League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): Aug. 8
Christopher Troeh guides you through Saturday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
The season is beginning to come to a close on Saturday for the LCS: 100 Thieves and Dignitas scramble for some final wins, CLG tries to clamor into play-offs following a 6-game loss streak against a fearsome FlyQuest, and Team Liquid have last place Immortals in their sights. Let’s get into it!
Once again, Tactical is the Captain to aim for. It feels like nearly each time Team Liquid is playing, this guy is the prime choice for the position: he’s a great laner, he is great in teamfights, and his world champion support CoreJJ is a certified stud. While FlyQuest players may look appetizing against a CLG on life support, Tactical comes in relatively cheap and he’s well worth it. Immortals look lost aside from their mid laner, and Tactical is a loaded gun ready to end Immortal’s season. Otherwise, we’d recommend PowerofEvil, who is facing off against Tuesday, a relatively weak mid laner even by academy standards who is replacing the one player on CLG who looked competent in Pobelter, but we will mention him again later.
Alternatives to consider: PowerofEvil ($12,000)
I will say it how it is: Evil Geniuses are one of the worst teams that are locked in play-offs. Subbing out Jiizuke was a deathblow for them, and Kumo is likely still better than Huni despite his propensity for having the odd good game. Svenskeren has been awful this split too, and their bottom lane is unable to overcome the hurdle that is their combined weak laning phase. Hauntzer hasn’t been having the split of his life, but he’s relatively cheap and is favored to win on the day, which makes him a good prospect to grab. Solo is much too expensive, and while Ssumday and Impact are both good, their price tags still dissuade us. If you have some extra money to through, we would recommend picking up Ssumday, who is against a weak V1per on the day.
Alternatives to consider: Ssumday ($6,800)
Closer is cheap, and while Santorin would be an amazing pick up, his price is absolutely inflated beyond belief due to the CLG substitutions. Realistically, you’re only going to be able to pick up a singular FlyQuest player in your team without making massive sacrifices elsewhere. Santorin is the second to best option, but with contemporaries like Closer also occupying the position, we’d rather take Closer. Svenskeren has been a corpse this split and many games feature him routinely getting caught out and generally failing to synergize with Golden Glue. It’s no mystery that we’re big fans of Closer, but you can’t go wrong with Santorin either.
Alternatives to consider: Santorin ($7,400)
CLG’s substitution is mind boggling. Both their academy and LCS teams are plummeting in standings, and while Tuesday has been one of their better players, Fragas has been the worst jungler in the league. Mid jungle is a 2v2, and while Santorin is Fragas’s direct opponent, it’ll likely be PowerofEvil who will reap the benefits of his weak opponents. Santorin is a farm oriented jungler who prefers to scale, but ultimately it’s mid laner PowerofEvil who acquires the majority of FlyQuest’s resources. Tuesday should be little threat to the monster that PowerofEvil becomes as he enters the late game. If you’re looking to save some money, it’s realistically between Damonte and Jensen for second pick: Jensen actually has a slight challenge relative to the rest of TL in Insanity, and Damonte is facing an extremely weak mid laner in Golden Glue, so Damonte has our secondary pick for mid laners.
Alternatives to consider: Damonte ($7,000)
WildTurtle is another name worth looking at, but FBI has just been a stud as of late. He’s had a questionable spring and beginning of summer, but FBI was clearly a player who simply needed more time in North America. Bang was a former world champion, and while it’s apparent that he has the makings of a good player, he needs a very specific team to regain his form. That team is not Evil Geniuses: their mid jungle lack that former explosive power they had with Jiizuke, and Huni is too costly for jungle resources, which Bang needs in order to ameliorate his weak laning phase. Support Zeyzal is no help, as he is another support who is prolifically weak in lane. Bang isn’t bad, but FBI has Huhi, who’s main strength is within the laning phase itself. Over all, it’s a perfect storm of disaster for Bang. WildTurtle is worth the money if you can get your hands on him, as opponent Stixxay has continuously looked bad, but he’s so absurdly expensive that FBI is the better choice for the money.
