The NA LCS (or, well, just LCS) begins on January 26! Most North American teams have overhauled their rosters in preparation for the 2019 Spring Split. Find out which squads fell short and which orgs came out on top in our expert LCS betting predictions for week 1 of the competition!
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LCS Betting Predictions – Day 1
Team SoloMid vs 100 Thieves
The first one in line for our LCS betting predictions is the TSM vs 100T series. Team SoloMid had a rough time in 2018, and they made some much-needed roster moves in the off-season. Arguably the most important change was replacing Mithy with Smoothie. Not only is Smoothie a clear-cut mechanical upgrade, but he’s also a flexible communicator that can either make decisive calls or feed information to his teammates. Combine that with the fact that TSM held onto their superstar carries—Zven and Bjergsen—and this 3-man core already makes a solid foundation to build upon.
One piece of worrying news is that Grig had to leave the lineup due to wrist issues. That said, Grig has always been one of the weakest links of the 2018 TSM roster, so swapping him out for a proactive jungler like Akaadian might be for the better. Another thing to note is that Hauntzer is out, and Broken Blade has joined the team in his stead. At first glance, it might seem counterintuitive to replace a veteran with an untested rookie, but Broken Blade has already proven himself as a talented (and versatile) top laner in the TCL. Still, he’s in for an uphill battle against the force of nature that is 100T’s Ssumday.
Speaking of which, 100 Thieves have made some changes of their own. The decision to swap Ryu for Huhi is a sidegrade at best, as the latter doesn’t bring much to the table other than some preexisting synergy with Aphromoo. More importantly, 100 Thieves have found a new AD carry in the former SK Telecom T1 marksman Bang!
This is a massive upgrade that simultaneously shores up 100T’s biggest weakness and empowers their world-class support. But Bang will need time to adjust to North America, so 100 Thieves are likely to go through some growing pains during the first weeks of the 2019 LCS Spring Split. For now, Ssumday is their only reliable win condition. And considering how bad they’ve historically been at playing around him, they’re not likely to gain much ground in the first weeks of the season.
BETTING ADVICE: Unless Broken Blade completely falls apart in the top lane, TSM should have this one in the bag. Their roster is much more cohesive, and 100T will not have much synergy during the first game of the season. You can bet on TSM coming up with a win for odds of 2.72 at GG.Bet
Counter Logic Gaming vs OpTic Gaming
It’s always hard to make LCS betting predictions around a team as unpredictable as Counter Logic Gaming. Yet, we’re still going to try! CLG’s off-season might not be as impressive to a random onlooker, however, they did a lot to make up for their 2018 shortcomings. The addition of Wiggily is an absolute godsend, as they were in a dire need of a mechanically capable jungler, and even though Huhi pulled his weight on the team, PowerOfEvil is more suited to being a serious carry threat.
The only actual question mark is Darshan. His 2018 form left a lot to be desired, so it’s questionable that CLG chose to give him another shot. Still, there’s no denying Darshan has a wealth of competitive experience, and even though his innate volatility could backfire against teams with dominant top laners, he doesn’t have much to worry about against his current opponents.
If there was a prize for building the most head-scratching roster of 2019, OpTic Gaming would certainly be a solid contender. Importing Crown already strikes us as weird considering how much he struggled in Korea, but pairing him with a self-centered jungler like Meteos is a recipe for disaster. Their playstyles simply don’t align with each other, an no amount of practice or team building exercises is going to fix that.
The bot lane presents another issue. Arrow is notorious for being a weak laner, and pairing him with a shaky support like Big is only going to exacerbate the issue. Finally, there’s Dhokla. OpTic’s top laner hasn’t exactly been setting the world ablaze before, and there’s no reason to believe he’s about to start playing well now. With that, OpTic can easily end up playing the bulk of their games with three losing lanes—and that’s not a situation you want to be in.
BETTING ADVICE: You can bet on Counter Logic Gaming winning their first 2019 LCS game for odds of 2.05 at Betway.
LCS Betting Predictions – Day 2
FlyQuest vs OpTic Gaming
Our next LCS betting prediction is for the FlyQuest vs OpTic Gaming matchup. FlyQuest had a strong start against Golden Guardians, as they took over the game by funneling a ton of resource into their bot lane. WildTurtle once again proved he deserves to be up there with the best marksmen in the league, and his support—JayJ—didn’t look half bad on the unconventional Ornn support pick.
Other players rallied around them. Pobelter came up huge with clutch Galio ultimates, and Santorin pulled off a number of well-timed ganks and initiations to set up his AD carry for success. The only worrying point lies in the top lane. V1per still looks a bit shaky in the laning phase, and his teamfighting doesn’t exactly blow us away either. Then again, it’s not like his current opponents have the tools to punish him.
OpTic Gaming put themselves on the board with a victory over CLG. Crown adjusted to his new team much better than expected, as he’s already setting up cross-map roams and pulling off coordinated plays with his teammates. What’s more interesting is that OpTic aren’t even running their primary roster. The first day of the LCS saw them subbing in four Academy players because their intended starting marksman—Arrow—didn’t arrive in North America due to visa issues.
Yet, somehow, some way, this roster move paid off. Granted, Allorim doesn’t exactly set the world ablaze with his top lane play, and Dardoch remains hit-or-miss with his explosive playmaking. But Asta and Gate are surprisingly potent as a duo, and they’ve already had a great showing against CLG’s bot lane.
BETTING ADVICE: Both teams showed promise on day 1 of the 2019 LCS Spring Split, so this will truly be a game of inches. That being said, FlyQuest have the advantage of fielding their starting lineup and having more pre-existing synergy than their opponents. You can bet on FlyQuest edging out a win against OpTic for odds of 1.90 at Betspawn.
100 Thieves vs Cloud9
For the final match of our LCS betting predictions, we turn to 100 Thieves vs Cloud9. To the surprise of literally no one, 100 Thieves are going through growing pains. The addition of Bang and Huhi was always going to disrupt their synergy, and while both of these players didn’t look half bad in their debut, they seemed more like standalone pieces instead of actual parts of the team.
Other members of the 100T roster aren’t doing too hot either. Ssumday might’ve been the undisputed #1 top laner last season, but the fact that he’s now losing 1v1s in an advantageous matchup against an LCS rookie is inexcusable. The same applies to Aphromoo, who couldn’t find any opening on the Thresh pick. And while AnDa displayed smart pathing on Olaf, he had a hard time using this lead to snowball his laners. In the end, 100 Thieves are still coming together, so it will take time before they can challenge the best LCS lineups.
Unfortunately, their current opponents aren’t going to give them any breathing room. Cloud9 might’ve lost their game against Team Liquid, but they still gave the reigning LCS champions a run for their money. Nisqy is already in sync with his new teammates, and his Zoe was downright oppressive in teamfights and skirmishes. Meanwhile, Licorice is once again performing like the best top laner in North America, so C9 have two potent solo laners to play around.
Granted, they aren’t without fault. Both Zeyzal and Svenskeren went for most head-scratching plays in their match against Liquid, and Sneaky struggled to stand up to Doublelift in the laning phase. Still, individual shortcomings don’t cancel out the fact that Cloud9 are working together as a single unit, which is more than you can say about 100 Thieves.
BETTING ADVICE: You can bet on Cloud9 outmaneuvering 100 Thieves for odds of 2.041 at EGB.