Just three short weeks left of LCK! Thanks to GEN’s unbelievable 0-2 collapse (GEN is now 2-4 in their last six matches and 6-10 in individual games in that span), first place belongs to NS on a silver platter. What a Cinderella story that would be, to go from 6th place and barely making playoffs in spring to finishing first in summer, setting themselves up for a spot at worlds. It’ll be a big week for NS, as they have two matches and GEN only has one, which could allow them to put some distance between them in the standings. The other teams that only have one match are T1, LSB, and BRO. Here are your picks for the week.
Rich - NS RedForce $260,000 (vs LSB & HLE)
Rich has been sitting at a really low pick rate recently, which is a shame seeing that NS has been smurfing. He does not consistently score the highest in wins, but he has been able to pull off some 35-point carry performances. With two matchups that NS should win this week, this is a matchup pick with the potential for some upside. On top of that, many of the top lane options aren’t that appealing right now, as quite a few do not score very well, some players are too expensive for my taste, and who the hell knows what’s going on with HLE’s top lane.
Canyon - Damwon KIA $320,000 (vs AF & KT)
Canyon may be the most expensive jungler this week, but the price tag could well be worth it. We have seen DK adopt a bloodier style in their games recently, exceeding 20 kills in each of their past three wins. In those three games, Canyon has averaged almost 40 PPG. With two matches on the schedule, he will have plenty of chances to deliver two more 40-point games.
Dove- KT Rolster $270,000 (vs GEN & DK)
Remember at the beginning of the split when Dove was the highest-scoring mid laner? Well, he still is. KT has struggled, sitting at 5-8, but they can go absolutely insane in wins. That can result in ridiculous performances such as the 12/2/10, 54-point game against HLE last week. With GEN struggling mightily, I feel that KT can pull off the upset, which should get you the two good games you need. And who knows, maybe KT can take a game off of DK? That said, though, KT has a scary schedule, and therefore Dove is a risky pick.
deokdam - NS RedForce $300,000 (vs LSB & HLE)
Just a couple of weeks ago, deokdam was the 8th best scoring bot laner. Since then, though, he has leapfrogged up to 3rd and averaged just shy of 34 PPG over seven games, six of which were NS wins, including a 12/0/4 explosion against DK. Expect more of the same newfound consistency from deokdam this week as NS looks to hold on to their #1 spot.
BeryL - Damwon KIA $110,000 (vs AF & KT)
BeryL was once known as a fantasy nightmare: BeryL would post a pretty poor scoring performance even when DK won. But those days have gone. BeryL is the 4th highest scoring support but has been scoring better as of late: in all of DK’s wins since the July 4 series against GEN, BeryL has scored at least 17 points. As with Canyon, you can count on him to deliver yet again because DK has two winning matchups on their schedule.
Hanhwa Life Esports $230,000 (vs DRX & NS)
Unfortunately for us, the strategy of picking a team with one matchup that will likely be a win won’t work for us this week, as GEN and T1 are a bit on the expensive end, and LSB and BRO will probably both lose. However, we can capitalize on the fact that HLE plays against last-place DRX and will deliver a series win there, enough to get two wins for the best of 3 formats.
Best Overall Captain: NS deokdam: Ezreal & Aphelios
These two champions account for almost 70% of deokdam’s games this split (including six out of his last eight games), and for good reason. They have been the champions he has found the most success on (he is 12-6 when playing these champions). Since deokdam is already my pick for bot lane this week, why not top it off with a very straightforward captain pick?
Risky Captain: NS Peanut: Nidalee & Diana
Going for double NS on the captains here. Once upon a time, Peanut was famous for his Nidalee. If you remember back in 2016, back when Peanut was on ROX, his strength on the champion forced SKT Bengi to first-time her in Game 4 of the Worlds Semifinal (which SKT won). Peanut pulled out the pick twice last week, which could be the start of a trend, plus Diana has been a staple pick of the jungle, so they make the most sense if you want to captain the star jungler.