This is the match of the Split! TL and IMT both enter today red-hot off of insanely dominant wins over yesterday’s opponents and face off the very first game of the day today. You need to have players from one of these teams on your roster today. Pick which one you think’ll win and dive in — it’s going to be a doozy.
If you’re unsure, I’ll be listing a couple from each below, and walking you through my thought process. So hopefully I can help you make up your mind and target the best options on each squad.
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The Stud: Impact vs. C9 ($6600)Impact was the highest-scoring top laner yesterday, even beating out the deathless Lourlo, thanks to the sheer number of kills he was involved in (17 of NRG’s 20)! NRG relies on Impact to make things happen, and he’s been making them happen non-stop. C9 looked great yesterday against the depressed REN squad, and should prove to be a worthy opponent. Balls, however, was practically non-existant, only surviving due to the support of their fed jungler Rush.
Moon is NRG’s weakest spot right now, but he won’t get as far behind as Crumbz did. Even if C9 try to camp Impact, I think he’s strong enough to thrive in the attention.
The Value Pick: Solo vs. DIG ($6000)I’m not sure how this game is going to go. Both teams are sloppy, with only a few bright spots shown during their recent losses. But I’m significantly more interested in taking risks on FOX than DIG, and here’s why.
FOX has shown signs of brilliance and have been at least holding their own in most of their losses (they got stomped by IMT, but who hasn’t?). FOX has also shown a tendency for playing skittish and turtle when they’re behind, preventing the winning team from racking up points (41 deaths over the past 4 games). DIG, on the other hand, just keeps throwing their bodies at the problem until the Nexus falls (54 deaths over the past 4 games).
Their chances for winning is probably pretty similar, but the upside is higher on FOX on a few select picks. Solo has been a solid performer on the team and I think he’ll fare well in a win.
The Stud: Svenskeren vs. REN ($7000)TSM is still having a tough time breaking their habit of passive play that has slowly taken over their strategies for the past year. Svenskeren is the player most trying to upset that habit with his aggressive playstyle. We already saw what a dominant jungler like Dardoch could do against REN yesterday (he was the #1 fantasy jungler!). Svenskeren will be looking to repeat that awesome performance.
The Value Pick: Dardoch vs. IMT ($5000)You really can’t go wrong in this IMT vs. TL matchup. Both teams have looked incredibly lately, and both love to rack up kills instead of tip-toe around objectives. Whoever wins this match should drown in fantasy points, and I think it’s pretty likely that both teams score well.
My heart believes in TL to actually pull off the upset, even though my head says IMT can’t be doubted. One thing both agree on is that Dardoch has proven that he is the most important player to own on TL now. Piglet’s still a close second, but Dardoch is playing like a wild viking—pillaging any damn where he pleases.
The Stud: Bjergsen vs. REN ($8100)A great grudge match between arguably the two best mid laners EU has ever produced (now both playing in NA): Bjergsen and Alex Ich. Both players are playing well below their peaks right now, but I think both are eager to prove they’ve still got what it takes to be relevant. I give the edge to Bjergsen for being on the significantly better team and falling into comfort picks like Syndra.
He should be able to take that advantage and snowball it into a few triple kills if the game goes long enough.
The Value Pick: Jensen vs. NRG ($6600)C9 looked the best they have all Split yesterday. Rush used his jungle dominance to apply pressure to all lanes and ensure everyone else on his squad got ahead too. That’s scary for the rest of NA, and very reassuring for Jensen, who looked completely renewed as he was finally freed to play aggressive in lane.
His 5/0/7 record for the match sent him just behind Sneaky in fantasy points, and if Rush can provide similar support by dominating Moon in his jungle, I expect Jensen will try to make big plays again today.
The Stud: WildTurtle vs. TL ($8100)Everyone on IMT is on board with the WildTurtle game plan. They had two healing champions on their squad yesterday, making sure that he only died once while going so crazy aggressive that he was tanking the entire enemy team while playing an incredibly flimsy champion!
If you want to draft IMT today (like I do!), WildTurtle is a must-grab. His whole team revolves around him in team fights and Adrian makes sure he never drops.
The Value Pick: Mash vs. CLG ($6300)You could also grab Piglet here if you like TL for the upset or Keith if you want to pay more mid-range salaries. The safer cheap pick (with a lower ceiling) is TIP’s Mash. TIP is hard to predict, but they looked strong yesterday and have a decent chance at the upset here. My big concern is that CLG isn’t a big team fight team. If they get ahead, TIP could be completely locked out of points as they’re slowly and methodically strangled by the split-pushing partners on CLG.
But if TIP can get ahead in the early game, they should be able to force some good fights in the mid game and build a small nest egg of points up that’ll cover your salary costs, no matter who wins.
The Stud: Adrian vs. TL ($6000)No support even comes close to Adrian’s fantasy stats. He has 4x the KDA of the next-best support and sits comfortably at the bottom of the death percentage list.
If IMT win this game, Adrian will certainly be on all the highest scoring DK rosters. Even if they don’t win, I think IMT will take a few TL members down with them in every fight, which should guarantee at least a decent fantasy performance from Adrian.
The Value Pick: Big vs. DIG ($4900)DIG’s bot lane is ripe for the picking and I like the chances of Keith and Big to tear them apart. Even in their losses, FOX’s bot lane has maintained positive KDAs and made some impressive plays together. This embattered DIG squad is one of their best chances for a win this Split, so this is your best chance to start them on the cheap.
The Stud: TSM vs. REN ($5800)This is a big price to pay for a team spot, but there’s almost no way (knock on wood) that TSM loses this game. Their careful playstyle should allow them to squeeze plenty of points out of REN in this team spot on their way to the Nexus.
The Value Pick: TL vs. IMT ($4300)If TL beats IMT, it’s going to be by stalling them out. Putting them behind early and then forcing them to figure out how to play from behind (a situation IMT have never had to do). And even if IMT get ahead early, TL have been the best team all Split at stalling out the game and making a comeback. Either situation bodes well for TL’s team points — assuming they don’t just completely collapse under the pressure. But, hey, you don’t get value picks without at least a little potential drawback!
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.