North America is an interesting region to evaluate. Immortals is currently better than any team in both regions (EU included). After that the rankings get cloudy. We have 6 middle tier teams that are all very close in performance thus far. With Team Liquid finding their feat and a team like TIP actually taking wins off higher tier teams, it makes the middle of the season very interesting. In times like this, the best things to do are take the best players you possibly can and stack teams that are heavily favored. With that said, let’s get started!
TL v DIG – TL Favored
TL has gotten progressively better over the last couple of weeks. Beating NRG was their most important accomplishment thus far. Playing with such a young roster and competing against veterans isn’t an easy task. Beating a team that completely shut out TSM means that TL is right in the race with the other middle tier teams. In comparison, DIG has beaten CLG. However, DIG’s games have looked nothing like TL’s. Both teams have a solid win under their belt but TL has had some very close losses and even an absurdly close win (See here). DIG hasn’t shown a lot of improvement unlike TL which is one of the main reasons why I think TL is the favorite. No matter who wins, TL has scored well in almost all of their matches. Piglet and Fenix are some of the best picks in fantasy right now and that’s with a record of 3-3.
Your priorities from TL are Piglet (TL ADC), Fenix (TL Mid), and Dardoch (TL Jungle). All of them have over an 82% KPAR% and share 80% of the teams kills. From DIG you want Shiptur (DIG Mid), Billyboss (DIG Top), and Kiwikid (DIG Support). Apollo has extremely low KPAR% for an ADC. Billyboss has also struggled a little because of stage nerves, however he’s also up against a new top laner.
C9 v RNG – C9 Slightly Favored
RNG hasn’t performed as I expected them to thus far. During week 2 they had issues with Freeze playing and it really showed in their performance. On top of that, Remi doesn’t play as well on stage as she does outside of the LCS. For those that don’t know, she wasn’t going to play in the LCS at all and decided to at least try, after this week she posted that she won’t be continuing. There hasn’t been an announcement for her replacement yet, but I expect it will be soon. Their offstage problems have certainly transitioned to performances on stage. RNG also plays a very passive style of league and it’s very punishing in the current meta. C9 has also had their own issues, mainly dealing with micro shot calling and absence of Hai on stage. Hai is set to play in this match, thus it’s easily in their favor to win.
Your picks from C9 are Rush (C9 Jungle), Hai (C9 Support), and Jensen (C9 Mid). Sneaky has an incredibly low KPAR% for an ADC which is quite surprising considering how important he was last split. From RNG you certainly want Freeze (RNG ADC), Alex Ich (RNG Mid), and Remi (RNG Support). Freeze has a 50% KS% in the 3 games he has played.
CLG v IMT – IMT Favored
There isn’t a lot to be said coming into this matchup. I will put Immortals as the favorite against any team until they show signs of weakness. With another sub 20 minute win last week, it certainly doesn’t look like they are going to stop dominating anytime soon. CLG is 4-2 but I’m still not sold on their strengths. It feels as though they will all of their matches to just lane swapping and putting the enemy team behind. This is how they beat TSM, Echo Fox, and RNG. As long as Immortals comes prepared to handle their lane swap, this should be an easy match for them. One thing to note is that because CLG focuses so much on the lane swap and macro play, they tend to fight less than normal. However, IMT has dominated teams so easily that they fight more often than necessary. Just be aware that this game could be swingy in terms of kills.
From CLG you want Aphromoo (CLG Support), Stixxay (CLG ADC), and Huhi (CLG Mid). Darshan (CLG Top) has only been split pushing so be warned. From IMT you want Adrian (IMT Support), Wildturtle (IMT ADC), and Reignover (IMT Jungle). It’s hard to suggest people from IMT based off of stats though. For example in last weeks matches. Turtle had insane stats on saturday and Poebelter wasn’t involved in anything. On sunday it was the reverse. Turtle has a 37% KS% though and has been playing insanely well.
TSM v FOX – TSM Heavily Favored
Outside of the NRG match, TSM has looked solid so far this split. It felt like they actually couldn’t do anything against the Zilean pick and I expect it to shake up the meta. FOX is still playing with a subbed roster which means this should be a free win for TSM.
Bjergsen (TSM Mid), Yellowstar (TSM Support), and Hauntzer (TSM Top) are your pick for a TSM roster. Doubelift is also a solid choice as he does have the highest KS% on the team but the lowest KPAR%. From FOX you want Keith (FOX ADC), Big (FOX Support) and Solo (FOX Top).
NRG v TIP – NRG Favored
NRG should dominate this matchup. To be completely honest, this should be heavily favored for NRG. The only thing holding me back is lack of information from TIP’s full roster. A team that many underestimated is 3-3, even playing with subs. TIP had a 5k gold lead on TL last week and couldn’t close out the game. They may have lost but it at least showed they could compete. NRG also lost to TL last week but absolutely dominated TSM. I’m hesitant to give NRG a huge favorite mainly because of the names on the team. It’s very important to remain as unbiased as possible when rostering, and to use knowledge of games/stats rather than fame or past performances. Overall, NRG is the better team with better players but you shouldn’t underestimate TIP as this point. I expect this match to have a lot of kills so you certainly want to focus on picking players from either team.
From NRG you want to prioritize Impact (NRG Top) over anyone else. Hands down the best to planer for stats in NA. With him you want GBM (NRG Mid) and Altec (NRG ADC). Altec has a 36% KS% but hasn’t really been a name being talked about this split. From TIP you want Procxin (TIP Jungle), Seraph (TIP Top), and Gate (TIP Support). My stats on Gate are completely skewed considering how many positions he has played so far but his KPAR% as support has been solid.
