League of Legends LCS Playoffs: Aug. 13
Christopher Troeh guides you through Thursday's League of Legends North American Championship Playoffs (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
The first two quarter finals match features a fiery match-up between TSM (4th seed) and Golden Guardians (5th seed), and FlyQuest (3rd seed) and Evil Geniuses (6th seed). The higher seeds are definitely favored to win, but there are several good picks from the lower seeds as well!
One of, if not the, biggest gaps on the day is between FlyQuest and Evil Geniuses’ mid laners. PowerofEvil has been on fire this year, while GoldenGlue appears a clear downgrade relative to Jiizuke. While PowerofEvil may only have the 3rd highest KDA, he has the highest CSPM by a long shot, nearly .4 CSPM over the 2nd highest starting player. Meanwhile, GoldenGlue has the second lowest KDA out of any starter, and it’s not as though his jungler Svenskeren does much to support the struggling mid laner. PowerofEvil is definitely an excellent choice for captain, especially since he doesn’t break the bank either. If you’re looking for an option elsewhere, you cannot go wrong with WildTurtle, who is another member on FlyQuest. While Bang has been a relatively good ADC this split, Bang and Zeyzal critically lack threat in lane, and are prone to falling behind before they hit the mid game. On the other hand, WildTurtle and IgNar have been a fantastic lane that is capable of snowballing the map off of IgNar’s great roams elsewhere.
Alternatives to consider: WildTurtle ($11,400)
Solo was our week 9 Sunday pick and while Maokai isn’t the most favorable pick, it’s impossible to be upset at a 3-2-11 scoreline. Solo holds the 2nd highest KDA out of all starting LCS top laners, and he completely turned last season around for a FlyQuest that was going through free fall going into the post season: FlyQuest would end up achieving 2nd place with Solo, and he was an upgrade over V1per. When FlyQuest was stalling in the middle of summer split, Solo was certainly a player that appeared to hold his own within the chaos, and between the players who are hot and cold such as Broken Blade, Huni, and even Hauntzer, Solo clearly stands tall. If you’re looking for a second option, we’d have to recommend Broken Blade: Hauntzer has not been having a great season, and while Broken Blade isn’t much better, the champions that are acceptable picks in the current meta game are much more favorable to Broken Blade as opposed to Hauntzer.
Alternatives to consider: Broken Blade ($6,600)
Closer is our “cheap pick” on the day. Spica hasn’t been a bad rookie jungler, but he is in need of further polishing. Meanwhile, Closer was a smash hit for Golden Guardians and is a primary reason for their success. While Closer’s middling 3.27 KDA isn’t outstanding, he definitely has that “it” factor that lets him pop off when Golden Guardians needs it most. Damonte has been a massive benefit for Closer, and the early game plan for Golden Guardians is definitely dictated by what Closer seeks to do around the map. Many junglers play for this team, but Golden Guardians plays for Closer, which is a great reason to pick him. Furthermore, Closer is the cheapest jungler on the day, isn’t on a “main team” that you’re looking to pick other players from, and gains the full attention of early game resources from his teammates. If you can afford it, Santorin is going up against an extremely weak jungler this split in Svenskeren. EG likely have the worst mid jungle 2v2 in the league aside from maybe CLG, so he’s definitely another top pick.
Alternatives to consider: Santorin ($7,000)
While Damonte played well when TSM and Golden Guardians matched up in week 9, Bjergsen was a standout player on LeBlanc. Futhermore, Damonte got his choice of match-up, and was unable to contain Bjergsen on one of his signature picks: Bjergsen is head and shoulders above most mid laners in the LCS, and while PowerofEvil has the favorable match-up against the much weaker Golden Glue, Bjergsen is definitely the second option here. Bjergsen holds the 2nd highest KDA of all mid laners, and is the biggest reason for the resurgence of TSM, he’s a fantastic pick for mid lane despite his price tag being extremely high. Otherwise, you want PowerofEvil on your team too, so make sure to pick up him!
Alternatives to consider: PowerofEvil ($7,400)
It feels like each time we’ve talked about Turtle, we’ve hit the same points: he was out, he’s back, he saved FlyQuest this split, but the numbers tell the story themselves. FlyQuest is going into play-offs with the longest win streak at 6 straight wins. After Turtle’s return, FlyQuest only dropped a single game to Cloud9, and bested first place Team Liquid. They only improved with time and have raised no indication of slowing down. WildTurtle has the highest KDA of all ADCs at an absolutely astounding 9.64. We’ve been down on Turtle before, but he has completely shown back up with his return and FlyQuest is looking at a deep run in this play-offs, perhaps even capable of reaching their second consecutive grand finals off the return of Turtle. If you’re looking for a different ADC, we’d recommend FBI over Doublelift: FBI is much cheaper, and played respectably in their match against TSM week 9. That being said, it’s very difficult to recommend a second ADC when the 2nd and 3rd are so closely matched.
