League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): June 28
Ed Cann guides you through Sunday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
I love when the LCS is unpredictable as a fan, but trying to play daily fantasy it can be frustrating. While Saturday pitted some teams close in skill level against each other, Sunday should provide a little more clarity in expectations. Cloud9, Team Solomid, FlyQuest, and Evil Geniuses should all continue building their resume for Summer Split playoffs as Immortals, 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians, and Team Dignitas try to stop their spiral towards the bottom of the standings.
Game #1: 100 Thieves versus Team Solomid
Cann’s Pick: Team Solomid
Game #2: Immortals versus Cloud9
Cann’s Pick and lock of the week: Cloud9
Game #3: Golden Guardians versus Flyquest
Cann’s Pick: Flyquest
Game #4: Team Dignitas versus Evil Geniuses
Cann’s Pick: Evil Geniuses
Fantasy Value Breakdown
Cann’s Starting Lineup for 6/28
$49,700 out of the $50,000 salary cap
Captain (x1.5 Points): Bjergsen (Team Solomid)
Top: Kumo (Evil Geniuses)
Jungle: Svenskeren (Evil Geniuses)
Mid: Jiizuke (Evil Geniuses)
ADC: MasH (FlyQuest)
Support: IgNar (FlyQuest)
Team: Team Solomid
Captain (1.5x Points)
Tier 1: Zven (Cloud9/$12,600): I think this may be the captain pick for about 80% of players tomorrow. With a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 11.75 and averages north of 27 FPPG. Pulling in at least 40 points on your captain pick is a good way to start off your match. Into this new Immortals line up, Zven could easily rack up more.
Value Pick: Bjergsen (TSM/$11,100): This is a steal of a pick as long as Team Solomid doesn't revert to previous drafts. In their win against Evil Geniuses, they picked up an assassin (LeBlanc) for Bjerg and put Spica (their jungler) on an aggressive jungler. They created mayhem and an insurmountable lead mid. If they decide to relegate him back to a support mid laner like Karma or Lulu you may not get as many points in this one.
Tier 1: Solo (Flyquest/$6,600): Solo is a solid and consistent laner. What makes him a comfortable pickup here is because he wins the matchups he should win. His counterpart (Hauntzer) actually could not create a sizable enough lead in Golden Guardians loss to Immortals.Hauntzer is sporting a 1.7 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) and Solo has a KDA of 3.67. Look at the stats and feel comfortable slamming in this pick.
Value Pick: Broken Blade (Team Solomid/$6,400): with Team Solomid looking like they have a pulse after their win over Evil Geniuses, Broken Blade could really have a break out game here. Broken Blade currently has a FPPG of 17.7 and is going up against the 6th ranked top laner in 100 Thieves Ssumday. If Team Solomid drafts aggressively, they can exploit the disjointed nature of 100 Thieves.
Tier 1: Santorin (Flyquest/$7,200): With the question marks in how the new Immortals team will look, the safer play may be to take the Flyquest jungler playing into an underperforming Golden Guardians who have only found one win so far this split. Closer (Golden Guardians’ jungler) currently has a FPPG of just over 12 while Santorin is over 30. Pretty good point differential to go off of.
Value Pick: Svenskeren (Evil Geniuses/$6,600): While Sven is only averaging 17 FPPG, it should be noted that Evil Geniuses are just getting into the softer part of their schedule beginning with Team Dignitas. Team Dignitas has had inconsistent play out of Akaadian, with him only having a FPPG of 9.6. Evil Geniuses will make a hard bounce back in this match because of their embarrassing loss to TSM and Svenskeren will play a large part in this.
Tier 1: Nisqy (Cloud9/$8,200): Congratulations are in order for Immortal’s new mid laner (Insanity) for picking up his first win over Golden Guardians on Saturday. And now that the pleasantries are over, you need to face off against Nisqy and that will not be easy. Nisqy has a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ration) of 10.33 and a FPPG of 32 into established mid laners. Go off king. Have a day.
Value Pick: Bjergsen (Team Solomid/$7,400): If you did not heed my advice to take him as a value captain, take him as a value mid laner. Seriously, pick him for one of the two spots for some pretty good value.
Tier 1: Zven (Cloud9/$8,400): To get a Cloud9 player in your lineup today, you are going to have to pay for it. Now I always caution playing people who are into unknowns, Cloud9 into Immortals are a safe pickup. The biggest concerns for this “risk” (Apollo and Hakuho are not anything to write home about regardless of their win over Golden Guardians) is the price tag. Anything over 7.5k can really start taking away from other areas of your lineup. So if you are taking Zven here, you need to be savvy elsewhere.
