Three absolutely enticing series follow what should be a dud opener. I’m breaking down all four series while offering up some of my favorite LoL DFS picks for this LPL + LCK slate.
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Series 1: Afreeca Freecs (AF) vs. Hanwha Life Esports (HLE)
Series 2: DRX (DRX) vs. Damwon Gaming (DWG)
Series 1: Top Esports (TES) vs. Suning (SN)
Series 2: Team WE (WE) vs. Victory Five (V5)
LPL Starting Lineups
AF went out and absolutely demolished SP last time out, closing out game 2 with the fastest LCK win in history. It was not exactly the ideal LoL DFS output, but they definitely stomped SP, which hopefully lends some confidence going forward. We’re unlikely to get a repeat of the shortest game in LCK history, but AF should feel comfortable taking the series against an improving HLE. Spirit never died the first time these two teams met this split, and his jungle matchup should prove favorable.
HANWHA LIFE ESPORTS
It’s pretty impressive how much better HLE have played their last two series, and if they maintain that level of play, they could be slightly annoying for AF. While seeing a game 3 isn’t something I would expect HLE to achieve, DuDu and Mireu hopefully maintain their spots, as those two have been the best surprise for me the last couple of series. The jungle issue is one that I don’t love for HLE, and while Mystic is very solid, HLE still largely functions by playing around Viper. He would be the piece I would consider if rostering HLE.
We’re actually getting treated to three potentially good series this split, as the LPL kicks off with TES taking on SN. TES faltered last time out against IG, getting swept, but talent wise, should be able to get the job done against SN. TES is often a fruitful LoL DFS squad as they lead the LPL in kills per game, and in the three series SN lost, they died on average 15.8 times per game, so they should once again be very viable. Knight is still the best mid laner in the world, even performing well against IG, and he’s one of my favorite pieces from this TES squad.
Even though it took three games, SN brought their win streak to eight series, with the last five all being 2-1 wins. This series is easily the most difficult one, and likely stops the streak, but the more tightly focused summer split SN aren’t ill equipped to challenge TES. In order to take a game, or even the series, SN needs to minimize TES’s excellent early game, while positioning their carries to win late game teamfights. SN lacks the raw talent that TES has, but huanfeng needs to play even better than he has this split to give SN a shot at the upset.
With how good the top four teams in the LCK are, this could easily be a summer finals preview, as this is a battle between the current top two teams. Their first meeting saw DRX eek out an incredibly tight 2-1 victory, and as a viewer, I want another series just like that. For LoL DFS the first series also produced as DRX had 45 kills to DWG 46, so unless these teams come out timid, we could see two titans give us tons of action. Deft and Keria once again have the easiest lane assignment, and I like both players from the DRX side tonight.
DWG has a 96% first tower rate. Alone that means very little, but they’re also just an insane early game team averaging a +3094-gold differential at 15 minutes this split. They did have more kills in the initial series despite losing, and they also lead the LCK in kills per game at 17 per game, so if you like DWG to take the series, you should highly consider them on both DraftKings and FanDuel even if they have the more expensive players. Nuguri absolutely went off in the first meeting, and the top laner leads his team in damage share, which could lead to another excellent LoL DFS performance against the least threatening DRX member.
Closing out the slate is a battle of two 8-4 teams, fighting it out for better playoff seeding. WE is an exciting team to roster if you think they’re going to stomp an opponent as they’re fifth in kills per game, and four of their players rock at least a 73% kill participation (KP.) Saying that, I don’t see this as a spot that either team will stomp, but WE are also capable of taking down this series. Sneaky is a word I’d use to describe this jungle matchup, and if beishang controls the flow early, look for his output to be very high for LoL DFS.
We’re finally getting to see how V5 handles adversity, as they’ve dropped their previous two series to SN and IG. Neither loss is bad, and both went three games, but with playoff positioning on the line, how will this squad bounce back? Calling V5 clean this split would be fair, as they’re dying the fewest times per game, while also holding onto the fastest game time average. Overall this series is priced a bit funky on DraftKings, but I definitely like them more there than on FanDuel where V5 is very expensive. SamD has been extremely solid in his first split, and if he and ppgod can utilize their solid early game, we could see him put up a nice score in a victory.
TES – Knight. He’s the best mid laner in the world, and he rarely puts up duds. On paper this series seems pretty close, but TES has more blow out potential, so sign me up for some Knight.
ADC – Mystic. Normally I dislike targeting players against Viper, but HLE as a whole is worth targeting against. Even though HLE aren’t very good, they still play decently long games, and if that happens for two games, Mystic should benefit.
Favorite Contrarian Play
Mid – Chovy. Chovy is too cheap on DraftKings, and I hope he still gets overlooked in this matchup as he’s very good. Showmaker is incredible, but I like DRX a slight bit more to take the season series 2-0.