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.

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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

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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.

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.

NA LCS Week 3 Power Ranking

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My power rankings will be less in depth this week due to excessive amounts of school-work, I still hope you guys enjoy them. If you want to know more reasoning on why I placed a team where i did, hit me up on Twitter or Reddit.

We have now entered a stage of the split where we should be able to take strength of schedule so far into consideration while comparing teams. This will probably be the best power ranking to determine team’s strength so far. A lot of teams went either 2-0, or 0-2 this weekend, and the standings were shook up. A lot of the teams that people expected to struggle before the season are still at the bottom parts of the standings, while the bigger teams that had a slow start are starting to pick up some wins. That doesn’t mean they get highly ranked on my power ranking though, as I will focus a lot on which teams has played who so far. Here is the link for last weeks power rankings for you to compare.

Header explanation:

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

 

TL1. (+2) Team Liquid, 5-1 (2-0)

W vs FlyQuest

W vs Golden Guardians

I struggled a lot to decide which team to place first this week. Arguments could be made for all the top four teams, but in the end I decided on Team Liquid. TL have had the easiest schedule out of all the top teams so far. They have yet to play Echo Fox, Cloud 9 and CLG, which can be considered some of the strongest opposition in the league. Despite all this, I ended up placing them first due to how dominant they have been in their wins. They have four out of the four fastest wins this split, and an average game time of only 32.1 minute, 5.5 minutes faster than the second best team in Clutch. They have gotten first tower in all their games so far, and has the highest gold difference at 15 on average. It is therefore very hard to go against this team.

Week four will be the biggest test for Team Liquid so far, they will be facing both Cloud 9 and Echo Fox. I expect them to match up better against Echo Fox due to TL having what most people consider to be the stronger botlane, which is where TL plays through. Using that strength against C9 will be a lot more difficult though, as Sneaky and Smoothie have looked amazing so far this split, it’s going to be very exciting to follow that botlane matchup.

 

C92. (0) Cloud 9, 5-1 (2-0)

W vs OpTic Gaming

W vs Clutch Gaming

Cloud 9 have still only lost to Echo Fox this season, and continues to look strong. All their laners are looking incredibly strong, and it is hard to not see them as a top top team in the league right now. The only thing holding me back from declaring them as the number one team is that Svenskeren hasn’t shown amazing synergy with the laners yet, and a lot of their plays have come from their botlane.

They could be up against a tough week four, as TL looks very strong, and FlyQuest doesn’t look like pushovers despite being low in the standings. They will be expecting to go out of the second week with at least one win, but maybe even two.

 

EF3. (-2) Echo Fox, 5-1 (1-1)

L vs CLG

W vs OpTic Gaming

Echo Fox got handed their first loss of the season up against CLG, and they didn’t look overly convincing against OpTic. Due to this they fall down from first to third on my power rankings this week, but they remain very close with Team Liquid and Cloud 9.

They will be starting week 4 with a game against Golden Guardians, a game they should be able to win quite easily. Their laners just seem to strong for this game to be close. Their second game will be a lot more exciting, they will be going up against what many consider to be the strongest team in the league right now, Team Liquid. FeniX and Dardoch will be facing their old team, and I expected Echo Fox to be highly motivated for this game. One of the most exciting games of the week.

 

100T4. (0) 100 Thieves, 4-2 (1-1)

W vs Clutch Gaming

L vs TSM

It is really hard to figure out how strong 100 Thieves really are. They have beaten TL, but they have also lost to TSM and C9. I think their highs are equal to TL, Echo Fox and C9, but they are showing less consistency compared to the other top teams. It has to be taken into consideration that have had maybe the hardest schedule so far, and that the only top team they have left to face in the first half is Echo Fox.

They will have to go 2-0 next week to remain a top four team, but I definitively expect them to. They will be playing against FlyQuest and Golden Guardians which are probably the weakest teams in the league right now.

 

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

L vs 100 Thieves

L vs Cloud 9

Clutch Gaming is the team that decides whether a team belongs in the top, or the bottom of the standings. They have lost to all four teams ranked above them, and beaten all the teams they have played below them. So despite being 2-4, they are probably in a way the most consistent team in the league. Many may be surprised that I have them at fifth place, but the fact that they have faced all the top teams in the league with three games remaining of the first half of the split, results in me giving them the benefit f the doubt.

