League of Legends Championship Series (LCS): July 19
Christopher Troeh guides you through Sunday's League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) for esports DFS contests.
Saturday LCS marked the continuation of upset season in the LCS: Cloud9 lost again, TSM fell, the floundering Dignitas increased their win streak. On Sunday, Cloud9 tries to find consistency against FlyQuest, TL fends off their first place spot against 100 Thieves, DIG tries to further their win streak against DIG, and IMT and CLG stands as a battle between two mid table teams.
Despite the turbulence experienced by the LCS, TL is the team that is capable of staying consistent. At the head of the ship is young Tactical, an exemplary ADC who has already made his mark as a top tier ADC in North America. He’s the main carry threat on the currently first place Team Liquid and he doesn’t come at an egregious price point either. Overall, he’s a fantastic pick as a captain. If you want to really go for a Hail Mary, pick up Closer. He’s been performing consistently great in jungle, and while Dignitas got the best of CLG on Saturday, Closer really ramps up the aggression to the maximum, while Wiggily has had a questionable stride this year.
Alternatives to consider: Closer ($9,900)
At this point in the LCS, it’s not really worth it to spend big on a top laner. Each top laner has been extremely flippy, but there is one top laner who’s worth the price: and it is Ssumday. He’s the only consistent piece in 100 Thieves, he’s a heavyweight, flexible top laner who can play anything without qualms. There’s no better choice. While his opponent in Impact is likely on the winning team, Ssumday is rarely the source of 100 Thieves’s defeat, and Imapct is rarely the source of Team Liquid’s victory (unless he’s on his Shen). If you have faith in C9 to turn it around, we’d recommend Licorice, but as we said, we can’t advocate spending big on a top laner.
Alternatives to consider: Licorice ($6,800)
Closer may just be the best jungler in the LCS right now, since C9’s faultering. Closer is the primary win condition for GGs who appear to be on a solid upswing right now. FBI has found his form, Damonte has been doing well, and Hauntzer has his moments. Closer is the prince of the team and the piece that holds them together, he’s a truly great jungler. If you want a different player, we’d honestly recommend Santorin. While Santorin faces off against Blaber, if there’s a player who is capable of stonewalling Blaber’s relentless aggression, it’d be him. Blaber has been faltering recently, so now may just be the perfect opportunity to bet against C9.
Alternatives to consider: Santorin ($6,000)
There’s not many other options: most other mid laners in the LCS have looked extremely inconsistent, but Jensen has had a great return to form this split. Jensen faces off against a consistently weak Ryoma. Jensen also comes in relatively cheap compared to Pobelter who had a rough Saturday, and Nisqy who is on the C9 loss streak. Team Liquid is doing great, and it’s no fluke either, and Jensen is a big factor in it. If you want to go cheap, Insanity may just be worth it. Insanity’s Karthus on Saturday almost completely carried against Golden Guardians, and the young mid laner has been a surprising performer on an otherwise weak IMT roster.
Alternatives to consider: Insanity ($6,200)
I spent the first few weeks of the LCS flaming FBI, but honestly, he’s really stepped it up in the last few weeks. FBI has been the secondary carry of Golden Guardians as Damonte has become a more reserved player who plays to Closer’s aggression. FBI’s only real shackle holding him back from the “elite tier” bottom lanes is Huhi, which has remained his eternal fetter. That being said, any time FBI can get his hands on his trademark Aphelios, the game becomes absurdly hard for their opponent to win. That being said, it may be worth it to throw your money at Tactical if you haven’t grabbed him yet. The other choices are not flattering, Zven’s price tag is too high, Stixxay has consistency issues, and the other ADCs are in unfavorable match-ups aside from perhaps FBI’s opponent, Johnsun.
Alternatives to consider: Tactical ($7,600)
CoreJJ is the mastermind behind TL’s first place position, and mentor to the young star Tactical. CoreJJ isn’t a flashy playmaker like Aphromoo this season, but he is extremely intelligent, and he’s just as capable of making high impact plays. There’s not much else I can say to sell Core, he’s a world champion, he’s the 2nd highest KDA support, and he’s more consistent than Vulcan. That being said, Vulcan is probably the one Cloud9 member that’s absolutely worth to pick up since his price tag is not egregious relative to his colleagues, and he is consistent compared to his questionable top side.
Alternatives to consider: Vulcan ($6,000)
Team Liquid ($5,600)
We’re on the Liquid train now. They are currently the most consistent team playing in LCS, they’re tied with Cloud9 for first place, and they’re on track to maintain sole possession of the spot. They face a volatile 100 Thieves, while each other team is against comparable competition. We fully endorse Team Liquid today, if you are shopping for a lower cost option, we’d recommend taking Golden Guardians who are easily able to snap Dignitas’s win streak.
Alternatives to consider: Golden Guardians ($5,400)
FBI & Closer
The two big carries of Golden Guardians, as I said before, FBI has 100% stepped it up as of late, each game he’s a great carry threat and only being held behind in laning phase due to his mediocre support in Huhi. Closer is a super star in himself, and while Golden Guardians is a mid-tier team, FBI and Closer are some of the best in their positions right now, and are in great form.
Johnsun & Aphromoo
On the other hand, Johnsun and Aphromoo have absolutely shown up to play this split and are the pieces that hold Dignitas together. The issue is they’re up against FBI, and while FBI is good, Huhi is one of the weakest supports in the league. DIG and GG, we’d believe GG to have the better overall game, and DIG to have the better laning phase in bottom lane. Johnsun and Aphromoo are a solid choice over all even if they’re not expected to win.
Tactical & CoreJJ
Tactical has been fantastic this split, and behind any great ADC is a great support, unless your support is Huhi. CoreJJ has been a top performer in summer, and while Broxah has been relatively weaker on the totem pole of junglers, the other players on Team Liquid more than compensate for their weakness in the jungle.
Top Picks: Tactical, Closer, Jensen
News is in: Team Liquid in, Cloud9 out. While there are some good picks today for Cloud9 (Vulcan), the price tag combined with their recent inconsistency, Team Liquid have a great combination of high performance and reasonable prices. Closer is a superstar, Jensen is a stable carry, and Tactical has the makings of the next North American prodigy: if Team Liquid remain first, he’ll very likely be a candidate in the MVP vote.
Top Value: FBI, Closer, Aphromoo
Back to back for Closer, but rightfully so. He’s absurdly cheap and has been absolutely popping off recently, GGs have the real potential to grow into a 5th place team in the LCS, and if the other teams don’t regain their footing, they definitely will be capable of going toe to toe with teams like TSM and stand parallel with EG and FLY. FBI has been a big reason for this growth in skill too. Aphromoo is the odd man out here, but he has had a remarkable return to form and is keeping Dignitas in the play-off race alongside his ADC Johnsun.