Week one of the League of Legends Championship Series was a torrent of surprises, big plays, and good games all around. Through this inaugural clash of teams we are able to better survey the EU and NA professional landscape, and make small predictions for the coming 8 remaining weeks of the LCS. Starting today this will be a weekly post to keep you up to give you a little insight into the week-by-week professional League of Legends scene, as well as a tool for helping you make picks in your Fantasy LCS team. [Disclaimer] These prediction are by no means the work of a professional analyst, but the thoughts of a devoted eSports fan for your consideration. With that in mind let’s jump into week one of the LCS.
Top 5 Teams
Of all the completely new teams in the LCS spring split, Immortals were the most impressive. With two commanding victories over Cloud 9 and Team Impulse, this new line up looks poised to dominate the spring split. WildTurtle ran roughshod over Cloud 9 in their first game, with an amazing 11/1/4 overall scoreline! Their second game was even more decisive with the game only lasting a little over 18 minutes! The overall shot calling of this new team was outstanding and the team as a whole looked in top form in their opening week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the same from Immortals in the coming weeks, and anyone who has them one their team is sure to benefit.
2. H2K Gaming
The 2015 3rd place European team brought the heat this past week with a some new team members. The return of FORG1VEN was a godsend for H2K as he swept through both weeks with a 12/0/11 overall scoreline. Ryu reminded everyone why he is still one of the best mid-laners in Europe with fantastic Ahri/LeBlanc play, and new addition Jankos was excellent with jungle Graves. Of the three teams in Europe that are undefeated in week 1, H2K’s victories were by far the most convincing. With so many teams in Europe rebuilding, H2K can really clean up the this split. Whether or not the team lead by coach Pr0lly has what it takes to take it is yet to be seen.
3. NRG Esports
NRG was one of the teams that was all question marks in the off season. Nobody was sure where they would land, or how the team would synergize together. After week one some of those questions are answered in the form of a dominating 2-0 start to the season. Game one against Team Dignitas was a little shakey, but their second game against Renegades was much more convincing. GBM showed that he’s a mid-lane force to be reckon with, as did Altec in the bot-lane. The team is full of “sleeper pick” players who would round out any fantasy team nicely, and if they continue on this path of destruction they are a shoe in for the playoffs at least.
4. Unicorns of Love
After a mediocre showing at IEM San Jose, not many believed that Unicorns would do much of anything this year. In their two games of the first week though, they laid many fan held fears to rest. Their ability to prioritize objectives while their enemies chased kills was outstanding, and Hylissang and Steelback’s bot lane synergy was fantastic. Diamondprox made his return to the jungle in style with a 7/3/11 score for the week. To be fair the teams that UoL beat were predicted to be two of the weaker teams in the league, so it remains to be seen whether or not this team makes it very far. For now though the Unicorns can enjoy a comfy spot at the top of the charts.
5. G2 Esports
Dark horse somehow doesn’t feel adequate to describe how underestimated this team was. While it’s not rare to see challenger teams come into the LCS swinging, G2 Esports took it to another level. Elements and Team Roccat didn’t know what hit them after the week one stomps by this new EU LCS team. Kiki’s change from jungler to top laner was very impressive as he played two excellent games of Tahm Kench, while newcomer Perkz decimated his lane opponents on Ahri and Lulu. It remains to be seen whether this new team will be able to stand against some of the higher rated teams of Europe, but if they continue at this level of play it’ll be hard to stop the tide of G2.
Top Players By Role
[DISCLAIMER] These may or may not be the highest scoring players for a fantasy week, but they are (in my opinion) the most impactful players of the week who may or may not show up in the fantasy week to follow.
Top – Huni
Immortals dominated their first week of the NA LCS, and facilitating that overwhelming victory was the former Fnatic top-laner Huni. Huni started off his North American dominance with a game of Cho’Gath of all things, and commanded team fights with his crowd control and bust damage. His second game on Fiora was just as impactful, and he lead his team to the fastest victory in LCS history. Cloud 9 and Team Impulse were left shocked and disoriented by the unbelievable plays of the crazy Korean top-laner. With 8 weeks left of the LCS, the sky’s the limit for big plays coming from Huni.
Jungle – Jankos
Jankos was a new addition to H2K, but after week one I’m sure everyone can agree he is a welcome one. With two solid games under his belt, all fears about the Polish jungler are laid to rest. With a combination of new (Graves) and old (Lee Sin) style jungle champions Jankos lead his team to 2-0 start to the spring split. His map rotations greatly helped his team to secure map control, and his team fight presence made him a force to be reckon with. At the end of their first game FORG1VEN commented that they were not a “solo queue team”, and Jankos’ performance definitely drove that point home.
Mid – Perkz
This pick may come as a surprise, but Perkz was outstanding in his LCS debut. The Croatian mid-laner was relentless against his lane opponents and helped his team to a 2-0 start in week 1. While this team has yet to be stacked up against some of the more veteran teams of Europe, this young mid lane master showed quite a bit of promise in his two games. He is quoted on the Daily Dot saying he expects to eventually be on par with the best mid laners in Europe, and with an overall scoreline of 12/2/14 on both Ahri and Lulu he definitely has a shot at that. Perkz still has a long road ahead of him, but in the European LCS he’s looking like a dark horse runner for best mid.
ADC – WildTurtle
What more can be said about this incredible marksman? In the off season he was moved from one of the best NA teams to a relatively new team, and nobody really knew how he would adapt to the new environment. With week one in the books it seems that WildTurtle can adapt anywhere he goes. This was made abundantly clear in game one vs Cloud 9 where he went 11/1/4 on Lucian, and again in his Corki game that only lasted 18 minutes! With Adrian at his back and a host of all-stars around him it’s hard to imagine he will slump any time soon. WildTurtle faces off against his former team next week, and it’s pretty safe to say that TSM should be worried about the return of their former carry.
Support – KonKwon
KonKwon was the only player to stay on the starting roster after NRG bought Team Coast’s LCS spot, and after week one it’s easy to see why. This Korean support seems to be just what Altec needed to become the havoc wreaking marksman he always could be. With a games of Janna and Trundle support, KonKwon effectively served up kills to his team for a weekly K/D/A of 1/1/21. Though much of the follow up credit does belong to his team, his engage/disengage were the catalyst for NRG’s success. Should NRG find themselves at the top of the standings come next week, I believe a good deal of that success will be thanks to KonKwon’s support skills.
At the end of week one it is too tough to call which way the various chips will fall for the 20 teams in both regions. We now have a decent idea of which teams came into this season prepared, and which are a little behind the curb. Despite that we must also take into account that this time last year Giants were 2-0 in the EU LCS, so early leads must be taken with a grain of salt. The real challenge of adapting to the new season will begin in week two, and as new patches come out it will be the teams that can change with the times that will decide the outcome of the LCS. It will be exciting to see what teams bring to week two after seeing their opponents week one matches. Till then adjust your fantasy rosters according to your best prediction, and pray to the League gods that your players don’t crap out like mine did in week one!