
We’ve been big fans of Tactical, and while WildTurtle’s return was actually much better than expected, Tactical has been a large contributor in TL’s success this split. Not to discount the performances of Jensen and CoreJJ, but Tactical is likely the only challenge to Zven for #1 all pro ADC this split, and if TL conquer C9 later this week, likely in contention for MVP voting alongside his support, CoreJJ. This is Tactical’s first full split playing, which makes this achievement even more impressive. If you’re looking elsewhere for a captain, we would highly recommend teammate Jensen, who has a good matchup against mid laner PowerofEvil, who hasn’t had the same impact in Summer as he had in Spring.
Alternatives to consider: Jensen (11,100)
Huni’s performance against Licorice with Gangplank was a complete 180 from expectations. His debut against TL on Karma looked mediocre, and his performances in academy were wildly inconsistent, but he solidly crushed the supposed best top laner in LCS last week. Allorim has been unimpressive in LCS, but he does threaten Huni, as at any time he can reach deep into his pool and pull out something such as his signature Urgot top lane. That being said, his gameplay has left much to be desired, and therefore we favor Huni. If you are looking elsewhere, we would recommend Solo. Solo hasn’t had an impeccable split, but he is a bright spot on an otherwise underperforming FlyQuest. He’s primarily left on the weak side while Santorin plays for himself throughout the early game, and he performs admirably despite this lack of attention. Also, Solo comes in cheap, which is useful for picking up more expensive players in higher earning roles.
Alternatives to consider: Solo ($6,000)
While Xmithie’s reentrance to the LCS has been mediocre at best, the jungle pool is relatively weak on Friday between the teams. Svenskeren especially has been having a relatively bad split, and it’s more than worth it to simply use jungle as a “dump” position, but there’s no better value than Xmithie at only $6,000. Svenskeren has looked mediocre, Xmithie is a stable jungler, and he’s the cheapest option by far. If you want to try to gamble on points in this position, we’d recommend Broxah. Team Liquid is the team most likely to win, and while Broxah has been one of the “lesser” players on the team, winning will naturally inflate his score line. We’d still highly recommend Xmithie, since he is able to facilitate us picking up players elsewhere.
Alternatives to consider: Broxah ($6,600)
There’s no better pick out there for this position, Jensen has been ramping up as the split has progressed. It’s clear Jensen playing second fiddle to Doublelift’s more resource intensive playstyle left Jensen feeling uncomfortable in Spring. Team Liquid was clearly a case of “too many cooks” and now that Tactical is in, Jensen has also showed up with him. Jensen holds the 2nd highest KDA at 6.38, and the 2nd highest CS/M at 9.33. Jensen is one of the big carries on TL alongside Tactical, and has reentered contention for “best mid in North America”. That being said, there is another option out there: the young Insanity. While Insanity’s record at 3-5 may look poor, make no mistake, Insanity does have that “it” factor, an intangible that makes him immediately promising for investors. His Karthus game resulted in a loss, but he played fantastically. Insanity’s “junk” oriented champion pool, including AP Kog’maw and Karthus has left a great impression on the league, and he’s the cheapest option out of all mid laners: definitely the 2nd best option by far.
Alternatives to consider: Insanity ($6,800)
ADC is definitely not a role you want to cheap out on, and on Friday there are only two real players you should have your eyes on: Bang and Tactical. One should be your captain (preferably Tactical), and the other should be your AD. Tactical has the better statistics at 2nd highest KDA: 7.69, and 2nd highest CSPM at 9.82. Meanwhile, Bang has the better matchup against Apollo, who has been looking underwhelming this split. Apollo is by no means a slouch, but compared to the real “wildcard” player Tactical faces in WildTurtle, it’s clear that Tactical is #1, and Bang is #2 on Friday: definitely ironic considering their histories, but make no mistake- these two are “must haves” on the day. We 100% recommend the “captain + ad” dichotomy.
