Here is a bit of a guide for week one of the LCS this weekend.
Game of the Week
Cloud 9 vs TSM (5 p.m. Friday, January 20, 2017)
Arguably the two best teams in North America right now will be going at it in the first game of the new split. TSM vs C9 is an old rivalry that was renewed in the summer playoff finals last year. Though TSM won that series, Cloud 9 had a better performance at Worlds. With quite a few storylines converging on this matchup tonight, this was the only real choice for game of the week.
It will be interesting to see how new members will do in their debuts with their new teams. After a year at Immortals, Wildturtle will be making his comeback debut with TSM tonight. With Doublelift out of the picture, at least for the time being, the pressure should be off for Wildturtle and as long as he goes out and plays his own game he should be fine. I would assume that TSM will likely put him on a utility ADC tonight and just allow him to ease back into playing with the rest of the team.
Contractz will be making his LCS debut tonight and if it’s anything like Jensen’s debut look out, it’s going to be rough. For those of you who didn’t watch that game, Jensen’s first game was against Bjergsen, and he played awful, he was missing cs, and was bullied out of lane hard. He was playing the old AP Kog’maw into Bjergsen’s Syndra. Even with an eventual flame horizon that came out of the matchup, Cloud 9 still won.
I will go into meta picks later, but I am curious to see how things work out, I think before what happened yesterday in Korea, Maokai would be one of the most high priority picks in this matchup as its relatively safe, and scales amazing. But with Cuvee getting obliterated by Marin’s AD Kennen, who knows what will happen tonight. That matchup used to be quite volatile, but it seems that the lane pressure that AD Kennen can create is far too much for the Maokai to deal with.
I would say the other contested pick in this matchup is likely Ashe. One of Sneaky’s best champions since he entered the league, Ashe finds herself in a great spot when it comes to being a utility ADC that also brings a good amount of damage. Not only is Ashe strong, but her best laning partner, Zyra is also very powerful and could be a common 1st rotation red side combo not only in this match but also in most matchups this weekend.
With very little information to go off of here is what I predict the meta will look like for this weekend.
Red side first 3 bans: Camille, Rengar, Leblanc. In almost every Korean game those were the three red side bans. Rengar was left up a few times and it was first picked almost every time, to devastating effect I might add. Against certain teams that Rengar ban may be replaced with a Ryze ban.
Blue side first 3 bans: Target bans, usually pinching a position.
Here are the champions you will likely see this weekend at every position.
Top: Maokai, Jayce, Kennen, Poppy, Nautilus, Rumble, Singed
Jungle: Rengar, Kha’zix, Lee Sin, Elise, Rek’sai, Olaf, Hecarim
Mid Lane: Ryze, Jayce, Syndra, Cassiopeia, Orianna, Viktor, Katarina,
ADC: Ashe, Jhin, Varus, Ziggs
Support: Malzahar, Zyra, Miss Fortune, Karma, Tahm Kench, Nami, Bard
One interesting part of the Korean drafts thus far is the second ban phase has been used several times to decimate a position. Once I saw the second ban phase include all 4 picks being junglers, another set involved 3 or 4 support bans.
In Korea, currently picks like Ryze, and Ashe have been high priority picks being first picked quite a bit. Other quirky things to come out of Korea is AD Kennen which was played by both Marin and Cuvee yesterday, and then the Malzahar support which might be a regionally relevant pick for Korea.
With some of the best players in the world playing this past week in Korea, North American coaches should have a pretty good handle on the new 10 ban pick/ban phase. What’s more interesting is seeing how well these players can adapt to an ever changing meta, with AD Kennen now being a very real threat to top laners who just want to farm it out on one of the popular tanks.
I won’t give you a full tier list, but here are what I think are S tier picks for competitive this weekend. S tier consists of the best champions at each position, and give your team the best chance to win the game.
Top: Camille, Jayce
Jungle: Rengar, Kha’zix, Lee Sin
Mid: Leblanc, Syndra
ADC: Ashe, Jhin, Varus,
Support: Zyra, Miss Fortune, Malzahar