The spring split is finally upon us ladies and gentleman. We can finally watch our favorite teams battle it out on the rift and send overly aggressive tweets when they lose us our fantasy league games.
This season, I will be here each week to help you navigate your way through the clown fiesta that is Fantasy LCS, and hopefully help you win some money by the end of split. That being said, let’s get this party started with some week one bottom lane rankings.
1. Arrow and Adrian (Phoenix1 – NA LCS)
In a “best game” format, which seems to be the most popular, I think Arrow shines this week. He has the opportunity to play against two bottom lanes in Dignitas and Echo Fox that are closer to the bottom of many people’s rankings, which gives him two opportunities to absolutely take over a game. This, combined with the fact that Adrian has always been a support that prioritizes keeping his AD carry alive, bodes well for Arrow.
2. Zven and mithy (G2 Esports – EU LCS)
As a team, G2 Esports should be as dominant as ever in Europe. With that, Zven will continue his rampage. The first week of the season pits Zven against the newly formed Fnatic team that is sure to have some weaknesses early in the season. Even if Zven is not able to tear Fnatic apart, week two gives him another soft pitch that he should be able to hit out of the park in Roccat. Throughout this season, I would be very surprised if Zven and mithy ever fall below my top five in a week. They frankly just have too much talent and too good of a team beside them.
3. Piglet and Matt (Team Liquid – NA LCS)
This spot was really a toss up for me between Nuclear, H2k-Gaming’s new AD carry, and Piglet. What gave Piglet the win was simply his proven track record and experience. In the first week of play, you will see Piglet and Matt take on Counter Logic Gaming, a team that looks pretty close to Team Liquid’s skill on paper. However, I think Piglet will be the X factor in the series that pushes Liquid over CLG. Piglet’s second matchup is where he should really shine, as Liquid takes on FlyQuest. Not only does Liquid hold a massive advantage in the bottom lane, they also have big skill discrepancies in every lane. On top of all of this, Hai has a track record of keeping his teams in games for quite a long time by trading objectives for kills, which means more potential points for the former World Champion.
4. Nuclear and Chei (H2k-Gaming – EU LCS)
Nuclear is an interesting player this split because he has the potential to become the best AD carry in the west. The pieces that H2K have around Nuclear are absolutely perfect. There is a top five, or better, player in terms of raw talent at every role, and there is a fellow Korean speaking bottom lane partner in Chei.
Nuclear and H2K will have to battle the potential egos and communication issues that may arise throughout the season, but they have the potential to be a top two team. Riot has also gifted them a very generous week one opponent in Origen, who look to be a very weak team this split. All eyes should be on Nuclear, as the newcomer looks to earn his spot by starting strong.
Nuclear will likely get his best game in against Origen, and then come back down to Earth in the series against Splyce.
5. Stixxay and Aphromoo (Counter Logic Gaming – NA LCS)
The duo of Stixxay and Aphromoo is, and will always be, solid. Even when Stixxay struggles a bit early, CLG tend to play around their disadvantages well enough to get him back into games, which will always result in decent fantasy points. This week, though, CLG’s match against Team EnVyUs and the newly formed duo lane of Apollo and Hakuho is very favorable for Stixxay and Aphromoo. Simply speaking, CLG should have very good control of this series, which means Stixxay will more than likely be alive and picking up points throughout most of the game as Huhi and Aphromoo do the dirty work.
6. WildTurtle and Biofrost (Team SoloMid – NA LCS)
These two are not a duo lane that I expect to have in my top five very much throughout the split, but I do like the matchup they have against Immortals this week. As a player, WildTurtle tends to have a really big game here and there, which makes him more valuable this season with the new format. Against the new Immortals team, WildTurtle looks to be in a strong position to have that big game. The problem I see with this duo lane is whether or not they play well together. Biofrost made a name for himself playing with Doublelift, an AD carry that took control of the lane and his support. WildTurtle is not as dominant as Doublelift, so Biofrost may not be as effective as he was last split. Only time will tell, but I like these two this week.
