After a turbulent couple days in EU, I’m ready for the safe, soft predictability of NA. Wait, this is the region with Renegades and TSM, right? Nevermind, we’re in for another wild ride! But, once again, I’ll try my best to help you navigate these wild rapids and make it onto the winner’s block today.
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The Stud: Huni vs. TSM ($7300)The best way that teams have shut down IMT in the past has been focusing Huni and keeping him down early and often. But who’s going to do that on TSM’s squad? The two big roaming gankers are Yellowstar and Sven, their two weakest players in recent games.
If TSM tries to mess with Huni, they’re going to get a face full of Reignover, and that’ll only boost Huni’s success even higher.
The Value Pick: Seraph vs. TIP ($6400)This is a great price for Seraph. He’s a hard carry on a team that’s looking incredibly strong right now. I don’t think they’re quite at “top 2 in NA” like Seraph boasted in an interview last week, but they only have to be Top 8 to beat TIP today, and that should be an easy task.
Top laner Feng, in particular, has been a reliable weak spot on TIP’s roster. Seraph should have time to build up safely during the laning phase, and then go crazy when TIP tries to stay relevant in team fights later.
If you can’t afford Seraph, NRG’s Impact is a decent backup plan for $500 cheaper.
The Stud: Reignover vs. TSM ($7100)I really like drafting the Huni-Reignover combo today. They should be an active pair in IMT’s plans to exploit TSM’s wavering team fight tactics. TSM could find success in mid lane and bot lane if left alone, but Reignover is going to win whichever lane he decides to focus — Svenskeren just can’t keep up.
So I think he’s the best pick on IMT today, because no matter what lane they choose to emphasize today, Reignover will be where the killing is.
The Value Pick: Procxin vs. REN ($5900)If you’re not buying into the REN hype yet, this is the first player to pick on TIP’s side. He has the second-highest points average on TIP and is going up against arguably the worst mechanical jungler in the NA LCS. If TIP takes the upset here, it’ll likely be through Procxin forcing Crumbzz into submission and shoring up whichever of TIP’s lanes are losing most.
The Stud: Fenix vs. DIG ($7700)It’s a tough call between Fenix and Jensen today, but I’m ultimately going with Fenix because of his opponent. Froggen and the rest of FOX play too safe, which could prevent Jensen from wracking up kills if everyone’s hiding in their base waiting for the hour-mark to pass so they can come out with full builds.
Fenix on the other hand, is going up against Shiphtur, who has performed well lately, but is also prone to playing more aggressive. And DIG overall is happy to fight on their way down instead of turtling. Fenix has burned fantasy owners this Split from time to time, but now’s his chance to make up for it.
The Value Pick: Ninja vs. TIP ($7200)This pick’s a no brainer. Ninja beat Jensen in lane last week — something no other mid laner in NA has been able to do recently. He’s insanely talented and he’s going up against the worst mid laner in the entire region (statistically). And he’s pretty cheap! This guy needs to be in your lineup today, period.
The Stud: Wildturtle vs. TSM ($8200)You really can’t go wrong with any of the top ADCs today. They all have great matchups that look promising for fights and should be pretty safe wins. So I’m going with Wildturtle because of the higher likelihood that this match turns into a bloodbath. Both teams want to fight, and should do it all day long.
Besides, Wildturtle has the best point average in the NA LCS — a mind-blowing 33.7 points per game! You can’t go wrong with that track record… right?
The Value Pick: Doublelift vs. IMT ($6000)If you have to go cheap and don’t already have IMT players on your roster, I love betting on Doublelift here. IMT has shown weakness and TSM has had some amazing games this Split (even if they haven’t been consistent). In spite of his team’s ups and downs, Doublelift has been one of the most consistent players on the squad (along with Bjergsen), and his philosophy of “win lane, win game” is the perfect tactic to take against WildTurtle and Adrian, who have been susceptible to falling behind in the laning phase.
If TSM wins, it’ll be because TSM brute-forces a lead in bot lane and forces Reignover to camp them just to break even. And that outcome works just fine for Doublelift owners.
The Stud: Matt vs. DIG ($5700)If TL players were a little cheaper, I’d grab more of them today. But they’re competing with some super high-profile picks today at their price range, so I’d recommend just going with the support if you can only squeeze one into your salary cap.
TL should get a lot of kills and, with the support pick, you don’t have to worry about guessing which of their carries will get the kills. Just pay for the cheapest position and be happy with the assist points.
The Value Pick: Kiwikid vs. TL ($4600)As usual, DIG’s hopes are going to rise and fall with Kiwikid’s ability to get on a champion with hard engage and then use it perfectly to set up his allies for kills. This one’s a very risky pick, but TL’s carries have been stepping out of position fairly frequently this Split and Kiwikid will be the one to punish them if they do.
The Stud: Renegades vs. TIP ($4500)I don’t care that it’s halfway down the price list. This is the safest win of the day.
The Value Pick: Team Solomid vs. IMT ($3400)Make sure you’re only betting on one side of this matchup, but it should be a wonderful points-a-palooza for whichever team comes out on top.
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.