The off-season was crazy, but the roster lock deadline is finally upon us, and all teams playing in the North American and European LCS teams have finalized their rosters for the upcoming Spring Split!
The LCS kicks off again next Thursday, January 14, and we’ll be hosting contests here on DraftKings for the matches, like always.
That means you’ve got less than a week to learn about all the crazy changes that happened during the off-season and what they mean for your fantasy picks! So we’re going to be putting together a bunch of information, guides, recaps, and strategy advice right here on the DK Playbook to help you get caught up.
First off, let’s take a look at the big picture. Let’s check out the new rosters and do a quick gut-check to see which ones we like best. Then, we’ll dive deeper into specific player analysis in future articles.
North American LCS — Tier 1We’ll break each region into 3 tiers to represent how competitive we think the team will be in their region. Tier 1 is the top teams, the ones that made great roster moves and have the best chance of succeeding. These teams will likely produce your go-to fantasy studs.
TSM set out to build a team worthy of Bjergsen and actually overshot it. Studs all around!
SUP: Hai / BunnyFufuu
Cloud9‘s stability makes me swoon. While everyone else rebuilt from scratch, C9 upgraded their roster’s talent like a surgeon. Rush is just what the doctor ordered.
Immortals are going big or going home. These are some of my all-time favorite players and they all love to fight! If they’re even halfway decent, this is a fantasy gold mine.
North American LCS — Tier 2These Tier 2 teams have a solid core of strong players that can singlehandedly dominate a game, but have some weak spots or serious question marks overall.
CLG could easily turn into a Tier-1 team, but I’m not buying a bumper sticker until I see them on the Rift.
NRG Esports had me at Impact. The rest of the squad isn’t as convincing on paper, but reports from scrimmages are positive.
Team Liquid isn’t as bad off as many people think. Fenix and Piglet were the core, and they should be just as deadly this time around.
North American LCS — Tier 3These teams have serious issues they need to overcome. Some are inexperienced in the pro scene, some have never played together before, and some are just not quite up to the skill level of the other pros.
Echo Fox, I love you already. I’m a Keith fanboy, so I’m super excited that he got a permanent gig. But, realistically, Froggen will need to perform Hercules’ 12 Labors to carry this team to the top.
TOP: RF Legendary
MID: Alex Ich
LA Renegades has some old-school talent, but nothing here makes me hopeful for success in the modern era.
Team Dignitas Different roster, same problems. Pass.
JUN: Procxin / Beibei
Team Impulse failed to sell their LCS spot and had to scramble to put an awful frankenstein roster together. Not that I had to tell you that. It’s pretty damn obvious.
European LCS — Tier 1While NA teams were siphoning in top talent from around the world, EU teams scrambled to consolidate their power into a few top teams, while everyone else fought over the scraps.
Origen will dominate. They upgraded mid lane and kept the rest of the top-notch squad together to make sure they’re cohesive on day one. This is the West’s best hope.
H2K has an insane amount of raw talent, but will need to learn to play together. Thankfully, raw talent should be all that’s needed to beat most EU teams this Split.
European LCS — Tier 2European’s second tier of teams look good on paper, but are unproven and have one or two potential weak spots in their rosters.
Fnatic‘s Febiven and Rekkles are incredible. The rest need to catch up, but aren’t too far behind.
Team Vitality‘s bot lane really sets them apart from everyone else below. This should be a fun team to watch!
European LCS — Tier 3The list of bottom-tier EU teams is long and depressing. These are the victims of outsourced talent that moved to other teams, alongside a couple organizations that are new or couldn’t afford to upgrade their roster like everyone else.
Unicorns of Love have the hardest-to-spell names, so congrats on that! Everything here hinges on Diamond’s ability to re-emerge as a stud.
Splyce is a brand new team, untested in the LCS. The fact that they’ve played together for almost a year will be a huge advantage for the first half of the Split.
Giants Gaming barely escaped relegation last year, and didn’t make any big upgrades. Pepiinero’s got his work cut out for him again.
G2 Esports is a whole mess of ex-players and Challenger hopefuls. They’ve got to step up to avoid this black hole at the bottom of the standings.
SUP: Gosu Pepper
ROCCAT is at least trying, and have promised to support their team and try to keep it going. In Challenger, most likely, by the looks of this squad.
Elements also tried to sell their roster spot and failed. But, hey, at least they’ll be really excited when they get their one win of the Split.The closest Josh Augustine ever got to going pro in esports was beating his older brother at Street Fighter. He works as a game designer at Daybreak Games. He’d love to talk with you on Twitter.