Whether it’s Solo Queue or Fantasy LCS, being on a losing streak is something no one wants to experience. It feels like no matter how much time you spend creating your game plan and strategizing, you still somehow manage to lose. I consider myself a losing streak master, which is probably the only time I’ll be a master in something League of Legends related. Last season I managed to lose fourteen or so ranked games in a row and somehow didn’t get demoted.
This time around, I decided to have a go at Fantasy LCS and test my expert LCS knowledge. Interestingly enough, I have a 1-7 record as of week 8. Still more wins than Delta Fox, but only because my opponent decided to play a substitute jungler and obtained no points for it. A victory is a victory nonetheless, but it’s kind of like when you only win because the enemy player disconnected. As the final week of LCS approaches, I’ve set out to write a guide on everything I did during this season of Fantasy. I don’t strictly recommend following it, but some of the tips I give might prove useful for next time.
Step 1: Picking your players
I can’t stress enough how important the first draft of Fantasy LCS is. If you don’t get an initial selection of good players, you might not get the chance to do so ever again. The likes of Bjergsen, Doublelift and Jensen are always excellent choices no matter how you put it. However, the Fantasy LCS uses a point system that evaluates an individual’s performance based on their KDA and CS, meaning that the players you pick don’t necessarily have to win their matches, they only have to do well in some of them. Once the potential MVP candidates are all taken, look for players that are likely to carry and rack up that KDA even if their team isn’t great. For example, Phoenix 1’s Arrow had some monster performances throughout the split, yet his team sits at tenth place.
In addition to that, with certain rule sets, european players are extremely valuable, even if they got smashed by NA at Rift Rivals. The format of the EU LCS makes it so teams typically only play one series a week. The effect this has on Fantasy is that players who just play one Best of 3 get double the amount of points. Building a solid roster around multiple EU players from different teams and rotating them from week to week allows you to capitalize on this. Most of the time, european players will only need to perform well in one out of three possible games instead of two out of six possible games. Probability would indicate the chances are the same, but I digress.
Last and definitely least important, you have to select a team. More variables intervene when defining how many points a team gets. The amount of turrets they destroy, their neutral objective control (AKA how many dragons/barons they take), if they get First Blood, and how quickly they win the game all affect their final score. Analysing a specific team’s playstyle can help you decide which team to choose. If they constantly skirmish and don’t tend to take objectives, they probably won’t get many points. If you’re not to sure on which team to pick, simply look at the standings and grab the team closest to the top.
Step 2: Trading, roster swaps and schedule
Once you have your dream team ready, it’s time to see how you match up against other Fantasy LCSers. Ideally the people you are playing against are your friends or, if you don’t have any, randoms you found on a LFG thread. Being able to communicate with the rest of the participants of your Fantasy league is crucial because it facilitates trading players and roster swaps. Helping out your fellow league members when you’re not facing them is a perfect way to have a more versatile roster.
However, when do you know if you should drop a player? First thing to take into consideration is the players’ consistency. How did they play the previous weeks? What were their stats? Furthermore, you have to analyze their strength of schedule. If your players have very tough matches in the coming week, you should consider benching them. Nevertheless, if they’re going up against a tenth place team you should keep them in. Learning to play for the week and adjusting accordingly is key to winning. But don’t attempt to make too many changes at once. Find solid players you can rely on and swap out the not so reliable.
Step 3: ????
Here’s where Fantasy LCS gets interesting. No matter how much studying, planning, trading and scheming you do before the games start, you have to expect the unexpected. Maybe the ADC on that Challenger level team completely demolishes the first place team in the league. Or perhaps that player you decided to start had attitude issues and sat out the weekend on the bench. Getting creative and having a keen eye for potential upsets is a great way to make the most points if you don’t have those top tier players. Moreover, accepting that some defeats are unavoidable will save you a lot of stress.
Step 4: Profit
And no, I’m not talking about Ninjas in Pyjamas’ top laner, Profit. The most important thing to do when playing Fantasy LCS is to have fun. There is literally no reward of any sort, that I know of, that you get if you win your Fantasy league. Only bragging rights and, well, satisfaction. Even if the system is completely abusable depending on how the league manager sets it up and participants can hoard top players to have insanely stacked rosters that utterly smash you every week, it’s a pretty enjoyable experience. Especially if you got at it with a couple of friends. In the end, Fantasy LCS is not always about winning, it’s about living the dream and creating your all star team (given that the players that you want are available).