This week has been festive with upsets in Europe, but can North America emulate that? It seems unlikely on Sunday, but preparation is never a bad thing. Looking at each matchup, we’ll determine the underdogs and who you should draft if you’re betting on upsets.(Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)
Renegades vs Counter Logic GamingCounter Logic Gaming closes out with split pushing and frequent teamfighting, resulting in moderate kills and deaths for the squad. Against Renegades, who have the most deaths in NA at 160, CLG will pick up plenty kills as it punishes Renegades’ objective calls. Any CLG members work here, so think of them as point fillers.
If one wants to bet on a Renegades upset, Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek has to be the pick. He’s the only consistent carry on the Renegades, and he clocks in overtime on his duties with 34.4 percent of his team’s damage. Perhaps if CLG make mistakes in the teamfight, Freeze can show up big, but it’s a long shot.
Dignitas vs Team SoloMidDespite playing Team SoloMid early on in the season when it was having problems, Dignitas was quickly routed. Since then Dignitas has not had major improvements while TSM endured internal dramas and occasionally received second chances back into some games.
This match will likely go the same as last time, unless Dignitas has new picks because of the meta changes in 6.3. With the return of Kog’Maw, Apollo “Apollo” Price could pick it up to mow TSM down. He’s not been a stellar Kog’Maw player, however, and TSM’s players are superior across the board, but it would take a new OP like that for Dignitas to win.
NRG vs Cloud9NRG’s moments of greatness are overshadowed by its consistency issues revolving around Galen “Moon” Holgate’s lack of early game impact. Cloud9, on the other hand, have been pulled through off the talent of its mid and ADC while Hai “Hai” Du Lam has handled the-in game strategy to the team to bring it the second shortest average game time in NA at 29 minutes. Cloud9 creates its advantages early while NRG attempts to scale so Lee “GBM” Chang-seok can carry in the late game.
This game might be moderate in number of kills. Both C9 and NRg are middle of the pack in terms of deaths and kill counts, and C9′s ability to snowball threatens to end the game before NRG scales up in time to fight back, but if NRG can get to that point then there’s a brawl on our hands. For C9, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen are good carry pick ups, but Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae is a must given his aggressive play style will shut Moon down hard in the early game. NRG betters need GBM to pull through with a carry performance and for Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong to beat An “Balls” Van Le in the split push.
Team Impulse vs Echo FoxEcho Fox’s main roster looked promising last week with commanding victories over Renegades and NRG. While that’s not the best competition in the League, it does suggest Echo Fox’s main roster is ready to make a climb to the middle of the pack, but can it beat Team Impulse? Yes, but this game is difficult to call because of the lack of data on Echo Fox.
What’s important to note is that in Echo Fox’s victories last week, the team averaged lower kill counts, while Team Impulse scraps through games, bestowing more fantasy points.
Henrik “Froggen” Hansen is the first member of Echo Fox to secure. In his four games, he’s been part of 84 percent of his team’s kills, which is massive in comparison to other NA mids. Froggen’s steady, farm-heavy laning phase nets him the advantages to press into teamfights, and he’ll surely show up.