League of Legends LEC DFS 1/22 Noon Lineup Lock
In terms of following professional LoL the Chinese and Korean leagues certainly pose certain challenges to the regular viewer. The biggest being the time that they’re on. It’s difficult for one to maintain a normal routine while waking up as early as 2 am est to check rosters, and then watching the games up until 9-10 am. The first part of this is easy enough, its the going about the rest of your day after that is challenging. Rinse and repeat 5x a week and you’re operating quite differently than the rest of your friends and family. During the quarantine, this was more easily navigated as many of us had either no responsibilities from work or vastly reduced roles that allowed for such activities to exist. As this is not the case anymore for many people. The Western leagues pose a much more friendly schedule to be able to follow.
The LEC returns this week and what that means is one of my favorite leagues in terms of players, teams, time slots, days, level of play, and of course production entertainment value. In terms of play quality, Europe is generally regarded as being above NA but below the Eastern leagues. So that’s to say that you’re getting some high-quality play. Just like the US, the LEC runs a Best of 1 format with all of its games played on the weekend. For those of us in the eastern time zone having games start at noon on Friday and 11 Saturday is certainly a treat (especially when we get LCS right after they end). The opening week is known as “Super Week” and it features games on Sunday as well as the usual Friday and Saturday. The only downside is the time slot competes with more traditional offerings from Drafking’s and as such doesn’t have the same size price pools. It’s a fun experience none the less, and it represents the only league in which a GPP has still eluded me. That ends this year.
G2 Esports (-325) Vs Mad Lions (+225)
A mainstay at the top of the LEC and the world for that matter, G2 comes in as the heavy favorite over the Mad Lions despite losing their Iconic bottom laner Perkz to LCS’s Cloud 9. Returning the 4 other pieces that helped G2 win the Spring and Summer playoffs the last 2 years in a row. They then reloaded their bottom lane by snagging an arguably better piece than they had before in Rekkles, formally of Fnatic. The concern from some is whether or not the team cohesiveness that they displayed in the past would carry over with the introduction of a new member. Specifically, a piece that is used to being the main carry of his team. This worry isn’t one that I share as Rekkles has a desire to win worlds and felt like this squad gave him the best chance to do so. I doubt he has any illusions as to who is the top-dog on this team and will cede to the others until called upon in-game. The synergy between him and his support Mikyx may not completely be there for this game, but whatever they lack will be made up by the pure talent that is up and down this roster.
On the other side of this game the Mad Lions return most of their core that dominated the first part of last summer and got them into worlds before ultimately running out of gas. Joining the team is Turkish top laner Armut fresh off his own stand out performance at worlds. Elyoya a promising jungler from the EU regional scene also joins the squad. While the loss of Shad0w and Orome can be seen as premature, the replacement players that take their spots are arguably upgrades. It remains to be seen which Mad Lions team we will see to start the split. The hyper-aggressive team that pushes the pace and makes the other team make quick decisions that can lead to mistakes. Or will it be the team that sat back at worlds, getting dominated in the process.
I expect G2 to get going a bit faster than summer. Some of the issues that were present at that time aren’t going to be lingering over their heads. This team seems focused and ready to dominate. They’ll be popular in DFS for cash games, and small stacks in tournaments. You’re paying a premium to play these guys and it’s going to be hard to fit multiple pieces. Even the longest odds pay off at times as can be evidenced by the recent upset of Damwon gaming in the LCK at a staggering -10000.
If these teams remain true to their form last year the optimal build very well likely contains something from this game. The ranked 2nd and 3rd in Kills per win and 1st and 3rd in deaths per loss.
Any G2 Stack should be built around Caps and in most cases, I’m fading Mikyx. This isn’t a popular take I’m sure. However, in comparison to other supports his kill share and kill participation simply weren’t very good last year. He got there on volume and raw points certainly have value. I wouldn’t fault one for playing him, it just wont be how my lineup construction is put together.
On the Mad Lions, I’m likely to look again to the Mid Lane for the staart of my stacks and focus on building around Humanoid and then Elyoya before adding to the stack from there.