7. Sneaky and Smoothie (Cloud9 – NA LCS)
Much like CLG’s bot lane, these two are pretty consistent. Normally I would have them a bit higher than No. 6, sometimes even as high as No. 1, but this week their matchups could be pretty rough. Playing Dignitas may sound like a good matchup for these two in the bottom lane, but honestly I think it is pretty even. When looking at the rest of the lanes and the two junglers, I have to give the advantage to Dignitas in this series, which means less points for Sneaky. If any player on Cloud9 is able to make the difference in this matchup, it will probably be Jensen. For that reason, Sneaky and Smoothie fall a bit.
Against TSM, on the other hand, these two may have a big game. It is really up in the air how the bottom lane of TSM will look at this point, which could spell success for Mr. Consistent/Sneaky. Although, I still do not see Cloud9 winning the series, which means that it is going to be difficult for Sneaky and Smoothie to have a strong game. Look for this duo to rise in next week’s rankings.
8. LOD and Xpecial (Team Dignitas – NA LCS)
This duo could be much higher on this list within the next few weeks, but for now I have to keep the expectations low. As a team, Dignitas has a lot of potential and I honestly expect them to win the split, but potential has always been a tough mountain to climb. The bottom lane of this team is where the most confusion and misplays should come from, as they are the only two members of the squad that do not speak Korean. Even with that said, though, they could easily turn out to be like the bottom lane of Immortals last year who always scored highly due to the rest of the team’s success. Frankly, I like this bottom lane a lot more than I liked the Immortals bottom lane at this time last year. LOD and Xpecial together have a very high skill ceiling. If either of these two are not owned in your league, pick them up and stash them on the bench.
9. Cody Sun and Olleh (Immortals – NA LCS)
Here we go again. A duo lane that looks like it won’t be all that great on a team with quite a bit of talent on the top side of the map. Sound familiar? Yes, Immortals has gone with the same type of roster that found them success last season, focusing heavily on the top and jungle positions, with a sustainable mid laner and an iffy bottom lane. Unlike some of the other teams, Immortals gave us a peek at the skill of its new roster back at IEM Gyeonggi. At that event, it was clear that both Olleh and Cody Sun were struggling. Since this was Cody Sun’s first time on any sort of major stage, nerves and communication problems most likely played a part in his performance. These issues could have easily been resolved since the tournament’s conclusion, but you never know. This bottom lane to me is much like the Dignitas bottom lane with a bit less potential. Though that may not sound great in terms of fantasy points, I think it is quite the opposite. This roster has a very high skill ceiling, which means that as a fantasy owner, you should really look to stash one or both of these players on your bench if you have an average AD carry as your starter. Both of these two players could easily be in the top five scoring at their positions by the end of the split, so picking them up early should be worth it.
The FeelsBadMan Starts of the Week
If, for some reason, none of the above players are available to you in your league and you must start someone else, here are your best options.
Altec (FlyQuest) and Hakuho (Team EnVyUs)
Altec does have some potentially good matchups this week due to the fact that he plays against the also unranked bottom lane of Hakuho and Apollo. Like I said before, Hai’s teams always find a way to stay in games somehow. That is more than likely going to be on the back of Altec, as he is the one person on that team that you would want to funnel resources into. The longer the game lasts, as long as he doesn’t die too much, the more points Altec can get.
As for Hakuho, he plays on a team that has some potential to have a big game. Players like Ninja and Seraph have always had a game here and there where they look like stars. On top of that, EnVyUs improved in the jungle role by picking up LirA, who should help create openings for the team. Although, the communication barrier still hurts this team greatly and the openings created by LirA will rarely be for the bottom lane. Hakuho is the best among the last resort options, but keep your expectations low and hope that the rest of your team really puts points on the board.
Who’s starting in your duo lane for week one? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @GAMURScom.