League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): June 27
Ed Cann guides you through Sunday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
There is more and more intrigue in the LCS with teams settling into what will become the pecking order of the power rankings. On top of those rankings are Cloud9 and what feels like a distant second is Evil Geniuses. Friday we saw Team Liquid appear to keep it close only for Cloud9 to show them how much more important macro play (playing neutral objectives and not focusing on kills) is to League of Legends. Today will be about the middle to the bottom of the pack deciding where each of the teams belong. Immortals shook up the team by getting rid of the coach and general manager hoping to shake things up. Team Dignitas, Golden Guardians, and 100 Thieves are all trying to distance themselves from the bottom of the league.
Game #1: 100 Thieves versus Counter Logic Gaming
Cann’s Pick: Counter Logic Gaming
Game #2: Team Solomid versus Evil Geniuses
Cann’s Pick and lock of the week: Evil Geniuses
Game #3: Team Liquid versus Team Dignitas
Cann’s Pick: Team Liquid
Game #4: Golden Guardians versus Immortals
Cann’s Pick: Immortals
Fantasy Value Breakdown
Cann’s Starting Lineup for 6/13
$48,500 out of the $50,000 salary cap
Captain (x1.5 Points): Bang (Evil Geniuses)
Top: Kumo (Evil Geniuses)
Jungle: Svenskeren (Evil Geniuses)
Mid: Eika (Immortals)
ADC: Tactical (Team Liquid)
Support: Gate (Immortals)
Team: Evil Geniuses
Captain (1.5x Points)
Tier 1: Jensen (Team Liquid/$12,000): Team Dignitas should be easy work for Team Liquid, especially after having to face Cloud9 on Friday night. Jensen has been consistent since his exodus from Europe and entrance to the North American scene. He is the 6th player to reach 1,000 kills in the LCS and he will pick up a few more off of Froggen and Team Dignitas.
Value Pick: Tactical (Team Liquid/$11,400): Tactical is one of the best ADC’s in the LCS. The discussion of whether or not Team Liquid made the right choice with parting ways with Doublelift is over. It was the right move, but now it is up to Team Liquid to figure out how high his ceiling actually is. Johnsun is generously described as one of the bottom tier ADC and I expect Tactical and Corejj (support for TL) to take full advantage of Team DIgnitas.
Tier 1: Kumo (Evil Geniuses/$6,200): With Evil Geniuses bringin in Huni, there was nothing but pressure put on Kumo to perform. Instead of folding and crumbling, it seems like Kumo has refined himself into a diamond. He plays aggressively and shows how top laners can influence the entire map with the pressure he creates. A very expensive pick up but going ino Team Solomid’s Broken Blade should pay off.
Value Pick: Ruin (Counter Logic Gaming/$5,800): Ruin has had very similar impacts on the LCS as Kumo, he just hasn’t had the team around him. While Counter Logic has had a much better start to the split, when against better competition they slow down. Ssumday is not at his prime and 100 Thieves is not a top tier team which means Ruin and CLG should have a decent showing.
Tier 1: Svenskeren (Evil Geniuses/$6,800): Svenskeren has been the key to EG’s fast start. With the Cloud9 game taken out of the equation, he has a 4.6 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) and can play a wide range of champions. TSM’s Spica is at a 3.6 KDA and a staggering lack of objectives secured. Svenskeren loves being gank heavy and will apply pressure to his lanes throughout the game.
Value Pick: Potluck (Immortals/$5,800): If I am going to believe in Immortals picking up their first win, it is going to begin with Potluck. While his KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) is tough to look at, I think there is a reason why Immortals brought him in. He plays without fear which is not always the case with new players but he needs the supporting cast to provide a little more support.
Tier 1: Jensen (Team Liquid/$8,000): In their loss to Cloud9 on Friday, Jensen put on a show. With his Twisted Fate pick, Jensen was constantly moving throughout the map picking up kills and assists for Team Liquid. What ended up sinking TL was the ability to control neutral objectives. Against Team DIgnitas this will not be an issue. I want to see Jensen in a roaming champion and work alongside Broxah (jungler) to help secure more wins for the Team Liquid side.
Value Pick: Pobelter (Counter Logic Gaming/$7,000): I do not think Counter Logic Gaming is a top tier team but as far as a mid tier team, they seem to be proving their worth. In their loss to Flyquest, Pobelter struggled on the Galio but found ways to still contribute to his team. Put him against the likes of 100 Thieves and Ryoma, I think Pobelter should have a better day all while having to spend less on the mid lane position.
Tier 1: Bang (Evil Geniuses/$7,800): You may feel tempted to pick up Cody Sun but Bang into TSM is a safer pick up here. It is clear that there is something wrong with Doublelift and TSM is paying the price. Bang and Zeyzal have had their run over most of the LCS while Doublelift has a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 3.67 and Biofrost a KDA of 2.69. Things are not working on TSM and unfortunately for them, it is working for Evil Geniuses.
