Introducing and Ranking the 2020 NA LCS Teams

This article marks my comeback as an esports writer, I’m sorry for those of you that missed my content, and I will do my best to continue writing pieces that you guys enjoy! I will also focus on more general content creation, there will be a YouTube channel launched shortly, and I’ve already streamed on Twitch for about a month now.

If you want to come by my stream to give your opinion on my content, discuss the LCS, or just want to hang out in chat, then this is my schedule:

Streaming Monday, Tuesday & Thursday!

4:30pm(GMT), 11:30am(EST), 8:30am(PST)

Twitch.tv/Yaholin

After a disappointing worlds for NA, there have been mass changes in the LCS. 33 new starters are confirmed, including an all new team in Evil Geniuses which replaces former team Echo Fox. A couple of  re-brandings happened as well; Clutch became Dignitas, and Optic became Immortals. Both well known organizations for long time LCS fans.

With all those changes in mind, this article will introduce you to all the new rosters, and give a short analysis and personal ranking for each team.

Team Liquid– 1st

TL

  • Top: Impact

Starter for Team Liquid in season 9. 1st in KDA, Gold difference @10 and DMG per minute for toplaners in summer.
1st LCS All-Pro Toplaner & MSI Finalist season 9

  • Jungle: Broxah (NEW)

Starter for the EU team Fnatic in season 9. 2nd in First blood participation and Gold difference @10 for LEC junglers in summer.
3rd LEC All-Pro Jungler

  • Mid: Jensen

Starter for Team Liquid in season 9. 2nd in KDA, 4th in XP and CS difference @10 for midlaners in summer.
1st LCS All-Pro Midlaner & MSI Finalist season 9

  • Bot: Doublelift

Starter for Team Liquid in season 9. 1st in KDA, First blood% and Gold difference @10 for ADCs in summer.
1st LCS All-Pro ADC, 3rd place LCS MVP summer & MSI Finalist season 9

  • Support: CoreJJ

Starter for Team Liquid in season 9. 1st in KDA, First Blood% and 2nd in Kill participation for supports in summer.
1st LCS All-Pro Support, 2nd place LCS MVP summer & MSI Finalist season 9

  • Coach: Cain

Head Coach for Team Liquid in summer.

LCS Coach of the Split & MSI Finalist season 9

Team Liquid has won every single split since the start of franchising, four times in a row is more than any other team has ever done in LCS history. Last season ended with a bitter taste for TL fans with their exit at the group stage of the World Championship, but looking back at the season as a whole, they still had amazing success. They won both splits regionally, and tied NA’s best performance at the Mid-Season Invitational by getting to the final. A few players have changed throughout TL’s four splits of dominance, but one thing has always been true; they are a bot focused team playing around arguably the best NA botlaner of all time, Doublelift.

This split one change has been made to the main LCS roster. The consistent jungler Xmithie have been replaced by Broxah, formerly of EU team Fnatic. Broxah is definitively no rookie himself, having played the last six splits for Fnatic, and picking up 2 LEC(EU LCS) All pro team awards, and 2 LEC titles along the way. He also played in the World Championship final of season 8. This now means that four out of TL’s five members have been to at least a worlds semi-final: Impact S3 champion, Broxah S7 finalist, Jensen S7 semi-finalist, and CoreJJ S7 champion.

This points to what every person following LCS knows, this Team Liquid roster is built for international success, a World Championship, winning NA has become to them only an expectation, the journey, not the goal.

I expect Team Liquid to place 1st, with a potential between 1st and 2nd.

Cloud 9 – 2nd

C9

  • Top: Licorice

Starter for C9 in season 9. 2nd in KDA and 4th lowest death % of toplaners in summer.
2nd LCS All-Pro Toplaner

  • Jungle: Blaber (Promoted)

Academy starter for C9 in season 9. 1st in KDA, Damage per minute, Kill participation and CS per minute for academy junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Nisqy

Starter for C9 in season 9. 1st in KDA and Gold difference @10 for midlaners in summer.
2nd LCS All-Pro Midlaner

  • Bot: Zven (NEW)

Starter for TSM in season 9. 1st in Kill participation and Damage per minute for ADCs in summer.

  • Support: Vulcan (NEW)

Starter for Clutch in season 9. 3rd in wards placed, and cleared, per minute for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Reapered

Head Coach for C9 in season 9.

Cloud9 is the only NA team to reach a World Championship semi-final(excluding the season 1 championship), but there is not much left from that season 8 roster. Licorice is the only member that played a majority of the games that still remains. Newly promoted Blaber played only one game that tournament as a sub.

After a year of “almosts” they decided to change up their roster. MVP jungler Svenskeren left in favor of Evil Geniuses, and botlaners Sneaky and Zeyzal were replaced by Zven and Vulcan. Zven is a very experienced ADC coming from TSM, he has many years behind him on teams like G2 and Origen in EU. Vulcan on the other hand is much newer to the scene, debuting in summer season 8 for Clutch Gaming.

A botlane with these two players create a few questions regarding how they will work together. On one hand you have someone known for being a very good safe ranged DPS, having most of his success on champions such as Ezreal. On the other hand you have a super aggressive support which got his LCS debut by impressing Piglet, arguably the most aggressive botlaner in recent LCS history.

Where their botside of the map has questions asked of them, its hard to not be confident of their topside. They have probably the two best solo laners in the LCS, and a mechanically gifted, though sometimes overly aggressive, jungler. It’s not really a question on whether or not they will be a top team, but if they finally can overtake TL and win a championship. It’s gonna be very difficult, but achievable if their botlane perform above expectation.

I expect Cloud9 to place 2nd, with a potential between 1st and 3rd.

Team Solo Mid – 3rd

TSM

  • Top: BrokenBlade

Starter for TSM in season 9. 1st in wards placed, and 4th in KDA for toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Dardoch (NEW)

Academy starter for Optic in season 9. 1st in % of his teams DMG, CS difference @10 and wards cleared per minute for academy junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Bjergsen

Starter for TSM in season 9. 2nd Lowest % of his teams deaths, 4th in KDA and DMG per minute for midlaners in summer.
3rd LCS All-Pro Midlaner

  • Bot: Kobbe (NEW)

Starter for the EU team Splyce in season 9. 1st in First blood% and CS per minute,  2nd Lowest % of his teams deaths for LEC ADCs in summer.

  • Support: Biofrost (NEW)

Starter for CLG in season 9. 1st in wards cleared and XP difference @10, 2nd Lowest % of his teams deaths for supports in summer.
2nd LCS All-Pro Support

  • Coach: Peter Zhang (Promoted)

Assistant Coach for TSM in season 9.

