Alliance and Wolves close LCS week five with fantasy bonanza
A whopping 51 kills packed into a lengthy 51-minute affair where most players earned a bonus for 10 assists and two players hit 15 kills, the match was a doozy as the last game of the week. That one game boosted players from both teams to the top of the table for the week, meaning if you didn’t have them in your lineup, you probably struggled.
The match mimicked many of the trends that have governed fantasy success this split, a macrocosm of the season. Of note:
- European LCS games are over four minutes longer on average than games on the West side of the Atlantic, and this 51-minute blockbuster is one reason why.
- Europe is the higher scoring region by nearly a point per game, and the lengthy games are a large reason why.
- The North American region has one punching bag similar to Copenhagen Wolves (21.96 Points Allowed Per Game), Complexity (20.52 PAPG). But there are no secondary punching bags in Europe like Gambit Gaming (19.3 PAPG) or Supa Hot Crew (17.53 PAPG).
- Alliance is simply the most dominant team this season, and the fantasy numbers reflect that. Considering winning teams score more than twice as many fantasy points as losers, it’s no surprise the team with 2 more wins over any other is topping the standings.
- Alliance obliterated the fantasy week at an unprecedented level, hitting first-place in all six fantasy positions, with Paweł “Celaver” Koprianiuk rounding out the flex position. It’s full steam ahead with Alliance. Even in tough matchups, like SK Gaming this week, they manage to put up good point tallies. Right now they’re the safest bet in fantasy.
- Mike “Wickd” Petersen topped the top lane scorers this week with 52.75 points, moving him to fifth place in the top lane rankings with 15.66 FPPG. But that’s actually lower than you’d expect on a 10-2 high scoring team. While most of Alliance will be weekly fantasy plays, even in lower scoring schedule weeks, be careful relying on too much from Wickd.
- Copenhagen Wolves continues to confound. Three of their players ranked second in the weekly rankings, almost solely due to the lengthy boxing match with Alliance. You can call that a fluke—except Wolves have made a habit of racking up points in these long losing efforts. The problem is the Wolves’ efforts are not predictable. If you put Pawel “Woolite” Pruski in your lineup after one of his huge weeks, you’re just as likely to get a stinker as a usable fantasy numbers.
- ROCCAT had a big fantasy week, and there’s reason to think their midseason surge up the standings will continue. But be careful investing in them for fantasy—while both Celaver and Remigiusz “Overpow” Pusch managed to hit the top five at their positions this week, they likely won’t be there often in the future. ROCCAT has a tendency to suppress fantasy scoring, dating back to last season. Their play style puts them in lower kill games, leading to low point tallies for both them and their opponents.
- Cloud9 showed some signs of life in the NA region. Both William “Meteos” Hartman and Hai Lam ranked in the top five at their positions. Hai’s quadra kill likely won’t be repeated, but this week could be a turning point for the defending champs. Complexity (20.52 PAPG) and Evil Geniuses (13.18 PAPG) is one of the easiest schedules you could ask for in the tough NA LCS.
Well, if you answered with any player, you’d be wrong. Trick question.
Alliance the team is the most valuable entity in fantasy LCS. Their 16.58 PPG so far this season places them 1.75 PPG above the second-ranked team, Dignitas. That’s the biggest differential between the two highest ranked players in the league by far. Alliance is 1.66 standard deviations above the average at the position. That tops Kerp, Rekkles, Ackerman, or any other player you want to talk about.
Last split, Cloud9 dominated the team standings, but Cloud9 and Team SoloMid players also dominated their player rankings at similar levels. This season things are much closer in the LCS as a whole, except for the 10-2 Alliance, the most valuable fantasy performer so far. Whether that continues is another story, but right now they seem like a safe bet for further domination.
- Millenium continue to be the season’s fantasy darlings. While LMQ was the hot topic in week one, they’ve quickly cooled off over the past two weeks, save for top laners Xiao “Ackerman” Wang, who seems to post decent numbers even in their down weeks. Alliance may be the top fantasy performing team in the league, but they were expected to be: most of their players cost high picks. While Millenium were hailed as value picks by many experts, they’ve truly been gold so far.
Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam (22.6 PPG) maintains his position atop the mid lane ranking, along with his jungler, Markus “Kottenx” Tingvall (18.29 PPG). Both had relative down weeks compared to recent performances, but they were enough to keep your team in the game, which can’t be said of some other slumping top mid laners like Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian. Also of note, Kevin “Kev1n” Rubiszewski is now the second ranked top laner in fantasy. Even the Millenium team is worth points—they’re the third highest scoring one in the game.
- Team SoloMid looks rejuvenated. But while their two new players and the always consistent Marcus “Dyrus” Hill all rank in the top four at their positions, the two who cost first round picks—Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran—are still costing their fantasy teams. Since Solomid’s new coach Yoonsub “Locodoco” Choi has taken over, both players have looked a bit revitalized. But the fact remains that the NA region is so much more competitive, it’s hard to expect too much more out of those players. This week, for example, they’ll face LMQ and CLG. Can WildTurtle beat Peter “Doublelift” Peng, and Bjergsen take on XiaoWeiXiao head to head? Don’t count on it.
- The NA region continues to be a poor fantasy investment, save for LMQ, who could likely be had at a discount to start the split. The dreaded parity that rule Europe last season, evening out fantasy scores, has hit America even harder this season. And the worst part is, while teams like Evil Geniuses and Curse Gaming languish at the bottom of the standings, they are not great fantasy matchups. Evil Geniuses has only given up 16.05 PPG while losing, while Curse allowed 19.4 PPG. Those are against an average of 20.9 PPG for losing teams. EG’s number in particular is astonishing; they just don’t give up a lot of points.
- So what to look for next week? Cloud9 and Curse Gaming get Complexity in the NA LCS, with EG on the other end. Counter Logic Gaming is another interesting bet. They’re up against Team SoloMid and LMQ, both teams who like to play high kill games, and if CLG gets drawn into that pace they could put up big numbers. But CLG moves to their own beat, and is usually a risky play in fantasy outside of maybe their bottom lane duo.
- Fnatic is hot for this week. They’re in line for the good old Copenhagen Wolves bump, and their second match is against Supa Hot Crew, who usually gives up a lot of points, even when they win. Also facing that schedule is Gambit Gaming, so if you need a fill-in for a Millenium player up against SK Gaming and Alliance, or maybe don’t trust LMQ against Dignitas and Team SoloMid, a Danill “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov or Evgeny “Genja” Andryushin gamble might pay off. Maybe.
The last two weeks seem to have thrown a wrench into the seeming predictability established by the first two weeks of this season. There are only a few certainties. Alliance will put up big numbers. Copenhagen Wolves will allow big numbers. And start your players against Complexity.
Of course, all those truisms will probably change next week.
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube