League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): Aug. 9
Christopher Troeh guides you through Sunday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
The regular season of the LCS reaches its conclusion on Sunday. TSM and Team Liquid battle for honor- with TSM looking to reach second place. Cloud 9 tries to grip onto what’s left of their season against CLG. EG vs 100 Thieves is a close match between two lower mid table teams, and FlyQuest is expected to mop the floor with the last place IMT.
The return of the Turtle for FlyQuest has salvaged their season. While WildTurtle looked questionable in his first few games earlier in the season, he was the spice that FlyQuest needed to complete their game: WildTurtle brings the necessary amount of aggression. IgNar and WildTurtle are a lane that’s fantastic at crushing inferior laners, and one of the few lanes that are actually threatening in the early game. Immortals’ bottom lane has been painfully bad this split, likely the worst in the league. It’s a recipe for success for the Turtle. If you’re looking on the cheap side for Captain in order to build a more well-rounded team, Blaber might be the right choice for you. Fragas was the worst jungler in NA Academy, and he struggled to defy that reputation on Saturday when he started in LCS.
Alternatives to consider: Blaber ($10,800)
Solo has quietly performed himself into being one of the best top laners of the split, and perhaps just being #1 flat out. While FlyQuest faced inconsistency mid-way through the split, Solo was evergreen in the face of his underperforming teammates. While Solo did nothing to ameliorate the lack of aggression that FlyQuest had, he did manage to hold strong throughout each game they played. While “consistency” may not be an intrinsically valuable quality to someone who’s concerns are chiefly statistical in nature, Solo’s opponent in Allorim has just been flat out bad. Solo may be a stereotypical “stable” top laner, but he’s more than capable of shoving his opponent’s face in the dirt too when he’s permitted. Allorim has been the punching bag of the LCS, as sad as that is. If you’re looking for a different top laner, we’d recommend Ssumday. EG’s win on Saturday looked unconvincing, and while 100 Thieves is the definition of “unconvincing”, each of their players do show promise at points, and the most prolific of these has been Ssumday.
Alternatives to consider: Ssumday ($5,600)
Contractz has been on and off through the season, but there’s actual a pretty general trend 100 Thieves follows: Contractz is exemplary at running over enemy junglers who are aggressive (such as Blaber) without the support of their teammates, or junglers who try to play a more controlled style without their team backing them up (Xmithie). Either way, 100 Thieves have been on a rollercoaster this split, and Contractz has been no exception. The real selling point for Contractz is he has the opportunity to play against Svenskeren, and Evil Geniuses are a team that have very clearly had a hard time backing up Svenskeren’s plays. Combined with Svenskeren having a bad split in general, and the writing is on the wall for EG. If you can afford him, two great pick-ups would be Blaber or Santorin, but we’d favor Santorin due to FlyQuest having the tendency of farming KDAs due to their above average game time, courtesy of their slow pace.
Alternatives to consider: Santorin ($7,000)
Hotly contested matches are usually to be avoided, but there’s a good reason to pick Bjergsen: he’s the most consistent positive out of each mid-laner on the day aside from perhaps PowerofEvil. While Jensen is no slouch, Bjerg’s return to form is the reason why TSM is currently in contention for 2nd place, ahead of Spring champions Cloud9. Furthermore, Bjergsen is an absolute steal at only $7,000 for a mid-laner. While TL is favored to win, if TSM are to complete their return arc, it’ll be on the final day of the regular season, and it will very likely be through Bjergsen himself, how poetic. If you have the money to shell out, PowerofEvil is another brilliant choice, but you also can’t go wrong with the face of the NA LCS, Bjergsen.
Alternatives to consider: PowerofEvil ($7,800)
Cody Sun ($7,000)
Cody has been having a down split recently, but there are plenty of good reasons why he’s a great option on the day: Bang and Zeyzal have been totally inert in lane, and Cody Sun is an archetypal ADC in the regard that he’s more than capable of delivering tonnes of damage in teamfights. Cody was NA Bang before Bang stepped foot onto the continent, and with advantages elsewhere on the map, Cody is primed to take down Bang on Sunday. While Bang may be the better ADC, the pressure isn’t all on Cody to win the game like it is on Bang, which alleviates stress from Cody. If you’re looking for a straight up “better ADC”, we’d recommend Zven whose final game is against CLG. C9 looked… strange against Dignitas, but surely they’ll do well against CLG, right? Surely. NA LCS has been inconsistent, but Cloud9 losing to CLG would be egregious.
