Wednesday, June 13, 2018

EU LCS Summer 2018 Preseason Predictions

EU LCS Summer 2018 Preseason Odds:

Fnatic +125
G2 eSports +450
Splyce +650
Team Vitality +1000
H2K +1400
Misfits +1400
Schalke 04 +1600
Giants +2500
ROCCAT +2500
Unicorns of Love +3300


D Tier Teams:

10) Unicorns of Love 
Roster: WhiteKnight, Kold, Exileh, Samux, Totoro, Sheepy (coach)
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +3300
End of Season Record: 3 - 15

If you've read my blog before then I don't really need to say much more about UOL. This is an awful team that people insist on liking because they were fun for like a couple months way back when that one time... yea read that sentence again. Anyway this team is trash and they didn't make any meaningful changes. They're fundamentally carefree as an organization and as cool as it is to care about the well-being of your players the fact is that isn't the kind of setting that breeds winners. Exileh, I'll admit, exceeded my incredibly low expectations of him last split but I fully expect a regression to his norm of being the weakest laner in this region by a fair amount. It just blows my mind that this team hasn't replaced anybody when there were SO MANY very clear cases of individual player skill gaps. This organization doesn't care and because of that, neither will their players. I'd be shocked if they have more than 5 wins even in a best of one region. These guys seem so poor to me that even through language barriers in a chaotic meta I suspect they'll finish last.


C Tier Teams:

9) Giants Gaming
Roster: Ruin, Djoko, Betsy, Steeelback, SirNukesAlot, Kubz (coach)
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +2500
End of Season Record: 6 - 12

I have all of these C Tier teams finishing fairly close to one another but they have different problems and reasons for being there. To me Giants and ROCCAT will have to battle the language barrier in a faster, more chaotic game but they also have the stronger players that could end up just playing their way out of bad situations. Ruin unfortunately is just stuck on this team and it's really sad because he's a total monster. Betsy was quietly one of the stronger mids last split and Djoko can have his games but I'm really just not sure this team has anything other than an outside chance at a playoff spot and that's coming from someone that held them in high regard last split. In good news they'll get their two free wins against UoL. This isn't a bad team it's just not a good team as is the case with almost all of Europe.

8) Team Vitality
Roster: Cabochard, Gilius, Jiizuke, Attila, Jactroll, YamatoCannon (coach)
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +1000
End of Season Record: 6 - 12

I know, I know. "Gelati hating on Vitality again eh?" You all saw it at the end of the season. This team was ridiculously overrated. The league "figured them out" so to speak. I'm sure they'll have some tricks up their sleeve but between having to develop new identity and the downsloping trend of YamatoCannon's teams after his first split with them makes me think this is going to end in disappointment.

7) Team ROCCAT
Roster: Profit, Memento, Blanc, HeaQ, Norskeren
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +2500
End of Season Record: 7 - 11

As mentioned earlier, these C Tier teams all blend together to me but for different reasons. ROCCAT I have in a similar situation to Giants where the non-native English speakers could be a liability in this new metagame but they could also individually outperform and play themselves out of bad situations. It's strange because normally the "language barrier" and communication issues aren't a huge problem in the Summer Split but the nature of the game in it's current state and how long we'll be there gives me cause for concern. Of the C Tier teams I think ROCCAT do have the best individual players as a full roster so I'll give them a slight bump. Norskeren showed a lot of promise last season so let's see if he can take that next step and do his best Aphromoo impression to carry a mediocre squad to greatness.

6) H2K Gaming
Roster: SmittyJ, Shook, Selfie, Sheriff, Promisq, Veteran (coach)
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +1400
End of Season Record: 8 - 10

Admittedly I was impressed with H2k's recovery last season. It was looking like a complete tranwreck for awhile but once the veterns were installed this team had an identity, attitude, and were decisive. I still think SmittyJ is a huge liability but everyone else on this lineup can hang with or beat all but Europe's best players and they appear to be well coached. I like H2K a lot more this season after they showed me some discipline and progressing strategic gameplay towards the end of last season. 


B Tier Teams:

5) Splyce Gaming 
Roster: Odoamne, Xerxe, Nisqy, Kobbe, KaSing, Peter Dun (coach)
Odds to win the split (via the sports books):  +650
End of Season Record: 10 - 8

Splyce are always better than I expect them to be so I'm respectfully moving them up to the B tier. I don't actually think this team is particularly great but they are solid and a clear cut above the bottom half of the league. They're the "gatekeepers" so to speak. Kasing was solid in his return to the pro scene and I think this chaotic meta could be a nice change of pace for them to come out hot instead of sluggishly like they always do. At the end of the day they'll be a playoff team but I'm not sure what they'll do after that.

4) Misfits Gaming
Roster: Alphari, Maxlore, Sencux, Hans Sama, Mikyx, Moose (coach)
Odds to win split (via the sports books): +1400
End of Season Record: 10 - 8

Similarly to Splyce, this is a team that's always better than I expect them to be but they've got a slightly higher ceiling to me because they have one of the strongest players in Europe in in Maxlore which is the tiebreaker to me. If Misfits falter it will be because Sencux is a liability in a meta game that favors champions on the opposite side of the spectrum from his comfort zone but I'm open to them figuring things out. Misfits always have an identity, that you can rely on.

3) FC Schalke 04
Roster: Vizicsacsi, Amazing, Nukeduck, Upset, Vander, Guilhoto (coach)
Odds to win the split (via the sports books): +1600
End of Season Record:  11 - 7

This is the other "hot take" from Europe for me. I was extremely high on S04 going into last split and they just disappointed but I think a lot of it had to do with issues in the jungle with rookie Pride just not being able to figure out the professional scene. He was the equivalent of a super star prospect not panning out. Amazing should be a good stand in and the rest of this roster was excellent last season once they finally got together through all the health issues. Nukeduck is still as good as the elite mids like Caps and Perkz and the supporting cast around him could help propel this team to a stronger finish than last season without Pride being a liability anymore.


S Tier Teams:

2)  G2 eSports
Roster: Wunder, Jankos, Perkz, Hjarnan, Wadid, GrabbZ (coach)
Odds to win the split (via the sports books): +450
End of Season Record:13 - 5

1)  Fnatic
Roster: Bwipo, Broxah, Caps, Rekkles, Hylissang, sOAZ (sub), Dylan Falco (coach)
Odds to win the split (via the sports books): +125
End of Season Record: 16 - 2

G2 and Fnatic are so much better than the rest of Europe it's not even funny. I want to give them each more wins than this but due to the nature of best of ones I'll just assume they'll drop a game here and there but these two are the creme de la creme. Relative to the region both teams have elite players at every position and even some that are far better than this region. I don't see other teams holding a candle to either Fnatic or G2.


Preseason Bets and Predictions:

Value Bet to Win the Split: G2 eSports +450 (Dark Horse: FC Schalke 04 +1600)

I don't see anybody but G2 or Fnatic winning the split but the odds are right for Schalke if they end up stronger without Pride as a weak link they could actually hang with the top two teams.

Summer Split VOTING MVP: 1st choice - Perkz, 2nd choice - Caps

The two best players in Europe. Not much else to say here. Their teams win through them and especially if this meta hangs around for awhile they'll be the reason.

Summer Split MVP (Eye Test):  1st choice - Perkz, 2nd choice - Caps

(see above)

Biggest Disappointment: Team Vitality

People will have unrealistic expectations for this team and I think they'll be extremely disappointed. YamatoCannon's teams ALWAYS take a drastic downturn after their first split with the fiery coach. He's the Peter Laviolette of League of Legends. This has all the makings of a crash and burn scenario.

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