League of Legends European Championships (LEC): July 3
Ed Cann guides you through Friday's League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Series for esports DFS contests.
Friday’s matches are all about the middle of the pack filtering each other out. Will Fnatic continue to stumble? Will Rogue hold onto their momentum and continue to pressure MAD Lions? As teams continue to find their own ways to win, I would love to see the LEC continue their trend of early aggression and unique champion selections in preparation for the Summer Split tournament and looking towards Worlds.
Game #1: Team Vitality versus Excel Esports
Cann’s Pick: Team Vitality
Game #2: MAD Lions versus Schalke 04
Cann’s Pick and lock of the week: MAD Lions
Game #3: Fnatic versus SK Gaming
Cann’s Pick: SK Gaming
Game #4: Rogue versus Origen
Cann’s Pick: Origen
Game #5: Misfits versus G2 Esports
Cann’s Pick: G2 Esports
Fantasy Value Breakdown
Cann’s Starting Lineup for 7/3
$49,800 out of the $50,000 salary cap
Captain (x1.5 Points): Humanoid (MAD Lions)
Top: Alphari (Origen)
Jungle: Nji (Team Vitality)
Mid: Nukeduck (Origen)
ADC: Comp (Team Vitality)
Support: Destiny (Origen)
Team: Team Vitality
Captain (1.5x Points)
Tier 1: Carzzy (MAD Lions/$12,300): MAD Lions are quickly becoming the standard for European League of Legends. Carzzy is a huge part of MAD Lions’ success with his aggressive nature in lane and ability to turn off that aggression when his support roams. A lot of this comes from the fact that MAD Lions drafts for the bot lane specifically, with a 71% counterpick (Picking your position second in the draft to ensure a better match up) allows MAD Lions to find the most successful pick for Carzzy possible. He also is tied among all ADC’s in the league for FB% (First Blood percentage- participating with the first blood in any way) with a percentage of 43%. Look for Carzzy to pick you up good points this week into the League’s worst bot lane.
Value Pick: Crownshot (SK Gaming/$9,600): This is an absolute steal if you think Fnatic will continue their struggle on Friday with SK Gaming. Fnatic went 0-2 last weekend (losses were to Rogue and G2) and look both out meneuvered and outplayed on an individual level. While this weekend should be easier, SK Gaming has proven to be a formidable foe this split. I personally went back and forth on this pick because Fnatic’s ADC (Rekkles) is a better player, but I am starting to have more faith in SK Gaming this far into the split. If you are willing to risk it, you could get a great return on a cheap investment. Crownshot has the 4th highest KDA (Kill/Death/Assis ratio) in the league at 5.8 and the highest gold differential (The value of gold earned between player and opponent at the same position) at a staggering at +421... the next highest is +182
Tier 1: Alphari (Origen/$6,400): With both Wunder and Orome listed as more expensive picks, Alphari is the best pick up for the dollar amount you can get. While I think Orome (MAD Lions) arguably will have the easiest matchup tomorrow, Alphari has had an absolute monster split thus far. Through 7 games he has almost a 6 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) and has consistently out CS’d (Creep scored, or how many minions he farms in lane to generate gold) and out-experienced his opponents. The only metric that Rogue’s top laner (Finn) has a higher metric that Alphari is FB% which is at a 43%. The reason? Rogue recognizes Finn is the weakest member and they need to get him ahead early. If Rogue cannot accomplish this, Alphari is going to run away with this lane.
Value Pick: Cabochard (Team Vitality/$6,200): Generally speaking, I wouldn’t rank Cabochard as one of the best top lakers in the league. He tends to go even or slightly lose in the early game and has to put in a lot of work in late game team fights to be relevant. What makes Cabochard a worthwhile pick here is that Excel Esports is terrible in late game team fights. Over and over again, we see Excel find early game leads in lanes but completely botch large 4v4 or 5v5 teamfights. After about 2-3 of these abysmal fights, Excel loses. Look for Cabochard to pick up huge value in these teamfights.
