Vegas, baby! The last two series of the NA LCS are being played in Sin City this weekend, while the EU meets up in Rotterdam to decide the kings of the region. Players are pumped and pride (and points) are on the line, so expect fireworks to fly when juggernauts clash this weekend.
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The Stud: Odoamne vs. FNC ($6500)Odoamne’s team didn’t win their series, but he still got plenty of points last weekend (91). He should have no problem scoring that and more against the vulnerable Gamsu today. H2K won’t lose twice in a row, and Odoamne will be the sturdy teamfighter that we need to soak up points all game long.
The Value Pick: Lourlo vs. IMT ($5200Huni scored less in their best-of-5 series against TSM than he did in most individual games during the Split! IMT apparently has no idea how to play in this new meta, and Huni’s champion picks are the biggest problem right now. Meanwhile, TL proved that they completely understand the meta and are comfortable playing it in their almost-victory against CLG. Lourlo, in particular, did a great job holding his own against Darshan — and is right at home on the current bruiser tanks thriving in top lane. If IMT recover, Lourlo is in for a rough day — but if not, he’s going to be in points heaven against the tilting Huni.
The Stud: Jankos vs. FNC ($6200)As always, Huni and Reignover are a package deal, so you either want both or none. For me, I’m happy to pocket the extra $1,400 saved by going with the H2K combo instead. They’re just as safe, and face weaker opponents. If both teams are playing at their peak, this is going to be a good, long series.
The Value Pick: Spirit vs. H2K ($5700)I’m tempted to go all-in on TL today, but this is the first spot where I’d opt for a FNC value pick. Dardoch is great, but Reignover is the best in the business and hasn’t faltered as much as his teammates — every other TL player has better odds than Dardoch today.
So if I wanted to diversify, Spirit would be my go-to. His points have fluctuated throughout the season, but he’s looked rock-solid in playoffs and should be able to hold his own at the very least.
The Stud: Pobelter vs. TL ($7800)IMT struggled last week as Huni tried to carry in a meta that really didn’t want him to. This week, they’re going to have to rely on Pobelter to step up and carry more than his usual weight. And Fenix has hardly been oppressive to his laning opponents. I like the notorious POB’s chances this week, especially since TL will likely focus their pressure on shutting down Huni in top lane.
The Value Pick: Fenix vs. IMT ($5800)The more I look at these two matches, the more I like the TL vs. IMT game. Both sides want to fight and have a long history of high-point games. I’m not super eager to bet on Fenix, who has struggled to stand out this season, but a rising tide lifts all boats and, if TL play strong, Fenix will get plenty of points on the way.
The Stud: Forgiven vs. FNC ($7200)Forgiven was, by far, the highest-scoring player on H2K last week (as usual). FNC has a lot of strengths, but Klaj and Rekkles are still weak in lane. The grizzled vets in H2K’s bot lane will punish every mistake and will score plenty of points in this series, regardless of the final outcome.
The Value Pick: Piglet vs. IMT ($6000)Every day of playoffs, in these columns, I’ve called out a must-draft player. Well today it’s Piglet. He averages more points than anyone else playing today and is still cheaper than half of them! Even if IMT magically solved all of their draft problems, their bot lane is susceptible to early pressure and Piglet has always scored well in losses. He’s one of the safest ADCs you can draft, and after IMT’s huge collapse last week, the upside here is huge.
The Stud: Vander vs. FNC ($5000)There’s no special tricks in the support slot today. So I’d recommend pairing your supports with your ADC, like we usually do. Vander is a no-brainer if you throw your lot in with Forgiven.
The Value Pick: Matt vs. IMT ($4300)A bit like our Yellowstar pick last week, I think Matt should be the default for your support slot unless you’re directly betting against TL (and good luck doing that with how high IMT’s prices are!). TL forces fights and likes to play long games, two of the big reasons that Matt has scored well in losses like his lane partner — and Matt showed last week that he can be absolutely critical to his team’s big plays. If he gets on Bard again, his points should skyrocket.
The Stud: H2K vs. FNC ($4900)Save yourself $700 and go with the patient, strategic H2K team, which has been one of the top performers in this slot every week. IMT may be good, but they’re expensive and that salary cap money is much better spent in other positions.
The Value Pick: Team Liquid vs. IMT ($3500)In case you missed it the first 20 times, I’m a big fan TL’s chances today at these insanely low prices. It’s not quite as lucrative as TSM last weekend (which turned out to be as valuable as we thought it would be), but it’s close.
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.