TSM. It’s hard to argue with the fact that they were the biggest losers in franchising. They went from being the indisputably best team in NA, to reaching only one out of four finals, and competing to only making it into play-offs. Two years without a worlds appearance is too long for such a great organization, and they will continue to do everything in their power to get there.

This year shows mass changes for TSM, with Bjergsen and BrokenBlade being the only returning members from last split. The controversial jungler Dardoch, the EU ADC Kobbe, and returning support Biofrost have joined the roster. Peter Zhang have also been promoted into a Head Coaching position. It has been quite clear to those that follow the LCS closely what TSM has been lacking recently. A spark plug, something to get them going, someone that can start a play, see the 60/40ies that you need to take if you are going to win in the modern game.

All TSM fans hope this is gonna come from their new jungler Dardoch, the “Bad Boy” that has been at almost every team in the LCS at this point. There has never been any doubt that his mechanics are incredibly good, but he has struggled to work in team environments. Especially alongside other big personalities such as Locodoco and Piglet which he played with on his first team, Team Liquid. So the question becomes how can Bjergsen and Dardoch work together. Bjergsen is known to command his junglers into playing his style, which is more passive, and Dardoch hasn’t had great success when told what to do. There is no doubt that the potential is there for this team, it has all the ingredients on paper, the questions is all surrounding how those pieces will work together.

I expect TSM to place 3rd, with a potential between 1st and 6th.

Counter Logic Gaming– 4th

CLG

  • Top: Ruin

Starter for CLG in season 9. 3rd in Gold difference @10 and 4th in CS per minute for toplaners in summer.
3rd LCS All-Pro Toplaner

  • Jungle: Wiggly

Starter for CLG in season 9. 3rd in KDA and wards cleared per minute, and 2nd in wards placed per minute for junglers in summer.
3rd LCS All-Pro Jungler

  • Mid: Crown (NEW)

Starter for Optic in season 9. 2nd in Damage per minute. First Blood% and XP difference @10 for midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Stixxay

Starter for CLG in season 9. 3rd in CS per minute and 2nd in wards placed per minute for ADCs in summer.
2nd LCS All-Pro ADC

  • Support: Smoothie (NEW)

Starter for TSM in season 9. 5th in Gold difference @10, Kill participation and KDA for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Ssong (NEW)

Head Coach for Echo Fox in season 9.

There was a lot of praise given to Team Liquid for getting to the Mid-Season Invitational final this year, but it’s also important to remember what NA team did it first. CLG is the only other NA team to reach a final in one of the two major international tournaments. Even though this was back in season 6, and CLG really struggled for the first three splits post franchising, there are signs of a CLG coming back strong. A third place finish in season 9 summer has given hope back to the fans, and as they say; The faithful shall be rewarded.

A couple of changes has been made to the starting roster this year, and Ssong joins as Head Coach. New midlaner Crown showed good performances on a sometimes struggling OpTic last year, and could be a very good player for the team. Most people would say that Smoothie is a downgrade on Biofrost, but we have seen Smoothie perform as one of the best supports in the league before.

Stixxay is going to be as reliable as always, but what is really exciting about this roster is their top/jungle duo. With Ruin only joining the team last summer, and Wiggly still being one of the less experienced junglers in the league, they can still improve a ton as a duo. And considering they were both voted 3rd all LCS last split, this pair could give the fans a lot to cheer for looking forward.

I expect CLG to place 4th, with a potential between 2nd and 5th.

Evil Geniuses– 5th

EG

  • Top: Kumo (NEW)

Sub for C9 and C9 academy in season 9. 1st in First Blood % and Damage per minute for toplaners in his 4 games in summer.

  • Jungle: Svenskeren (NEW)

Starter for C9 in season 9. 1st in Damage per minute and XP difference @10, 2nd in KDA and First Blood% for junglers in summer.
LCS MVP Summer & 1st LCS All-Pro Jungler

  • Mid: Jiizuke (NEW)

Starter for the EU team Vitality in season 9. 1st in % of his teams DMG, and 4th in XP, CS, and gold difference @10 for LEC midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Bang (NEW)

Starter for 100T in season 9. Lowest % of his teams deaths, and 1st in in % of his teams DMG, and wards placed for ADCs in summer.

  • Support: Zeyzal (NEW)

Starter for C9 in summer. 1st in DMG per minute, and 2nd in KDA for supports in summer.
3rd LCS All-Pro Support

  • Coach: Irean (NEW)

Strategic Coach for CLG in season 9.

Evil Geniuses is the first new organization to join the LCS since franchising. They have been quick to create their image as “the bad guys” of the LCS. Their CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson have already featured in their announcement video and interviews, in her interview with Travis Gafford she showed a lot of ambition. 

Their roster is certainly not lacking said ambition! With last splits MVP in Svenskeren, a former world champion in Bang, and the “Italian Stallion” joining from EU as their core, this makes one of the stronger rosters on paper. Zeyzal is probably also a top three support in NA, so most people will look to young toplaner Kumo, and coach Irean to keep up with their superstars. Kumo did perform well in his four games for C9 last split, but the sample size is very small.

On paper this roster is a lot better than fifth, maybe even contesting C9 for the second strongest roster in the league, but there is more to a team than their individual parts. Jiizuke is playing his first split in NA, and have zero experience playing with any of his teammates. Bang is also going into his first split without Aphromoo as his support in NA, and that could create som challenges early on. The saving grace though is that they have a core of old C9 members in Kumo, Svenskeren and Zeyzal, and maybe that can help the team find their synergy quicker than expected.

I expect Evil Geniuses to place 5th, with a potential between 2nd and 6th.

100 Thieves – 6th

100T

  • Top: Ssumday (Promoted)

Academy starter for 100T in season 9. 1st in KDA, CS difference @10 and DMG per minute for academy toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Meteos (NEW)

Starter for Optic in season 9. 3rd in KDA and 1st  in wards cleared per minute for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Ry0ma (NEW)

Starter for the Oceanic team Bombers in season 9. 3rd in KDA for OPL midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Cody Sun (NEW)

Starter for Clutch in season 9. 1st in CS per minute and CS difference @10 and 2nd in KDA  for ADCs in summer.3rd LCS All-Pro ADC

  • Support: Stunt (Promoted)

Academy starter for 100T in season 9. 4th in XP difference @10 and wards cleared per minute for academy supports in summer.

  • Coach: Zikz (NEW)

Head Coach for TSM in season 9.