Tier 1: Shad0w (MAD Lions/$7,200): Shad0w may be the most gank heavy jungler in the league. He is averaging being down in overall experience at ten minutes to opponents, but is averaging 57% FB% (First Blood percentage) and an overall team KP (Kill participation) of 68.3%. If MAD Lions have a good day, it is because Shad0w is constantly getting his teammates ahead.
Value Pick: Inspired (Rogue/$5,600): I have such a hard time analyzing this match. I think Origen can/will win, I feel like there is respect due to Rogue. Even with Rogue’s loss last Saturday to MAD Lions, Inspired is one of the highest ranked junglers in the league. One of the things that has me giving Inspired the nod here is the insane rating of 55.1 EGR (Early Game Rating) as compared to the EGR of Origen of 43.7. If Rogue are going to win this game, in has to be by putting Origen really far behind early and not let the likes of Upset and Nukeduck from Origen to transition easily into the late game.
Tier 1: Humanoid (MAD Lions/$8,000): This may be the last day/weekend where you see Caps more expensive than Humanoid. At this point people have stopped debating if Humanoid if a top 5 or top 3 mid laner. We are now debating if Humanoid is the best the LEC has to offer. Compared to his opponent today (Abbadagge-Schalke 04) Humanoid has 24 more kills (32-8) and 28 more assists (38-10). Humanoid, especially on his Orianna pick, has complete and total control of not only his lane, but also neutral objectives, and teamfights. Look for huge points here.
Value Pick: Milica (Team Vitality/$7,400): Milica has had a generally average split. What makes this a promising pick is the fact that Team Vitality puts a heavy emphasis on getting Milica into favorable matchups with a CTR (Counter pick rate) of 57%. Milica then takes that edge and really ensures that his counterpart cannot leave the lane and roam to other lanes. Compare that to Special of Excel, he currently has a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 1.4. Look for Milica to quietly pick you solid points in this matchup making him a decent mid lane pick but probably not the ideal captain choice.
Tier 1: Upset (Origen/$7,600): Like I said in the jungler section, this game could go either way. If it is going to go the way of Origen, it is going to be through Upset. He has the highest KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of all ADCs at a 11.3, which is almost 4 more than the second highest and almost 6 more than his opponent for this match (Hans sama-5.5). Through their 7 games, Upset has only represented 10% of all of his teams deaths but has been part of 81% of all of his teams kills. Look for Origen to invest heavily into this pick and it pay dividends for you picking him up.
Value Pick: Crownshot (SK Gaming/$6,400): I am talking myself into picking up more SK Gaming players. Through 7 games, there is only one position (jungle) where Fnatic wins the head to head in stats. Every other position it is either a coin flip (The two competitors have some but not all edges in stat categories) or a resounding edge to SK Gaming. Fnatic’s ADC (Rekkles) tends to gain an edge in actual fighting, trading damage, and KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) but Crownshot delivers in late game team fighting and positional awareness. DraftKings has a lot of value in Fnatic and I think this game is going to be very close/SK win.
Tier 1: Kaiser (MAD Lions/$6,200): Kaiser has spent the last 3 weeks establishing himself as one of the best supports in the world. Now going up against Schalke 04 on Friday, Kaiser will be able to pad his stats even more. Schalke pivoted from Nukes to Dreams 4 games ago and the bot lane has only gotten worse. The Schalke 04 bot lane (ADC-Neon/Support-Dreams) provides little to no kill pressure which should mean that Kaiser will be able to roam and get Shad0w (jungler) and Humanoid (mid) ahead for MAD Lions. Kaiser is currently +480 in regards to gold differential (Difference in gold value between player and positional opponent) while Dreams is -17. This should be a pretty clean performance for Kaiser.
Value Pick: Vander (Rogue/$4,600): It looks like DraftKings is also heavily valuing Origen even though they are the lower seed in this matchup. Researching the matchup between Vander and Origen’s support (Destiny) actually has made me worried about the pick because Vander is probably the second best performing support in the league. He has a 13.4 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) and has a shockingly low DTH% (percentage of his teams overall deaths) with 9.3% which is absolutely insane when you think about the fact that most supports are the first to engage fights and most willing to sacrifice themselves to keep their “carries” (those who output the most damage on the team) alive.
