LoL Targets: January 14

Anything can happen on day one of the EU LCS, where every match looks like an exciting duel between two equal(ish) teams. Well, almost all of them. Sorry about your luck, Roccat.

Because we haven’t seen most of these teams play together before, we’ll be relying on a lot of on-paper analysis today, combined with the limited pre-season tournaments we’ve seen these teams play in.

Featured Image Photo Credit: LoL Esports Flickr

Top

The Stud: Cabochard vs. ROC ($6800)
Vitality has been a severely underrated throughout most of the pre-season, but nothing short of spontaneous combustion will be able to stop them from beating Roccat’s second-rate roster. The only risk here is that they win too quickly, but I doubt Vitality will be coordinated enough in week 1.

The Value Pick: Wunderwear vs. UOL ($5600)
This is the week to gamble on Challenger teams, if you see any promise in them at all. Most of them are costed extremely cheaply because they’re unproven. I really like Splyce’s chances here against the shaky UOL roster, and Wunderwear has scored very well in their wins—rarely dying and racking up assists.

Jungle

The Stud: Jankos vs. GIA ($6600)
Giants will provide some surprising upsets this Split, but not today. Jankos is a studly jungler who should have no problem making sure his lanes have all the backup they need, while bleeding the first-day jitters out of H2K’s rookie jungler Kou.

The Value Pick: Trick vs. EL ($5500)
I’ll be blunt, Trick scored cringe-worthy fantasy points in most of his pro games subbing for CJ Entus last year. In his two wins on the team, however, he turned up big. So at this point, I’m willing to count on him to score some points as G2 eases into the LCS by beating up on the most dysfunctional roster in the region.

Mid

The Stud: Nukeduck vs. ROC ($7700)
Nukeduck was hit-or-miss against Betsy in the mid lane last season, but that was back when Betsy had Forgiven, Diamond, and Cabochard at his back. He’s much more exposed this time, while Nukeduck is surrounded by solid players. He should be able to confidently bully Betsy into obsoletion.

The Value Pick: Sencux vs. UOL ($6600)
Regardless of who wins, I expect this to be a drawn-out, bloody match between two unsure teams. There’s some solid upside with Sencux if they win, but he should get enough in the brawls either way to keep your team afloat.

AD Carry

The Stud: Forgiven vs. GIA ($8800)
We’ve always been able to count on the Giants for two things: (1) focus heavily on their mid laner, XPepii, and (2) struggle to close out games when they get ahead. Unless those two things have drastically changed (which seems unlikely based on their roster), the door should be wide open for Forgiven to tear the entire enemy team to pieces.

The Value Pick: Rekkles ($7100)
This is probably the only time all season that we’ll see Rekkles near the bottom of the ADC list. Origen will be a big challenge to overcome, but if FNC can get an advantage, Rekkles is the one that will make sure they keep it (or at least drag it out over multiple fights). Don’t expect his typical chart-leading numbers this week, but the upside at this price is huge.

Support

The Stud: Kasing vs ROC ($6100)
Kasing has a tendency to get overzealous and dive in for fights when he shouldn’t. Bad for his team, great for fantasy owners! I’m hoping that Kasing is so hyped for the new season that he slips into his a-bit-too-crazy mode and makes some big plays happen. Either way, his roams are solid and he should be able to punish the uncoordinated new roster on the other side.

The Value Pick: Nisbeth vs. UOL ($4900)
This’ll likely be the least expensive player you pick up all day, which is actually pretty incredible considering how uncertain this matchup is. You’re taking a risk, but it’s the cheapest option that has a legitimate chance of paying off big. We learned last year that supports are point-sponges in long game or wins. This match could easily turn into both for G2 Esports.

Team

The Stud: Team Vitality vs. Roccat ($4800)
I’m worried that H2K won’t need to push down all their lanes or worry about objectives to win and rely on the absurd skill gap to just fight their way in. That’ll lead to low team points, but I think Team Vitality will take the safer route of pushing all the lanes and grabbing a Dragon or two on their way to the Nexus.

The Value Pick: Fnatic vs. OG ($3800)
Last Split, Fnatic dominated objectives while Origen relied more on team fights to secure victory. With Yellowstar gone, it’s hard to tell if that’ll still be their style, but I suspect that Febiven and Rekkles will at least try to carry on that legacy and take a few towers with them on the way.

The closest Josh Augustine ever 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.