Alternatives to consider: WildTurtle ($8,200)
CoreJJ is the player that’s developed Tactical into the monster he’s become. We’ve praised him at lengths before, but Team Liquid did an outstanding job picking him up and pairing with what’s basically his soul mate in Tactical. Tactical has been developing into a Ruler-esque player that makes me nostalgic for 2017 Samsung Galaxy, where CoreJJ had won his world championship. These two are fantastic together. Hakuho isn’t bad per say, but this split has been really bad for Immortals aside from Insanity. If you’re looking for a different support, we’d recommend Aphromoo if you want to try to pick up another FlyQuest member. Johnsun and Aphromoo are in prison in Dignitas, and he’s worth more than his price tag leads you to believe.
Alternatives to consider: Aphromoo ($4,400)
Golden Guardians ($5,000)
The only match-up that could go either way is Dignitas vs 100 Thieves on the day, but there are a few reasons why picking Golden Guardians is definitely the move: Golden Guardians are a team that favors aggression, and will close out games early, while EG prefers to play for later game fights. Both FlyQuest and Team Liquid are similar, as their mid jungle features a more controlled style. Golden Guardians are the only team in the upper echelons that favors fighting for advantages as aside to the slow, Korean style “death grip” that’s favored by other teams. That being said, FlyQuest is still another excellent option due to the fact that CLG is just that bad right now.
Alternatives to consider: FlyQuest ($5,800)
Tactical & CoreJJ
It feels like any time these two are an option, they’re always at the top of the top for us. For good reason though: Team Liquid have triumphed this split after reeling into a 9th place finish in spring. They’re at the top of the standings right now, they’ve bested each team in the league and they’re on their victory lap right now. Between it all, Tactical has turned water into wine. Many forget how close Team Liquid were to falling to Immortals before Tactical single handedly brought the game back, and CoreJJ has been right behind Tactical the entire time. These two are better than Zven & Vulcan at this point, and controversial as that might be, I will stand behind that assertion.
PowerofEvil & Santorin
These two are impossibly expensive, but they’ll rack up points like no one else. Fragas and Tuesday have been weak in academy relative to their actual good players: Wind and Deus. This substitution was a bad move for CLG, and the mid jungle of FlyQuest are primed to profit. It helps that PowerofEvil and Santorin are fantastic players to begin with, but against the weakened CLG, it’s just too easy for them.
FBI & Closer
FBI and Closer are the value choice WildTurtle and Santorin, but they’re worthy substitutes. FBI and Closer are way cheaper, and Closer is in contention for MVP. Closer is the early game carry for Golden Guardians, while FBI delivers them through the late game. FBI is a leader in statistics for ADCs, and Closer has crushed each jungler he’s faced. There’s not much else to say other than the fact that Evil Geniuses move way too slow for a professional team. Plenty of North American teams lack the strength to weather the early game, and Evil Geniuses definitely fall into the category.
Top Picks: Tactical, Santorin, PowerofEvil
Not going to lie, the fact that FlyQuest are up against 2/5ths of CLG Academy greatly distorts Saturday. FlyQuest are a good team, not great, but when they’re up against the worst professional jungler in North America, things change fast. Tactical is obvious, he’s been great and IMT’s bottom lane has been boring. Not necessarily bad, but they’re too quiet: there’s been value in Apollo in the past where he’s done well in games and been capable of showing up in teamfights as a secondary carry, but he doesn’t even fulfill his role as a secondary carry anymore. If anything, he’s an anti-carry only capable of shutting down enemy bottom lane carries. Tactical is more than capable of dealing with IMT’s bottom lane.
Top Value: Aphromoo, Hauntzer, Closer
Closer being put in “value” shows how underrated he is, he’s likely the best jungler in the league, and he’s still absurdly cheap. Aphromoo and Johnsun are in prison like mentioned before, and Hauntzer is a good choice for saving money. Closer amongst these is the only player who’s likely to show up on the day: Aphromoo has the fetters of his team, and Hauntzer isn’t much of a carry player anymore. That being said, you get what you pay for with each of these players- if not more. You need to fit in FlyQuest players somewhere, and picking from these guys are valuable in order to accommodate resources elsewhere.