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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.
Ranking. (change since last week) Team Name, Score (Week Score)
1. (+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.
2. (+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.
3. (-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.
4. (+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.
5. (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.
6. (+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.
7. (-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.
8. (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,
9. (-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.
10. (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.