Fantasy LCS Review: Season 6, Week 8

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week8standingsI didn’t forget to post about my fantasy league standings last week — there weren’t LCS matches that weekend, IEM took place instead. I only caught one game of the final, and of course SKT bring home another tournament trophy despite having a shaky split at times. The following weekend, we were back to the normal schedule, so of course this week I have more to talk about, although it’s going to be more of the same. Immortals continue to carry Tyvokka to victory, and that means I lost another game, putting me in a three way tie with both Judentus and Tacktix, but I maintain possession of 2nd place by virtue of the most points between the three of us. It’s funny, that Tacktix was on the bottom of the pile for so long and has now managed to tie for 2nd place, and it’s also surprising that I’m only shy 200 points of Tyvokka’s total despite having lost 4 more games. Tacktix is still the only one who has been able to take him down, but that happened to be the one week were Immortals dropped a single game. His fate has been directly tied to theirs, but rest assured this won’t happen again in the summer split. We’ll keep more of those players away from him next time. Lesson learned. So as we already knew, I’m not going to every get away from second place, though this final week of the split will determine who actually claims it, because a loss to Tacktix would mean I could potentially drop all the way to fourth. We’ll see how it turns out.

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I was fortunate for the bad game CLG had on Saturday, because it kept Ty from totally crushing me. Aphromoo did nothing for me despite trusting him and putting him back in. Jensen pulled his weight as did Pobelter and Emperor, but Rush and Odoamne under performed, But when all five members of Immortals are putting up 50+ points it’s nearly impossible to top. I did make one small change going into next week:

week9matchup

I’m putting Kasing back in due to favorable matchups, and the fact that he did well for me before and Aphro has done shit all split. My projections look strong, and I’ve only lost to Tack once, so I think I’ll be able to hold onto second place. I don’t see Judentus beating Tyvokka, but even if he did I think I will still win the point total tie breaker battle. If so, I’ll have retained my rank from the split prior, and under similar circumstances too, though that time Judentus took 1st place only because he beat me on a point total tie breaker. It will be interesting to see if it comes down to that. With 1st place out of reach, it’s the only thing I have left keeping me interested. That and being able to rub in that Tacktix sucked wind.

week8top springtop8

It’s very surprising to see Shiphtur at the top of the points list for the past week, but he did it once before and that’s why I picked him up briefly, but never started him. I also owned Hjarnan and played him once, wish he would have had those numbers when I did. It’s rounded out by Immortals players (no surprise there) of which I still own Pobelter. On the top players for the spring list, I own three, but that still isn’t enough to content with weekly top players. Having those more consistently gets you wins I’ve come to learn. Ah well. Here’s to 2nd place next week!

Thoughts on Hextech Crafting

Hextech Crafting went live on the League of Legends NA servers earlier today, along with a new “club” system that essentially allows you to have a clan/guild tag that displays in game. These seem to be the last bits promised for season six, outside of the other rotational game mode queue on weekends which is still in the works. But what is Hextech Crafting you might ask?

Well, to be quite frank, it’s just a lockbox system.

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When I logged in this evening, there was a brief introduction to the system, that I foolishly forgot to screenshot. If you play the game you’ve likely already seen it. After clicking through that and then opening a free chest provided for demonstration purposes, I had the gist of it. I’ve always been the type of person who avoids lockboxes. If there is some sort of way to earn an in-game currency to open lockboxes, I’ll go for it when I can. I’ve done so in games like Call of Duty, where you eventually get enough cash shop currency to open a lockbox once in a while. I’ve not bought any in MMOs, but I’ve heard the complaints from communities, and it usually has to do with lockboxes containing pay to win items, such as gear and other benefits that actually affect gameplay. I’ve praised League of Legends for its cash shop implementation many times before, because they have an in-game currency and a paid currency, and the only thing you absolutely needed to spend real money on was skins. That has changed over the years, where Summoner’s Icons (like the monkey face one I have above), ward skins and bundles have been added for RP, but IP will buy the things that are necessary to play the game, like champions and runes. There is no pay to win scenario in League of Legend’s cash shop, and that hasn’t changed with Hextech Crafting.

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One “premium” chest was given to everyone for free, and it contained multiple items. The normal chests pictured above only contain one item, but I assume there will be expansions upon the system as time goes on. Still, buying a chest with a key is next to nothing, and you have the possibility of getting some cool stuff that in some cases doesn’t seem to be on the store (I could be wrong there, or perhaps they’re legacy items from the vault). Again, this is still just for fluff items, and in the end you could just spend the 975 RP on one skin, or perhaps manage more by buying chests.

