League of Legends LCS & LEC Playoffs: August 23
Christopher Troeh guides you through Sunday's League of Legends North American (LCS) & European (LEC) Championship Playoffs for eSports DFS contests.
Sunday finishes off this week’s LEC-LCS play-offs with TSM vs GG’s rematch in the lower bracket in North America, and RGE vs FNC’s in LEC. RGE is coming into the match holding 1st place regular season, and TSM vs GG is a rematch of the same match up earlier in the play-offs. Let’s get into it.
FBI being the top ADC statistically in the league is no fluke. Additionally, the last time FBI and Doublelift squared up, FBI left Doublelift face down in the dirt. Doublelift’s reign of terror is over, and Biofrost is likely the starter on the day if recent rumors are to be believed. TSM is fighting internally, and Golden Guardians already wiped the floor with a confident TSM earlier in play-offs. Doublelift out, FBI in. If you’re looking for a different captain, we would recommend Larssen from Rogue, but we shy away from the pick due to the relative lack of strong mid laners on the day.
Alternatives to consider: Larssen ($11,100)
Finn was totally robbed this split in all pro voting. Alphari was a no brainer, and Wunder’s return of form was a big factor in the resurgence of MAD. But Orome over Finn??? Seriously? Finn is a great top laner, he was 2nd in KDA, and was solid throughout the game, whether he received attention or not. In contrast, the other top laners on the day are so hot or cold. Bwipo, Hauntzer, and Broken Blade are either synonymous with “bad” or “inconsistent”. Meanwhile, Rogue held #1 in the regular season, and while they had a bit of a decline near the end of their run, it was nothing like what MAD had faced. Finn has been a great player throughout the year, and the other top laners on the day don’t hold a candle. If we absolutely needed to pick another player, we’d probably have to choose Broken Blade, just because of how badly Hauntzer played into Impact on Friday, but if you’re not picking Finn, you’re just choosing wrong.
Alternatives to consider: Broken Blade ($6,400)
Jungle is hard: between Inspired, Closer, Selfmade, and Spica, it’s very difficult to take a good pick. Each jungler has been good, even the ones that have had struggling teams. My line of thinking with Closer is straightforward: Selfmade and Inspired are both incredibly talented jungler, and while Spica is actually really good, he doesn’t work as well with his team as with Inspired or Selfmade. While Selfmade has the inferior team, he’s still capable of doing well in spite of them, so it may be hard for Inspired to run him into the dirt. Meanwhile, despite the fact that Closer didn’t have the series of his life against TSM last time they faced off, he’s still a great jungler and the cornerstone of Golden Guardians’ identity. Also, he’s on a team that’s less valuable than Rogue, which is great for securing players elsewhere. By all means, Inspired is a great pick too, but Closer has what we are looking for from a draft perspective.
Alternatives to consider: Inspired ($6,600)
It’s just a gap, there’s nothing else to say. Nemesis has returned to his 2019 LEC form where he looks absolutely hopeless. He had an awful mid-split and while he gained some sort of return to form at the end, that form was still solidly mid-tier. On the other hand, Larssen has been a player to watch on Rogue, and his playstyle solidly counters Nemesis’s sheepish gameplay. He absolutely obliterated Nemesis both times they played this split, and while Caps is still king, Larssen is the prince that is looking to take his throne this split in play-offs. Meanwhile, Damonte is one of the weaker players on GGs, but he’s very seldom a true liability. He plays for his jungler, while Bjergsen forces his jungler to play to him. There’s little point in choosing either of them: Bjergsen causes too much discord, but Damonte lacks his raw talent. If you had to choose one, I’d recommend Bjergsen, since he does have some of the best hands in the game.