100 Thieves have surprised in a lot of ways since entering the LCS in season 8. They surprised everyone by finishing second in their first split, and by following that up with a fairly strong fourth placed finish in summer, and going to worlds in their first year. But then they surprised again by finishing eight and tenth in last years spring and summer respectively. A lot of roster shuffles have happened during the last year for 100T, Ssumday have been in and out of the roster constantly despite being probably their best player when playing. Ryu was moving between coaching and playing, and they’ve already been through five junglers(Meteos, Levi, AnDa, Fragas & Amazing). And this split they’ve changed up their roster once again.

Ssumday have been moved back into the main roster, and Meteos returns from OpTic to be their jungler once again. Oceanic midlaner Ry0ma joins the team from OPL team Bombers, and Stunt have been promoted to starting support from their academy team. Cody Sun is also back for a second time, which means the roster now have three of their original five players from their first LCS split, none who was a starter for them last split.

A big question mark is the teams decision to bring Stunt into the main roster, a player that has been in and around the LCS for almost five years without ever being a big success. I featured Stunt in an article i wrote two years ago, saying that his breakthrough could finally happen that year. It didn’t though, and two years later it still hasn’t, in my opinion this has to be one of his last chances.

The team should be solid though, and I expect them to fight for a play-off spot. They probably won’t contest for a deep run in the play-offs as the team feels like they have visible skill roof. their Head Coach Zikz do have some redeeming to do after getting booted from TSM though, and the team has some of the most dedicated fans in the scene, so hope is always there for another surprising run.

I expect 100 Thieves to place 6th, with a potential between 4th and 8th.

Dignitas – 7th

DIG

  • Top: Huni

Starter for Dignitas(Clutch) in season 9. 1st in % of his teams DMG, 2nd in Kill participation and Gold and XP difference @10 for toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Grig (NEW)

Sub for TSM in season 9. 2nd best KDA and CS difference @10 for junglers in his 4 games in summer.

  • Mid: Froggen (NEW)

Starter for Golden Guardians in summer. 1st in Kill participation, DMG per minute and XP difference @10 for midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Johnsun (Rookie)

Sub for TSM academy in season 9.

  • Support: Aphromoo (NEW)

Starter for 100T in season 9. 3rd in Kill participation and XP difference @10 for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Thinkcard

Head Coach for Dignitas(Clutch) in season 9.

This is probably one of the most exciting and volatile teams in the LCS this split, they have two amazing solo laners which both are top three or four in their role, and one of the most experienced players in the league as their support. They also have a totally  unproven rookie as their botlaner, a jungler that suffers from wrist injuries, and players that haven’t won anything in a long time. Dignitas is one of two teams that recently re-branded. They were formerly known as Clutch, but officially became Dignitas this year. They seem to have their economy in place, as Huni is rumored to be the player with the highest salary in the LCS, and Froggen and Aphromoo are players on big contracts as well.

I have on purpose not mentioned any academy rosters in this article, but not doing so for Dignitas would be an insult. An academy roster of Lourlo, Akaadian, Damonte, FeniX & Olleh, means that this team always has the option to swap in star players if players on their main roster underperform. You could even argue that this academy roster could have competed for a play-off spot in the LCS.

The meta is something that might affect this team more than most others. Huni is great when playing strong side, but have never been an amazing weak side player. Grig and Froggen have shown multiple playstyles, but it’s quite clear that they are best on tanks and control mages respectively. If the meta becomes too bot focused they could struggle to compete for play-offs, but if it becomes about playing around solo lanes, they have the potential for a very deep run.

I expect Dignitas to place 7th, with a potential between 2nd and 9th.

FlyQuest – 8th

FQ

  • Top: V1per

Starter for FlyQuest in season 9. 1st in Kill participation and First Blood % for toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Santorin

Starter for FlyQuest in season 9. Lowest % of his teams deaths, 1st in Kill participation, First Blood %, CS and Gold difference @10 for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: PowerOfEvil (NEW)

Starter for CLG in season 9. Lowest % of his teams deaths, 3rd in KDA and Wards placed and cleared for midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: WildTurtle

Starter for FlyQuest in season 9. 2nd in CS per minute and 3rd in First Blood % for ADCs in summer.

  • Support: IgNar (NEW)

Starter for the EU team Schalke 04 in season 9. 1st in KDA, Kill participation, XP difference, and wards placed per minute for LEC supports in summer.
3rd LEC All-Pro Support

  • Coach: Curry (Promoted)

Assistant Coach for FlyQuest in season 9.

FlyQuest is a team that has always done average in the LCS, they are 30 – 42 all time, and have made the play-offs two out of four splits. They have struggled to find that one carry that is one of the best in their role in the region. A lot of their players have been known for being good, or even great, secondary carries for their former teams. Players like Santorin, Pobelter and WildTurtle have all been good players on top teams at some point, but they were never the main carry.

The team is hoping to solve the problem this year by bringing in PowerOfEvil as their midlaner, and IgNar from the LEC as their support. People that have been following league for a few years might remember IgNar from the amazing performances for Misfits at season 7 Worlds, where they miraculously qualified from into quarters, and were one game away from beating tournament favorites SKT. Some might even say that this is what inspired the rise of EU internationally. The other player that joined their roster, PowerOfEvil, is a popular player known for his sometimes innovative builds, he has played for five teams in the last five years, but have performed on most of them. Last split was the first time he reached the NA play-offs though, despite being here for two years.

A lot of the same questions will be asked about this roster which was asked about the previous ones. Do they have the carry potential? Can Santorin become the top tier jungler he shows signs of? Can they get Vipers Riven in champ select?

I expect FlyQuest to place 8th, with a potential between 6th and 9th.

 

Immortals – 9th

IMT

  • Top: sOAZ (NEW)

Starter for the EU team Misfits in season 9. 1st in Kill participation and 3rd in % of his teams DMG for LEC toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Xmithie (NEW)

Starter for Team Liquid in season 9. 1st in KDA and 2nd Lowest % of his teams deaths for junglers in summer.
2nd LCS All-Pro Jungler & MSI Finalist season 9

  • Mid: Eika (Rookie)

Starter for the French regional team Team-LDLC in season 9.

  • Bot: Altec (NEW)

Free Agent in Season 9. Last team was Echo Fox in season 8.

  • Support: Hakuho (NEW)

Starter for Echo Fox in season 9. Lowest % of his teams deaths and 2nd in DMG per minute for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Zaboutine

Head Coach for Immortals(Optic) in season 9.

When franchising happened there was one thing that disappointed a lot of fans, and that was the departure of Immortals as a team, but now they are back. They are also reunited with their former jungler Xmithie, which is the star player of this Immortals roster. Coach Zaboutine has been very clear about how this team has been built around one idea on how the game should be played, and that all five players align on this playstyle. He has also spoken about how players such as sOAZ and Altec are super hungry to show that they are not on the decline of their careers, and still have a lot to give.

