Team Of The Week - League of Legends - Fantasy Week 1
The first week of the European and North American NA LCS Spring Split began with a hoard of exciting games, record-breaking performances and shocking upsets, which is exactly what I love to see. New-look Fnatic defied low expectations to beat xPeke-less Origen before falling to the new 'super' team Vitality, TSM were beaten by a convincing CLG before picking up a strange win after a misplayed fight by Team Liquid threw the game.
Outside of perhaps Piglet, I'm not sure many people would have predicted that any of these players would be the highest scorers of the week but after great performances by all of them, they might give you something to consider going into next week.
The fact that not just one player from Dignitas made the list but three is nothing short of surprising given their history of constantly misfiring when it counts. Whilst SmittyJ was the 15th highest overall scorer of week 1, he managed to beat every other top laner, edging out Vizicsacsi by a slim 1.47 points.
Day 1 started out with some misfortune as after a decent early performance on Malphite with good roams, his ultimates started to miss their target and after GBM managed to impressively steal two Barons from his team, Dignitas were left chasing the game, they could do nothing to prevent their fate and were simply outclassed by NRG.
Day 2 is where things really kicked up a notch for Dignitas, SmittyJ picked up Fiora in a 31 minute game where Dignitas dominated CLG from the start, they outclassed across the map and managed to actually obtain a baron for themselves. SmittyJ went 5/2/5, picking up first blood on CLG new boy Stixxay's Lucian only 3 minutes into the game, and following another kill on Stixxay before 10 minutes, allowed his team to snowball into victory whilst picking up plenty of fantasy point boosting kills.
Team: G2 Esports
Beating out second placed Jungler Kirei of Dignitas by a respectable 9.09 points and the only player to make the list from Europe was Trick from the newly promoted challenger team G2 Esports. On the surface it looked as though the LCS new boys might struggle after a few seasons of just missing out through challenger series promotion. After giving away first blood pretty quickly Trick's fortunes didn't seem to be improving but a strong mindset allowed Trick to get back into the driving seat through excellent kill participation.
That death would prove to be his only one of the week as Trick's week went from good to great, displaying an impressive proficiency on the increasingly popular Graves jungle. His time subbing for CJ Entus shone through and despite a seemingly easy week for match ups, I expect Trick to continue to be his teams stand-out performer.
Here we have the best player in the first week of Western League Of Legends; Shiphtur. Shiphtur was straight up incredible this week, his team only went 1-1 but his performances were nothing short of godlike.
In his first game, Shiphtur was arguably quite unlucky to not walk away with the win. He had the most CS, the most gold and the most kills with a score of 8/2/7 on Anivia in a tense game where the overall score was 16-16. Two Baron skills from my drafted mid laner GBM turned the tides against the seemingly desperate Dignitas who were kept under constant pressure from Cris' split pushing Fiora.
With refreshed minds Dignitas returned to face Counter Logic Gaming, a team buoyed by their win against rivals TSM. Dignitas however, were not phased by this new-look CLG and Shiphtur was massively impactful, going 6/1/10 on Ahri. Dignitas were ruthless in their dismantling of CLG, staying ahead from the start, ending the game 21-6. Going into week 2 I recommend you consider picking up Shiphtur, if nothing more than a bench player as any easy week for Dignitas could easily be a great week for you.
AD Carry: Piglet
Team: Team Liquid
Now Piglet, was something special this week. Amazingly, he only missed out on the top spot this week by a measly 1.38 points. The truly remarkable thing about this is the only player in the team of the week who did not win a single game. It took Renegades over 1 hour to finally beat liquid, giving the hard to kill Piglet plenty of time to rack up some points in a game where Renegades struggled to finish. It was his performance against TSM that was particularly soul crushing for Piglet however.
As you can see above Team Liquid (Red) had the game nicely snowballing in their favour and were one decent fight away from wrapping up the game and upsetting thousands of TSM fans. It even looked that way as 41 minutes in Svenskeren was caught by Team Liquid and killed by Piglet, leaving Liquid with only 4 players between them and the Nexus. Unfortunately it was not to be, as new player Dardoch got a little bit to eager in picking up more kills and chased TSM ahead of his team. TSM were able to kite back towards their base with the use of Bard and Syndra, and managed to pick up the kill on the over-eager Elise player.
This is when TSM realised that it was now or never, turning around to chase down Team Liquid. The game was truly lost when Fenix attempted to a make a desperate play on Orianna, attempting to flash into the middle of TSM and capture them all within his ultimate. This went horribly wrong as he didn't manage to hit the priority targets and seemingly delivered TSM a free kill. Support and top laner soon fell leaving Piglet the only member alive on the side of Liquid. Doomed from the start Piglet attempted to defend his base from TSM 1v4 but with the late game respawn timers too high, he could do nothing and went down for the only time that game as TSM destroyed his Nexus. Piglet was visibly distraught afterwards as the former world champion witnessed his team completely throw the game before his eyes, ending with an excellent score of 6/1/10
Now this player was certainly not one anybody expected to be a stand-out performer given his less than stellar history in Fantasy LCS. His frequency in deaths does not often make for particularly impressive point scoring but this week Kiwikid seemed to flip his carry switch, allowing Apollo and the rest of his team to excel. In fact in each of my 3 fantasy leagues, nobody drafted a single player from Dignitas, something they might be reconsidering now. This should hopefully reinforce the benefits of drafting players for the short term when their matches are particularly favourable.
Fans of Dignitas will be hoping that Kiwikid and his team can continue to do them proud, while I don't personally see them as a top 3 North American team, the previous summer split certainly proved that the 'best' teams can under-perform and so far the so called 'super team' of TSM has been far from convincing. Maybe this is Dignitas' year?
Make no mistake, Freeze is a truly excellent AD Carry. The only shining light in the sinking ship known as the Copenhagen Wolves was rumoured to have joined North American boys (and girl) for a few months and honestly I think most people had them written off before they even took to the rift. Not only did Freeze deny expectation there, he was massively impactful on Kalista in his first game, a champion that Origen's Zven had talked down in recent weeks, ending with an impressive score of 11/2/7. His team went on to lose to NRG in a tense match, ending the week 1-1.
Team: Unicorns Of Love
Despite the seemingly easy week for the Unicorns of Love, it is one thing to be the favourites, it is another to live up to that expectation as TSM, Origen and Fnatic proved this week. Given their stereotypically European focus on Baron the team picked up 6 points from that alone and a further 5 from Dragons as well as maximum points in First Bloods obtained. The 3rd highest Towers Destroyed record was evident of a team with excellent objective trades and focus and the experience of players like Steelback shone through with a seemingly season 5 Fnatic level of fast and effective game play. This is a team that doesn't want to settle for mid table, only time will tell whether the old inconsistent Unicorns of Love will resurface.
Total Team Of The Week Points: 294.45