Astralis (Even) vs SK Gaming (-140)
In terms of fantasy exposure to this game, it’s hard to feel good about having much of either team in this match up. Neither of these rosters do much to jump out and excite you in terms of teams that want to get into skirmishes that are needed to put up large fantasy scores. On one side Astralis decided to go into full rebuild mode only retaining Nukeduke in the mid lane and then adding a bunch of standouts from the European regional leagues. Zanzarah, Jeskla, and promisq may be familiar names for those that followed the European Masters tournaments as they got a fair amount of exposure from there. We’ve seen this strategy work better than expected for DRX in the LCK. I’m a bit more bullish on them in this match-up than the oddsmakers and as such, I’ll be throwing a unit or two at even money on Astralis. I recognize that there may be some chemistry issues at first but I just like the talent on this side of the game more than the other.
SK gaming also swapped out 4 of their 5 from last season. Only retaining Top Laner Jenax who in terms of Top Laners in the LEC was middle of the pack when it came to KDA and KP. For a team that showed promise at times last split, it seemed like a bit of an over reaction to try and re-haul this roster with these pieces. I expect them to be a bottom team and as such will pick on them when I have the chance. This may be the only time all split that we can do so with positive odds.
Even the winning side of this game may not yield the points needed to be optimal in a GPP and neither team profiles as one I want to pay in cash. Anything can happen and fortunes are made by the bold. With that said my exposure to both teams will be extremely light opting likely to have their team slot in any build that includes them. Zanzarah is my favorite play from either team in this game.
Rouge (-280) vs exceL eSports (+200)
This is one of the games I’m most interested in watching. In part because Rouge is my favorite team from the LEC and in part because I cant wait to see Czekolad on the LEC stage.
Winners of the Summer Split regular reason to say Rouge went on to disappoint at worlds is being a bit harsh on them. To be fair they did get a really unlucky draw that found themselves in a group with JDG and Damwon. With only two teams advancing it isn’t exactly the optimal spot you’d want to find yourself and it went about as well as one could expect. Returning the core carries from their roster lasy year Larssen, Hans Sama, and Inspired I’d expect we still see the dominant early game team as we did last summer. Adding Odoamne and Trymbi in the Top and Support roles should help round out this roster. The addition of Odoamne who lead the split in KP but was last in KS for S04 should be the bigger of the two upgrades. Finn was a solid top laner but Odoamne is simply better. While Rouge was dominant in the early game last year it tended to waiver as the game went on. This inability to put away top teams will need to be cleaned up if they want to repeat the success of last year and I think they’re a threat to win the split.
Returning Patrik, Tore, and Kryze to a team that finished 7th in both spring and summer seems less reactionary than you’d expect given the changes some other squads decided to make. They seemed to go the quality over quantity route and there is something to say about continuity I suppose. The addition in the mid lane with the aforementioned Czekolad could give this team a huge spark that it so desperately needs. Dan will be the man in the Jungle and if he can produce stats even remotely close to that of what he did in the NLC where he had a 10.92 KDA/67% KP / 15% KS he’ll be someone that you want to roster every week as part of any XL stack that you will play.
I think Rouge ends up taking this one as they’re a more complete team currently. The odds do make it somewhat attractive to get some action in on exceL if you like taking dogs.
Any and All Rouge players are viable, with Hans Sama or Larssen being my favorite. Last year they did at times seem to take turns carrying the game and as such, it was okay to leave one out of the stack if you were rostering the other. If possible I’d like to include Inspired in these lineups and almost will make a point to do so if Larssen is the one that I find in my build.
For exceL give me the new guys Dan and Czekolad. From there put them with Patrik and/or Tore to round out the stack.
