Hark! The NA LCS returns this week and excitement looms! Will teams demonstrate new strategies after spending the last two weeks training? Most likely, but we also have some roster moves to talk about in Renegades’ camp.(Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)
New CowboysThis week we bid adios to Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin and Oleksii “RF Legendary” Kuziuta who were traded to Team Dragon Knights in the NA Challenger series for Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo and Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong. Seraph is for certain an upgrade: we’ve seen him carry Team Impulse in earlier weeks and he substituted for RF Legendary not long ago. We’ll have to see how Ninja does in this split of NA LCS to know if he’s better than Alex.
Although Renegades have new players, it’s hard to know if this will change the team’s shotcalling around objectives. While the man power is theoretically improved, we don’t know how this team will handle the strategic aspect of the game, and that’s not a good thing when it comes to facing Cloud9.
What will probably happen is that Renegades can compete on the micro level, but fail to keep up with C9 in the macro game. Because the potential of Renegade’s swapped roster is not entirely known, it’s safest to avoid drafting from this game.
Immortals vs NRGNRG’s going to lose this one. The team has been too inconsistent to challenge Immortals, and one of its biggest flaws is going to be its downfall. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is a great top laner, but he’s received negligible support from his team, notably jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate. Impact has been ganked countless times and Moon has been nowhere to be found. This resulted in Impact having a -5.8 CS deficit at 10 minute on average, one of the lowest for NA top laners. Against Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, with 11 CS leads on average at 10 minutes–NA’s highest– and Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin, NRG doesn’t have the preparations to handle the snowball that is going to form.
Most of Immortals should do, with a premium on Reignover and Huni if you can squeeze them in as flex’s for your roster.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team LiquidCounter Logic Gaming may have failed on the international stage, they’re back in NA where the relative strength of its roster is high. CLG has a stylistic edge against Team Liquid with Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya’s split push not going to be answered by any of Team Liquid’s members.
That said, CLG has a history of going on losing streaks after a loss, and after such a disappointing IEM, the squad could be unusually tense and make mistakes. In that case, consider Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin and Matthew “Matt” Elento as starting picks for an upset. Piglet’s teamfighting and Matt’s ability to create picks is what is going to bring CLG’s demise, should that happen. Otherwise, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun will make fine picks from CLG’s side.
TSM vs TIPTeam SoloMid’s form has been decent enough to where it was probable it would defeat Team Impulse, but the real question is how badly? TSM got a lot of experience at IEM, and there were visible improvements to the macro game. Should TSM’s form maintain in its return to NA, then this game is going to be a wash. I’d highlight Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who began to play more of the aggressive assassins he’s known for at IEM. If he goes back to those kind of picks, all of North America should be afraid.
Echo Fox vs DignitasEcho Fox had tough competition the past few weeks, but today it get’s a breather with Dignitas. Dignitas’ odds of winning this game are equal to it making a proper Baron call: microscopic.
The Echo Fox players to draft for are Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and Yuri “KEITH” Jew. Should you require other positions to fill, any of the others will do for this game against Dignitas, so consider Echo Fox a cheaper base to build off of.(All statistics courtesy of Oracle’s Elixir)