Vulcan Challenge – Day 2


In this series I have started with $25, and through Vulcun I hope to make some teams that end up in the money.  Follow along with my drafting strategy and see if I turn out to be a big winner, or a bust!

Welcome back for day 2 of the Vulcan challenge!  If you missed out on day 1, I have it for you right here.  In this post I would like to outline how I did on my first day, and I would like to talk about the team that I have drafted for day 2!


Team NA W5D1

This was the team that I drafted yesterday.  I honestly couldn’t believe the caliber of players I was able to draft for so little.  The biggest steals were the players of Gravity and they produced staggering points.  Unfortunately TSM was too dominate with their map control, forcing an early forfeit, so I missed out on a lot of points that could have propelled me higher in the standings. However, I was able to win something in each of the three competitions I entered.  After day 1 I have gone from $25 to $36.05!  I tripled up in one contest and doubled up in another, while winning 5 cents in the free to play contest (told you that I don’t make much through those)!

Overall, this week had a very high potential for points through the players of TSM, CLG, and Gravity.  There were pretty clear cut victories on paper, but not every week will have such great returns.

My New Team

Team NA W5D2

This is the team that I will be running with for day 2.  Sadly I don’t have nearly as much confidence in this team as I did in the one from day 1.  However, I am still entering 3 contests with this team at $5, $1, and free.  I really wanted to snag some more members from TSM for this setup because they are playing a floundering Team Liquid, but their dominating performance against Team Coast priced them out of my range!  Instead I decided to take the players from Gravity that really showed up today.  I doubt that they will put up massive points again, but they should still do really well and their price point fits what I expect from them.

Link has been playing better and better as the split goes on.  Yesterday he was at a price point over $3,000, which was insane!  Dropping down to under $2,000 made him much more worth while.  This week I feel like I am taking a much bigger risk with the team, and I am certain you see why.  I have two players on Team 8, who are currently tied for 8th place. Why am I doing this?  Easy, they are playing Team Coast!  Team 8 isn’t a bad team but make mistakes that the top tier teams punish…hard.  Team Coast is not a top tier team.  Therefore I expect a fairly high point output from Porpoise and maplestreet.

For my shot caller I selected Cop.  He is easily the player with the highest potential, and until he gets priced out of my range I expect to see him on my roster a lot.

How did your last week go?  Let me know below!

Let the Games Begin


Welcome to a new series called “Vulcun Challenge”.  I have decided that I want to do a series of articles for this blog that are a little different than just reporting on the weeks potential (and past) fantasy performances.  One of the more interesting sides of any fantasy league is being able to draft midway though the season.  There have been plenty of busts and unexpected sleepers that may have ruined a standard league, so this is a nice change of pace.  My goal in this series is to invest $25 on Vulcun and attempt to not lose it all.  If I make some spare change that wouldn’t be bad either!

For those of you who have not drafted in this way there are some free leagues.  The downside is that you won’t make much money if you win!  However, it is good for gaining experience in drafting in a different way.  In a standard Fantasy LCS league you get a group of people to do a snake draft and you pick the best player for your team out of the remaining pool.  On Vulcun, you have the entire pool of players to build your dream team.  But there is a catch!


Draft Restrictions

It would be too easy to just pick the best players, so there is a system in place to make people think.  There is a team cap, usually of $10,000, and each player has a price tag attached to them.  Therefore while you can pick from everyone, you cannot pick all of the top players if they will exceed your cap!  This adds an interesting problem of determining who is worth their price tag.  Is Link really worth it at $3,013?  Is Kieth a bargain for only $551, or is he a bust?  These are the types of questions that need to be answered to maximize the value of the $10,000 and beat out the competition.  Another restriction is the limit of 3 players from a single LCS team, so that is another factor that will effect the draft.


Building a Draft Method

What is the best draft method?  Well, nobody knows the answer to that question!  It is up to me to develop a method I feel comfortable with.  This method could range from picking my favorite players, to randomly selecting via dart throws, to taking a look at the statistics.  I prefer the last option so I have developed a very simple method for picking what I believe to be the optimal team for the day.  I will tweak and re-evaluate the method as the weeks go by.