Of course there are the ethical issues plagued by all cash shops, in that there are whales out there and this will cater to their inner gambler. However, the prices seem fair and the idea that you can earn chests through game play (along with key fragments that will combine into keys to open said chests) means that you can still avoid paying real money, and now potentially earn skins in the process. Basically Riot just programmed a way to avoid purchasing RP into the game, so really it’s cash shopping done right, in this writer’s opinion.

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I had an odd number of RP lying around from the last time I splurged on it, so I picked up two chests/keys. With that, I ended up with a couple of skin shards, a champion, and a ward skin shard. I also earned a key shard from getting a win this evening, which apparently can be combined to make a key if you have three of them.

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Shards have a number of options to play with, but the obvious goal is to either use essence to permanently unlock that skin or champion, re-roll for a random skin, or disenchant so that you have essence to unlock something in the future. Riot was kind enough to give us 800 essence to start out with, so you can permanently unlock something right off the bat. Unfortunately I ended up with a Nocturne skin but already have one for him, and a Tahm Kench skin that I don’t really care for. I also ended up with Bard whom I already own and a ward skin I wasn’t thrilled with. So my first instinct was to try and reroll something.

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However, you need 3 matching shards to reroll something. This means 3 skin shards, 3 champion shards or 3 ward skin shards. I didn’t have 3 in any of the categories, so at this point I’m stuck waiting for more chests, or buying more the next time I have a tiny bit of RP that I can’t spend on something else. Still, it seems like a fair system considering one more skin shard will get me a free skin. I can’t complain about that!

My overall verdict is that Riot is continuing to do free to play right, in a sea of games that have done nothing but make most of us hate the free to play model.

Fantasy LCS Review: Season 6, Week 7

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week7standingsFinally, after a three week skid, things turned around. It’s fortunate that they did as well, because this means that I’m back in second place! After taking down Judentus in week 7, I entered a 3-4 tie with his team, but I inched ahead in overall points for the split, so I own second. However, with only two weeks of games left before the end of the split, It is currently impossible to beat out our current first place team. If I was to win out, I only have 5 wins, and he’d still have 6 even if he lost out. So it is what it is, but I’m still determined to finish second (again). Summer split will be different. Tacktix was able to pull off another win this week as well, finally defeating Tyvokka, who has been undefeated along with his team Immortals until this weekend. Yeah, Immortals finally dropped a game, and then looked like they might drop a second on Sunday, but still managed to win. They’re still arguably the best team in North America, but they got kicked down a notch. It’s likely that’s the only game they lose, and the same goes for our league member. Either way, things look like they may have turned around and my tinkering with the lineup on a weekly basis has paid off. Let’s see why:

week7results

My European players performed decently enough. Considering there were weeks when I had teams give me 5 points, 31 points from G2 is pretty good. Steeelback and Odoamne delivered decent amounts, and Kasing got me a little better than Aphromoo had been, though I still have Aphro waiting in the wings if needbe. Rush had a stellar weekend. Piglet had a better showing that the past couple of weeks. Really the only disappointment was Pobelter, and that’s odd because he’s been consistent the whole time, but makes complete sense given their loss on Saturday. Either way, I still did some tinkering for next week. I either need great performances from these players, or for Immortals to drop another game (not likely given their schedule).

week8matchup

I’m back up against Tyvokka, so basically I’m betting against Immortals, which hasn’t done much of anything for me each time I’ve faced this guy. Still, I have a higher projected total, so maybe I’ll get lucky. I’m not holding my breath. I did pick up Emperor from G2 and Jensen from C9, along with throwing Aphromoo back into the mix just because of his schedule being easier than Kasing’s. I don’t like taking Piglet out (because he’ll probably have a 60 point weekend now that I didn’t start him), but historically Emperor has had more points more often. Team Liquid had a great weekend, but they have had other great weekends this season and they were usually followed by stinkers. I just don’t trust them and want to try for as many wins as I can get before this whole thing is over. We’ll see how it goes.

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Ironically, the only player up here that is owned and was actually played last week was Sneaky. I own Jensen and Emperor now, and Tyvokka has owned Fenix the whole time but never once played him. When looking at the season top 5, I still own three of the players, but Pobelter was the only one I’ve played (and every week too). Perhaps some of them will stay up there. That’s all the observations I have for this week. See you soon.

Fantasy LCS Review: Season 6, Week 5

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week5standingsIt’s that time of week again to break down the past weekend’s LCS action. This time I managed to completely lose the gambles I took in setting my roster up. I dropped Rush because he wasn’t performing at the expected level, and then C9 have a dominant weekend. Of course, Dardoch put up huge points the week before, and this weekend he didn’t, so that swap was immediately reverted. I also put in GBM as a flex, and now NRG look like a middle ground team, and are failing to live up to my expectations. So of course, he put up mediocre numbers. Despite Aprhromoo being a great support, he doesn’t bring in the numbers either. Overall it was just a down day for all of my players so I was thoroughly beaten and I have done a pretty big overhaul of my roster this week just trying to stay competitive. I’ve now dropped to 2-3 and in 3rd place overall, but Judentus is only a game ahead so I have time to re-take 2nd place, but it looks like Derpy is going to win the league overall because just like his IMT players, he can’t lose a game. So at this point I’m basically only fighting for 2nd place, as even Tacktix won’t be able to do much about his positioning on the leader board at this point. Kind of sucks to have the wind taken out of your sails so early into the season, but there’s always the summer split, where we most certainly won’t be letting Derpy get all of the IMT members again. My theft of pobelter and someone else owning the team is the only thing keeping him from godlike fantasy points.

