If there’s one thing North America is doing better than Europe this LCS split, it’s using the new challenger loan rule that Riot Games introduced at the start of the split. With Echo Fox still waiting on visas for three of its starting players, the organization is taking the loaning rule to the limit. Aside from that, the matchups are straightforward today, so let’s discuss the players you’ll be looking to draft.(Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)
Immortals’ Next VictimImmortals have established themselves as one of the best teams in NA and will have no problem dispatching Team Liquid this sunday. Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin is the player to single out this set. Involved in all of Immortal’s first bloods, Reignover is everywhere for the team while being tied for the lowest death percentage at 9.7. If Immortals are cheaper, grab as many as you can, but if you can only secure one, Reignover is the first place I would start.
If Team Liquid are to win it would be on the back of Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin to carry through teamfights. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett is another pickup for TL because he has dictated its early game through solid jungling. It’s unlikely that he’d be able to keep up with Reignover, but if you’re betting on Team Liquid then he’s a pickup worth having.
Cloud9 vs NRGIn game leadership can only take a team struggling with individual performance so far. Cloud9’s split has been rough, and while it’s had good showings it hasn’t performed at the same level as NRG. This game may not be a shutout like NRG’s match against TSM last week, but C9 isn’t going down without sloppy fights.
NRG’s Lee “GBM” Chang-seok and Johnny “Altec” Ru are great pickups for this set with their high KDAs and respectable kill participation, but Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is probably the top-laner to draft today. Against An “BalIs” Van Le, Impact will have no trouble in the laning phase unless Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae’s aggression is concentrated on a camp in top lane. Galen “Moon” Holgate has been left scratching his head before, and so Impact may have a few kills. Still, if Cloud9 take that approach, Balls isn’t the caliber of player to snowball the advantage and Impact still manages to be a threat and maintain the highest kill participation on the team at 80 percent.
TSM vs RenegadesFollowing up on Renegades’ official announcement, Maria “Remi” Creveling has stepped down from her starting position on Renegades. How this affects Renegades performance will take some time to measure, but regardless TSM should handedly bag this game.
Renegades have big problems closing games out and Alberto “Crumbz” Rengifo can be caught out on the map. Team SoloMid has steadily improved its early game, and the talent on the roster is more than capable of showing up to win teamfights. It should be a wash for TSM, but that’s not to say it will be a quick and easy victory. Renegades have the most deaths in the league at 89 (TSM is actually in second with 83), and TSM can rack up some extra kills. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg are the must haves for TSM drafters.
Team Impulse vs CLGTeam Impulse won’t be using Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong this weekend, and that stands to hurt the squad since his play has been a highlight. Counter Logic Gaming’s split push around Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya is going to make closing the game simple for them, and the only player that stands out as a must grab is Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black. His roaming has helped CLG immensely, and he boasts a 82 percent kill participation because of it. If you can’t afford Adrian “Adrian” Ma of Immortals, definetly grab Aphromoo.
Dignitas vs Ember FoxEcho Fox has taken the substitution rule to the extreme by using the entire Ember roster for its LCS games this weekend. This may prove fruitful in its Sunday match against Dignitas, who has lost many a game to poor macro decisions. However, this match is still hard to evaluate because Echo Fox is different team this weekend, but I’d be willing to bet more on Dignitas messing this up than not. If you need a few cheap pick ups, Echo Fox might be an option, if Ember’s players are updated for fantasy picks.
Be sure to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday with some Fantasy winnings guys!(All statistics courtesy of Oracle’s Elixir)