Finally the long off-season is over and we have a new season of the European LCS to look forward to. With a huge amount of movement and change over the winter break, the majority of the leagues teams, even at the top, are sporting a new look roster and who exactly will come out on top is up in the air. Fortunately we have had a good look at every roster for you and are here to bring you our predictions every week for every game in the EU LCS. Without further ado, here are our picks for week 1.
Fnatic (13/10 Betfair) vs Origen (8/11 William Hill) – 18:00 CET
Two of the teams that many would consider favourites heading into the Spring Split of the LCS clash here in the first week and it is set to be an interesting matchup. Whilst Fnatic have played more recently than Origen, they sport a very different roster from the one that dominated Europe last year and reached the semi finals of Worlds, and the new roster’s recent performance saw them fall to the Chinese team QG Reapers. Many considered QG to be the third best team in China last year, so a 2–1 series loss could be seen as a disappointment for a team like Fnatic, but the new roster showed promise and we expect to see them grow in the new year, particularly Spirit, the Korean jungler.
Origen comfortably took home the IEM San Jose title during the off-season against a bunch of place holder and very new rosters, and whilst the dominance of this performance was promising it was not against the strongest opposition. We expect Fnatic to provide a sterner test but the stability of the Origen roster combined with great synergy they have should be enough to see them best this new Fnatic line-up. With the strength of this Fnatic side however, particularly in regards to their early game, we can see some potential value in betting on them to secure the first tower with bet365.
Elements (8/11 bet365) vs G2 Esports (evens William Hill) – 19:00 CET
Realistically, both of these teams are going to be sitting toward the bottom of the league come crunch time. It is difficult at the start of the season to stack the two teams up due to the fact they sport entirely changed rosters and plenty of players that we have either not seen at all at this level, or not seen enough of to make a solid judgement. Elements is the team I would look to back for the win here considering they have more LCS experience in the roster and G2 are sporting 3 completely unproven players and one who has recently made a role swap. Pile on top of that the fact that the jungler and ADC for G2 are Korean, communication issues combined with a low skill ceiling will probably see G2 struggle to pick up many wins at all this split. Emperor is the one shining light for G2, the former CJ Blaze ADC looked good during his time on TDK in NA and has a long history in the professional scene. Bet365 are offering a healthy 8/11 for what should be a one sided game, and we would recommend this as the safe money. We aren’t seeing good enough odds offered on a weak G2 side to even recommend an outside bet on them.
Elements to win with bet365 at 8/11 (1.73)
H2K (8/13 bet365) vs Giants (10/3 Betfair) – 20:00 CET
This match is going to be difficult to find good value on, as this star studded H2K roster should blowout Giants with relative ease. Despite the slightly underwhelming performance at IEM Cologne, H2K will be one of the favourites to win this split, not least due to the superstar carry talent of Forgiven in the ADC role. Giants could probably consider themselves lucky not to be relegated last season, largely surviving due to the stand out Pepinero in the mid lane. This year they may survive again only due to a couple of other relatively weak teams in the league, but expect them to get rolled over in this game. Considering how one sided we expect this to be, it could be worth a punt to go with bet365’s total towers market, as under 12.5 towers destroyed seems a decent possibility with this season’s more snowball heavy games.
Splyce (7/2 William Hill) vs Unicorns of Love (2/5 Betfair) – 21:00 CET
We feel bookies are giving UOL a little bit too much credit here, as they seem to be heavy favourites with everyone despite changes for the worse in the off season. Losing their star mid laner PowerofEvil is going to significantly hurt their carry potential, and losing Kikis will only cause their previously incredibly strong synergy to suffer. A lot of Unicorn’s chaotic playstyle was predicated on their strong natural synergy, and without this we expect them to be exposed even more this season. The one positive for them is Steelback seems a decent upgrade to Vardags, but bringing in a cleanup style ADC won’t be the firepower they need to compete at the top of this league. Splyce are a young yet talented roster, and have enough prior LCS experience to do decently well in the LCS this year. The all Danish nature of the lineup means communication and synergy should not be an issue, and we can definitely see them beating a UOL team that might struggle to bed in so many new players of different nationalities. Without any real starpower, expect Unicorns of Love to lose this game despite being the favourites. This could be the best value on day 1.
Splyce to win with William Hill at 7/2 (4.50)
Team Vitality (1/2 32Red) vs. Team Roccat (17/10 Betfair) – 22:00 CET
This game could be an interesting one, with Team Vitality looking like a dark horse to top the league, and Team Roccat’s roster seeming to us fairly underrated. A good mix of young talent like Betsy and Airwaks combined with the experience of Fredy122 and Edward could yeild a top half finish for this Roccat team, whilst Vitality have some of the best players over the last two years of LCS in their ranks. The biggest trouble is the odds with most bookmakers don’t offer great value, with the odds on Vitality being a little too short and Roccat not quite long enough. We would probably take Vitality as the favourites here, but it may be worth putting your money in other games for this day of LCS.
Team Vitality to win with 32Red at 1/2 (1.50)