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Hello all, and welcome back to Players to Watch! Due to the lack of EU games last week, we decided to take a little break, but worry not, we’re back and better than ever! And I’ve even got something great in the pipeline to make up for no PTW last week; watch this space!
Last time round we did pretty okay all things considered. Let’s have a look at the stats:
TOP: Alphari – 30.98 points
JUNGLE: Shad0w – 52.76 points
MID; PowerOfEvil – 84.16 points
ADC: Doublelift – 62.60 points
SUPPORT: Labrov – 28.94 points
UTILITY: ZaZee – 36.22 points
TEAM: Misfits – 24.50 points
Overall I’m pretty happy with that! Labrov and Misfits unfortunately didn’t hit the 30 point aim, but I think the high scoring on Shad0w, PoE and Doublelift more than makes up for that.
Without further ado, let’s get stuck into this week’s picks!
TOP: Jenax (SK, vs S04 & VIT this week)
Despite only switching to Top lane this split, Jenax has been an integral part of SK’s massive improvement and success this split as a result. SK have had a bit of a rough ride lately, going 1-3 in the past 2 weeks, but two of these matches were against Rogue and Fnatic; Rogue look hot as hell right now, and while Fnatic are slumping massively, they still have a great deal of quality in their roster. But enough about them; we’re here to talk about Jenax.
Last gameweek Jenax posted a total K/D/A of 5/8/6, earning a total of 28.56 points. Not that impressive, but he was up against some tough opponents; both of whom have experienced Top laners facing off against him. This week Jenax will be facing off against Vitality’s Cabochard and Schalke 04’s Odoamne; both good players in their own right, but on teams that are definitely beatable for SK.
I expect to see a lot of Volibear this week from Jenax, as he will be looking to recreate his early split form and especially THAT game against Misfits. A blue side first pick against S04 will give him the chance to grab it early, and we have only seen Volibear picked once by VIT. Their lack of priority on The Relentless Storm could play nicely into Jenax’s hands, so keep an eye on him this week.
JUNGLE: Closer (GG, vs IMT & DIG this week)
I will hold my hands up; I wasn’t the biggest plaudit for GG’s Jungler, Closer. From what I had seen of him, he obviously had talent, but his lack of experience in the LCS meant he was prone to making mistakes that allowed other teams to start snowballing. However, I am glad to see I was wrong- as a Jungle main myself, it’s always great to see young talent come in and play aggressive, interesting picks.
Last week Closer racked up a total of 40.80 points in games against EG and TL. A decent total, but it’s worth remembering that he was up against some serious talent last week; ex-MVP Svenskeren and Worlds finalist Broxah; getting 40+ points is no simple task, so well done to him. This week Closer and the rest of the Golden Guardians come up against Immortals and Dignitas. Both have finally notched some wins up but still look a long way from being able to challenge teams above them on a regular basis.
Immortals will likely be more of a challenge; they look to be stronger since playing their best players again (who could have guessed that would be the case, eh?), and they took a game off of GG earlier in the split. However, I imagine GG will be out for revenge, so don’t expect slow games from them this week. We could be in for some big points on Closer.
MID: Pobelter (CLG, vs DIG & IMT this week)
The Notorious P.O.B is back.
After over a year spent in the ‘wilderness’, working as a coach & sub for Team Liquid, Pobelter was picked up again as the starting Mid laner for CLG in Spring, and it’s great to have him back. He’s arguably one of the best home-grown NA talents out there, and his veteran status (he’s been in the pro scene since Season 2!) is valuable for any team; in an industry where players retire young and take up coaching roles, his constant starting positions are a testament to his talent.
Pobelter has an average 48 points per week so far this split, and last week he posted a 9/8/5 K/D/A with a total 42.54 points as a result. Not half bad; but it’s worth remembering more so that Pobelter has yet to post a week with less than 30 points so far this split. This week, Pobelter and the rest of CLG face off against Dignitas and Immortals, in what I can only see as being a 2-0 week for them, and a good point scoring week for Pobelter.