Tier 1: MAD Lions ($6,000): They are playing Schalke 04. That could be the beginning and end of this analysis but I will give you a little more. The difference in gold (GD15) should be the easiest metric to look at when comparing these two teams. MAD are +732 (2nd in the league) and Schalke 04 are at -1587 (10th in the league). This game will get out of hand quickly and MAD Lions may even be able to pick up a sub 30 minute win on this one.
Value Pick: Team Vitality ($5,000): Did Team Vitality break my heart the last time I had this much faith in them? Yes. Are they only 1 game up on Excel? Also yes. But I think the inconsistencies of Excel in this matchup in the late game are the difference. Excel Esports are great in the early game, especially compared to Team Vitality but they have absolutely no understanding of the value of dragons and barons in this meta. Excel have only picked up 34% of all dragons in their games and 22% of all barons picked up in games. These neutral objectives give huge bonus stats that heavily impact the outcome of the match and Excel just do not know how to play around them.
*Alphari and Xerxe (Top and Jungle-Origen/$12,600): This is a pretty cheap pair to pick up and I chose these two because of the emphasis Rogue puts in trying to get Finn ahead. This could get wild in the top lane and with the skill differential with Alphari, I think Origen comes out on top in this matchup.
*Jenax and ZaZee (Top and Mid-SK Gaming/$10,800): In the SK Gaming versus Fnatic match, it is the difference in solo lanes that gives SK Gaming the edge. Both Jenax and ZaZee have higher KDAs (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) than their counterparts. Nemesis (Fnatic mid laner) with a GD10 (Gold Differential at 10 min) of -379 and a KDA of 2.2 has been what most critics are pointing at as one of Fnatic’s biggest reasons for struggling thus far. Add in that Bwipo has been responsible for 29.5% of all of Fnatic’s deaths, you could see some real returns on these picks.
Top Picks: Humanoid, Carzzy, Wunder, Comp
These picks are not only strong picks but also on favored teams while also favored against their position counterpart. You will pay for these picks heavily so select them wisely and where you slot them. All of these players should be solid pick for captain.
Top Value: Crownshot, Upset, Milica, Larssen
These picks are a little more iffy. You need to look at the matchup of teams and players and decide which side you think will win more. This week has closer matchups and these picks could pay off if you choose the right side of the matchup. You should avoid picking these players as your captain pick.
A Game by Game Breakdown
Team Vitality versus Excel Esports
For two teams that are so close in the standings and record to each other, I feel like these teams are so far apart. This match will be decided on how well each of these teams can play out their strategies. For Excel Esports (2-5) they jump out to very early leads in their matches with a GD15 (Gold differential at 15 minutes, or how much gold a team is up or down at the 15 minute mark) is at 821 and they take the first turret of the game 71% of the time. The way for Team Vitality in this game is for Nji (jungler) to focus on getting them through the early game and picking up early dragons. Excel Esports’ mid laner (Special) has to start turning around his performances if Excel want to pick up more wins this split. He is currently averaging a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 1.4 and is only averaging 21% of his team’s damage which cannot happen as the carry. He needs to be closer to 30% at least.
Cann’s Winner: Team Vitality
Most Valuable Player: Comp-ADC-Team Vitality: I really like Comp as an ADC. If he was on a more complete team, I think his numbers would jump to put him in the top 5 ADCs. He currently is the biggest carry for Team Vitality and he will need a good performance against Patrik, the ADC of Excel Esports. The only main metric that Patrik has an edge is in GD10 (Gold differential at 10 minutes) and while sizable, only speaks to the fact that Team Vitality is a late game team. If you pick Team Vitality, don’t give up hope early, because post 15 minutes, they will take over this game.
MAD Lions versus Schalke 04
While I could spend as much time discussing why Schalke 04 (0-7) is terrible, I think that makes for lazy writing. Biggest thing to know about that team is that the likes of Abbadagge and Gilius were supposed to bring this team to the promised land, but alas they haven’t. And unless they begin truly rooting out the issues in the coaching staff they won’t. Instead I want to focus on MAD Lions (6-1). People need to actually talk about World Championship Tournament expectations for this team. They have young talent who play well with each other. This is not a team of high price tags that was purchased to play together. This is a team who is finding success together in the fires of the LEC. The diversity of their drafts, flexibility in who will be the focus of their drafts, and ability to accept certain defeats in a specific match but always put pressure on their opponents is unparalleled in not only the LEC, but the World. I want to fast forward to October and see these guys tussle it out with the big boys.
