Introduction to League of Legends DFS & LPL Advice: 6/5
League of Legends has boomed as a daily fantasy sport over the past few months, and after a brief hiatus, the summer splits are starting up. Today, we’ll go through a quick introduction to LoL DFS for those new to the game or wanting a refresher, and then we’ll break down the June 5th slate for China’s Legends Pro League (LPL).
Introduction to League of Legends DFS
A LoL DFS lineups consist of seven slots: a captain, which can be any position, and then one of each of the following: TOP, JNG, MID, ADC, SUP, and a TEAM. In order of highest salary/top scorers and working down, the positions loosely follow the pattern of ADC > MID > JNG > TOP > SUP > TEAM. Generally, though, you’ll want to focus on selecting the highest-scoring positions as your captain; it’s uncommon for anyone other than an ADC or MID to be the top player on a slate.
Player scoring is focused around kills (three points on both DraftKings and FanDuel) and assists (two points), and the nature of the game helping a winning team snowball their success means that performance across positions is highly correlated. Due to the vast correlation matrix, it’s essential to team stack, as those of you in MLB DFS are likely accustomed to. The most popular roster construction is “4-3”—four players from one team and three from another — but 4-2-1, 3-3-1, and other setups are viable depending on the situation (and they’re necessary on FanDuel, where you’re required to select players from at least three different teams).
The other thing to note is the importance of building rosters based around teams you expect to win. While it’s possible for players on losing teams to still put up points, since so much of the scoring comes from actions that lead to improving abilities and winning (think about if you played TD-only fantasy football, where, as one team built a lead, they became faster and stronger), the victorious squads wind up being better DFS options the majority of the time. This phenomenon is often baked into the salaries, especially for TEAMs, since their scoring is even more closely tied to the match result.
June 5th Slate: LPL Summer Split Opener
With just two games on the slate—EDward Gaming vs. Team WE and LNG ESports vs. Suning — it’s likely that there will be duplicate lineups splitting DraftKings’ Split 2 Special, which has room for 11,700 total entries and $50K to first. If you’re gunning for that, or for one of the satellites for a seat to the LoL online championship, you’ll want to be unique with the way you approach things. Note that these matchups, as they are during the regular season, are best of three.
EDward Gaming vs. Team WE
EDG and WE finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the spring split, with each advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs before getting bounced. On the side of EDG, Hope ($7,800) comes in as the most expensive player on the slate, and for a good reason—his kill participation (fraction of team’s kills in which a player killed or assisted) of 72.4% indicates his high involvement, and his KDA was the highest in the LPL of any player in the spring. He’ll correlate well with Scout and Meiko, who you can combine to get a good stack controlling the action across the mid and bot lanes. EDG are the favorites in this one, so it’ll be worth getting exposure to whichever jungler starts as well at lower ownership (JieJie and Junjia have split time), but beware that there could be a sub at the position if things go sour.
Team WE play up-tempo (they had the third-fastest game time in the spring split, and more importantly, a combined kills per minute mark of 0.90 that was fourth of the 17 teams), which makes their matches great ones to attack in DFS. They’ll likely roll out the same core lineup as last season with Morgan-beishang-Teacherma-Jiumeng-Missing, and WE is a rare squad that can put up monster numbers even in losses. For the upside they have in any game to go off, they’re my favorite squad on the slate — you don’t need a 2-0 sweep, since going a third game can still wind up drawing bigger points, and really, a 1-2 loss doesn’t eliminate the possibility for a good performance (game stacking is typically not the move in LoL DFS on bigger slates, but I don’t have any issue with a bring back from WE even if you’re stacking EDG to get an edge in large tournaments). Jiumeng, Teacherma, Missing, and beishang all have kill participation marks of over 70%, so I’ll be stacking with these four and assorted combinations as much as any team.
LNG ESports vs. Suning
LNG won just 37% of their games in the spring and had the second-worst kill-death ratio, so they’re nothing to get too excited about. Maple leads the team with 5.2 kills on average in wins, however, so he’d be the guy to start building around if you’re banking on the upset. Whoever starts in at TOP is worth considering as well — both chenlun17 and Flandre had splash moments — and the matchup against bin in the top lane isn’t particularly intimidating. While it’s tough to go heavy on a team that won just one of their last seven series, that’s also going to keep ownership at bay. I wouldn’t be stacking LNG in a single lineup, but I would suggest getting exposure to the extent you’re building out.
Suning’s right around the middle of the pack just about any way you cut it, but in a favorable matchup, that might be all that you need. Angel and huanfeng make for good captain options (though you could try SofM there as well if you’re stacking both favorites and need salary relief), and I think SN is the most likely spot where you might get the game not played bonus from a 2-0 sweep. SwordArt works well to add on in these stacks, as his 9.3 assists/game puts him among the top supports and in range to get the 10 KA+ bonus whenever Suning wins. LNG dies an average of 17.0 times when they lose, so there’s upside to capitalize on as the game drags along. You can build any combination you want of stacks with Suning and Team WE, and it’s worth exploring combinations that leave salary on the table in order to be contrarian.
Peter Gofen is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Peter, check out his archive.