League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): Aug. 1
Christopher Troeh guides you through Saturday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
Saturday pits Team Liquid against a falling CLG, the wildcards Golden Guardians and 100 Thieves versus upper tier teams in FlyQuest and Cloud9, and two teams struggle for play-off entrance in IMT vs DIG
Between all of these match-ups, there’s a big one that stands out: TL vs CLG. While GG and 100 have shown capable of punching far above their weight class, CLG is the old man of the LCS and has been plummeting down the standings. Meanwhile, Team Liquid is sitting comfortably at the top of the standings. There’s countless reasons for the failure of CLG, but a big component is their bottom lane in Stixxay & Smoothie, meanwhile, Team Liquid’s bottom lane is perhaps the biggest reason for their success across the season. Tactical has been a great pick up for Team Liquid and has catapulted them from 9th place. If none of this convinces you, we’d recommend picking up PowerofEvil in his stead, who is facing off against the weak Ryoma this week.
Alternatives to consider: PowerofEvil ($11,400)
Licorice is overpriced, and likely not worth his price tag, but there is a good reason for picking him up: he’s not as volatile as other choices. While Licorice still has his off games, they’re not nearly as “off” as a player like V1per or Ruin. Additionally, it’s also extremely easy to save cash on other picks on Saturday: there’s no other top laner really worth looking into to not lose your investments across the map, but if we did have to choose one, we’d recommend FlyQuest’s Solo, who is another stable top laner. The difference is, while Licorice is facing down a relatively weak Hauntzer, Solo is facing a fantastic player in Ssumday.
Alternatives to consider: Solo ($6,400)
Speaking of “saving”. To bet against Cloud9 is suicidal, but if there’s one player who’s capable of contesting for #1 jungle, it’s Closer. Coming off a 2-0 week, Golden Guardians has struck gold with their Turkish import, he’s a verified carry and someone who is willing to risk it all to get a victory. He’s one of the cheapest players on the day and punches far above his weight class, and is a massive reason why Golden Guardians has put themselves on the map. If you’re not willing to bet against the 2020 Spring MVP, we’d recommend picking up Santorin or Broxah if you have the money, particularly Santorin. Contractz has been good for 100 Thieves, but Santorin has been capable of controlling aggression in the past and is likely the victor in the match-up
Alternatives to consider: Santorin ($7,000)
After EG’s apparent explosion, FlyQuest’s stock has been rising rapidly. This culminated in a deathless week for PowerofEvil last week, and he faces off against the most apparent weakness on the 100 Thieves roster in Ryoma on Saturday. We’ve railed against Ryoma enough, but PowerofEvil thrives when he is capable of scaling up on his control mages, and Ryoma isn’t the type of player who is capable of punishing his opponents in lane. The match-up is very favored for PowerofEvil, but if you are hesitant to pick a player with a big price tag, we’d actually recommend Insanity for a different pick. While Insanity’s team hasn’t been performing great as of late, he’s the lone bright spot in the abyss that is Immortals, and his carry performances have been very remarkable.
Alternatives to consider: Insanity ($6,400)
Wildturtle’s return has been a surprising one. His poor performance in academy is excusable on the basis that he had to lane with a bottom tier support in Big. A large component for his success upon his reentrance has been his apparent synergy with IgNar, who looked lost while playing with MasH. Wildturtle is a player who isn’t afraid to go all in and flip a coin to decide the game, and while that was a large reason for his benching, MasH lacked the firepower to help push FlyQuest over the edge of their competition. While I’ve certainly been critical of Wildturtle in the past, his return is a welcome one. 100 Thieves’ bottom lane has been good, but not great. With a revitalized IgNar, Wildturtle is likely to win the match-up: that being said, if you have not yet selected Tactical, this is the place to do so. Or, if you have the money, Zven is another fantastic option in the slot.
Alternatives to consider: Zven ($8,200)
Below Vulcan and IgNar in price comes what is likely the 2nd best support in the league: CoreJJ. Mentor to Tactical, CoreJJ has regained his form in summer and has continued dominating the competition on a variety of picks. Despite Team Liquid’s weaknesses in jungle and top, their bottom and mid lane have shown capable of shouldering the weight and soldiering on to their top spot in standings. Core faces off against a weak Smoothie on CLG, and while Smoothie has looked better recently relative to spring, it’s no contest against world champion CoreJJ. If you have the money, feel free to spend it on Vulcan, but his high price tag dissuades us.
Alternatives to consider: Vulcan ($6,000)
Team Liquid ($5,600)
Team Liquid against a bottom place team is a recipe for success. Cloud9 has to face off against a wildcard opponent in Golden Guardians, and FlyQuest’s run hasn’t been as dominant as Team Liquid. Team Liquid come in at a great price and have a good match-up against their opponent, there’s not that much else to it. That being said, if you want that $400 for something else, FlyQuest is another great option here.
Alternatives to consider: FlyQuest ($5,200)
Tactical & CoreJJ
The challengers to the best in the league: Team Liquid. At the helm of their operation has been their fantastic bottom lane in rookie Tactical and world champion CoreJJ. We’ve talked at lengths about them and their success in the past, but all one needs to keep in mind is how many games Tactical has been capable of pulling back from the brink of defeat on picks like Aphelios. He’s a certified hard carry for the roster, and takes up a lower gold share relative to other ADCs. He’s definitely a player to watch on the roster.
PowerofEvil & Wildturtle
Honestly, even when MasH was doing well on FlyQuest there was something that was missing. Solo, PowerofEvil, and Santorin were each good, but FlyQuest lacked that certain “X-Factor” that would help them win losing games, or would be capable of starting out teamfights. They were too dedicated to a single style, which made them extremely predictable. Wildturtle brings the correct amount of controlled chaos to the roster. Will he flash in? Will he run into your backline? Wildturtle’s unpredictability gives FlyQuest the teeth they need in order to beat their more difficult opponents, which shows in their match against TL. PowerofEvil is the other side of the coin: he’s controlled, which can be good, but “too safe” is definitely a bad thing when it’s across the entire roster. These two complement each other very well.
Zven & Vulcan
These guys cost fat stacks, but they’re likely worth it. Golden Guardians’ ADC has been great this split relative to his mediocrity in spring, and while Huhi isn’t great, he’s servicable at times. On the other hand, Zven and Vulcan have swatted each bottom lane out of the league. While Cloud9 look a lot weaker this split compared to last, they’re on top for a reason, and a big reason is their all-star bottom lane.
Top Picks: Tactical, Zven, PowerofEvil
Two ADCs round out our top picks in King Zven and Prince Tactical. Tactical came into this season with something to prove, while Zven looked to secure his dynasty. So far, both have been fulfilling their goals nicely as they sit comfortably on top of the league. PowerofEvil is the odd man out, but I’m pretty sure “playing against Ryoma” is an advantage in itself. I feel bad for talking down on Ryoma so much, but he is clearly out of his comfort zone in North America and his skill simply does not stack up against the local competition.
Top Value: Aphromoo, Insanity, Closer
In the bargain bin comes three players everyone knows are good, but are stuck on bottom tier teams. Insanity’s carry performances have been out of this world on unique picks like AP Kog’maw and Karthus. Closer has been a big carry jungler on a variety of picks, and one of the only players who are capable of bringing the Nidalee on stage in NA. Aphromoo has allowed an absolutely awful Dignitas roster to find wins through his solid play with ADC Johnsun, particularly on his signature playmakers like Bard. I wish we could see a hypothetical team with these three players together, but I digress. Each of these players are fantastic picks so you can pick up superstars elsewhere on the roster.