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The Differences Between the LoL Pro Leagues

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Jeremy Schritt breaks down the 3/28/20 LoL DFS slate, including his favorite plays and stacks for League of Legends fantasy esports.

There are four major regions of LoL: LCK,LCS,LEC and LPL. All four of these regions are in various parts of the world and have different play styles and information gathering. I’ll be giving a quick rundown of the differences and where you can watch these events online.

LPL

LPL is the wildest of the four major regions professional leagues. This is China’s league, and very frequently they are known as the “see hero, kill hero” league. They play a best-of-three series for the regular season. This league is fun to watch and it has produced the last two World Champions in FunPlus Phoenix last year and Invictus Gaming in 2018.

The biggest knock for the LPL in DFS is the volatility. You can get knocked from the top by any team, any night. Weird lineup construction can be seen at the top of the leaderboard more frequently and it’s just one big wild ride. Starting lineup information has been easy to obtain the past two years, and for that we thank those individuals who provide it for us. If you want a sweat, play the LPL.

Currently the LPL is pretty stacked up top. The top-five teams could finish in any order and nothing would surprise me. This should leave three playoff spots available for the remaining 12 teams. Teams have varying amounts of series remaining before we get to playoffs, but LPL is running seven days a week in response to their almost two-month break.

You can find the official LPL English Stream at the following locations:

https://www.twitch.tv/lpl

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFMdq6QrAAEx5k2cLlZNPA

LCK

LCK is the professional league for South Korea. They play best-of-three series. LCK tends to have a negative perception in terms of their gameplay style. Frequently games are slower and have lower kill total than their LPL counterparts. Their slates start later at night similar to LPL. The LCK used to be the pinnacle of LoL, winning five straight World Championships from 2013-2017, but they have taken a backseat to the LPL in recent years.

There is one big hurdle when playing LCK slates. The lack of consistent starting lineup information. The LCK typically marches their players on the stage right after lock meaning you might have dead lineups from an unexpected substitution immediately. Your best bet in finding this information is scouring the teams’ Instagrams and other socials in hopes of finding a picture of the starters before lock.

Teams such as T1, DragonX or GenG are the strongest teams this 2020 spring split with Afreeca being an inconsistent fourth. T1 has the pedigree with three world championship titles under the belt while having what many consider the GOAT in their MID laner Faker.  Five teams make playoffs this spring split, and four seem pretty locked in place. LCK has half of their split remaining which is nine best-of-three series. LPL typically runs Wednesday through Sunday.

You can find the official LCK English Stream at the following locations:

https://www.twitch.tv/lck

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKVlixycWmapnGQ_wht4cHQ

LEC

LEC is Europe’s top LoL league. The LEC has knocked on the door of World Championships the last two years with Fnatic getting second in 2018 and G2 getting second in 2019. This league sometimes can be LPL lite. Your top teams can be borderline mindless aggressive which can lead to explosive games. I recommend watching LEC if you want to watch exciting LoL but not in the dead of night. LEC plays a best-of-one series.

Finding information on lineups is pretty easy. Teams’ Twitter/Instagram accounts will notify you of substitutions, as should the pregame show that plays before the day’s games. LEC slates start at a more reasonable time for most people and as such, tend to be more popular and have higher up top prizes than LCK/LPL.

G2 and Fnatic have been the clear class of the LEC for the last few years. Both have 2nd place finishes at the World Championship in recent years. This split, Origen has really shown up to contend with the big 2 after shoring up their lineup in the offseason.  There are four games remaining in this spring split. LEC typically runs Friday and Saturdays.

You can find the official LEC English Stream at the following locations:

https://www.twitch.tv/lec

https://www.youtube.com/user/LoLChampSeries

LCS

This is North America’s pro league. LCS plays a best of one. LCS is kind of the distant fourth league when it comes to major regions’ strength historically at international events. This is largely due to most of the teams not providing a lot in the way in innovation and homegrown player development. The LCS can be a bit of a scrum with there being a few top teams, but anybody can still beat anybody

Similar to the LEC, any substitution news will be posted across social media for the respective teams. These slates tend to begin noon or later, with Saturday slates beginning after LEC finishes. LCS slates have  the biggest up top prizes for DFS purposes. If there’s a special contest being run for LoL, then it’s very likely being run for the LCS.

Cloud 9 is the clear front runner this split and is giving North America fans hope for international success despite it being early in the year. Team SoloMid and Flyquest appear to be the next best two teams currently, but there’s only a three-game difference between second and ninth place. There are only four games left in this spring split before we get to the layoffs with five spots still available. LCS typically runs Saturdays/Sundays and Mondays, but Mondays will be no more the rest of this split.

You can find the official LCS English Stream at the following locations:

https://www.twitch.tv/lcs

https://www.youtube.com/user/LoLChampSeries

I've been following and playing League of Legends for a decade now. Few things get my blood pumping more than a good ol' midnight LPL DFS sweat. I follow each of the four major regions of LoL in the LCK,LCS,LEC and LPL and each one has its own unique flair. Hopefully we can all learn a little bit about LoL DFS and best of luck in your contests!

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