Alternatives to consider: Tactical ($7,600)
TL’s bottom lane is likely the only contender for Cloud9’s bottom lane. They aren’t especially threatening in lane, but Tactical is an ADC that just seems to deal more damage with less gold. Behind that ADC is the mind of world champion CoreJJ; while his performance in Spring was lacking, Core’s resurgence in Summer has been remarkable. We’ve spent the last few weeks praising TL’s bottom lane, but it’s for good reason: Core likely has the best Bard in North America (contested only perhaps by Aphromoo, ironically), and he excels in using this pick to punish enemy over aggression throughout the map. I genuinely miss the halcyon days of Ruler and CoreJJ, and while Tactical has been a completely different ADC, Core definitely shines with a less resource intensive player, as opposed to one like Ruler or Doublelift. If you seek a more explosive player, we’d recommend IgNar. While Core is a controlled killer, IgNar is more like a psychopath who will snap engages to flip teamfights. This X-Factor can make the otherwise timid FlyQuest suspiciously deadly, but can result in situations that backfire and result in FlyQuest throwing leads (particularly around baron).
Alternatives to consider: IgNar ($5,400)
Team Liquid ($5,200)
There’s no real other choice here: TL has been a breath of consistency in a swamp of madness. Cloud9 losing to 100 Thieves? Of course. FlyQuest going from 2nd to 5th? Why not. Meanwhile, Team Liquid has steadily improved from their 3-2 record to a dramatic climb throughout the split. FlyQuest has been inconsistent, EG just had a roster swap, and IMT is sitting at the bottom of the standings despite being superior to several teams above them in an objective sense. We need stability, and Team Liquid offers that to us when no other team can. If you need to pinch here and spend on a cheaper team, we’d just recommend picking up IMT who do possess the potential to blue shell EG through the mid lane.
Alternatives to consider: Immortals ($4,400)
Tactical & CoreJJ
There’s no question on this one: best bottom lane on the day. Tactical and CoreJJ have shown up this split in a serious manner. It’s worth noting that TL was nanometers away from falling to IMT until Tactical pulled out the 200 years special against Immortals on his Aphelios. Tactical has been a game changer for TL and has let them ascend back to a powerful force in the LCS. There’s no better support for him than CoreJJ, who has mentored him and let the prodigy develop into one of the best ADCs in the LCS.
Bang & Huni
The Koreans of EG, reunited after their split from 2017 SKT. Huni has been a wildcard since he has been in NA, and had an abysmal performance on Spring Dignitas. On EG, he’s looked questionable in academy, but had a breakout game on Gangplank against Cloud9. It’s seriously impossible to judge his power level relative to the rest of NA. On the other hand, Bang has been consistently top 3 ADCs, but perhaps has been held back by his supports thoughout his time in NA: Aphromoo looked lukewarm on 100 Thieves, and Zeyzal is not a player known for his strong laning phase. Otherwise, he’s a great ADC to have in teamfights. If EG can survive through midgame and let Bang ramp up, EG have this game in the bag.
Tactical & Jensen
Yeah, back to Tactical. These two are the likely ones to earn big on Friday, they’re the primary force that has leveraged TL their victories. Jensen’s Azir is a legitimate threat to each team in the LCS, and it’s going to take some innovation from the other teams in order to find a solution. Tactical has been the X-Factor for TL and pushes them up a peg over the other mid table teams, his propensity for making the big play that swings the tide of the game is absurdly high. Jensen is consistency, while Tactical adds in that extra push that TL needs to win the close games.
Top Picks: Jensen, Tactical, CoreJJ
An all TL line up rounds out the top picks. Each of these players are capable of contesting Cloud9’s players for best in their position, but have different playstyles relative to their competition. Jensen especially stands in opposition to Nisqy’s “lane avoidant” play style. If TL can keep it up, each of these guys are in contention for MVP voting, hands down.
Top Value: Insanity, Xmithie, Solo
In the bargain bin holds two senior citizens in Xmithie and Solo, and infant Insanity. Xmithie and Solo are the more stable, easy going players in their roles. Solo plays a great weak side style but is capable of switching it up if he needs to, while Xmithie is a low resource, giving kind of jungler, but is also capable of pulling out the Graves when applicable. I definitely think that Xmithie is a good jungler for Insanity to have, and his experience and giving nature has allowed Insanity to flourish into the promising star that he is becoming. Insanity may just curbstomp Goldenglue on the day, but I hesitate to give him a full endorsement due to Jensen also being capable of really man-handling FlyQuest.