Alternatives to consider: FBI ($7,000)
Treatz is a great pick due to the limitation of picks from a single team, but don’t be mistaken: Treatz rejuvinated TSM and is insanely good. He holds the highest KDA of the entire league at an absurd 11.67, for reference, the before mentioned WildTurtle is 2nd! IgNar may have the easier match-up on the day, but it is extremely hard to choose between the two, but since FlyQuest’s members are generally more valuable, picking Treatz here is a no-brainer. There are a few concerns about how Treatz may fair in an LCS play-off environment, and while his experience in EU Masters and NA Academy should have prepared him for it, there’s no telling for certain. Either supports are fantastic, we’d highly recommend Treatz, but there’s no shame in going for IgNar either.
Alternatives to consider: IgNar ($5,400)
This is the objective best pick: FlyQuest are not only cheaper, they’re also a higher seed. It’s a complete steal. While FlyQuest are definitely on the slow side of teams, they’re very good at setting up for, and securing objectives. FlyQuest play relatively clean games, which is very beneficial for team picks. Furthermore, the distance of skill between EG and FLY is much greater than between GGS and TSM. There’s not much else to say, FlyQuest is an amazing option. If you see something we don’t (or you somehow want to fit in another FlyQuest member) we’d recommend picking up TSM here, who are also favored to win over GGS, judging by their week 9 performance in the match-up.
Alternatives to consider: Team SoloMid ($5,400)
Treatz & Bjergsen
This is a stack we’ve talked at lengths about in the past: Treatz is an aggressive, micro managing support that increases his team’s effectiveness by allowing them to focus on their mechanics. TSM does really seem to have faith in Treatz to lead them, and while Bjergsen was already on the upswing for this split, he’s improved even further with Treatz by his side. As they’ve played more, it’s apparent that Treatz and Doublelift’s synergy has also improved, furthering Treatz’s own performance. You would really regret passing these two up.
PowerofEvil & WildTurtle
Another familiar stack, these two in the high econ positions of FlyQuest make for really strong teamfight threats for the team. FlyQuest generally take the game slow and steady, as seen by their high KDAs across the board, even above teams like Cloud9 or Team Liquid, who are above them in the standings. WildTurtle is a standout case, however, in the fact that he is actually relatively aggressive compared to the rest of the LCS ADCs. All and all, these two are just really solid options for your carry roles on the day: PowerofEvil or Bjergsen isn’t a decision we really want to make.
Closer & FBI
Similarly, these two are the biggest earners on Golden Guardians. If there is to be a massive upset over TSM, it’s going to come off the back of these two: Doublelift is a great ADC, but there are situations where the enemy seems “in his head”. Think PowerofEvil Orianna ults, or Crown Viktor lasers. While Doublelift doesn’t really seem to tilt domestically, FBI, the OCE Import of all people, may already hold the silver bullet in his hand to tilt Doublelift: imagine the mental stress losing a game to a team that involves Huhi in the support position. Ouch.
Top Picks: PowerofEvil, WildTurtle, Bjergsen
It’s no mystery that LCS is one of the slowest regions, worldwide. North American teams and their incapability to close out games early has been to the benefit of FlyQuest, who basically made late game their gimmick. It’s very rare for a team to have a carry in the jungle, particularly when they also have a carry in mid lane… and bottom lane… but when the game gets to be that late, everyone has enough gold to become a carry in themselves. Evil Geniuses are another team which revolve around the late game, but their inferior players and lack of cohesiveness have left them floundering. FlyQuest is the best team on the day due to this stylistic advantage, and Bjergsen is an MVP candidate who is matching off against a mid laner who is at the whim of his jungler.
Top Value: Closer, PowerofEvil, WildTurtle
The fact that many TSM members are priced higher than FlyQuest members is still absurd to me. I have nothing left to say about the FlyQuest players, but Closer is a unique case. I’ve talked at lengths about him before, but he is the keystone that holds Golden Guardians together: without him, I guarantee that Golden Guardians would not be in play-offs, much less 5th overall. This is the player who has lent Golden Guardians a fighting chance, and breathed life into them. FBI is by no means bad, but he would not be capable of thriving without the X-Factor that is Closer.