ADC: Kobbe (MSF, vs OG & FNC this week)
EU’s prodigal son has returned after a split on TSM, and it’s great to have him in the LEC again. Now turning out for Misfits, a rough start for the team has made way for a good run of form, but Kobbe’s always looked pretty good this split. He has yet to post a week with less than 39 points, which, considering the struggles Misfits had at the start of Summer, is pretty impressive. His reputation as one of the best EU ADCs in recent years is very much deserved, and on his day Kobbe can most definitely stand alongside Perkz and Rekkles for proficiency in the role.
Last gameweek Kobbe managed to post a K/D/A of 8/5/11 with one Triple Kill, which racked him up an admirable 52.44 points, and likely making his owners pretty happy. This week Misfits have what we would have called a tough set of matchups at the start of the split, but truthfully, this could be a relatively clean 2-0 week for the on-form Misfits. Fnatic are struggling massively at the moment, and Origen, while looking decent, have made some questionable roster changes as of late, which will likely stand to weaken their bot-side presence. I can foresee a good point-scoring week for Misfits as a whole, but especially for their bot lane Dane.
SUPPORT: Treatz (TSM, vs 100 & FLY this week)
This one could be risky, but the stats back Treatz up.
In a bid to have a higher level of depth in their starting LCS roster, TSM have elected to promote Treatz to the role of starting Support this week, with Biofrost taking his place for now in the Academy team. Questions have been asked, considering BIofrost hasn’t been performing that poorly at all, but it’s safe to say that Treatz is looking to be LCS ready.
TSM Academy have only lost 2 games in the Summer Split, and in all the others Treatz has been an integral part of why they’ve been doing so well. If his performances were in the LCS, Treatz would have racked up 53.54 points last week, and that was in a 1-1 week. He’s a high scorer, and he fits into the same sort of role Biofrost plays perfectly; they’re both aggressive supports and have a wide champion pool consisting of tanks such as Nautilus, and playmakers such as Rakan. Treatz has also got some stage time on the Wukong-Senna combo that has been popularised by MAD Lions, so perhaps they’re looking to try something like that this week.
Like I said, Treatz is a risky pickup this week, and he could fall flat. But his previous performances suggest he’ll do well, and as such he makes it into this week’s Players to Watch.
UTILITY: Hans Sama (RGE, vs XL & S04 this week)
Hans Sama has been smurfing lately, and while a lot of the praise for Rogue’s successes has been piled on Larssen, it’s important to appreciate just what Hans Sama has been doing in the Bot lane for Rogue.
Hans Sama was one of the youngest to ever reach Challenger, achieving the feat aged 14 back in Season 4. Picked up by Misfits in 2016, he performed admirably there for over 3 years, before getting a move to Rogue at the start of the season. And boy, has he been performing. On average, Hans Sama earns 50.40 points per week in Fantasy, and he has only died 3+ times in a game once so far this split. Impressive stats. Last gameweek Hans Sama racked up 57.34 points with a total K/D/A of 11/2/6, and considering Rogue’s opponents this week, I expect him to pick up a nice total again.
It’s less likely that he’s available as a free agent in your league due to how well Rogue as a team have been performing, but if he is, definitely pick him up and give him a shot.
TEAM: MAD Lions (vs G2 & XL this week)
The MAD Lads are on fire right now, and it’s looking to be a dead cert that they’ll be heading off to China for Worlds in November (provided it goes ahead- fingers crossed!)
I’ve waxed lyrical about how refreshing and intriguing the MAD Lions are to watch, with their aggressive yet calculated playstyle rocketing them to the top of the standings. After a loss to Misfits in the last gameweek, MAD Lions will come out with something to prove, especially since they’re currently sharing the top spot with Rogue right now. There’s only room for one of us in this town…
Last week MAD Lions posted 22.50 points; not great, but not terrible either. However, I’m sure that Mac has been drilling them intensely during the time off, and I’m expecting to see the sort of objective-heavy performances that we are so used to seeing from MAD Lions. Shad0w’s big focus on taking neutral objectives off the board early will be tested against G2, but we know this MAD Lions team can beat G2; we saw it in Spring. Couple that with some Heralds, and I can foresee some respectable points for MAD this week.
Well, that about wraps it up for this week! Am I 200IQing it, or is it more ‘200 Years of Experience’? Let me know, and stay tuned for next week’s Players to Watch. Until then, enjoy the games!