Even though Zaboutine shows a lot of confidence in this roster, it’s easy to place question marks around it. They are clearly lacking hard carries, and being built around two veteran players which have had most of their recent success on utility based champions isn’t exactly helping on that front. Altec has also been absent from the scene the last year, and Eika has very little experience from the highest level of competition.

For this roster to succeed, a lot of things have to go right. They have to find synergy incredibly quick, Altec and sOAZ have to get back to form quickly, and Eika needs to be able to compete in a league with an incredibly stacked midlane. Eika needs to show that he deserves to play in the LCS more than players such as Damonte, Yusui ,Soligo & Pobelter.

I expect Immortals to place 9th, with a potential between 7th and 10th.

Golden Guardians – 10th

GGS

  • Top: Hauntzer

Starter for Golden Guardians in season 9. Lowest % of his teams deaths, 2nd in CS per minute and 3rd in CS difference @10.

  • Jungle: Closer (NEW)

Starter for the Turkish team Royal Youth in season 9. 1st in KDA for TCL junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Goldenglue (NEW)

Academy starter for C9 in summer. 2nd in KDA, and 3rd in DMG per minute for academy midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: FBI

Starter for Golden Guardians in season 9. 2nd in Kill participation and First Blood%, and 3rd in DMG per minute for ADCs in summer.

  • Support: Keith (Promoted)

Academy ADC starter for Golden Guardians and C9 in summer. 1st in KDA and 2nd in wards placed for academy ADCs in summer.

  • Coach: Inero (Promoted)

Consultant for Golden Guardians in season 9.

90% of power ranking place Golden Guardians last, and to be honest, it isn’t very surprising. The team have finished tenth twice, fifth and seventh in their four splits after franchising, and most people would think this years roster is a downgrade. The good news is that Hauntzer stayed with the team, and Goldenglue finally got out of academy. Hauntzer is clearly a very good toplaner in the league still, and does carry an enormous responsibility in this team. Inero is also a coach I consider one of the better ones in the league, he has shown good drafts, and is clearly a very good face outwards for the organization.

The biggest question though is undoubtedly Keith, a player that has been around the scene for ages as a botlaner, but never found any real success. Not only is a player that isn’t LCS caliber starting, he is even starting in a role he has never played professionally before, he decided to role swap only a couple of months ago. Adding to that is the fact that he plays alongside a botlaner that still isn’t very experienced, especially not in NA.

If this team is to perform, their mid/jungle would have to over-perform immensely. They would probably have to be top three in their roles for this team to even reach play-offs. This means that the team can only surprise positively though, and that is at least something.

I expect Golden Guardians to place 10th, with a potential between 9th and 10th.

 

 

References

https://lol.gamepedia.com

https://oracleselixir.com

http://www.lolesports.com

The perfect pro-play meta is unhealthy for solo-queue?

Most people would agree that the meta, and the general game direction Riot have moved towards, have been great for pro play. Faster games, more action, and more room for innovative picks and strategies. Long gone are the 50 minute games that only ends cause of a base race (Looking at you EU).

One of the main reasons for this shift Turret-plating-3in gameplay is the huge injection of gold in the earlygame from turret plates. Combine this with the fact that early dragons are stronger than ever, and rift herald actually is a objective worth fighting over, and not just automatically given to the team in control, and this results in bigger rewards for early winning lanes. Additionally it has become easier to siege both with, and without baron, so teams can’t just wave clear with Sivir until 40 min(Rekkles…).

And although this is great entertainment for viewers of pro play, it has some negative impacts on solo queue. It is very win lane – win game, and a lot of champions have lost their identity. Riot also try to keep most champions close to 50% win rate regardless of the meta. Take this as an example:

Kassadin
Kassadin, a champion that needs at least to completed stacking items and level 16 to hit his strong point, has a win rate of around 50 % in season 5 with an average game time of 32:37. In season 9 his win rate is still around 50%(currently 51%), but games are 5:24 shorter on average(27:13 currently). This means that Kassadin must be stronger early, meaning he isnt such a late game menace any more, but more of a mid game champion. Kassadin is just the example i use, other examples include Vayne, Nasus, Veigar, Maokai, Sivir, Gangplank.
Okay, so what does this mean. Well first of all, if the meta shifts again all these champions will probably be broken, but that’s not the point of this thread. It removes a lot of counter play in some matchups. I remember especially the Maokai vs Darius matchup around season 6, it was all about surviving early until you could contest later in the game. Now I’m pretty sure Maokai can’t contest Darius at any point unless he is very ahead. Why is this? Since late game champions have to get more power early meaning they have to flatten out his power curve, in other words he is stronger early at the expense of power in the late game.
sadMaokaiConnecting back to the main point of the thread, why this is unhealthy for solo queue. Say I play the Maokai into Darius matchup toplane, and I’m able to outplay lane and get a gold lead of 1000, but the rest of my map is losing. I will never be able to pressure the turret in a 1v1, cause he will always win under his turret no matter what. In a more late game focused meta I could use my gold to help the other lanes stall out, and become an incredible frontliner for teamfights at 25-35 minutes, and make up for the lead their carries had by peeling well. But now games get won by 15-25 minutes if one team is in control, and I would never be able to get to that point.

A slower meta gives both styles a chance to shine. Darius, Renekton, and Jayce would be on a clock to win the game, but their early game would be stronger as tanks and hyper carries have their power shifted towards later in the game, and are therefore weaker in lane.

NA LCS Week 6 Power Ranking

Just a quick ranking this week. Here is last week’s rankings.

Header explanation:

Ranking. (change since last week) Team Name, Score (Week Score)

EF1. (0) Echo Fox, 10-2 (1-1)

L vs TSM

W vs Team Liquid

Echo Fox continues to look like the strongest team in the league, despite their loss to TSM. I put most on that loss on the very incoherent team comp they put together. They lacked consistent engage, and focused a bit too much on the individual lane picks. Their win against Team Liquid was perhaps the most dominant game of the split so far. Huni looks as good as always.

 

C92. (0) Cloud 9, 9-3 (1-1)

L vs 100 Thieves

W vs Clutch

A surprise loss for Cloud9 against 100 Thieves. They did not seem to be able to handle Aphromoo’s Thresh. Licorice was able to snowball the game against Clutch, and they looked in full control after he got his lead.

 

TSM3. (+2) TeamSoloMid, 6-6 (2-0)

W vs Echo Fox

W vs OpTic

TSM impressed me a lot in their drafts this week. They played well against Echo Fox, but a lot has to be attributed to the draft. Their game against OpTic showed a clear difference in individual skill. The sidelanes played very well early, and all five did well in late game.