Their first game of the week is going to be very exciting to watch. They will be facing TSM which looks to be on the rise. The question will be whether they can pass “the Gatekeepers” in Clutch. Their second match should be winnable, when the two European midlane imports for the split, in Febiven and PowerOfEvil, will be squaring up.

 

TSM6. (+2) TeamSoloMid, 3-3 (2-0)

W vs Golden Guardians

W vs 100 Thieves

I had a bold statement regarding TSM’s week three, saying that they had to win both games to show that they still can be a top team. And they answered. They roar up the standings with their 2-0 week, and picked up a very important win against 100 Thieves. This will give them a lot of confidence moving forward, and they will be hoping to show that their slow start was only that.

Both their games this week is going to be very interesting to follow. They will start the week against “the Gatekeepers”, in Clutch, hoping that they can show that they are a top team. Their second game will be against another team trying to climb the standings, CLG. Few would have expected that this would be a match between two 0.5 teams at this point in the season.

 

CLG7. (+2) Counter Logic Gaming, 3-3 (2-0)

W vs Echo Fox

W vs FlyQuest

I’m very confused regarding CLG, I both considered keeping them in the bottom three, and to put them in the top five. They had a very good win against a super-strong Echo Fox team, and picked up another one against FlyQuest. Their early games have been good the entire split, but this week they were able to keep that going into the mid- and lategame.

The first game of the fourth week will be a good indicator on if I did right in placing them above OpTic. They will be going up against each other, and I don’t expect a close game. The only problem is that I don’t know which team will be the dominant one. Their second game of the week will be up against their big rival in TSM, and people will be very excited for that one. I personally think CLG will struggle, but I could be very wrong on that one.

 

OpT8. (-2) OpTic Gaming, 1-5 (0-2)

L vs Cloud 9

L vs Echo Fox

OpTic is 1-5, but I still have this feeling that they aren’t that bad. On paper I think they look like a bottom two team, but from watching their games they always seem to have the potential to go on a three game winning streak. That winning streak did not come this week, as they lost to two of the strongest teams in the league, Cloud 9 and Echo Fox.

They will be going up against CLG and Clutch in week four, two tough, but beatable opponents. CLG is an enigma at the moment, and despite the fact that Clutch have beaten teams below them so far, they could get beaten by OpTic.

 

FQ9. (-2) FlyQuest, 2-4 (0-2)

L vs Team Liquid

L vs CLG

FlyQuest doesn’t look to good in my eyes. If you look away from their TSM win, they have never really looked like challenging. They spent the last week trying to change up their staring lineup a bit, but without any success. AnDa and Keane have both looked okay so far, but I expected a lot more from Flame and WildTurtle.

Next week is going to be very though for them as they go up against 100 Thieves and Cloud 9. I heavily expect both those games to end in a loss. And considering the last remaining team they have to face are Clutch, I don’t see them having a good couple of weeks going forward.

 

GGS10. (0) Golden Guardians, 0-6 (0-2)

L vs TSM

L vs Team Liquid

Golden Guardians sacked their coach “Locodoco” just before going into the weekend, and the one thing I hade going for them, their growth, totally disappeared. I’m not gonna say anything on the decision as a whole, but if you only consider it from a competitive standpoint, I think it is the worst decision they could make. I think Loco is one of the better coaches in the league, and despite some of his problems, I think he is one of the few people that might have been able to do anything with this roster. Taking this, and the quality of their opposition this week, into consideration, it was no surprise that they went 0-2.

Where I used to see a lot of hope for Golden Guardians, I don’t anymore. They will be playing Echo Fox and 100 Thieves next week, and I expect them to lose both those games heavily. It is going to be interesting to hear from Locodoco when he says something on the matter, cause I think that Golden Guardians would have to have had a really go reason to justify this decision.

NA LCS Week 2 Power Ranking

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After a week where most teams went 1-1, it’s a lot of discussion around which teams got better and worse since last week. This week two power ranking will state my opinion on which teams are on the rise, and which teams are looking weak after four games. I will be giving a short summary of how a team did this week, as well as focusing on a key player and looking forward to next week. Here is the link to last weeks power ranking if you are interested in reading that.

