LoL World Championship Group Stage: October 11 (Worlds)
Christopher Troeh guides you through the North American (LCS) & European (LEC) World Championship Group Stages for esports DFS contests!
The group stage ends on Sunday with the final group, group D concluding. The match ups are cut-and-dry just as group B: TES are in a league of their own, with DRX a tier below. FlyQuest and UOL battle for 3rd, but FlyQuest is likely ahead of the Russian representative. Let’s get into the picks.
On Sunday we’re drafting against money: the two top teams each have absurdly expensive players, and in order to fit them all on our team we need to cut corners somewhere. Enter Pyosik, the scrappy young jungler who faced low expectations coming into the group stage. In spite of this, he holds a very impressive 9.66 KDA across the event, and has held up well even against his primary competitor: Karsa. Furthermore, his cheap price point allows us to index into TES members later in the roster. Over all, Pyosik is a great choice for captain: he slots in well with the meta, he has a solid team around him, and his statistics are high caliber. For a $300 price point upgrade, you can also select Karsa as captain; but it’ll deprive you of other players down the line. Choose wisely.
Alternatives to consider: Karsa ($10,800)
369 has shown his worth in the LPL this far: he’s a valuable member of TES, and he holds a 4 KDA this far into the tournament. He’s a solid top laner, and is easily world class with performances reminiscent of prime Gimgoon during the legendary run of FPX in 2019. While Doran may technically have a higher KDA at 5, 369 is an all-around superior player: one only needs to look back to Doran’s performance against Nuguri in the finals of LCK to watch an absolutely abysmal top lane performance by him. Doran’s KDA is inflated by a solid game against UOL, and aside from that, he’s on the weaker side of top laners at the tournament. At the end of the day, though, you’re choosing between these two: Solo and BOSS aren’t worth it.
Alternatives to consider: Doran ($6,400)
Santorin is our sack pick on the day. Relative to the other junglers in group D, Santorin isn’t actually that bad. However, he is faced with issues elsewhere: his laners are inferior relative to the competition. More specifically, Solo isn’t at world class caliber. He’s been dumpstered each game, and a few days off is highly unlikely to be the difference maker. Santorin was the best jungler North America brought to worlds, and even group D is a burden too hard to bear for Santorin. However, there are some positives: he is a relatively resource intensive jungler, and he’s been a bright spot of FlyQuest despite their shortcomings. Santorin is an ideal choice to save money with, but if you want to spend big on your second jungler, pick up Karsa: he’s a very fantastic player and worth your money, but you may find it difficult to save later on.
Alternatives to consider: Karsa ($7,200)
Knight and Chovy is a hard decision to make, each have shown impressive performances on a variety of picks, but due to the dominance TES has shown, I’d much rather stick with what’s in all likelihood, the best mid laner in the world. Chovy was a prodigy from the second he stepped on the scene with Griffin, but Knight is in a class all his own. His performance in the LPL Summer play offs can only be described as an absolute dismantling of JDG, and he’s already gotten the better of Chovy the last time the two met. Like what I said before, these two are some of the best mid laners in the world, so don’t feel bad settling for Chovy: but Knight is worth the extra money if you’re capable of spending it.
Alternatives to consider: Chovy ($7,400)
Deft has been on top since 2014 with Samsung Blue, while he’s been routinely cheated out of championships by fellow Koreans SKT and SSW, and proved to be the biggest challenge to 2018 winners Invictus Gaming, the fact that Deft is omnipresent at worlds is inspiring. Even in 2020 with his scrappy team of rookies, he is a veteran presence that lends the team stability. He’s still strong in lane after all this time, and he’s a consistent bright spot for the scrappy young DRX. He holds a solid 9.3 KDA across the event this far, with a ~+45 CSD. Deft has nearly anything you want in an ADC, and his pool is flexible in addition to everything else. The only negative someone can wage against him is he isn’t Jackeylove, and his team isn’t TES. These criticisms are true to an extent: Deft isn’t Jackeylove, but he really doesn’t need to be. He’s a fantastic player and more than capable of standing toe to toe with Jackeylove in his own right. Jackey is worth the money if you have it, but unnecessary.
Alternatives to consider: Jackeylove ($8,000)
No hate against Yuyanjia, but Keria is likely the better player. Keria’s expansive champion pool and map awareness gives him an advantage in versatility as far as composition is concerned for DRX. Pyosik looks stronger than ever, too and him and Keria have shown to dominate games together. Typically, my thought process between “DRX or TES” is usually buy TES if you can afford, but there’s nothing wrong with DRX. When it comes to support, however, I strongly believe that Keria is the overall superior choice when comparing what you’re getting for your price tag. The only world where Keria is an inferior support relative to Yuyanjia is results based: Yuyanjia is winning more, he has one of the best teams in the world at his back. Meanwhile, Keria has to do some of the heavy lifting on DRX.
Alternatives to consider: Yuyanjia ($5,600)
Top Esports ($5,400)
TES already have the advantage of coming into the day 6-0, alongside the intensive competitive spirit they hold, I highly doubt TES will drop a game, even to DRX. There does exist a chance however, that DRX rise to the occasion and swat down the Chinese super team.
Otherwise, I really don’t have anything else to say, it’s one or the other. I highly doubt we will see FlyQuest or Unicorns of Love take a game off these two, pick the one who you think will beat the other one. DRX may have advantage in Support, and Chovy may be capable of going toe to toe with Knight (same with Deft against Jackey) but Pyosik is likely inferior to Karsa, and Doran is certainly inferior to 369. Pick your poison.
Alternatives to consider: DRX($5,000)
Jackeylove & Knight
There’s no world here you are capable of picking up both of these on a single team while remaining competitive; their price tags are too steep. However, both of these players are top picks due to the absolute dominance they’ve displayed, both domestically and what they’ve shown so far in the group stage. These two together are what has pushed TES onto “championship” level, pick one up for your team.
Deft & Keria
Big brother, little brother. DRX’s bottom lane is solid, and their wide champion pools lend them versatility in what their role is in the composition. While TES do also possess a level of variance, they’re far more confined when it comes down to it: Jackeylove is a premier carry on TES, and his support being the weak link in the lane shows in the sort of compositions TES tends to draft. These two are great, and if you’re picking up Knight, it’s good to stick these two together in order to ensure a solid bottom lane.
Santorin & PowerofEvil
Santorin is an obvious value pick, but PowerofEvil is an unfortunate choice: he’s a great player, world class and can even look competitive against Chovy and Knight. Unfortunately, however, he’s a victim of his position: it’s a bad idea to go cheap for mid lane. They’re often the main carry of their team, and while PowerofEvil would be a solid choice in most other cases, he’s outshone by his competition.
Top Picks: Knight, Jackeylove, Keria
Each of these guys have proven their worth. Knight is the original prodigy of the LPL since his contract issues on Suning. He was one of the most hyped prospects since his debut, and he’s delivered. Jackeylove was 2018’s world champion and has never stopped showing the world his brilliance with his flawless mechanics. Keria is the youngest out of the three, and he is an all-around fantastic support; he plays the map very effectively, and is a strong laner on top of it. Each of these should be prioritized for your team.
Top Value: Keria, Deft, Chovy
Three DRX players top the value package: while DRX is expected to finish 2nd in their group with a 4-2 record, don’t be fooled: DRX may be a top 4 team in the tournament, and are simply locked in groups with the absolute best: TES. Don’t let one or two of these players pass you up; they’re some of the great value per buck in the tournament, and they’re only undervalued now since they need to play against the massive threat that is TES.