Alternatives to consider: Zven ($8,200)
IgNar is the wildcard on FlyQuest, and their bottom lane is the gas in their engine. MasH’s introduction really stagnated FlyQuest’s game plans, but now that WildTurtle has returned, FlyQuest is back on top. IgNar holds the fourth highest KDA in the league, and he has a high propensity to smash inferior lanes: and Hakuho is about as close to the definition of “unthreatening” as one can get at this point. FlyQuest are on their victory lap on Sunday, and IgNar is a solid choice for support. Realistically, there are two alternatives: Treatz has the highest support KDA in the league- but he’s only played 7 games and he faces his biggest opponent yet in CoreJJ. Thankfully, he’s on the cheap side. On the other hand, Vulcan has a similarly fantastic KDA, and is facing off an abysmal support in Smoothie, but he’s definitely on the expensive side. All and all, our secondary recommendation has to go to Treatz, who’s been a breakout star since his graduation from Academy.
Alternatives to consider: Treatz ($4,600)
As stated before, FlyQuest are on their victory lap and their final hurdle is the last place Immortals. FlyQuest have successfully tied up their loose ends before play-offs and they seem like a threatening opponent for anyone who is unfortunate enough to face them. One final kernal of evidence is the fact that Team Liquid’s last defeat was dealt to them from FlyQuest themselves. Between FlyQuest, TSM, and Team Liquid, play-offs looks exciting in North America as the top teams find their consistency. If you want to bet elsewhere, there’s no conceivable way Cloud9 lose to Counterlogic Gaming, particularly after their mid jungle substitution. Tuesday looks servicable, but Fragas has looked completely lost this split.
Alternatives to consider: Cloud9 ($6,000)
WildTurtle & IgNar
The WildTurtle effect is definitely something worth looking into, while FlyQuest was floundering with an ADC that didn’t seem terrible, it ironically took their old ADC to rejuvinate FlyQuest. Alongside him is IgNar, who failed to pair well with MasH’s more defensive playstyle. WildTurtle and IgNar are the correct amount of “explosive” for the otherwise inert FlyQuest, and as such, they are capable of racking up kills quickly alongside each other.
Treatz & Bjergsen
To those who have watched academy, Treatz is a familiar name and a certified superstar. His addition to TSM’s main line-up was met with initial skepticism, since support Biofrost was a fan favorite, but the numbers speak for themselves: #1 KDA is no fluke. On the other hand, Bjergsen’s redemption has pushed TSM back into relevancy after 2 and a half years of neglect. Either way, these two have made a statement: TSM is back. Their opponents in Jensen and CoreJJ are their final test to see if they really have what it takes to reclaim their former glory, but their past performances relative to their competition have shown that the match against Team Liquid will go the full mile.
Blaber & Nisqy
Going to be honest: Fragas is just that bad. I’m sorry, it’s so mean, but I’m serious. I don’t know what CLG was thinking substituting out their best player for Tuesday and their starter for what is the worst jungler in Academy. Nisqy and Blaber are expensive, but their competition is not up to par for LCS: mostly Fragas, Tuesday had looked servicable on Saturday. Both of these guys are expected to roll their competition and perhaps allow DIG a chance to squeeze themselves into play-offs.
Top Picks: Solo, WildTurtle, IgNar
An all FlyQuest top 3 rounds out our top picks on the day: Immortals have had a promising talent in mid laner Insanity, and an occasional threat in jungler Xmithie. Apollo and Hakuho have shown back up sparingly, but they’re very clearly on their way out, unfortunately. Meanwhile, FlyQuest are riding the longest win streak of the league. Allorim has had a hard time against most top laners in LCS, and Solo is seemingly unwavering in his success and faces little challenge from game to game from his opposition. All and all, these three are the ones that face the most disparity between their own skills and their opponents on the day in their favor.
Top Value: Bjergsen, Treatz, Ssumday
Bjerg and Treatz are understandably undervalued due to being up against first place Team Liquid, just as several members of Team Liquid are undervalued due to facing off against third place Team SoloMid. The odd man out here is Ssumday: 100 Thieves have been a curious case in LCS, and is in many ways a microcosm of the league. Just as you think 100 Thieves have fit their pieces together, they fall apart. Ryoma has been inconsistent, Poome needed more time in academy, Contractz can lose his cool in game, but Ssumday is a special case: he has the highest KDA of all starting top laners in the league. On the 7th place team, that’s absolutely absurd. Ssumday is once again a solid player on an otherwise lacking 100 Thieves, just as he has been for splits in the past.