Header explanation:

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

EF1. (+2) Echo Fox, 4-0 (2-0)

W vs Cloud 9

W vs TSM

I said in last weeks power rankings that this week was gonna be a defining week for Echo Fox. They played what was the two NA representatives at the 2017 Worlds Championship, and although TSM doesn’t look too strong right now, it’s still impressive to beat them. Another impressive part of Echo Fox’s games this week was that they were able to win from behind. In their game against C9, they were 3k behind in gold at 15. But a great 36 minute teamfight gave them back control of the game, and they were able to win when they had gotten ahead.

The game vs TSM was even more extreme. TSM had a gold lead of 11k at 39 minutes, and was unable to close the game despite getting multiple barons and an elder dragon. What made Echo Fox win though, was the fact that every player on that team looks like they can carry a fight. It was very impressive to see how well all five players did in the late game fights.

People are always gonna talk about Huni, FeniX and Dardoch with this team, but Altec played late game fights incredibly well. I would recommend any aspiring ADC player out there to go and watch his positioning in these fights. He succeeded playing both Ezreal into a teamfighting ADC, and playing a teamfighting ADC into Ezreal.

Echo Fox goes into week three with a very manageable schedule. They will be facing a struggling CLG, and an OpTic team that has yet to find a lot of wins. Echo Fox will be facing a new challenge though. People are now mostly considering them the best team in the league, and they won’t be underdogs anymore. It will be interesting to look how the team cope with that pressure moving forward.

 

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

L vs Echo Fox

W vs 100 Thieves

Cloud 9 got handed their first loss of the season vs the hot Echo Fox. But even though they lost the game, they showed a lot of good plays. They were able got get themselves over a 3k gold lead, but with Jayce and Tank Jax vs Gnar and Sejuani, they ended up getting outscaled, and losing the game mostly off that. Perhaps the best news C9 can take away from that game are that Licorice was able to stand up against Huni in the toplane.

Their second game of the week was not the same story. This game was all about moving Sneaky and Smoothie around the map to take down the outer turrets. Cloud 9 used some time to close out the game, but their gold lead never looked threatened. It’s very nice for this team that all their lanes are able to carry. And even though Svenskeren has the most deaths out of all players in the league, the team are able to look dominant.

Their player to look at this week is Svenskeren, the death leader in the league. It was talked about how he wasn’t able to use his aggressive playstyle while playing for TSM, and that this would improve when he moved to C9. That is definitively the case. He takes a lot more risks than he did on TSM, and even though that leads to more deaths, he is also able to create a lot of pressure. One thing that could be of worry with Svenskeren is his lackluster teamfighting compared to Dardoch vs Echo Fox. It is highly possible that this was due to his pick getting outscaled, but it’s still something to keep an eye out for next week.

Cloud 9 will be hoping to get a 2-0 in that next week. They will be facing an OpTic team that looks like they are very close to figuring out a winning recipe, and Clutch Gaming which will be hoping to get their first win against one of the top performing teams. With all their laners looking very good so far, C9 will have to have proved a lot of people wrong about the off-season.

 

TL3. (-2) Team Liquid, 3-1 (1-1)

L vs 100 Thieves

W vs Clutch Gaming

Coming of a very strong week one, most people saw Team Liquid as the strongest team in the league. In their first match of the week they showed that they also have weaknesses. They struggled a lot when the botlane fell behind early, and was unable to utilize the gold lead Impact got in toplane. Their midgame is filled with individual mistakes, and the sidelane control that was so good in week one was a big problem this game.

TL bounces back in their second game of the week vs Clutch Gaming. They are able to play around their botside more, and get a gold lead with a better scaling comp. This game looked a lot more like their week one performance, and they will be hoping to keep that form going.

Impact showed his good and his bad side this week. His performance on Vladimir vs 100T was lackluster to say the least. He got a sizable gold lead in the earlygame, but was unable to do anything with it. He ended up getting solokilled, and falling massively behind by lategame. Against Clutch he showed why he often is referred to as “a rock” in the toplane. He gets little to no attention from his jungler in what is a very tough matchup (Gangplank vs Gnar), but is able to only fall slightly behind while helping the team with his ultimate.

Looking forward to next week, Team Liquid will be facing FlyQuest and Golden Guardians. They will expect to get to dominant wins, and move to a 5-1 record. Neither of those teams have amazing botlanes, and it’s hard to see any of them being able to give TL a huge challenge.