My Method

My method is actually very simple, and it relies on looking at past performances factored in with the opponent being faced. I then use that data to select the best team. To begin, I gather the data on each player in the region and I aggregate all of the data into a single value.  The higher the value, the higher rated the player. This value is created using various inputs that I find important in determining a players worth.  Once I get the ratings I look up the price of all of the players for the day.  At the moment I am manually solving a knapsack problem with the weights being the price, and the rating being the value.  A knapsack problem is an optimization problem that focuses on finding the the highest value while restricting the cost.  While analyzing my results I pick from the top down (highest to lowest value) filling roles.  Once I make sure I have picked the best players for the main 5 roles I then pick the best flex players with my remaining money.  In this situation, the “best” player is the player with the highest rating that does push the cap beyond $10,000.  This of course can end in a situation where I do not fill out all of my players with $10,000.  In this case, I will go back and find a replacement for the lowest rated player that I have select to open up some more capitol.  I have already picked a team for Week 5, Day 1 in the NA LCS and it is as follows:

Team NA W5D1

Using my method, this is the team that ended up with.  Dyrus was a better selection for the top lane, but since I already had 3 better players on TSM I found the next best player.  If this team scores their average points on the season, this team should net 168.23 points before factoring in the shot caller.  I have selected Bjergsen to fill that role. In the end I was $311 under cap, and I am confident that this team will make me a little bit of money tomorrow!

Do you like to draft in this way?  Do you have a method that has been working for you?  Let talk about it in the comments below!

Week 5 LCS Preview

Games League of Legends

Week 5 is upon us!  This should be quite an exciting week, and I think that there is a lot of potential for the fantasy points to rack up.

Roster Changes

This week has had a lot of roster changes to be on the lookout for.  In the EU LCS two top laners, Wickd and Mimer, are being benched for alternates.  Gambits niQ has reported health issues and will also be out for week 5.  Over in the NA LCS Piglet of Team Liquid has been replaced with Keith. Winterfox now has their starting support, Imagine will be replacing Gleeb.  Finally, Jesiz is being replaced by mancloud on Team Coast. Most of these changes are coming for teams that have struggled so far this split.  If you are in need of a potential point scorer in the Top, Mid, or ADC roles I would suggest looking at one of the replacements as a pickup.

EU LCS Preview

Two top tier teams are about to clash this week!  Fnatic and SK Gaming are set to face off tomorrow and it should be fun to watch as a fan, but frightening as a fantasy owner.  I have no reason to believe that SK will win this match.  Both Fnatic and SK players have been putting up major points, and unfortunately one of the teams will suffer from the first day.  My prediction is that SK will continue their dominant streak, but Fnatic will put up a fight.  Don’t expect huge numbers from Fnatic, and consider an alternate if their match ups are easier.  Both of these teams should win their second match of the week (Fnatic vs Gambit, and SK Gaming vs H2K), so whichever team wins day one will be rolling in the points.

Copenhagen Wolves Have been heating up, and this week should be easier than in the past.  Soren and Freeze are averaging over 20 points a game and are both in the top 10 for average points per game.  They should be able to close out victories against ROCCAT and MYM.

While Elements struggles this past week going 0-2, the roster change could give them the much needed push to start winning again.  Even with 2 losses last week, Froggen is still averaging 22.01 points a game.  This week, they will be playing against Giants and ROCCAT.  This should be a very manageable week, and with their ability to drag games out, decent points should be scored. However, if Elements lose against Giants I don’t think we will be seeing the point production that we expected for the rest of the split.

Finally, Unicorns of Love will be facing off against H2K and Giants.  H2K Have shown that they are not a push over team worth easy points, but UoL have the potential to score decent points.  I would look to start Vardags or Kikis unless you have a top tier player in their roles.

NA LCS Preview

The big team to watch this week is TSM.  After claiming the number one spot after defeating CLG in an extremely exciting match, they seem to be the best team. Almost everyone is averaging at least 20 points per game.  This week they play Team Coast and Team Liquid.  This should be guaranteed points for anyone who has a TSM member on your team.

