Esports DFS – League of Legends LCS 1/15 6pm lock
By Chris Emrick
When it comes to competitive LOL the level of play in the Eastern Hemisphere is far above that of North America. Korea with a higher level of talent and discipline. The Chinese with a far more exciting, hyper-aggressive, fight over just about anything and everything style that is tons of fun to watch. Not only because it leads to more upsets, but because it’s more fun to watch champions square off as opposed to simply farm for 30 minutes. All that being said, the Western leagues are fun for different reasons. Sure the production isn’t as good, the play isn’t anywhere near the same level, and there are far more annoying casters on both the LEC and LCS broadcasts. But, the times that the games are on are far better! There is no waking up at the wee hours of the morning. (As I type this it’s 5:30 am, and I’ve been up since 2.) Instead, we get weekend slates and games that will for both splits take the place of football as a staple on the weekend.
The LCS returns tonight at 6 pm with a new tournament that will hopefully help breed more competitive teams when it comes to international tournaments. The DFS support is a bit on the weak side, but we’ve come to expect that for the LEC/LCS offerings just based on the times that they play. Let’s dive a bit into each of the matchups, then we can talk about some strategies to try and take down the 5k on DK.
100T (Even) vs TSM (-140)
After disappointing 2020 that saw 100T seriously under perform in summer they gutted the roster and decided to move in a new direction. Going out and essentially acquiring the entire Golden Guardians to go with their star Top Laner Ssumday the hopes for a successful split are high with TSM. They’ll get a challenge right off the bat with a new look TSM roster that also looks very different than it did last year. Gone is the iconic mainstay in the mid lane Bjergsen. Also retiring was all-time LCS bottom laner double lift. In their place, TSM went out and got one of the best midlaners in NA PowerofEvil and then promoted academy ADC Lost. To go with those acquisitions they imported World Finalist support player Swordart to tandem with Lost and secure up that bottom lane.
CLG (+315) vs TL (-500)
What will be common theme for most teams is that they look very different than they did last year. CLG is no different in that regard. Swapping 3 of their players and returning only Pobelter in the mid lane and Smoothie at support. Joining them on the squad will be Solo and Wild Turtle from Flyquest and Griffin filling in for Broaxh who is having visa issues in the Jungle. Team Liquid made a few changes themselves despite what can be viewed as a successful summer split. Winning the regular season and then getting into groups from play in’s at Worlds this team has huge expectations coming into 2021. Returning their two stars in Jensen and Corejj to pair with standout rookie Tactical the trio brings continuity to this squad. From there they upgraded at Top Lane getting Euro start Alphari and then adding Flyquest Jungler Santorin. Armao will fill in for Santorin who like Broxah has had some visa issues.
C9 (-345) vs EG (+240)
Of all the free-agent offseason moves none were bigger than Perkz coming over from G2 to join C9 in their mid lane. One of the best players in the world will help solidify C9 as the hands-down favorite in this tournament and for the Spring split. That wasn’t the only change for C9, they said goodbye to Licorice in the top lane and promoted Fudge from their championship academy team. EQ had their changes as well. Deftly will man the bottom lane from their academy team, Impact comes overcome TL, and igNar joins from Flyquest.
DIG (+200) vs FLY (-290)
Dignitas’ roster has some LCS pedigree among their new-look roster. However, at one point or another, every member of this current roster spent time in the academy last year for this organization or another. Among the teams playing today, this is by far the least exciting. Flyquest on the other hand has some serious upside to this roster. Palafox, Diamond, and Licorice all come over from the C9 org, Josedeodo becomes the first LLA import and Johnsun is a promising bottom laner. This is a team to watch as they gel together and see if they can compete with some of the top tier teams in the league.
When we look at who we want to play for DFS there are a combination of things that one can evaluate. In some cases people like using optimizer and taking their stacks from there. That certainly has merit if you have good projections but those can be hard to come by and good ones will almost always cost you money. If you want to do it without them, it’s still very possible. There are two things that I try to look at above all else. The first thing is that I want to find winners. It’s important for a player to have a good fantasy score that he’s on the winning team. This isn’t a steadfast rule and isn’t 100% always the case but more often than not it is. What is more important is that the game is one that allows for high kill totals. That means finding teams that are willing to engage, teams playing each other that are close in skill, and teams that are good at getting objectives. The last part is important because that’s where a lot of team fights will happen. So if you have teams that both have high first herald percentages, they’re more likely to fight over that herald in some fashion whether it be a small skirmish or an all-out team fight than teams that might concede it. We don’t have many stats on these teams in the current forms, and on the current patch/meta. So we have to look more towards how they’ve played in the past.
100 Thieves and TSM is one of my favorite games to target on the slate. You have two teams that are fairly close in skill, a mid laner that loves to play a global roam/assist style in Damonte. This will help set up plays for the team. They also have the continuity of playing together last year. This is why I give them the slight edge in the win column, despite the odds. TSM has quite a few strong carry players in Huni/POE/Lost. It’s going to depend on how they gel together early.
The second game isn’t one that I’m super intrigued by. Team Liquid while fairly dominant last year tended to play at a slow pace. Sure there were some games that they played in which they had higher kill totals, but most of those came against the top competition in the league. This iteration of CLG doesn’t look to be that, and to be playing with subs? Nah, I’ll pass.
This is a tough game because it has the most important componant. A team likely will be very aggressive and have some high kill totals throughout the year in Cloud 9. Playing a team that while slightly different still has a lot of pieces that lead them to have the highest death per loss in the league last year (19) EG. The only issue is that I don’t think EG is very good, and I have to believe that C9 wins this easily. We saw it several times in the summer before their decline that there were times that they won too fast. This lead to lower kill totals, less objective points, and all this with the highest salaries/ownership on the slate. The case for them is there, but they certainly have a floor similar to a basketball team that blows the other team out and sits their starters. Winning big isn’t always going to translate directly over to DFS. Plus with the players priced where they are, a lot of team comps are less than optimal with non-carries being placed in the captain slots.
The final one is another one that is on my radar. I loved the Cloud 9 academy team in both spring and summer. They played at a high pace, they got kills, and a lot of times they played through Palafox. Bringing him to the team along w/Diamond from the same team and Licorice from the main C9 team surely brings a few people that are familiar with each other from scrims and inter-squad games. While Josedeodo may not be available I still like this team to put up some kills and win this game. They’ll be one of my main targets