 

100T4. (0) 100 Thieves, 3-1 (1-1)

W vs Team Liquid

L vs Cloud 9

At first glance it might look weird that 100 Thieves is placed below Team Liquid despite beating them this week. But I believe a lot of that match was compositional. Combining that with lackluster performances from Xmithie and Impact, and great play from Ryu, that makes me think that it was a one-off. They still have to be given credit though, so they are still placed in the top four.

Their match vs Cloud 9 is what you usually see when it is considerable difference in the skill level between two teams. 100T never really got anything going for themselves, and C9 just steadily increased their gold lead into a win.

Yet again I want to acknowledge Cody Sun’s performances. He has an insane 41.1% of his team’s damage, and a damage per minute of 815. He is number one in the league in both those stats, and is a huge part of why 100T is 3-1 so far this split.

100 Thieves will be playing against Clutch Gaming and TSM next week, and that will show if they deserve to be in the discussion with Echo Fox, Team Liquid and Cloud 9 as the best teams in the LCS currently. The game vs Clutch will be my match of the week. I currently have those teams in the same tier, the one just behind the top teams. If either of them can show a dominant performance that could be what pushes them in to that top-tier. It’s hard to predict their match against TSM as no one really know if TSM is really as bad as they currently are showing. But for now I will have to say 100T are favorites, especially until TSM show some signs of improvement.

 

CG5. (+2) Clutch Gaming, 2-2 (1-1)

W vs CLG

L vs Team Liquid

Clutch is currently looking like the definition of a middle of the pack team. They are 2-2, have beaten two teams below them, and lost to two teams above them. Their game against CLG was a pretty dominant one. They had the weaker earlygame comp, but was able to stay even for 20 minutes, before taking over the game and finishing just after 30 minutes. This game also had the first penta of the split, with Febiven picking up what was also his first penta of his career.

Their second game of the week was the exact opposite, with Team Liquid absolutely dominating them. They never looked like they were able to contest anything, and got rolled over in 27 minutes. Having two games in one week that are so different makes it hard to predict just how good of a team this is. The LCS is such a close league that it’s weird to beat everyone below you, and lose to everyone above you.

I want to take a look at Apollo this week. Apollo is a player that is known, alongside Hakuho, to be one of the strongest laners in the league. He was number one out of all ADC’s in gold difference at 10 last split by far, and although he didn’t have the best stats in terms of damage per minute or kill participation, he was considered a great laner. This split has not been the same so far, he is currently second to last in GD@10, and his DPM is still incredibly low. He actually only deals 45% of what the number one ADC does, in Cody Sun. Apollo needs to step up in Clutch wants to be a challenging the top teams.

Next week is going to be very interesting for Clutch. They will be playing in my match of the week against 100 Thieves, and against Cloud 9 later in the weekend. It is a high probability that Clutch is going to struggle in both those matches, and that they end the week at 2-4. That would definitively create a gap between the top four teams, and the rest of the league. If they are able to pick up a win or two though, they will really cement themselves as play-off contenders.

 

OpT6. (+2) OpTic Gaming, 1-3 (1-1)

L vs TSM

W vs FlyQuest

OpTic could easily have picked up a win against TSM. I actually believe that if TSM didn’t have the free extra scaling of Ornn, OpTic might actually have won that game. There is not much doubt, that game was not of high quality, and is furthering my point of there being a clear top and bottom five in the league currently. OpTic, FlyQuest and TSM are in my eyes pretty close at this point but none of them are really close to looking as good as Clutch or 100T, so until they prove me otherwise, I will be keeping that mid-table divide.

OpTic got their first win of the season against FlyQuest, and they finally looked like they were beginning to crack the code. Having Arrow on a mechanical teamfighter, and Akaadian on an aggressive jungler looks like it works for them. They were able to explode a lead after getting a 25 minute baron, and for once close a game out in reasonable time.

For this team I’m going to be looking at their toplaner, zig. Looking at the stats from so far this season, there is not much doubt that zig is one of the weaker toplaners in the league, but OpTic look like they found the solution against FlyQuest. With zig playing Maokai, he was allowed to fall behind in cs, but still remain useful in teamfights. And although we don’t see that much full tanks in the toplane now, it could work for OpTic.