 

TL4. (-1) Team Liquid, 7-5 (1-1)

W vs FlyQuest

L vs Echo Fox

Two wins in their last six is not good for Team Liquid. Their win vs FlyQuest was far from clean, as it was very back and forth for a long time. They do know how to close out a game quickly though. The game against Echo Fox wasn’t close at all, they got absolutely smashed, and it shows that TL still have a long way to go if they want to challenge for winning the spring split.

 

100T5. (+1) 100 Thieves, 7-5 (2-0)

W vs Cloud9

W vs FlyQuest

The weekend of Aphromoo. He put up a show in both games, playing Thresh and Blitzcrank. 100 Thieves is now suddenly on a three game winning streak, with Aphroo playing only playmakers. Cody Sun does very well to capitalize on Aphro’s plays, and looks like one of the strongest ADC’s in the league right now. Going to be interesting to see how the rest of the map holds up in the remaining weeks.

 

CG6. (-2) Clutch Gaming, 7-5 (1-1)

W vs CLG

L vs Cloud9

This team has som clear strengths and weaknesses. Lira struggles a lot to find his place in this team, and is at fault for a lot of their losses. Febiven looks like he can be one of the best mids in NA. And their botlane is definitively top half. The game vs CLG was quite good until they threw a bit in the mid game. The game against Cloud9 vas snowballed out of control in toplane, and was hard to read after that.

 

FQ7. (-1) FlyQuest, 4-8 (0-2)

L vs Team Liquid

L vs 100 Thieves

A 0-2 week for FlyQuest put them a couple of wins away from play-offs. They didn’t look like a play-off caliber team this week. They can’t really seem to take control of a game at the moment. I said I considered to get off the FlyQuest hype-train last week, and I am definitively off now. Can still make play-offs without much difficulty if they make a late season run.

 

OpT8. (0) OpTic Gaming, 4-8 (1-1)

W vs Golden Guardians

L vs TSM

OpTic decided to field Academy toplaner Dhokla this week, as Zig hadn’t performed as they had hoped. He didn’t look amazing, but was able to hold his own okay. Akaadian is the player that impressed me this weekend. He was able top stop Golden Guardians’ game-plan by constantly counter-ganking toplane. Still has a possibility of reaching play-offs if they surge towards the end of the split.

 

GGS9. (+1) Golden Guardians, 3-9 (1-1)

L vs OpTic Gaming

W vs CLG

Golden Guardians have been improving steadily throughout the split, and I can now say pretty confidently that they are not the worst team in the league anymore. Lourlo have been their best player by far, and the team has started to play around him. It hurt their hopes of play-offs a lot when they lost both games against OpTic, but it is not 100% impossible yet. Their game against CLG showed that they have the potential to dominate a game.

 

CLG10. (-1) Counter Logic Gaming, 3-9 (0-2)

L vs Clutch

L vs Golden Guardians

Both games felt like the same story. They lost lanes consistently, but were able to capitalize on mistakes made by the opposing teams to get it a bit closer. Still lost both games, and they looked like the worse team in both. I have seen a lot of hate towards Zikz this last week, but I feel a lot more have to be put on the players, as they lose lanes when they shouldn’t, and lack good team fighting.

NA LCS Week 5 Power Ranking

I am really happy to announce that the blog passed 10.000 views since my last post. Considering that I started writing only one and a half month ago I am thrilled with that! I will be continuing to try and create better content for everyone that reads my articles out there, and I will not stay content. Thank you for your support so far, and I hope you enjoy this one as well. Follow me on Twitter for updates on posts!

Not a lot of movements in the standings this week, but the tiers have been more defined. The race for play-offs look really exciting, as all the teams have a realistic possibility of reaching it with a good run of games. Clutch, Echo Fox, and Golden Guardians are the teams of the week, with Team Liquid and CLG really struggling. Here is the link to last week’s rankings for those that are interested.

Header explanation:

Ranking. (change since last week) Team Name, Score (Week Score)

EF1. (+1) Echo Fox, 9-1 (2-0)

W vs 100 Thieves

W vs Cloud 9

Echo Fox is now the undisputed best team in the NA LCS. Grabbing another 2-0 week and taking sole possession of first place. Their win against 100 Thieves didn’t look as dominant as they may have hoped, but it still looked like they were in control for most of it. The big highlight of their week was the victory over Cloud 9, which was on the same score as them moving into the game. They were able to win that match in a dominant fashion. You have to give credit to the whole team on this one, but especially Dardoch that played very well to his weak side of the map.

Week 6 is going to be another chance for Echo Fox to show that they are the best team without doubt. Their opponents are pretty tough as they are going up against TSM and Team Liquid. Both teams are around mid-tier, and they both have clear weaknesses Echo Fox should be able to exploit. Drafting a well-balanced early/late game teamcomp is going to be essential vs TSM, as they have shown good early games, but weak late games. Vs Team Liquid it’s going to be all about shutting down the botlane while exploiting the difference in individual skill on the toplaners. Both games should be very manageable for Echo Fox next week.

C92. (-1) Cloud 9, 8-2 (1-1)

W vs TSM

L vs Echo Fox

A tough week for Cloud 9 ended okay. They looked the better, and more complete, team vs TSM. They fell behind early, but were able to swing the gold back in their favor, and secure a fairly controlled victory. A lot of credit has to go towards Svenskeren vs his former team, he had a very important save on Licorice toplane that started the gold swing, and he looked good for the rest of the game as well. Their game against Echo Fox was rough, their teamcomp did not make a lot of sense in my eyes. They have some skirmishing, some poke, and some hard engage. I’m happy to see that Licorice had the confidence to pick Lucian into Huni’s Gangplank, it didn’t work out this time, but that does not mean he shouldn’t have done it.

Cloud 9 will be going into next week in kind of the same way as Echo Fox. They will be facing mid-tier teams(though arguably slightly weaker) as well, and expect tough games. They would be disappointed if they didn’t go 2-0 though. They will be up against 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming. These three teams were all thought to be in the 4th to 7th spots in the league in most pre-season power rankings, but Cloud 9 have performed well above expectations. I’m going to be interested to see how big of a difference there really is between these teams, and whether peoples thoughts behind saying they were going to be close had any truth to them.

 

TL3. (0) Team Liquid, 6-4 (1-1)

W vs CLG

L vs Golden Guardians

Team Liquid have not been in a very good period lately. Their only win in their last four matches have been against the struggling CLG, and that didn’t even look super convincing. I’m actually really sad that TL vs Clutch isn’t before week 8, as I find it hard to assess how close those teams are to each other currently. The game against CLG was very uncharacteristic compared to TL’s other wins this split. They lacked any real proactivity, and was super slow. It actually had the latest first blood this split at 26:41. They never looked like losing, but it still wasn’t very convincing. Their game vs Golden Guardians was way more worrying, they actually looked like the worse team in that game. They didn’t seem to know what to do when Braum blocked their Sion engages, contrast this to some very good Gnar engages on the GGS’ side, and they showed real struggles. A fully deserved win for Golden Guardians, and somewhat scary for Team Liquid fans.

A potential to bounce back in week 6 for Team Liquid. They will start their week against a FlyQuest that seems very “up and down”, a game they should smash, especially if FlyQuest goes with JayJ in support, instead of Stunt, which I see as a much worse laner. I see TL and FlyQuest as quite similar teams in that they both have low-econ midlaners, and strong botlane carries. I just feel like Team Liquid is the stronger team all around, and should win the game just by having stronger players. Their second game is going to be the real test though, as they will be facing the 9-1 Echo Fox. It’s a game where Team Liquid has the opportunity to make the league have three clearly stronger teams, but they can also fall outside the dominant top completely. An exciting one to watch.

 

CG4. (+1) Clutch Gaming, 6-4 (2-0)

W vs FlyQuest

W vs TSM

A lot of people didn’t want to give Clutch credit after their last week as they didn’t look too dominant in their wins. Now it is hard to argue. They have only dropped games to EF, C9, TL, and 100T, making them the most consistent team in the league. They are 2-0 over TSM as well, and have an impressive 6-4 record, the same as TL. Their game against FlyQuest is one where it felt like they simply were a stronger team all around, and that is what gave them the victory. Their win vs TSM was very dominant this week, and wasn’t to far off being a perfect game(TSM got one turret, one kill and one drake). A very strong week from Clutch Gaming.

According to how things are going for Clutch, next week should be a pretty clear 1-1. They will be starting up against CLG which haven’t looked good at all this split, and they should be able to grab that win quite dominantly. Their second game will be very rough though, as they will be facing Cloud 9. A win here would really be good for them, but I don’t expect it. They have the potential to move up in the standings though, they could get third, or even second if everything goes their way.

 

TSM5. (-1) TeamSoloMid, 4-6 (0-2)

L vs Cloud 9

L vs Clutch Gaming

TSM have not fixed their problems yet. They keep having strong early games, showing that their players clearly are good, but they can’t seem to get anything going for them in the latter parts of the game. They do not have amazing control around basic macro parts of the game such as: wave management, vision control, and objective control. They also struggle to play around a specific win condition, and their team fighting is not good enough. These are easy problems to discover, but hard ones to fix. I would expect them to be able to fix them with time, but not in one or two weeks. I do believe, and hope, that they will look better come play-offs, as it’s sad to see such good players struggle. All the players on the team could learn a lot from this experience though, as they are not used to losing more than the win.

For now they are some way behind the teams above them in the standings, but they also doesn’t look as bad as the teams towards the bottom such as: 100T, OpT, CLG and GGS. In that regard they had a very tough week vs Cloud 9 and Clutch, and will be hoping to improve towards next week.

It’s rough to say this, but they actually really need to win at least one game next week. They will start against Echo Fox, a really tough game, but their second game will be against OpTic, one of the team they have beaten so far. Winning this would be very important for them to not risk missing play-offs. Not only because of the fact that they are close in the standings, but also because a win would put them ahead in “Head to head”, which is used to place teams that have the same match score.

 

FQ6. (0) FlyQuest, 4-6 (1-1)

L vs Clutch

W vs OpTic Gaming

I hopped aboard the FlyQuest hype train last week as so many did, but I’m carefully considering going off at the next stop. They looked a lot weaker than Clutch, and their win vs OpTic wasn’t dominant at all, with they barely being able to defend their nexus. That last game could easily have gone the other way, and if I had to give the win based on which team deserved it more, I would probably have given it to OpTic. I still have them above 100 Thieves and OpTic though, but they are all very close.

They will have an opportunity to prove me right next week, as they will be facing 100 Thieves in their second game. The first game will be against Echo Fox, and I don’t expect them go get anything at all from that match. I’m actually really excited to see how FlyQuest and 100 Thieves match up, as their playstyles feel very different. It’s going to be a lot on AnDa vs Meteos.

 

100T7. (0) 100 Thieves, 5-5 (1-1)

L vs Echo Fox

W vs CLG

100 Thieves finally picked up a win after their four game loss streak. The win was kind of awkward. 100 Thieves’ team comp didn’t have any clear win condition, so they just hovered around mid trying to get a pick. CLG had a more reliable win condition with a 1-3-1, but didn’t play to it. So it ended up being 50 minutes of hovering around the midlane. 100 Thieves did end up with the win in the end though, and that will be very important for them in multiple ways. It will of course be a nice for their mentality to end their loss streak, and getting a victory over a team that is chasing you in the standings is also very important to keep their play-off hopes alive. They did lose vs Echo Fox in their first game of the week, but didn’t look completely out-classed.

100 Thieves will have another important game to finish their 6th week, when they go up against FlyQuest. I expect a close game, and I’m excited to see if 100T is a middle of the pack team, or if they just had a rough patch of form. They will also be playing Cloud 9 next week, but I expect them to struggle in that match.

 

OpT8. (0) OpTic Gaming, 3-7 (1-1)

W vs Golden Guardians

L vs FlyQuest

This team’s last week is a good indicator of how difficult it is to separate the teams between 6th and 10th at the moment. Both their games looked quite close, and I would attribute most of their win against Golden Guardians to their unique picks. They had good performances on Viktor and Draven in that game, but both teams looked quite strong in that game, they did not look like the two worst teams in the league. Their game against FlyQuest was a coin toss and OpTic, arguably, played better.

Week 6 is on the easier side for OpTic. They will be facing Golden Guardians in a rematch, before a TSM that struggle to close out games. I see both those games as both winnable and loseable. I’m especially excited for the game vs GGS, as I want to see if they really are as close as I feel they are. I think that they could grab a win vs TSM as well if they do well in the draft. Potential huge week for OpTic.

 

CLG9. (0) Counter Logic Gaming, 3-7 (0-2)

L vs Team Liquid

L vs 100 Thieves

Oh boy, CLG now has three 0-2 weeks after only having played five. That is worst in the league alongside Golden Guardians. They really doesn’t look like winning games based on their own play at the moment. They are just hoping that their opponents throw their games their way. They didn’t do anything at all vs Team Liquid. And they didn’t play to their win condition vs 100 Thieves. You could argue that they had a scary draft vs Team Liquid, but I feel like they had the better team comp vs 100 Thieves, they should have had pressure in a 1-3-1 in late game.