Value Pick: Altec (Immortals/$6,800): With moves by the organization in the last week, it is clear that the pressure is on. I fully expect Altec to rise to the occasion. Through the first 4 games he has a .4 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) while in the Spring Split he had almost a 4 KDA. This current streak of play has to turn around and I think Golden Guardians is just the team for this to happen to. For a very cheap price you can get a historically good ADC that plays relatively safe regardless of how far behind his team is.
Tier 1: Corejj (Team Liquid/$6,000): Corejj is the best support in North America. While Cloud9’s Vulcan has a FOURTY SIX KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio), he is on a more complete team. Team Liquid is navigating building synergy with two new members over the last split and a half and through that Corejj is still holding a KDA of 7.4. He should help continue to push Tactical and Team Liquid through the rest of this split through his playmaking champion pool and knowledge of the game.
Value Pick: Gate (Immortals/$4,400): Taking out any bonuses for winning out the equation, supports should be one of the positions that you can spend a little less money on because gold is not funneled onto them through kills and CS. If Immortals can find a way to keep sOAZ awake in the top lane and Eika to get out of his own way, I think this bot lane could really begin to carry this team. Gate has proven while he normally has a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio of between 2 and 3, he is willing to sacrifice his KDA to help his team win. Immortals will need that tomorrow in their match against Golden Guardians.
Tier 1: Evil Geniuses ($5,400): Behind Cloud9, this is the most complete team in the LCS and have the most legitimate chance to go deep in a World Championship tournament. Team Solomid have a decent oyster on paper but have struggled to put anything of meaning together this split. I expect Kumo, Jiizuke, and Bang to handle the carries of TSM easily.
Value Pick: Immortals ($4,400): For very cheap you can get effectively a coin toss game between the #8 and #10 ranked teams in the league. I think there is nothing impressive in the 1-3 record of Golden Guardians and there should not be such a price discrepancy between the players and teams and if you are willing to be a little riskier with your picks, Immortals can be a pay off to set you apart.
*Tactical and Corejj ($13,600): Packaging these two together just make sense. They live and die together in the bot lane. Another benefit of picking up Tactical and Corejj together is their ability to win the 2v2 (ADC and Supports only) which can lead to major points in your lineup. Team Dignitas’ aphromoo (support) is also known to force plays to try and get his team into a game which can play into Tactical and Corejj pulling in more points for you.
*Kumo and Svenskeren ($13,000): This may be the most underrated combo to pick up but this is something to seriously consider. Kumo loves playing Volibear, who allows for early and constant aggression in lane. His ultimate allows for him to dive turrets and help pick up early kills. Svenskeren has always had very intelligent pathing (How he moves around the map) and they have abused early aggression top lane. Look for this to be a priority for Evil Geniuses against TSM and their top laner in Broken Blade.
Top Picks: Bang, Jiizuke, Jensen, Tactical
These picks will cost you a decent amount of money but are worth it. They have high value, consistency, and their matchups tomorrow heavily favor them making them a lower risk overall. Sleep easy picking up these players with their regular play and positions making them safer picks to secure points.
Top Value: Altec, Pobelter, Demonte, Bjergsen
These picks are riskier and may not secure you the bonus points for winning. The trade off for these pics is that they are relatively cheap and for some the games are relatively close. While I would not construct an entire lineup or these players, nor would I put them as your captains, they may be worth picking up to save some money elsewhere in your lineup.
A Game by Game Breakdown
100 Thieves versus Counter Logic Gaming
After an absolute dismantling by Evil Geniuses, Counter Logic Gaming (3-1) is tied for second in the LCS. You would have called me a liar if you had seen any of their abysmal performances from the Spring Split but through four games, CLG has shown some real growth. Now this is not anything to get too excited about because their three wins were against three of the worst teams in the league (Immotrals, Golden Guardians, and Team Dignitas). 100 Thieves (1-3) is about the exact opposite. With a win over league worst Immortals, they suffered losses from some of the top teams in the LCS (Cloud 9, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid). This match will give a better perspective on where these two teams actually fall. I am personally excited to see how these team stack up against each other. I think the bottom lane of CLG in Stixxay (ADC) and Smoothie (Support) have an edge over 100 Thieves Cody Sun (ADC) and Stunt (Support). 100 Thieves seems to have an edge in the solo lanes of top (SSumday) and mid (Ryoma) over CLG (Ruin and Pobelter). The deciding factors comes into play with jungler match up and how each jungler impacts the map. Look for Wiggily of CLG with his 5 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) to navigate objective fights much better than Meteos with his KDA of 1.35.
Cann’s Winner: Counter Logic Gaming
Most Valuable Player Pobelter-Mid-Counter Logic Gaming: Pobleter has a sad journey through professional League of Legends. He seems to always fall on the sword for teams when things go wrong, regardless of it actually being his fault or not. It has been a pleasure to watch Pobelter redefine himself this year on champions that push against his previous playstyles. His Twitsted Fate pick up allows him to be aggressive around the map and his Diana pick showed a flashier play style than his traditional control mids (This type of champion isn’t about showing off individual skill over an opponent but focuses more on supporting teammates while controlling waves). I want to see more aggressive play out of Pobelter and him redefine himself as a midlaner in the LCS.