Cann’s Winner: MAD Lions
Most Valuable Player Orome-Top- MAD Lions: This will be a bloodbath. Orome has a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) of 7.4 while Schalke 04’s top laner (Odoamne) has a 0.7. Yes you read that correctly. Less than 1 kill AND assist per death. Odoamne made a name for himself on the previous European giants of H2K. He performed well but since going to Splyce and now Schalke 04, his performance has continued to drop off. Orome gets few resources from Shad0w (jungler) or the rest of his team and he continues to roll opponents. This should get ugly and quickly.
Fnatic versus SK Gaming
I have no idea what to make of this match. I think Fnatic (3-4) has had a disappointing year to say the least, but only a step slower than they were in the Spring Split when they started 4-3 and ended up in the Spring Split finals. The difference here is that the teams around them like MAD Lions, Rogue and this opponent SK Gaming (4-3), all look like they have taken a step forward. Nemesis (mid) and Bwipo (top) look lost in most matchups, even with their pedigree thus far. Just as surprising, SK has had players like ZaZee (mid) and Jenax (top) both step up in huge ways. I think this will be close because Fnatic may be more technically skilled; they will find a way to lose in the draft or by poor playing of objective fights.
Cann’s Winner: SK Gaming
Most Valuable Player: Crownshot-ADC-SK Gaming: This will be the game where Crownshot moves into the discussion of top 4 ADC discussion and people will have a hard time putting Rekkles (Fnatic ADC) over him. In most metrics they are a fraction of a difference apart. In terms of KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) Rekkles only has an edge by .7 and GD10 (Difference in gold between you and opponent at 10 minutes) Crownshot has a +210 edge on him. Fnatic heavily rely on Rekkles to carry them and with no clear advantage in the bot lane, this could look a lot like the G2 versus Fnatic match from last Saturday where Fnatic were run out of the gym.
Rogue versus Origen
Rogue (5-2) is a very good team. I think the likes of Hans sama (ADC) and Larssen (MId) are the real deal. The problem with Rogue? The top and jungle are not great and can be suspect to falling behind to more adept players. In their loss to MAD Lions, Larssen and Hans sama were able to hold their own in the early game, but Inspired (Jungle) and Finn (Top) were anchors on their ankles while trying to swim the English Channel. Against Origen they will face the second best top laner in the league in Alphari and one of the top junglers in Xerxe. There will be no room for error and there is no way for Rogue to hide the deficiencies in these lanes.
Cann’s Winner: Origen
Most Valuable Player: Nukeduck-Mid-Origen: In their wins, Nukeduck has been able to keep his opponent from roaming. He will need to do the same thing against Larssen. Larssen with his 8.0 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) was kept in the mid lane against MAD Lions by Humanoid and Rogue was not able to play the way they want to. Nukeduck has had flashes of brilliance throughout his career, he will need another flash to push them over the 2nd place Rogue.
Misfits versus G2 Esports
I love Misfits (4-3) and I think Kobbe is a great ADC. He has come back home to the LEC and has earned the second highest KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) in the league at 7.4. The problem? He is consistently down in both gold and experience at 10-15 minutes which is not good news against the reigning LEC champions G2 esports (4-3). Now there is a chance that their ADC (Perkz) will not play in this match will change some of the outcome, but the problem is that the rest of the map isn’t as close. G2 has started off slowly, but I fully expect them to pick up speed as the split goes on and I would expect them to build on their strong performance from last Saturday against Fnatic.
Cann’s Winner: G2 Esports
Most Valuable Player: Caps-Mid-G2 Esports: If Perkz (ADC) will not be in this game, this will win will fall even more heavily on Caps’ shoulders. He has a 2.0 KDA (Kill/Death/Assist ratio) advantage on Misfits’ mid laner (Febiven) and has been part of 70% of G2’s total kills thus far. If Perkz is out for this match, I could see this participation will be even higher.