It’s just another day in the LCS playoffs, where being the heavy favorites to win a series really doesn’t matter, since underdogs have upset more than not! Today, long-time champions TSM face the stalwart IMT squad and the up-and-coming G2 team defend their new throne against its previous owners, FNC. These are going to be exciting and hopefully bloody games!
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The Stud: Huni vs. TSM ($7100)A lot of today’s picks are going to depend on which factor you put more value in: recent performance or historical precedence. IMT should beat TSM based on recent performances and should do it on the back of Huni and Reignover as usual. But TSM, historically, doesn’t lose in the playoffs — it’s their superpower.
The best way that teams have shut down IMT is by choking out Huni and forcing the other lanes to carry. And there is plenty of precedent for Huni choking in high-pressure games. That means Huni is going to be the biggest boom-or-bust pick today, but if you’re counting on an IMT win, you absolutely need him on your roster.
The Value Pick: Gamsu vs. G2 ($5800)We’re going all-in on the boom-or-bust picks in top lane today! Gamsu’s scores have always fluctuated heavily from game to game, but he has a softer opponent in Kikis today. Kikis plays it safe in lane and should let Gamsu power up pretty hassle-free. If FNC loses, Gamsu is likely to crumple like tissue paper, but if they can stay ahead, he could carry at least one match.
The Stud: Trick vs. FNC ($6400)I like both of the top junglers today — they’re equally aggressive, dive-happy players that love to rack up fantasy points. But Trick is $800 cheaper, so I’ll happily go with him over Reignover today.
The Value Pick: Svenskeren vs. IMT ($4300)All four junglers have been a lot more authoritative lately, but no one has transformed more than Svenskeren, who looked like a completely different player in last week’s quarterfinal series. Reignover has a knack for shutting down enemy junglers trying to upset top lane, but IMT has weaker lanes in mid and bot that Svenskeren can focus (which also happen to be where his team’s big carries are). He could make some big windows of opportunity there and scale hard.
The Stud: Perkz vs. FNC ($7400)Pobelter is the most expensive player on IMT today, and also one of the most passive laners. So he’d be the last person on the roster I’d pay that premium price for, especially when laning against Bjergsen.
Instead, save $800 and go with Perkz into Febiven instead. Febiven is a very strong lane opponent too, but Perkz is more pro-active in getting involved in fights throughout the entire map. If IMT and G2 win, they’ll both score wonderfully. If they’re both upset, Perkz will definitely come out ahead.
The Value Pick: Bjergsen vs. IMT ($5200)Bjergsen scored an absolutely insane 167 points in their win over C9 last week. There’s no way they go 0-3 against IMT, so you can rely on at least one monster game out of Bjergsen, who has consistently scored well in losses all season long. The point floor is so much higher than his price tag you simply have to flex him at the very least.
The Stud: WildTurtle vs. TSM ($8200)WildTurtle comes into this week with the highest average points of any player in the LCS, just like he has most weeks this Split. At this price tag, we’re going to need IMT to stomp TSM to get value out of it. So if you splurge for the Turtle, be sure to stock up on as many of the others as you can. This is the core pillar of an all-in strategy for IMT, and it will be the highest points of the day if IMT wins big.
The Value Pick: Rekkles vs. G2 ($6600)G2′s Emperor has played extremely well lately, and Rekkles has been inconsistent. But he was the top scorer in FNC’s wins last week and should be again if they upset G2. Both him and Doublelift make great flex picks today if you’re willing to bet on an upset.
The Stud: Hybrid vs. FNC ($5600)I expect the G2-FNC series to get bloodier than TSM-IMT, regardless of who wins. Hybrid has been a top support scorer thanks to his team’s willingness to fight and Emperor’s recent improvements. Klaj is still a weak spot on FNC’s roster that G2 should be able to exploit.
The Value Pick: Yellowstar vs. IMT ($3800)As the cheapest player by far today, you don’t have to get a ton of points out of Yellowstar to break even on him. I’d highly recommend tossing him in your support slot if you’re not betting heavily on an IMT stomp.
He’s still making some bad plays and getting caught out, but that hasn’t stopped him from scoring points in these best-of-5 series thanks to all the fights TSM has taken. Last week, he scored 127 points — almost the same as his ADC and top laner. TSM will win at least one game in this series, and grabbing Yellowstar for your support will free up $1000-2700 to spend on your other positions. That’s a huge boost in power in ADC or mid.
The Stud: G2 vs. FNC ($5100)G2 has the best chances of any team of flat-out stomping 3-0, so even though they only score average points in their win, I’d feel more confident betting on them over IMT against the fickle TSM squad.
The Value Pick: Team Solomid vs. IMT ($3000)TSM picks are so cheap today that I’m intrigued by the risky picks. They looked solid last week and history predicts they’ll lose their first game in the series and then turn it around and domminate. Regardless of the final outcome, though, the TSM team spot should get at least one win, which’ll make sure this super cheap pick pays some dividends.
The closest Josh Augustine got to going pro in esports was beating his older brother at Street Fighter. He currently works as a game designer at Daybreak Games. He’d love to talk with you on Twitter.