LCS Week 1 – Picks and Predictions
Picks and Predictions
This article will be mostly geared towards Fantasy LCS players, as I’ll be going through my predictions for the EU and NA LCS match-ups first, and then explaining which picks would assemble a winning lineup.
I also have a section at the end that explains how to win regardless of your draft!
If you don’t quite understand the format of Fantasy LCS, or if this is the first time you've heard about it, I have a guide here: Fantasy LCS Drafting
Team SoloMid vs Cloud9 (C9 WIN)
Cloud9 has a history of better objective control and they've built up exceptional synergy over the past three splits in the NA LCS. TSM Bjergsen’s individual skill can’t be discounted in the mid lane, but his shot calling may not be up to par with C9 Hai’s. Although the top laners, C9 Balls and TSM Dyrus, both have high caliber mechanics, C9 Balls can be expected to play more consistently.
Team Coast vs Team Dignitas (CST WIN)
Team Coast has better synergy, partly because of the language barrier Team Dignitas needs to overcome with their top laner (DIG Gamsu) and AD (DIG CoreJJ). It's also rumored that CoreJJ may not make it back in time for NA LCS Week 1. The jungler for CST, Impaler, is really good at positioning and snowballing. Team Dignitas did exhibit a solid showing at IEM Cologne that highlights their mid laner, Shiphtur’s ability, however he often misses out on opportunities to capitalize. Despite his limited champion pool, CST Cris has a few champions that he can carry with, if they aren't banned out against him and he's always been good at 1v1s in the top lane.
Winterfox vs Gravity (WFX WIN)
Winterfox has a mechanically strong mid laner (WFX Pobelter) and one of the most individually skilled ADCs (WFX Altec). Combine this with the playstyle of WFX Helios, their jungler, who often sacrifices farm in favor of putting his laners head, and although the new jungle is far more punishing, successful ganks will allow them to snowball off his early game investment. Gravity, on the other hand, has a lot of potential with a strong jungler, despite having earned the nickname "Smitevicious" for his smites (or lack thereof). One possible obstacle is that Winterfox will be playing with Gleeb, rather than Imagine, as their support for the first few games of the split.
Team Impulse vs Team Liquid (TIP WIN)
Team Impulse will be playing TIP Syaka, because of TIP Impact's visa issues, while Liquid will be missing their ADC, TL Piglet. TL FeniX will be back just days before NA LCS Week 1, so all he has to really rely on is individual skill. The bot lane of Impulse is made up of WizFujiiN, a mediocre ADC from Season 3 Spring Split, and Adrian, a support fresh out of the Collegiate Series. TL Quas is a consistent player with solid mechanics, and he may very well end up carrying his team to victory with the current fighter/mage meta in top lane.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team 8 (CLG WIN)
Counter Logic Gaming can definitely claim the superior bot lane, despite missing their top laner, CLG ZionSpartan for the first week of the split, due to the Riot ruling that ZionSpartan was poached from Team Dignitas while still under contract. Instead, Benny, another high-elo top laner will be subbing in for the week. Doublelift has proven time and again that he has the mechanics to outplay the opposing bot lane and carry a game. Team 8 is new to the LCS, from the Expansion Tournament and they often lack the consistency necessary to win match-ups.
Team Dignitas vs Team Impulse (TIP WIN)
Team Impulse will still be missing their top laner (TIP Impact), but their mid laner, TIP XiaoWeiXiao, is capable of pulling off incredible plays, like the penta that lead to LMQ’s turnaround in Game 4 of the Season 4 NA Playoffs against TSM. It's also a possibility that Dignitas will be missing their ADC, DIG CoreJJ, for week 1. Furthermore, the jungler for TP (TIP Rush) has the incredible individual ability to outplay Dignitas. Will their “Impulse-iveness” lead them to a win or be the reason for their downfall?
Team Coast vs Winterfox (WFX WIN)
Winterfox will be missing their support, WFX Imagine, (WFX Gleeb will be subbing in for him) but because of their mechanically superior mid laner (WFX Pobelter) and (WFX Altec) ADC, who both climbed to challenger in Korean solo queue. With how passive Coast’s mid laner, Jesiz, usually plays, he could be playing right into the hands of Pobelter. Although Coast has a decent bot lane with the potential to outperform expectations, it’s an uphill battle for them to take this game.
Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming (CLG WIN)
Counter Logic Gaming is dominant in both mid and bot lane, partly due to the ongoing visa problems of TL Piglet and TL FeniX. Although TL FeniX will be able to play in Week 1, it's unlike that he's established sufficient synergy with any of the other players. Team Liquid can also claim the better top, Quas, who had almost 80 more assists than ZionSpartan last split however Benny will be subbed in due to Riot's one week suspension on ZionSpartan. However, the team has prepared in reaction to this announcement, so they should be on top of their game.
Cloud9 vs Gravity (C9 WIN)
Cloud9 is superior in each and every lane, so even if GV Keane manages to take a kill or two off C9 Hai due to mechanical outplays, Cloud9 is very good at securing objectives and playing systematically so that they win thoroughly without giving the opposition opportunities to catch up. Even “Gravity” can’t bring the “Clouds” down to earth.
Team 8 vs Team SoloMid (TSM WIN)
Although Team SoloMid had a poor showing at IEM San Jose, all of their players have been practicing hard during scrims and in solo queue, where the Challenger ladder will show the fruit of their labor. The top laner, T8 Calitrlolz is probably the shining beacon of hope for any Team 8 fans out there, but even he can’t carry against one of the best mid laners, TSM Bjergsen.
It won’t be a surprise when Cloud9 takes both games, so definitely keep those players in your starting lineup, but the real sleeper pick for this week will be WinterFox, who got matched up against Coast and Gravity. CLG should be able to win both games, a match-up against Team Liquid and another one against Team 8. Surprisingly, Impulse might be the sleeper pick for this week! They should be consistently beating Dignitas, however they're also able to pick up an unlikely win over Team Liquid as a result of their visa problem with their main carries!
TSM should be able to pull out decent numbers, with one win and one loss, but I would drop them down to the bench in favor of a player from one of the three teams mentioned above. Coast will be winning a game and losing a game, but it's unlikely that they'll pull out exceptional numbers that will benefit your Fantasy LCS team. Go to the tab that allows you to add and drop players and see if you can pick up anything better!
Team Liquid will lose both games as a result of a visa problem, which forces them to play without their main ADC and with a mid laner (TL FeniX) that hasn't gotten enough practice with the team. Also, Gravity, Dignitas, and Team 8 are likely to lose both games, so definitely drop them, or at least bench them for this week along with Team Liquid. Maybe they’ll pull through later in the season, but they’re risky bets for Week 1.
Feel free to message me or comment for explanations, but for now I’ll just list my predictions.
Elements (who will be facing Fnatic and Unicorns of Love) and SK Gaming (going up against Roccat and Meet Your Makers) should be able to beat both of their opponents with little difficulty, so definitely keep them in your starting lineup! Gambit will win against Roccat and Unicorns of Love, so they’ll come out 2-0. Copenhagen Wolves are facing the two teams from the Expansion Tournament, H2k-Gaming and Giants Gaming, so they'll be able to pull out two wins too! They’re definitely the sleeper pick for this week, despite being so low on my tier list.
Fnatic will lose to Elements, but beat H2k-Gaming, however I would not expect them to perform well enough to score a lot of points. Meet Your Makers will lose to SK Gaming, but their individual players have the mechanics to beat Giants Gaming.
Roccat is likely to lose both games, despite being mid-tier overall, simply because their opponents are better than them (Gambit Gaming and SK Gaming). Unicorns of Love will probably lose to Elements and Gambit, so I wouldn't recommend keeping them on your starting lineup, unless you believe in the hype! Finally and unsurprisingly, H2k-Gaming and Giants Gaming will lose both games.
Last Minute Tips
Play the match-up instead of just putting your best players, because you might find that easier opponents allow weaker teams to actually produce larger numbers!
I advise everyone to go to their roster, switch out everyone that’s not in a team that’s you expect to win both games, and then add players that are from those teams. In my eight 8-man leagues, I was able to make up teams that were completely from Cloud9, Impulse, Winterfox, Elements, SK Gaming, Gambit, and Copenhagen Wolves in seven of them!
Don’t forget to hold onto your good players though; I kept all my TSM players despite benching them for the week!
This is my favorite line-up for the week!
This is one of the leagues in which I was forced to auto-draft, but I came up with a pretty good lineup nonetheless!
I also have this article posted on LeagueofHunnies!