Even though OpTic looks like they are on the rise at the moment, it is not much expectation on them for next week. They will be facing up against two of the strongest teams in the league in Cloud 9 and Echo Fox. If they are able to get anything from those matches, that would be a huge upset, and people would really consider OpTic as a team that could contest for one of the bottom play-off spots.

 

FQ7. (-2) FlyQuest, 2-2 (1-1)

W vs Golden Guardians

L vs OpTic Gaming

FlyQuest is one of the teams that came the worst out of this week, despite going 1-1. The fact that TSM continue to struggle makes FlyQuest’s win against them less impressive. Also taking into consideration the fact that they barely scraped together a win against what currently is the weakest looking team in the league, in Golden Guardians, it doesn’t look to good for FlyQuest. Some people might comment on the fact that they are playing with their academy midlaner, but Keane is in fact one of the best performing players on that team. He is actually first in the league in kill participation.

Their second game of the week was a loss to an OpTic team that look like they are just bout to find their groove in the LCS. It was even for most of the earlygame, but the game exploded into a huge lead for OpTic after a baron. This game was actually one of FlyQuest’s best earlygames. They are by far worst in the league, averaging a 2k gold deficit at 15.

I’m gonna be looking at AnDa for this exact reason. It is a lot on the jungler to create enough pressure early, and he hasn’t done that. The team is the only team not to have gotten a first blood so far this split, so AnDa needs to get ganks of earlier. AnDa has been showing glimpses of great performances in the late game though, and could be considered one of the biggest reasons why FlyQuest have been able to pick up wins despite having terrible earlygames.

FlyQuest will be going into week three hoping to go 1-1 for the third week in a row. They will be facing Team Liquid and CLG, and even though TL is going to be very though, they will be hoping to exploit what looks to be an all time weak CLG. AnDa will really be tested in that matchup though, facing up against Reignover, which despite CLG’s miserable start to the season, has shown some of his old earlygame pathing. It’s going to be a really interesting match to watch.

 

TSM8. (+1) TeamSoloMid, 1-3 (1-1)

W vs OpTic

L vs Echo Fox

A lot of people may say that TSM deserves to be ahead of OpTic due to them beating them, but that is the least convincing win of the season so far. They had map control, and a 9k gold lead at 33 min, but was unable to do anything for another 30 minutes. Taking into consideration that their teamcomp was far superior in the lategame makes this win even less impressive. But they were still able to secure their first win of the split, and that will at least relive some of the huge pressure currently on that team.

Their game against Echo Fox was somewhat of the same story, but this time Echo Fox was the one with the scaling advantage, so TSM actually got punished for their lack of proactivity. They were able to get an advantage early though, and their players still show that they are good players by themselves by getting their own leads in lane. So perhaps in a faster meta, this team’s weaknesses might not have been as clear. But considering that we are in a very slow meta, TSM looks like one of the weakest teams. Their lack of decisiveness is really punishing them.

It’s hard to not look at the one player that lack experience playing on a top team, in MikeYeung. He looks nervous in-game, and when most of the engage is on the jungler, he needs to overcome what seems to be stage jitters. The fact that TSM doesn’t help him out by picking engage toplane, or in the support role surprises me a bit. It is clear from watching their games that this is a major issue, and helping him adapting to his new team by having experienced players helping him out in game should be something they should be doing. MikeYeung is having good earlygames, and are able to get TSM some leads, so if they are able to help him out in the late game, I believe TSM can start climbing the standings.

TSM is going to be an interesting team to follow next week. They have the opportunity to show that this bad start was only a fluke by winning both their games against Golden Guardians and what has to be the weakest of the 3-1 teams in 100 Thieves. But they also have the possibility to completely crash and burn. If they lose their first game, against Golden Guardians, They are going to get absolutely slammed in the media. And if they only lose to 100 Thieves, people will probably settle on the thought that TSM isn’t going to be a top team this regular season, something TSM would not find acceptable at all.

 

CLG9. (-3) Counter Logic Gaming, 1-3 (1-1)

L vs Clutch Gaming

W vs Golden Guardians

Ding, ding, ding! I think we might have found the team that actually lost the off-season! It’s not a lot of ways to put it, this team looks really bad at the beginning of this season. Their botlane lost lane to Deftly and Matt, who have been looking very bleak so far. Reignover have been throwing himself into the enemy team constantly in the midgame, and Darshan haven’t been able to do anything with the leads he have been getting. In their first game of the week they lost against Clutch Gaming, and gave away the first penta of the split. And giving away is exactly what they did, Febiven even said that he had never gotten that many free kills in his life. Stixxay actually ended that game 0/5/0, despite his team having 6 kills.