Gravity will be the “sleeper” team that produces this week.  They have been looking stronger every week, and Cop is the second best ADC in NA at the moment.  Combine Cop with Keane and you have two reliable players.  Put them against Team 8 and you have the potential for big points this week.  They finish the week against Team Impulse, who have been hit or miss this split.

Winterfox will be an interesting team to watch this week as well.  They now have a team that will speak predominantly Korean, which may cause communication issues with Altec.  However, they will be playing Team Liquid and Dignitas.  Dignitas seems to be a fairly easy team to win against and Winterfox has shown that they are dominant when they get the team composition that they want.  I am sticking with Altec and Pobelter in some of my leagues, and I hope that they are able to mesh well and communicate well.

CLG players should continue to put up points this week.  They play Dignitas followed by Cloud9, which should be a 2-0 week.  After losing to TSM, they will not want to fall further behind in the standings and this team has the focus to keep their win percent high.

While Team Impulse is not a bad team, they are not a good team either.  I think they will go 0-2 this week, so I would avoid starting their players if you have an alternative.


This week will be very exciting with Fnatic and SK playing each other.  This will really shake up some fantasy league standings, since someone must lose!  Clear teams with strong individual players include TSM, CLG, Fnatic, and SK.  I would start any players on those teams this week, even though you will take a hit with either Fnatic or SK.  Good luck, have fun!

Week 2 Day 2 NA Pick’em

Hello everyone! This will be my first post doing a pick’em for the match ups of the day. This will be a difficult week to call.  Most of the teams that are playing are evenly matched, and it comes down to who will gain an edge through picks and bans, or even who can make the biggest plays.  Who do you think will win the matches?  Post in a comment!

Week 2 day 2 match ups are as follows:

    Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9

    Team Dignitas vs Winterfox

    Team Solomid vs Team Liquid

    Team Impulse vs Team 8

    Team Coast vs Gravity

Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9

The first match of the day is between two teams that dominated in day one.  Both teams dominated with Kalista.  I expect Kalista to be banned to avoid giving an advantage to the other team.    The two lanes to watch here are mid and bottom.  Hai and Link both had outstanding games day one, but both have lacked consistency so far this split.  The duo lanes of Sneaky/LemonNation and Doublelift/Aphromoo both dominated this week as well.  I believe that with the help of Meteos, Hai will win mid while Doublelift and Aphromoo will win bottom.  With such a dominating win on day one, I believe that Cloud9 is better than most believed after week one.  They will end the week on a high note.

Winner: Cloud 9

Team Dignitas vs Winterfox

Both of these teams have struggled to begin the split.  This game is hard to predict, not because of both teams playing at a high caliber, but because it comes down to who wont make a mistake. Altec and Pobelter are very strong carries if the team can support them, and the new members of the team that just started this week had some time to shake off the nerves by playing yesterday.  Crumbzz has been struggling in the jungle, and he needs to show up big to help decide on of the solo lanes early tomorrow.  I think that Winterfox will come out of this match up with the win, and that we will see more out of their top lane and jungler.

Winner: Winterfox

Team Solomid vs Team Liquid

This week marks the start of Piglet on Team Liquid.  Team Solomid beat Winterfox in convincing fashion on day one, while Team Liquid got stomped after beginning the split undefeated.  It was noted earlier that Piglet played in his first match without masteries.  I am not attributing the fact that they lost to the missing masteries, but it sure didn’t help them win.  I do think this game will be the most entertaining to watch because both of these teams have great strategy and team fight skills.  Ultimately, I think that IWillDominate and Xpecial will get good map control and movement to win this game.

Winner: Team Liquid

Team Impulse vs Team 8

Team Impulse’s top laner Impact was rudely welcomed to the NA LCS in his first game against CLG.  Team 8 has started out 2-1 beating both TSM and Team Coast.  I think this is the pick I feel most confident about, and I pick Team 8.  While I think that Team Impulse has the potential to get hot in the later weeks, I don’t think they will catch fire tomorrow.  XiaoWeiXiao has been struggling to carry the team, and the inexperience of Rush has showed.  Team 8 played a solid game against TSM, but they also showed potential to throw the game against Team Coast.  I think that if CaliTrlolz8 settles down in the top lane, he can pull pressure off of the rest of the lanes of Team 8 and allow them to grow in the LCS.

