Team Vitality (9/4 bet365) vs Fnatic (1/3 William Hill) – 21:00 GMT
This game promises to be an incredibly exciting matchup between two very talented new rosters. Considering this is only the second game of the new season, and without having seen either team in action as of yet, it is difficult to predict how the potential playstyles of these two teams will stack up.
We expect Team Vitality to be a little bit more focused on getting the top lane rolling than Fnatic, and putting Gamsu at a disadvantage early may give Vitality the edge they need. Gamsu, despite the hype surrounding the new Fnatic roster, is a known quantity in our eyes; he didn’t set the world alight on a poor Dignitas team in NA, and wasn’t even discussed as a top 3 top laner in his region at all last year. We feel if Vitality are to succeed in this game, and they are capable of doing so, a focus on getting Cabochard ahead in top would serve them well.
Fnatic however likely have the perfect counter to this strategy: Spirit. Arguably the best jungler in the world last year, the Korean superstar should be able to bully the inconsistent Shook around in the jungle, and if he can get Shook under his thumb we expect Vitality’s jungler to crumble. Shook was never known as the most resilient player on the old Alliance line-up, and if he can’t find his feet in the early game against Fnatic then he could end up being a liability.
Despite us giving a slight edge to Fnatic in this match up, it is close enough and early enough in the season to take Team Vitality to win as the good value bet here, especially considering we can get some nice odds in what is a tight match up in our eyes.
Team Vitality to win with bet365 at 9/4 (3.25)
H2K (17/10 Betfair) vs Origen (4/9 bet365) – 20:00 GMT
It surprises us that Origen come into this game as such solid favourites, as we see a very close match up in terms of skill. We agree that Origen as the more settled and experienced line up together should be slightly tipped in this one, but not to the extent that bookies are favouring them.
H2K have an incredible amount of raw skill, and will likely look towards snowballing the aggressive bot lane of Forgiven and Vander using Jankos’ highly mechanical early game talents. We are not sure if OG’s bot lane will be able to stand up to the pressure, despite Mithy and Zven being very talented players themselves, due to the fact they very rarely focused on winning lane as a duo last year. Mithy was a roam heavy support, and Zven focused on farm more than anything in order to set himself up to be the main damage dealer when teamfights rolled around. It would take a heavy shift in playstyle for OG’s bot to be an impressive laning duo, and despite having the talent to do so we wonder if this game is a little too soon for us to see that required change.
Taking H2K to win here is not a bad idea, as they have long enough odds in a game they are more than capable to win to make it worth the punt. Origen still have to properly bed in PowerofEvil as well, and so we see more than enough reason to back H2K in this one.
H2K to win with Betfair at 17/10 (2.7)
Splyce (5/4 Betfair) vs Elements (4/7 bet365) – 18:00 GMT
We actually see Splyce as the stronger team in this match up, and so with the bookies favouring Elements it looks a good opportunity to make a very tidy bet.
Splyce have the benefit of a settled roster that has been together for a long time, battling through challenger to make it to LCS and developing a lot of synergy in the meantime. The addition of Trashy should not be much of an issue for them, as he is a solid and experienced jungler and speaks the same language as the rest of the roster. Elements on the other had are a cobbled together mix of players of different nationalities, many of them relatively unproven at this level, and will take time to develop the same level of synergy as Splyce.
Considering the talent on these two teams is relatively even, maybe even with Splyce having the edge, Element’s expected lack of synergy should see them lose this matchup. Take Splyce to win here folks.
Splyce to win with Betfair at 5/4 (2.25)