Team Solomid versus Evil Geniuses
Team Solomid (2-2) is to League of Legends as the Chicago Blackhawks or Boston Bruins are to hockey. They are a cornerstone organization for professional League of Legends and from there they spread into other major esports titles. Today? Team Solomid has a shell of the dominance of what they used to have and in this game they now face a team that is a reflection of what they used to be. Evil Geniuses (3-1) has built a roster that can compete at every position. You look at each matchup and you can either instantly pick the Evil Geniuses’ player or at least make a strong case for them. TSM has hoped that acquiring Doublelift during the break between Spring and Summer split would solve their firepower issues but it seems like it has just added a bigger price tag to the issue. Evil Geniuses has found a unique collection of talent from around the world to create one of the most aggressive line ups anywhere in the professional scene.
Cann’s Winner: Evil Geniuses
Most Valuable Player Jiizuke-Mid-Evil Geniuses: Out with the old and in with the new. TSM’s mid laner (Bjergsen) has been the standard for mid lane play in the LCS since his arrival in 2014. Now it appears like new challengers approach for that title, one of which is Jiizuke. Nicknamed “The Italian Stallion” his playstyle matches that of a wild horse. He seems uncontrolled as he takes on his lane opponent and overwhelms them with constant kill pressure. When he has his lane broken, he puts a priority on roaming around the map getting teammates ahead. Bjergsen is known for staying in the mid lane and trying to control the minion wave and prepare for teamfights. Expect to see Jiizuke push Bjergsen out of his comfort zone and then roam to the side lines creating headaches for Team Solomid.
Team Liquid versus Team Dignitas
This was almost my “Lock of the Week” for today. I think Team Liquid (3-1) had a rough match against Evil Geniuses last weekend, but overall I think they are a pretty strong team. On the other hand, Team Dignitas (0-4) is horrific. I mean bottom of the barrel horrific. They had their top laner (V1per) play in a NA Academy League match… and that is not a good thing. The top lane was going to be really difficult for Dignitas to handle with Team Liquid having the former LCK superstar Impact. With a career KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 3.74, Impact is a player who can put his opponent so far behind that they can no longer have an influence on the match. Whether it is V1per or another top laner, look for Team Liquid to exploit this lane.
Cann’s Winner: Team Liquid
Most Valuable Player: Tactical-ADC-Team Liquid: Tactical is coming into his own. Even with the pretty resounding team loss to Evil Geniuses, through the first four games Tactical is boasting a 17.5 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio). He is such an intelligent ADC and works well with Corejj (Support) to establish dominance in lane and then allow Corejj to roam to other lanes. Team Liquid will make sure he is on a safe pick and will let him farm up to a comfortable power level. Tactical could easily take over this game, especially against the bot lane of Team Dignitas in Johnsun (ADC) and aphromoo (Support).
Golden Guardians versus Immortals
I want to come out in front of this take and be completely transparent. I have zero faith in either of these teams and I think you could make a case for either team. With that in mind, and as a fan of the old school Huni/Rush Immortals teams I will make the case why I think this could be a rebound week for Immortals. First, it has to be said, that Immortals (0-4) has been CLEANING HOUSE this week. They got rid of both their head coach (Zaboutine) and their general manager (Keaton) as we see there be increased pressure on players like Eika and sOAZ. The Immortals Gaming Club own successful squads in Overwatch, CounterStrike, and Call of Duty. I think this systemic shake up could lead to either some really positive results or some pretty negative ones. My thoughts for the Immortals win also has a lot to do with how poorly Golden Guardians (1-3) has looked thus far. I’ll take a week off from noting how much I think Hauntzer is a cement block in the middle of an inflatable raft and focus more on the flaws in the jungle. Closer is underwhelming at best thus far. Closer has a sub 2 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) and has only secured 10 total neutral objectives. His champion picks outside of Graves (Nidalee and Nocturne) have been questionable at best. His plays and champion picks would be akin to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bringing in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski this upcoming year and deciding to run every play out of the wing-T formation and run the ball 50+ times a game. Closer plays like he is scared and this is the reason why the Golden Guardians can’t win consistently. I would look for the more aggressive jungler from Immortals (Potluck) to push Closer around and keep him out of the game.
Cann’s Winner: Immortals
Most Valuable Player: Eika-Mid-Immortals: This is an emotional pick. Many people have called out Eika in the last few weeks about his play, which hasn’t necessarily been the most fair with the backdrop of how bad the rest of his team is. sOAZ cannot absorb any pressure and his days of carrying from the top lane seem to be over. Potluck seems decent but the botlane (Altec and Gate) are super all or nothing. I think Eika and the rest of Immortals come into this match with renewed focus and start turning this around. I want to see Eika on more aggressive champions. Immortals are spending an import slot (Each team can only bring a certain number of players from regions outside of their own) on Eika, so trust him. Allow him to fit a more carry role and play champions he can facilitate his own openings. If Immortals do this, Eika will pave the way to their first win.