CLG will have to keep pressing forward. They will be going up against Clutch and Golden Guardians in week 6. I think they are going to struggle against Clutch, as they have looked very consistent vs lower tier teams so far. But they should be able to beat Golden Guardians, although they are on an upwards trend currently. A lot of that game will be on Darshan, as Golden Guardians are relying on Lourlo to get a pressure advantage in-game. CLG have side selection, so I expect them to get a counter pick for Darshan.

 

GGS10. (0) Golden Guardians, 2-8 (1-1)

L vs OpTic Gaming

W vs Team Liquid

Golden Guardians is looking stronger than ever by having grabbed a win two weeks in a row. I think they now have become such a decent team that we could say that they should be disappointed having lost to OpTic. They did get “cheated” in the draft that game, with OpTic succeeding on Viktor and Draven, two picks we haven’t seen much of so far this split. The big highlight of the week was the win against Team Liquid though. Matt and Lourlo were both big performers against their former team, and will be absolutely delighted with that win. And they should be, because that was actually a very good performance. I was extremely close to moving Golden Guardians up in my rankings this week, but I want to see one more week of positive performances before I do that.

They will be trying to show those positive performances vs OpTic and CLG next week, the two teams above them in the standings. This week is going to be so hype, and I am super excited to watch both those games. Lourlo have looked like Golden Guardians best player so far, and will need to keep that up if they are going to grab wins. They rest of the team also need to continue their improvement. I love how the league currently have no team that is way better or way worse, good job by Golden Guardians to catch up with the rest of the teams.

NA LCS Week 4 Power Ranking

Follow me on Twitter for updates on posts!

We are now only one game away from the halfway point of the split, and it is as exciting as ever. It feels like there’s become a gap between the top three teams, and the rest of the league. It looks like six teams will fight for the remaining three play-off spots, with all capable of falling outside the top six. Cloud 9, Echo Fox and Team Liquid all look like contenders for the season so far, and despite TL losing to both C9 and EF this week, they will still be contending at the top. Here is the link to last weeks rankings for those that are interested.

Header explanation:

Ranking. (change since last week) Team Name, Score (Week Score)

 

C91. (+1) Cloud 9, 7-1 (2-0)

W vs Team Liquid

W vs FlyQuest

Cloud 9 dominates Team Liquid in their first match of the week, and cement themselves as the best team in the league currently. Svenskeren looked a lot better this week compared to his performances this far, and will hope that this is a sign of what to come. Their laners looked as dominant as ever, and the win was all in all very convincing.

Their second match of the week was against a FlyQuest that fielded their main roster for the first time this season, and that looked a lot stronger than they had done in the beginning. Cloud 9 looked to struggle in the beginning of the game, with FQ moving better around the map. It was evident that C9 had a lot stronger laners though, as they didn’t fall to far behind in gold due to good cs’ing. Cloud 9 got the win in the end, due to scaling and good team fighting.

The only team C9 has yet to face this split is TSM, they will be expected to beat them as TSM struggles in closing games, something C9 has done very well. If C9 is able to be 8-1 halfway through the split, that would be way above pre-season expectations. Their other match next week will be the rematch of their only loss so far this season, against Echo Fox. It will not be an easy week for C9, but if they want to continue to show that they are the best team in the league, they will be expecting to get at least one win.

 

EF2. (+1) Echo Fox, 7-1 (2-0)

W vs Golden Guardians

W vs Team Liquid

Echo Fox is 7-1 just as C9, but doesn’t look nearly as clean. They won the game against Golden Guardians not by playing a lot better, but simply by having stronger individual players. This is the feeling I’m currently sitting with regarding Echo Fox, they might have the best average individual skill level in the league, but their macro and cleanliness isn’t at the level of TL and C9. It’s important to not underestimate the importance of having strong individual players though, especially in a Bo1 scenario.

Their second game of the week, vs Team Liquid was quite close. But with all five players performing better than their TL counterparts, they ended up grabbing the win. The amount of carry potential this team has continues to impress me. Combining that with having a lot of lane synergies and the team mostly being on the same page, they are able to overcome their slight disadvantage on macro decisions.

They will be finishing up the first half of the split against 100 Thieves, which currently is on a bad run of games, losing three in a row. Their second game of the week will be against Cloud 9, in what promises to be a great spectacle. I’m really excited to follow the midlane matchup especially, as FeniX is continuing to look hot this split. Echo Fox will look at next week as a great opportunity to take sole position of first place.

 

TL3. (-2) Team Liquid, 5-3 (0-2)

L vs Cloud 9

L vs Echo Fox

Team Liquid has bounced between first and third on my power rankings all split so far. I said that this week was going to be the real test for them, and they didn’t really show up. The entire team struggled this week, with all players looking bad at different times during the matches. The C9 game wasn’t really ever close, Cloud 9 was in control for the entirety of the game.

The match against Echo Fox was a lot closer, but with Pobleter and Doublelift struggling a lot in teamfights, they didn’t ever look in control. Combining this with uncharacteristically weak macro decisions and wave control, they had a very weak set of games.

They will be finishing off the first half of the split against what looks like a very weak CLG. I don’t really see any world where TL loses this game, unless they get heavily outplayed in draft. If they are able to secure themselves a late game insurance, they should win this game safely. Their second game will be up against Golden Guardians, and despite them picking up their first win, that should be an easy match for TL. I expect Team Liquid to go 2-0 next week.

 

TSM4. (+2) TeamSoloMid, 4-4 (1-1)

L vs Clutch Gaming

W vs CLG

There is currently a bigger difference between third and fourth, than there are between fourth and ninth. Despite losing to Clutch Gaming, I put TSM ahead of them. This is probably the two teams I struggled the most separating, as I feel like if they played 10 matches, they would go 5-5 currently. I place TSM higher because I feel they are on more of an upswing compared to Clutch. TSM played the earlygame a lot better than Clutch, but Clutch played the team fights a lot better. Most people will point to Apollo’s steals of baron and infernal, and will i agree that those were very important, I’m not 100 % sure TSM would have been able to close the game out with those objectives.

TSM vs CLG was a fun one as always. TSM did look like the better team, but I will attribute most of the win to a very well-played game from MikeYeung, and a more cohesive draft. Zven continue to look solid but unspectacular, he has a good KDA and low death share, but is only middle of the pack in kill participation and damage percentage.

TSM will have a tough week five, as they face the very dominant C9, and get their chance at revenge against Clutch. I will be very excited to follow both matches, as TSM currently look like the team most likely to break away from the six teams currently fighting for the remaining play-off spots.