Alternatives to consider: Bjergsen ($7,600)
If we are looking for ADCs, the memes literally write themselves. Rekkles. KDA player. It’s just perfect. In all actuality, the meme is reality. Rekkles held the highest KDA out of all ADCs at around 7. He’s too passive to be considered a true hard carry, and he always clutches his shiny score with him anywhere he goes. From a competitor perspective, he really makes me sick since he’s so selfish. From a draft perspective, his team is pretty bad and he’s one of the only players capable of playing at a high level, so he’s a great pick. Hans Sama isn’t a bad player, nowhere close- he’s fantastic. However, Rekkles just has the numbers on his side. Hans plays to win, Rekkles plays for his numbers. If you don’t have FBI, pick him up now.
Alternatives to consider: FBI ($7,000)
Sometimes it surprises me how old Vander is. He’s been in the EU LCS/LEC for 6 years, and he’s still a great player. He has by far the highest KDA out of supports, and averages under a death per game. It’s weird to think that Vander is the stronger part of their duo, but it’s true. Supports on the day are relatively weak: Biofrost is okay, Huhi is good in lane; but okay over all, and Hyllisang is too hot or cold. There’s one option that’s just better than the rest, and that’s Vander. If you absolutely needed to pick another option- like you picked Inspired for jungle, we would recommend picking up Huhi. While Huhi has been on and off like Hyllisang, playing against Biofrost who TSM are suddenly trying to reintegrate into the team seems like a big advantage on the day.
Alternatives to consider: Huhi ($5,000)
Rogue is one of the best teams in the west, only contested by G2 at this point. Their players are solid all around, and they’re just a well-rounded team. Meanwhile, FNC have clear strengths in jungle and ADC, and elsewhere are just a wet blanket. Rekkles matches up favorably into Hans, and Selfmade versus Inspired should be an absolute bloodbath, but the differences in the solo lanes are likely too much for the squad. On the other side, TSM substituting in Biofrost will make or break the team, and likely the latter. It’s better to bet on what you do know, and what you do know is that Rogue is a fantastic team. Otherwise, we’d expect Golden Guardians to once again defeat TSM.
Alternatives to consider: Golden Guardians ($4,600)
Finn & Larssen
These solo laners are diametric opposites, but they complement each other very well. Finn is a tanky, bruiser player while Larssen prefers harder carries. They ultimately set up for each other in draft: Finn brings all of the tank he needs to absorb high damage abilities from the enemy, and Larssen is extremely mechanically gifted and is capable of crushing his enemies when he has space to play with. You definitely do not want to miss out on these two.
Inspired & Vander
Big numbers between them make these two obvious, but the Polish duo do possess an innate synergy between them. Vander is solid both in lane, and around the map. He and Inspired make a very threatening jungle support 2v2 that’s capable of catching their enemies off guard and racking up kills. There’s not a lot else I have to say about them, they’re incredible players and I think Inspired’s growth owes a decent deal to Vander’s tutelage.
FBI & Closer
I’m beginning to get bored of talking about Closer and FBI. You literally cannot talk about Golden Guardians without bringing these two up, for good reason too: without them, their team would be nothing. Kaput. Closer in particular is the king of the early game in the LCS, and the way he utilizes Damonte has crushed the more control style meta in the LCS. Junglers are getting better at stopping it- all you need to see is Team Liquid, where despite getting leads early, Team Liquid flat-tired Golden Guardians. Team Liquid possess great coordination as a team however, and TSM is a team that’s famously uncoordinated.
Top Picks: Larssen, Finn, Vander
These three are easy. As previously stated, FNC have solid players in Selfmade and Rekkles, but elsewhere their team has been deadweight this split. Meanwhile, Rogue are solid from top to bottom, except for perhaps their ADC who doesn’t have the carry potential of some others. However, Hans is more than content to bite the bullet for his team. These three are the best players on the day, for sure.
Top Value: Huhi, Closer, FBI
TSM being more expensive than Golden Guardians is a sick joke. While I’d never take Huhi over Vander, there are legitimate cases for both Closer and FBI since jungle and ADC are two roles that are massively dependent on their team for success, and Golden Guardians is just a team that fits better together than TSM. They’re dirt cheap. Money isn’t an issue in this draft at all in my mind, when the “value” players are this good.