NA LCS Fantasy Challenge: Building a Team with $15

Earlier today, a Reddit thread popped up with a fun “fantasy draft”-style challenge. The objective is to create a team from current NA LCS players using a budget of $15. Each player has a dollar value assigned by the thread creator, “ChemBizWiz,” who said the amounts were “based on KDA with a few exceptions.”

I took on the challenge, partly because it’s fun, and partly because it’s an interesting way to open up the topics of perceived player value, player roles, and team construction.

Here are ChemBizWiz’s player values:

  • $5 Huni
  • $5 Hauntzer
  • $4 Impact
  • $4 Lourlo
  • $3 Seraph
  • $3 Darshan
  • $2 Ray
  • $2 Zig
  • $1 kfo
  • $1 Quas
  • $5 Reignover
  • $5 Svenkersen
  • $4 Meteos
  • $4 Dardoch
  • $3 Xmithie
  • $3 Inori
  • $2 Santorin
  • $2 Procxin
  • $1 Shrimp
  • $1 Hard
  • $5 Bjergsen
  • $5 Pobelter
  • $5 Jensen
  • $4 Fenix
  • $3 Keane
  • $3 Huhi
  • $3 Froggen
  • $2 Ninja
  • $2 Pirean
  • $2 GBM
  • $5 Sneaky
  • $5 Doublelift
  • $4 Wildturtle
  • $4 Stixxay
  • $3 LOD
  • $3 Apollo
  • $2 Ohq
  • $2 Fabbby
  • $1 Mash
  • $1 Keith
  • $5 Aphromoo
  • $5 Adrian
  • $4 Biofrost
  • $4 Matt
  • $3 Smoothie
  • $3 Hakuho
  • $2 Xpecial
  • $2 Gate
  • $1 Kiwikid
  • $1 Big

Based on those prices, I came up with a few teams that might work well. I chose not to overlap any players between the two teams, to give more room for discussion, and I also used the added restriction of only giving myself two import slots.

Team 1: Core Strength

Top: kfo $1
Jungle: Xmithie $3
Mid: Bjergsen $5
ADC: Ohq $2
Support: Matt $4

At just $1, kfo is a steal. He’s so much better than his numbers; Echo Fox’s disorganized team play has really hurt him. Neither of the $2 top laners is an upgrade, and I’m hoping that he can find better synergy with the teammates I’ve picked, and that playing within a well-coached team would help out with his split pushing.

Xmithie is a reliable choice from the middle of the dollar values. I wouldn’t consider Meteos an upgrade, and while Dardoch has a bit more to offer, he also comes with some downsides (risk-taking and low vision) that I don’t want to opt into, since I’m not making jungle the focal point of my team. I would consider trading down to Santorin to save a dollar here, since I’m looking for a supportive jungler, but I’m good with Xmithie.

Bjergsen is my centrepiece. I’m not going to put $5 into either Pobelter or Jensen if I have the option of taking Bjergsen.

At ADC, I’m looking for a player who knows how to carry, so that Bjergsen has the option of playing damage or utility. I also want strong laning to attract some enemy jungler attention and take pressure off of Bjergsen and kfo. Ohq fits the bill. To get a better carry or laner, I have to spend at least $4, and that neuters my budget in other roles. There’s risk involved with taking Ohq, but I think he has a lot more to give than we’ve seen during his time with NRG, and for $2, the risk seems justifiable.

I left a good budget amount for support because the cheaper options don’t appeal to me much. I’ve gone with Matt because Biofrost’s low warding and inexperience makes me a little nervous, but I wouldn’t really have an issue with taking either player. I might consider stepping down to Smoothie if I needed a dollar somewhere else.

Overall, this lineup is built around the laners, with Bjergsen as the core. Team fight comps are viable, with Bjergsen and Ohq carrying and kfo capable of playing tanks if the communication gets figured out. Split push comps are a definite option, with Xmithie and Bjergsen working together to be enablers for kfo in the early game (we’ve seen this split how great Bjergsen is at affecting the side lanes). Matt is flexible enough to fit in. Shot calling is something I’m not so sure about, but between Bjergsen and Matt I think the team could figure things out.

Team 2: Two-Threat Throwback

Top: Zig $2
Jungle: Santorin $2
Mid: Froggen $3
ADC: Doublelift $5
Support: Smoothie $3

Feed the carries. This would be an old school two-threat team, surrounded by three supportive players with low price tags. Zig is my pick over Ray, because Ray needs to carry, and I don’t have the power budget in this team to give him those resources. Zig will end up playing tanks every game, but so be it. Santorin is underrated. Smoothie is a good laner who can stick close with Doublelift to help him get fed. Do I get bonus points for only using one import?

Team 3: How Do You Solve a Problem Like a $5 Jungler Budget?

Top: Seraph $3
Jungle: Reignover $5
Mid: GBM $2
Support: Xpecial $2

In the real world, it makes a ton of sense to build a team around Reignover, but the value-for-dollar options are so good at jungle, compared to the other positions. It’s hard to justify dropping the budget in the other roles to the levels I’ve had to. I think this team could be decent, but the bot lane might get exploited in some cases, and I’m not sure there’s enough reliable damage threat for team fights. GBM will really need to step up, and I’m banking on Reignover helping him out a lot. If I had an import slot open, Ray might work in this team, as a carry top laner who could try to be a Huni replacement, and I would probably use the extra dollar to grab WildTurtle, but that would create three lanes that rely on jungler help, and even Reignover can’t gank for three lanes all at once. No matter what I do, if I draft Reignover, my early game is going to be weak in multiple lanes, so my star jungler will really have his work cut out for him.

With these numbers and a $15 budget, what team would you build? Which players do you think give the best value in these lists?

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Tim “Magic” Sevenhuysen runs, the premier source for League of Legends esports statistics, and writes for theScore esports.

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