Let’s take a look at the matchup anyway, to see where I went wrong:

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When you see the names on my side of the board when compared to those on the other, I see a pattern. He has a good mix of NA and EU players, I have all NA. I have some of the biggest names (aside from Dardoch) though, and he has a couple questionable players. Seemed like an easy win. But then you get teams like NRG who have really dropped the ball, TL who still can’t stay consistent, and CLG that doesn’t score many points whether they win or lose. On the other hand, he’s got a mix of the same, it’s just that my players dropped the ball a bit more. Needless to say, some sweeping changes were in order.

week6matchup

I now have three slots taken up by the EULCS. It hurt me to do it, but I dropped Impact. He just isn’t getting me the points necessary to stay competitive. He’s a great top laner but their team needs work. Perhaps he’ll be better in the summer. I picked up Odoamne, whom I’m not too familiar with but has decent projections and week-to-week scorelines. H2K is performing well too, so that should keep him more consistent. I brought Rush back because there aren’t really any other good junglers available. I’m sticking with Piglet because he’s consistent and has flashes of brilliance. Support wise I don’t see anyone projecting higher than Aphromoo that isn’t already spoken for. Because of the top players sections on the Fantasy LCS website, I decided to pick up Steeelback, who has managed to crack the top 5 overall in the spring, so he should be a better flex pick than what I’ve had if he keeps it up. Lastly, I picked up G2 esports because they have been doing really well this split over in Europe so I hope they’ll give me more points from the team slot. So yeah, here’s to being hopeful I can right the ship.

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No one on my team did shit last week, so no appearances on the top 5. I still have Pobelter and Piglet up there for the Spring, and as I mentioned, Steeelback is playing for me too, and his numbers are right there with piglet. Hoping for better things out of next weekend!

Fantasy LCS Review: Season 6, Week 4

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week4standingsAnother week down, and another week where both the Immortals go undefeated, and as a result of owning four of the team’s players, Derpy is also undefeated. Which means he took me out last week. It was a closer match, but he still beat me convincingly. To top things off, due to the fact that I now have the 3rd highest point total, the 2-2 record I share with Judentus means I’m now in 3rd place in the league. I do face Judentus this weekend though, and as of the time of this writing I’m down by a lot, but that’s because he has quite a few EULCS players on his team. I have zero this week, so I won’t know how it’ll shake up until Sunday. I’m confident that I will win, the projections said as much. At least he doesn’t have any members of IMT.

So let’s take a look at last week’s matchup. I was facing Derpy and as I’ve mentioned he basically owns IMT so of course they had huge games again and I lost, whereas my score was actually the lowest of all, so I would have lost no matter what. Either of the other teams would have actually won this week if they would have faced Derpy, so I guess it’s bad timing that I was the one playing him that week. Perhaps he will drop a game. I am almost positive that Immortals will, and it will likely be to one of the weaker teams in the league. These types of things happen all the time in sports, and I think that will correlate to pro LoL play.

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Anyway, I was pleased with my European last minute pickups’ scores but then they still don’t see very high. As a result I made some changes going into next week. I’ve been giving Rush chances to give me the big points time and again, but I’m watching Dardoch’s stocks rise, and his week-to-week scoreline has been impressive. I’m giving the rookie a go this week and hoping for good things. The rest of my lineup is pretty much the same. I like CLG’s matchups this week so I threw them into the mix, and Derpy actually made some small changes to his lineup, resulting in the aquistion of GBM. I know he’s probably hit or miss, but I’m taking a risk. The final two slots have seemed to be the thing I either need to change each week (team) or I haven’t found a good permanent solution yet (flex). Perhaps GBM will over perform this week like he did when NRG played TSM.

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Moving along, let’s see what’s changed on the pro player leader boards:

week4top springtop

This week I had absolutely no one in the top 5. That was a streak that I knew would come to an end, but it was sad nonetheless. However, I do still have Piglet and Pobelter putting in work for me overall, scoring 2nd and 3rd place for the spring. Wildturtle leap frogged over them though, but I’ll take two top players over just one anytime. That’s about it for this week. We’ll see what happens in the games and I’ll be back next week with more.