 

CG5. (0) Clutch Gaming, 4-4 (2-0)

W vs TSM

W vs OpTic

Clutch proved a lot of people wrong this week, and showed that their game score was heavily influenced by having had a though schedule. They were able to grab the win in a very close match against TSM, where Apollo stole most of the headlines. It was hard to put Clutch behind TSM in the rankings after that game as they look very close in skill currently.

Clutch didn’t look too dominant in their win vs OpTic, but a very good game from Febiven on Cassiopeia gave them the victory. It is very encouraging to see that both Apollo and Febiven is able to carry, as most top teams want to have multiple threats. A very interesting stat regarding Clutch is that Solo is in fact fifth in the league in terms of damage percentage out of all players, with Febiven and Apollo both being last in their roles. Their DPM is acceptable though, and it is probably mostly due to Solo playing lots of Gangplank. It could be an interesting stat to follow for the rest of the split though.

Clutch’s last game of the first half will be against FlyQuest, which did look good with their intended roster. It’s going to be an interesting match to follow, but I do expect Clutch to pick up the win. There is actually quite a large chance of Clutch being in sole possession of fourth halfway through the split, with even a small chance of being tied for third if TL loses to CLG. Their second match of the week will be the rematch of the TSM game, I’m very interested in that one, as it will show if any of these two teams has the potential to challenge the top three teams.

 

FQ6. (+3) FlyQuest, 3-5 (1-1)

W vs 100 Thieves

L vs Cloud 9

FlyQuest finally have their intended roster finalized. They looked very good in their game vs 100 Thieves with their new midlaner, Fly. He didn’t look like a lane dominant player, but was able to move very well around the map, and got a lot going for the rest of the team. Stunt played a very good Rakan game as well, teaming up nicely with Fly.

Their second game was actually quite good as well, but you could see the difference in player skill very clearly. All lanes looked weaker, with maybe the exception of the toplane. They moved nicely around the map though, showing promise for their coming weeks.

FlyQuest will be facing Clutch and OpTic next week, two teams close to them in the standings. They will be hoping that another week of practice with this new roster, will make them look even better. It’s also going to be interesting to see whether they go with Stunt or JayJ in the support position, as they played one game each this week. I expect Flame, AnDa, Fly, Wildturtle, and Stunt to be their main roster, but Keane, JayJ and even Shrimp have seen stage time so far this season, so It’s hard to be 100 % sure.

 

100T7. (-3) 100 Thieves, 4-4 (0-2)

L vs FlyQuest

L vs Golden Guardians

100 Thieves does not look in good form. They have only been able to pick up one win in their last 5 games. They lost the first game of the week in a game that wasn’t really that close. Ssumday does not look like a top three toplaner at the moment, and the team doesn’t really seem to gel that well. They really only look like a two threat team at the moment, with Meteos only playing tanks, and Ssumday being the worst laner in the league in terms of gold difference @10.

They are also the first team in the league to lose against Golden Guardians, and I find it hard to see whether that was due to GGS playing well, and continuing to improve, or the fact that 100 Thieves is just bad currently. I will be genuinely surprised if 100T doesn’t end up in the play-offs, and I expect them to bounce back, but they do not look good currently.

The only team 100 Thieves has yet to face is Echo Fox. That is going to be a rough match, and I don’t expect them to get much out of that game. Their second game of the week should be more of a possibility though, they will be going up against a CLG that seems to struggle a lot this season. I expect Cody and Aphro to exploit the weak CLG bottom lane, and grab the win off that.

 

OpT8. (0) OpTic Gaming, 2-6 (1-1)

W vs CLG

L vs Clutch Gaming

I’ve been sitting here saying that I think OpTic can be a good team the entire split so far, but they have yet to show much. They were able to grab a strong victory over CLG though, but I feel that is mostly CLG not being a very good team this split. All players actually did well in that game, and they showed nice wave management.

They had a good early game vs Clutch, but Febiven simply looked too good in team fights that game. Akaadian does not look good on tanks, he looks like he doesn’t understand when to engage, as I often see him going in after his damage dealers are dead. I’m not willing to completely write off OpTic yet, as they continued to show small signs of hope this week, but they will have to start picking up more wins soon.

Next week could very well be that week that they start picking up those wins. They finish off the first half of the split against Golden Guardians, before going up against FlyQuest. Both those teams have looked on an upwards trajectory, but both teams still look very beatable. OpTic will have to at least grab one win for me to keep faith in them,

 

CLG9. (-2) Counter Logic Gaming, 3-5 (0-2)

L vs OpTic

L vs TSM

I seemed to have been a bit to quick in giving out a clean bill of health to CLG, and their botlane. This week was back to old habits for Stixxay and co. The entire team looked lost in their game against OpTic, which is one of the weakest teams in the league currently. I’m not really sure if this team’s struggles is only team synergy anymore. Cause Huhi and Reignover played well around Darshan this game, but the botlane and midlane fell far behind, and Darshan wasn’t able to do anything at all with his lead. I think that this team would need a big upgrade in the botlane to be able to contest at the top of the league. Cause Darshan doesn’t look like he is able to carry the team at the moment.

I think the game against TSM was generally of low quality. But it showed that despite CLG not looking good currently, it is not far up to the fourth placed team in TSM. I think that a questionable draft, and a very strong performance from MikeYeung was the ain reasons for TSM winning this one, and I’m not sure TSM would win if the game was played again.

CLG will have a very tough match against Team Liquid to end the first half of the split. I wouldn’t expect to much from that, but their second match, vs 100 Thieves, could be a lot closer. There is the worry of a mismatch in the botlane, but the opposite could be said for the toplane. Will be an interesting one to watch.

 

GGS10. (0) Golden Guardians, 1-7 (1-1)

L vs Echo Fox

W vs 100 Thieves

Golden Guardians was finally able to grab a win! They started the week off with a loss to Echo Fox in a game where they simply looked like the weaker team, with the weaker players. Echo Fox didn’t play exceptionally well, but they didn’t have to.

The highlight of the week, or even season, was the match against 100 Thieves though. Lourlo was able to counter pick Illaoi into Ornn, and showed, alongside Contractz, a very strong performance. I know it is risky to say, but this could be a potential winning strategy for GGS. Getting Lourlo, which is their best performing player, on a counter pick, while having Contractz stabilizing the rest of the map. I continue to worry about Hai though, as he doesn’t look completely focused all the time. Gonna be very exciting to see what this team does moving forward, both on and off the rift.

They could actually be able to grab another win before we are halfway through the split, as they face OpTic Gaming, another team that hasn’t been able to pick up a lot of victories. If they are able to get a win there, they would actually tie them in game score, moving them away from sole possession of last place. Their second game will be a lot tougher though, as they face Team Liquid, which despite going 0-2 this week, look very good against lower tier teams. So no team is completely lost this season.