Value Pick: Doublelift (Team Solomid/$7,400): This may be the best value pickup for ADC. Team Solomid found some real progress in their win against Evil Geniuses and I think could make a strong case for a 2-0 weekend. Doublelift is averaging a FPPG of 26.5 and has stayed relatively safe averaging 2.25 deaths per game and TSM has faced off against arguably the 2nd-4th best teams in the league. With an “easier” part of the schedule ahead of them, it is a good time to hop on the Doublelift train.
Tier 1: Vulcan (Cloud9/$6,200): The only drawback to any of these Cloud9 picks are the gross price tag on them. Paying 6k+ on a support is absolutely bonkers. While he has a FPPG of 20+, it stands to reason that the first member on a team to be sacrificed in order to try to turn around a game is the support. That being said, Vulcan and Cloud9 should bring home this win against the floundering squad of Immortals.
Value Pick: IgNar (Flyquest/$5,600): I think this is a really fair price for a playmaking support. Now for daily fantasy, you don’t always need a playmaking support. In fact, in many cases they can be a liability for dying if things start going sideways. IgNar supporting MasH (Flyquest’s ADC) into Golden Guardians seems like a gift to let you spend money elsewhere. Snatch this pick up and look for him to keep pace with his FPPG of 20+.
Tier 1: Evil Geniuses ($5,800): In an effort to give you a little bit of different analysis I will sell you on the EG pick up as your team pick up. They are currently 6th in the overall standings but most analysts will place them in the 2nd or 3rd place range. They face off against the 10th place Team Dignitas who currently have no wins and average a FPPG score of only 10. Worth the pick up.
Value Pick: Team Solomid ($5,200): TSM is playing the 8th overall scoring team based on DK’s scoring system and this has not all been because of their strength of schedule. 100 Thieves look like they are playing without an identity and it shows in their lackluster matches. I think Spica and Bjergsen will continue to play aggressively together and Meteos and Rymoa will not be able to match it.
*MasH and IgNar (FlyQuest/$13,200): I am always a fan of picking up a bot lane as a pair, especially when they compliment each other so well. MasH’s playstyle allows him to be left alone while IgNar roams and gains advantages around the map. When IgNar returns to lane with MasH, he usually has a gold lead which gives FlyQuest the edge in trades and fights. Also the price here is pretty affordable for such a safe bet.
*Spica and Bjergsen (Team Solomid/$14,200): This pair will come with a big pricetag. The payoff comes in the aggressive play the Team Solomid showed on Saturday. Combined the two players scored 60 points which can be a huge swing in your daily lobby, and today they play an easier squad of 100 Thieves.
Top Picks: Literally anyone from Cloud9
I am not punting on 3rd down on this one I promise. But literally anyone from Cloud9 is a safe bet in almost any matchup. Add in the fact that they are facing off against the lowest ranked team by DK’s scoring standards, and you can see why these are safe bets.
Top Value: Bjergsen, Doublelift, Svenskeren, MasH
None of these players are the first pick or highest price tag in their role but will be able to bring you solid points without killing the salary cap. I would fill most of your positions with players around this price point/team matchup and you should be pretty solid in Sunday’s matches.
A Game by Game Breakdown
100 Thieves versus Team Solomid
This game features two teams who are in a similar position. Both are esports organizations who have relevance in multiple titles and have marquee leadership that draw people in. They also are both struggling to meet the expectations of their fanbases. They have both pulled big names to reach the heights of success they promised as well. 100 Thieves (1-4) brought in big names like former LCK superstar Ssumday (top), NA Legend in Meteos (Jungle), and the promised new wave of NA talent in Cody Sun. For TSM (3-2) they had brought in flashy European talent in Bjergsen, the solo lane carry prodigy in Broken Blade, and brought back the face of North American League of Legends in Doublelift. The problem with all of these moves from both teams? The pieces don’t seem to fit. There is a depth of talent on paper, but in application it fails to amount to much. Doublelift is due for a breakout performance for Team Solomid and I think he does just that against Cody Sun (ADC) and Stunt (Support).
Cann’s Winner: Team Solomid
Most Valuable Player: Doublelift-ADC-Team Solomid: I think this will be an overly messy game and be a testament to individual skill in some late game teamfight. With this in mind it only makes sense to project DL as the MVP of this game. The problem with Doublelift and his last few landing spots is communication and overall team direction. Two things that become less important if a game devolves into madness are communication and team direction. I think because of the overall sloppy macro play out of both teams, Doublelift will find an opportunity to remind people of his technical skill and push TSM over the hump late in this game.
