IEM Katowice was fun, but life isn’t the same without a weekly dose of the LCS. Returning to Europe, I know most of us are excited about Fnatic, but we should hold off on them today as they are facing what is essentially a new team. Rather than draft from a match we know little of, we should focus on the closer games and pad our stats with safe pickups.(Featured Image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)
Giants 2.0Throw everything we’ve known about Giants out the proverbial window. Last week, Giants replaced three of its players: gone are Peter “Atom” Thomsen, Adrián “Adryh” Pérez, Joachim “betongJocke” Rasmussen, replaced by Lennart “Smittyj” Warkus, Son “S0NSTAR” Seung-ik, and Kim “Wisdom” Tae-wan.
While each of these players are easily upgrades over the old Giant’s roster, we simply do not know what the whole team looks like on the rift. Do they succeed with skirmishes? Split pushing? Poke? We don’t know how this unit functions, so this week play it smart and avoid both of Giants’ games. Once we see them in action, we can have more information to work with come next split, assuming they get back into LCS.
H2K vs RoccatPraise the powers that be: Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou-Napoleon was able to defer his conscription to the Greek Army to keep playing in the LCS. It was a tense moment for fans of H2K and the stellar ADC, but we’re past that and back with fully powered H2K.
Simply put, H2K is going to roll Roccat. Its players are better, its strategy is better: barring an uncharacteristic error, H2K has this. Their last meeting was action packed, but that was while H2K was having Marcin “SELFIE” Wolski play the mid lane. Still, H2K has the third most kills in the league at 196, while Roccat is second highest in deaths at 183: H2K may clean this game up, but Roccat is going to try to teamfight its way back in.
Any H2K player is appropriate. Since they’re going to be expensive, I’d recommend grabbing one as a flex for safety points.
Unicorns of Love vs OrigenOrigen’s performance at IEM indicates that the team has yet to make this roster work. Unicorns of Love, on the other hand, have endured several roster changes in the jungle and still maintained a top four standing.
Origen’s key to beating UOL is going to be Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider outperforming Jean-Victor “loulex” Burgevin in the jungle. loulex was underwhelming last year on H2K and cited as the team’s biggest weakness. Still, he’s performed well so far for UOL, boasting an 88 percent kill participation in his two games for the squad. That said, Amazing’s split has been anything but his namesake, so this could be a closer matchup.
Overall, it seems that UOL will take this in typical skirmishing fashion. Kiss “Vizicsacsi” Tamás is probably the best top-laner to grab, as he’s up against Paul “sOAZ” Boyer who is third highest in deaths among EU top laners with 39 this split. Vizicsacsi is going to get ahead and stop sOAZ’s split push to give UOL an edge, and Hampus “Fox” Myhre outperforms Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage in average damage per minute to champions (588 to 501). UOL’s solo lanes are superior to Origen’s, making this game heavily in their favor.
Team Vitality vs G2G2′s tendency to force fights is going to cause Vitality to respond, giving us a brawl. This game can honestly go either way, so we need to identify the key players. Kim “Trick” Gang-yun is what gets G2 going early with his aggressive style, but this pickup can be a gamble: if Vitality respond properly and counter gank him, then he’s going to be a burden on your fantasy roster. Whether that risk is worth taking is up to you.
Likewise, Lucas “Cabochard ” Simon-Meslet’s dominant performances is a huge part of Vitality’s games. He’s great on a variety of champions and has an incredible laning phase. Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek has largely played tanks this season, and while he’ll be safer in lane, he’s not going to slow Cabochard down at all.
Since this will be a back and forth match, any of the other players can work, but Trick and Cabochard are the first priority for G2 and Vitality respectively. A note to add is that Vitality might not give up as many deaths as G2, so perhaps those players scores will be less tainted.
Elements vs SplyceThe last match of the day may lack the grandeur of the top teams, but there’s plenty of battle potential. It’s just hard to interpret.
Elements and Splyce have been losing a lot of their games these past few weeks, though Splyce has fared slightly better. Statistically both teams have some of the lowest kills in the LCS, though Elements has a 29 death lead over Splyce. The game is going to be mediocre quality, but the sloppiness can lead to some bigger fights.
Ultimately, Elements is probably going to derive a lead in the early game with its slightly better players: Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm in particular should have no problem dispatching his counterpart.(All statistics courtesy of Oracle’s Elixir)