Winner: Team 8

Team Coast vs Gravity

Just as Team 8 almost threw the game, Team Coast tried to throw even more.  While Team Coast players can still be used to get some decent fantasy points, their team has been shaky to start the split.  Gravity has been slowly getting better with Cop and Bunny FuFuu starting to mesh.  Keane is a bit more hit or miss, but so far even his misses have not be too detrimental to the team.  He can also carry the game if he wins his lane early.  While there is definitely a possibility of an upset I have to say that Gravity will win this match.

Winner: Gravity

EU LCS Week 2 Wrap-Up

Game Recaps

Week 2 has come to a close in the EU LCS!  After an exciting first week, the teams have started to settle in for the season, and we are starting to see who may become the star teams as well as the star players.  To start the post off, here are the current standings after week 2:


Team Record
SK Gaming 4-0
Fnatic 4-0
Elements 3-1
H2K 2-2
Unicorns of Love 2-2
Giants Gaming 2-2
Meet Your Makers 1-3
Copenhagen Wolves 1-3
Gambit Gaming 0-4

Fnatic and SK Gaming continued their dominating performance from week 1, while Elements was able to recover after their initial loss to Fnatic.  H2K Gaming finished the week out 2-0 as well, besting Meet Your Makers and Giants Gaming.  The fan favorites Unicorns of Love completely dominated Giants gaming in their first match before losing to SK Gaming in game 2.

ROCCAT has lost 2 in a row now to Fnatic and Elements.  While they are on a losing streak, both games were incredibly close so I expect a come back in week 3.  The rest of the teams have gotten off to rough starts.  While Giants Gaming were able to start week one 2-0, they dropped both games in week 2.  Gambit gaming remains without a win through 2 weeks.

The standout game of the week was SK Gaming vs Unicorns of Love. While some games lasted a long time with little to no initiation and others were sloppy and amateur, this game was easily the standout from a fans perspective.  If you missed it, be sure to catch the VOD!


Top Performances

Each week the top three players for each role will be posted here. Check it out to see who was hot in week 2!



Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
Huni Fnatic 25.74 51.48 6 11 24 498 2
fredy122 SK Gaming 22.23 44.46 6 5 18 596 1
Odoamne H2K 19.55 39.10 1 2 20 410 2


Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
Loulex H2K 27.79 55.58 11 4 20 158 2
Shook Elements 27.48 54.95 4 4 28 295 2
Svenskeren SK Gaming 27.23 54.45 6 4 25 295 2


Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
Froggen Elements 33.34 66.67 14 8 22 767 1
Febiven Fnatic 23.29 46.57 10 2 13 807 0
Nukeduck ROCCAT 22.12 44.24 10 4 12 824 0


Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
Rekkles Elements 35.76 71.52 18 1 14 902 1
Hjarnan H2K 27.46 54.93 10 0 19 443 1
Steeelback Fnatic 26.70 53.39 11 4 16 739 0


Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
YellOwStaR Fnatic 28.06 56.12 5 3 28 162 2
Nyph Elements 24.50 48.99 5 6 26 99 1
Hylissang Unicorns of Love 21.40 42.80 3 7 25 80 1

EU All-Stars Week 2

Finally, for fun, this weeks EU LCS all-star team. This team consists of the top player from each role, with the grand total fantasy points.

Player Team Average Points Total Points Kills Deaths Assists Creep Score 10+ K/A
Huni Fnatic 25.74 51.48 6 11 24 498 2
Loulex H2K 27.79 55.58 11 4 20 158 2
Froggen Elements 33.34 66.67 14 8 22 767 1
Rekkles Elements 35.76 71.52 18 1 14 902 1
YellOwStaR Fnatic 28.06 56.12 5 3 28 162 2
Total: 301.37