Immortals versus Cloud9
What a staggering difference for both teams in their second game of the week. For Cloud9 (5-0) they faced off against arguably the 3rd of 4th best team in the LCS in Team Liquid on Friday night. They clinically showed how macro (playing the whole map and neutral objectives rather than smaller fights) will lead to more wins. Immortals on the other hand (1-4) found their first taste of success against Golden Guardians but unfortunately that may be where their happiness ends for this weekend. Immortals and Cloud9 represent two starkly different sides to the professional League of Legends spectrum. Cloud9 are transcending to a level of being a globally recognized power. They play with precision and confidence, which both are widely missing in the North American scene. Immortals have completely gutted their lineup in their win on Saturday. While it brought life to this dying team, I am not sure how much this will impact their standings at the end of the split but it was nice to see some fight out of them. This will be a tough match to watch and there will be very few positives for Immortals fans to take away from it other than what you can hope this new line up can grow into what Cloud9 is.
Cann’s Winner and lock of the week: Cloud9
Most Valuable Player: Licorice-Top-Cloud9: I rarely pick top lakers for MVP because they are frequently relegated to non-carry champions. They play tanks or champions that bring crowd control to team fights to allow other players on their team to carry. I think this matchup will be different. Licorice is NA’s first real hope to have a top laner be the focus of a team. Known for his dueling potential in lane against opponents has generated a lot of hype around this player. He picks riskier champions because he knows he is just plain better than his opponent. Licorice represents the missing piece to North American League of Legends and it is swagger, and this swagger and skill he brings will be what pushes Licorice over the new Immortal’s top laner (Allorim) and Immortals today.
Golden Guardians versus Flyquest
This is it for Flyquest (4-1). Pick up a win versus Counter Logic Gaming on Friday and one against Golden Guardians on Sunday and they have a cushion going up against some of the top competition in NA next weekend. I think this will fully be on their minds and unfortunately this will be to the demise of Golden Guardians (1-4). Golden Guardians could be the bridge for esports into popular culture due to the ownership of this team being NBA team the Golden State Warriors.They could pave the way into blending the viewership of esports and traditional sports because of this relationship but instead they seem to find new ways to disappoint. They have tried to pick up top tier talent in former and current players like NA legend in Xspecial, European journeyman in Froggen, and bringing in the once light of NA in Hauntzer. Nothing has seemed to stick and it seems like they are trying to build a roster now much like their NBA counterparts, by building from within. The problem with this tactic is that it can take a lot of time and a little bit of luck to pull off.
Cann’s Winner: Flyquest
Most Valuable Player: MasH-ADC-Flyquest: Since taking the reins for ADC duties for Flyquest from WildTurtle, MasH has solidified his spot for a long time. In his 3 games this split he and Flyquest are 3-0 and he has a 13.67 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio). MasH and Flyquest’s support IgNar have been on the same wavelength and have rolled through most early games with little to no stress. I have zero faith in the Golden Guardian’s bot lane of FBI (ADC) and huhi (support) who have looked very hot and cold this split.
Team Dignitas versus Evil Geniuses
This feels like it will be a repeat of the Immortals and Cloud9 game from earlier in the day. Team Dignitas (0-5) continues to play without identity and instead play as if they are 5 random players who found themselves on the same side of the lobby. I think the strength of Team Dignitas is their two junglers in Aakaadian and Dardoch who are two younger LCS players who came into the league with a chip on their shoulder. They are aggressive and rely on their own personal skill to make plays for their team. The issue? The talent on the rest of the team is just not the same. On the other side, Evil Geniuses (3-2) has almost too much talent. Trying to come up with a strategy against this team has to be an absolute nightmare. With players who are a legitimate threat across the map, how do you create a game plan? With Jiizuke in the mid lane, Bang and Vulcan in the bot lane, and Svenskeren in the jungle. Arguably the biggest question mark for Evil Geniuses is their top laner Kumo, and he has been a shining light in the last few games! Be sure to be on time when turning this on this match because it will not be a long game.
Cann’s Winner: Evil Geniuses
Most Valuable Player: Kumo-Top-Evil Geniuses: Two top lane MVP’s in one week? Am I feverish? Yes and then no. Two top lakers to truly step up this week and one of them is Kumo. I am not feverish, I am looking at the dysfunction of Team Dignitas’ top laners right now and how they cannot find someone who will make an impact. I think both V1per and Lourlo have strengths but need an immense amount of resources and help to get to a point where they have significance. For a team to devote serious resources to you, Kumo doesn’t need Svenskeren to babysit his lane but if he comes, Kumo can turn that into a monumental lead. I am looking forward to seeing Kumo play another beefy brawler and roll over whomever gets stuck with having to play top for Team Dignitas.