Nimer’s Notes: LCS Playoffs April 9

It’s the semi-final weekend! On Saturday, H2K bears down on Origen while Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming clash in what looks to be a competitive series. Remember, your player pool consists of players from both the EU LCS and NA LCS games. H2k and CLG, being the higher seeds, are more expensive than Liquid and Origen, and in order to fill a roster you will have to draft some players from teams that advanced from Quarterfinals. So who do we pick?

(Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)

The NA Teamfight

A key thing to keep in mind about series is that the more games there, the higher possibility for points. It’s more chances for high kill games and more objectives being taken. Origen vs H2K doesn’t have the making of a competitive set (though the matchup of AD Carries is amazing). Origen had a sloppy series against Unicorns of Love and struggled making good decisions. H2K has the best macro strategy in the league with star power to also keep up in fights. I don’t see Origen putting up a strong enough fight to drag the series, but maybe get a few kills.

CLG and Team Liquid’s match, however, is a series that could go to five games. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett has been a monster this season, and the meta shifts to tank tops and Azir returning to mid play into Team Liquid’s hands. CLG has had trouble closing games unless Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya split pushes the nexus down. With split pushing disappearing with nerfs to Fiora and the rise of tanks, CLG has to adjust its win conditions and play Liquid’s game. Still, CLG’s early game is no joke: averaging a gold lead of 806 at fifteen minutes, it trumps Liquid’s average by 459. Liquid relies on its early leads to snowball the game–without it, it wanders the map unsure of how to close. This is a recipe for a long series that can go to five games, and so is our primary focus.

 

The Picks

Remember to avoid the Origen midlaners because it’s likely that Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez will be put in when Origen’s backs are to the wall. If you must fill the roster with the dirt cheap picks, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen is the way to go. He’s been the shining bright spot of Origen so much the team plays around him carrying. He’ll get some points and keep the KDA high.

H2K’s roster is solid head to toe, so if you need guaranteed points and have the salary, pick any of them up for fill. I’d recommend Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu for top, since he’s shown his versatility and has an easier matchup.

Now for CLG. Avoid Darshan. He has the lowest kill participation on the team and scored the fewest assists. He doesn’t contribute much to the team unless he’s split pushing objectives. Since he’ll likely either stick to that strategy or have to adapt, he’s a wildcard that isn’t worth the risk. Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black is a must pick. He’s had a career season and his roaming in the early game dictates CLG’s advantages. Him, TrevorStixxay” Hayes and Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun  make a solid core for a fantasy roster.

The players to take from Liquid are without a doubt Dardoch and Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin. We’re ignoring Matthew “Matt” Elento because we already have Aphromoo, but if you want to pick a cheaper support so you can afford a more expensive carry, go for it. Dardoch and Piglet have been Liquid’s backbone, snowballing the early game and rushing teamfights respectively. Since this will be a longer series, these two are going to get points.

That’s it for Nimer’s Notes! Let me know your thoughts on who to draft on twitter, @CD_Mangaka! Take care, and happy drafting.

(All Statistics Courtesy of Oracle’s Elixir)