Day 2 is a lot closer than day 1, thus I suggest hedging more than normal and not stacking so much in your HWW.
IMT v TL – IMT Slightly Favored
I think this might be the match that IMT loses. TL started off with some losses but has never lost a game without putting up a fight. TL has made very good improvements through this split and IMT has obviously dominated everyone. IMT’s match against CLG was somewhat close at first but never felt like IMT was going to lose. With all of this said, IMT is still favored. They have yet to give me a reason to think they are going to lose, but all teams faultier at some point. No matter what, I expect this match to have a decent amount of kills. IMT’s players are some of the best picks for fantasy because they aren’t a team that is afraid to fight, unlike a lot of the teams in the LCS. TL has also shown they are not afraid to fight either, even from behind. A large difference in this match is experience. Huni has a lot more experience than Lourlo, and Reignover more than Dardoch. Considering how much IMT favors the top lane in the early game, this is something they will abuse. Immortals should win this, but I think it’s closer than many people might think.
Dardoch (TL Jungle) has the highest KPAR% and KS% on TL, more than Piglet (TL ADC). This is a pretty insane stat and you have to pick him in your TL rosters. Along with him you want Piglet and Fenix (TL Mid). Your picks from IMT are Reignover (IMT Jungle), Adrian (IMT Support), and Wildturtle (IMT ADC). Really though, everyone is a solid choice.
C9 v NRG – NRG Slightly Favored
This is a really close match. Both teams have been somewhat inconsistent in their matches. C9 can beat a team in 19 minutes and NRG can shut out TSM. C9’s record is hard to reflect on because they have only lost one match with Hai and looked like complete garbage without him. NRG has been more consistent which is why they are the favorite for this matchup. Overall NRG is a better team but C9 is a team who has random performances. Some games they look terrible and others they come out ahead because of strong shot calling and team comps. Rush’s performance will have a huge impact on this match. His aggressive nature can be punished or give C9 a huge advantage. NRG should score well no matter what and would certainly suggest taking their members because of how often they team fight.
It’s been the same all split, you want Impact (NRG Top), Altec (NRG ADC), and GBM (NRG Mid) from NRG. I am including Sneaky (C9 ADC) this time because he seems to be coming into form. Along with him you want Rush (C9 Jungle) and Hai (C9 Support).
TSM v RNG – TSM Heavily Favored
Yesterday had me worried for TSM considering how poor their game went against FOX. I’m hoping (for my fantasy team’s sake and my heart) that TSM wins in a more dominating fashion. RNG is struggling and if you didn’t have a chance to win their match yesterday – they lost to C9 in 19 minutes. With multiple roster changes and overall lack of understanding this meta, they need to make a lot of changes to turn their season around. One thing to consider is that TSM seems to lack confidence and won’t fight until it ends the game, thus I don’t expect them to have the most points on the day.
From TSM you want the same as yesterday: Bjergsen (TSM Mid), Yellowstar (TSM Support), and Hauntzer (TSM Top). From RNG you want Freeze (RNG ADC) and Alex Ich (RNG Mid).
CLG v TIP – TIP Slightly Favored
This is my bold call for the day. If CLG’s typical lane swap fails, TIP is a better at team fighting. If TIP doesn’t come prepared to thwart CLG’s lane swap, then they will certainly fail. The interesting thing about CLG is how inconsistent the kill count is in their games. If they have a successful lane swap, the score line stays quite low. If they reach the mid game without a large advantage they tend to brawl more. I think TIP is a real team and has played really well in all of their games with a full roster. Feng played the for the first time since week 1 yesterday and performed really well. They ultimately lost a close match to NRG but put up a strong performance. This match can go either way and I suggest hedging. CLG has better shot calling but the chaotic play style of TIP might give them enough of a lead to win.
From CLG you want Aphromoo (CLG Support), Huhi (CLG Mid), and Stixxay (CLG ADC). Stay away from Darshan (CLG Top). Aside from his Ryze game against IMT, he has been on the split push plan all season and I expect him to do the same against TIP. From TIP you want Feng (TIP Top), Gate (TIP Support), Procxin (TIP Jungle).
DIG v FOX – DIG Slightly Favored
Both of these teams have struggled over the last few weeks. FOX put up a strong performance against a nervous TSM and almost beat TL a couple weeks ago. DIG hasn’t really found a strong performance since their match against CLG. Overall this match is close, but I’m giving DIG the advantage because of their time together. FOX is still on a subbed roster but if the TSM match wasn’t evidence enough, they have progressively gotten better together. At this point you just want to take strong players from both teams and hedge. I don’t expect this match to have a lot of kills unless one of these teams just can’t finish. Both of these teams tend to play very passive, especially DIG. Thus if FOX is winning, DIG will likely roll over and let them win. If DIG is winning, they tend to wait until the late game and win a fight to end. This should be a low kill game.
From DIG you want Shiptur (DIG Mid), BillyBoss (DIG Top), and Kiwikid (DIG Support). From FOX, Keith (FOX ADC) is a beast for stats. This also makes Big (FOX Support) a solid choice and to round off your picks from FOX you want Solo (FOX Top) who has a great KPAR% for a top laner.
As always, feel free to talk to me on twitter and good luck drafting!