Vitality (+120) vs Schalke 04 (-165)
After a terrible 2-16 spring split Vitality made some changes to the roster for Summer and it helped them improve if only slightly. Finishing the summer split 1 place better, but with 7 wins instead of 2 the improvement wasn’t enough. For 2021 more changes come to the roster as they add Skeanz from their academy team to play the Jungle and Szygenda from Rouges academy affiliate to the Top Lane. Will those changes enough to help Vitality take the next step? I’m not sure that they were, but on an opening weekend, I’ll happily take the underdogs where I think there is a chance. This is one of those spots.
S04 started the summer split in disarray. A slow team, a bad team, a team that everyone beat up on. A few roster changes mid-season and they were making the miracle run that fell just one game short of making it to worlds. The run to me was something similar to the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl season. Everything seemed to be going right for them. Like the Eagles afterwards I expect some regression to the mean. Towards the end of that, I think the teams that they were playing even wanted to lose to them. Why not? It was a fun story. While I’m not saying they lost on purposes, I think there was some passiveness that S04 was able to take advantage of in several of the games towards the end of the split. For those reasons I’m looking for them to have a letdown game here. While everything should be okay in the long run, this is just one of those spots that I wanted to attack from a betting perspective.
Vitality was a slow team, most of their games went super long, but that didn’t result in high kill totals for wins. The one statistic that was pretty surprising was that Labrov lead everyone, not just supports in Kill Participation at EIGHTY, that’s 80, Eight Zero percent. That’s nuts. Any exposure that I have to Vitality starts with him in the support role.
S04 should be a huge target for in DFS as they lead the entire league in KPW last split at 19, which is half a kill higher than G2. Vitality had a league-average DPL of 16 and while I’m betting the underdog on the money line, my DFS lineups are going to have the teams that I think can put up the highest scores. When it comes to S04 you’re getting a team with a similar upside to G2 at almost 400 dollars less per position.
Abbedagge/Neon/Limit – Favorite 3
Misfits (+235) vs Fnatic (-345)
The last match of the day has the new look Fnatic team go up against a Misfits team that really failed to live up to expectations in summer. Fnatic returns 3 of their core 5. Replacing their mid lane with Nisqy from Cloud 9 and Upset replacing Rekkles who departed for G2. The loss of the face of the franchise can be a tough thing to adjust to. They did go ahead and get a suitable replacement as Upset trailed only the man he is replacing in KDA last split. However, I have to think this team takes a step back. I know others might feel the team is as good as they were. But when there are changes to the team that has historically been the number 2 in the region. Let alone a team that struggled early in summer, I’m going to take notice.
After that disappointing Summer the Misfits have retooled several roles. Returning as ADC is Kobe, along with Razork and Denyk. Joining them are Agresivoo and HiRit in the top lane, Vetheo in the mid, and Vander adding some depth in the support role. One of the biggest weaknesses last split for Misfits, aside from being able to close games and smite barons. Was Doss in the support role. They gave him time to try and grow into the role and become a better player. He did that, but it simply wasn’t enough. Denyk or Vander will provide a better bottom lane partner for Kobbe and Vetheo should be an upgrade over Febiven in the Mid.
I’m not buying that this Fnatic team will be better without Rekkles as I said earlier. I’m going to attack them here on this line and make some smaller wagers for their games throughout the weekend. I’ll increase those positions if I win here, but I want to get the best odds now before they start to falter. Sometimes you have to make leaps of faith and take stands earlier in the year, this is mine.
I’ll have my fair share of Misfits stacks with Favorites like G2 and S04. In some ways, it’s fun to have a late stack going because if G2 wins I’ll be live all the way to the end. In other ways, it can be disheartening because you know that you can’t make up the ground if some of the middle games pop off. In any event, all my lineups w/ Misfits will have Vetheo and Kobbe. This team will go as far as Vetheo can take them. When they are winning Kobbe should score pretty well.
On the other side, I don’t mind stacks w/ Nisqy/SelfMade/Upset/Hylisang I’m likely to have some exposure to every team on opening day and this is no different.
Weekend Lines to Attack
Rouge (+120) vs Fnatic (-165)
Schalke (+160) vs Fnatic (-225)
Misfits 1.5 units
Astralis 3 Units
Favorite DFS Team Stacks in Order