They were even losing the game against Golden Guardians, before the Guardians decided to engage on them with 20% hp, giving them a free 10k gold swing. This game was actually very worrying, and I even considered putting Golden Guardians ahead of CLG, but looking at some of Golden Guardians decision-making from ahead, made me put CLG slightly ahead.

It is hard to not look at any of the three players I looked at last week, in Biofrost, Stixxay and Reignover. All of those players looked just as weak as last week. Reignover still has pretty good early pathing, but that is mostly it. Stixxay and Biofrost is two players that both lost their leaders from last year, and look terribly lost without them. It’s hard to see CLG suddenly improving. The only possibility I can see currently is putting the botlane on utility on an island, while snowballing Darshan on a hard carry, but it’s hard to not lose too much on the botside.

Next week doesn’t look to good for CLG either. They will be starting up against the undefeated Echo Fox, before finishing the weekend against a FlyQuest that looks average, but stable. CLG will be hoping that a good week of scrims can lead to them improving enough to pick up a win against FlyQuest, because if they end their week three 1-5, with the only win being an unconvincing one against Golden Guardians, it is hard to know what is going to happen.

 

GGS10. (0) Golden Guardians, 0-4 (0-2)

L vs FlyQuest

L vs CLG

Golden Guardians is one of the teams that improved the most between week one and week two. The only problem is how much worse they were compared to the other teams in week one. They were only one good fight away from winning against FlyQuest, but an amazing play from AnDa led to them losing their 6k gold lead, and eventually losing the game. Just like OpTic, Golden Guardians decided to put their toplaner on a tank, and their jungler on a carry. The main difference though is that Lourlo is known to deliver solid performances whenever he is put on Maokai, it isn’t a coincidence that he has a LourMao emote on Twitch.

Their second game of the week, vs CLG, was also very winnable in the midgame, but one stupid decision around baron threw away their entire lead. They showed that they were still able to find an amazing teamfight at the end of the game, but they were simply to far behind for that to matter at that point.

Last week I said that Lourlo needed to step up for Golden Guardians to stand any chance in LCS, and this week, up against Flame and Darshan, he actually played pretty well. Despite being on the only 0-4 team in the league, he is actually second in KDA out of all toplaners. Most of his laning and damage stats are around fourth to sixth. As Golden Guardians look to continue improving, I expect Lourlo to move even further up those charts, trying to cement himself as a top four or five toplaner.

Golden Guardians will have a very tough week three, facing up against TSM and Team Liquid. They aren’t expected to get anything out of the TL game, but the match against TSM can actually become very interesting. GGS have exactly what TSM lack, decisiveness. If they are able to get through laning phase without falling to far behind, one good engage can be enough to win this game. And if they are able to pick up that win, they would probably put TSM and CLG as the two weakest teams in LCS, who would have though that was a possibility coming into this season?

NA LCS Week 1 Power Ranking

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This is the first of my NA LCS Power Rankings this season. I will be basing a teams rating on their performances up until this point in the season, taking into consideration the quality of opposition they have played against. As I progress through the season I will put more weight on recent performances, rather than what they did earlier in the split. I will be explaining what happened in this week, I will focus extra on one or two players, and I will look forward to their next weeks matches. The “change since last week” will refer to my pre-season power rankings this first week.

Header explanation:

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

TL1. (+1) Team Liquid, 2-0 (2-0)

W vs TSM

W vs OpTic

Team Liquid came into week one expected to be one of the top teams, and they delivered what was expected of them. Playing against Doublelift’s former team in TSM seemed to spark a lot of motivation in the team, as TL totally outclassed the three-time consecutive NALCS winners. What made this win even more impressive for a new roster, was that they didn’t win through snowballing lanes, but by playing a controlled macro game from start to finish.

Their second game of the week was against a considerably weaker team in OpTic Gaming. TL played an early-game comp into a late scaling one, but still managed to fall behind early. But they showed great control of vision and sidelanes yet again, and got the win through a couple of well set up fights in the mid-game.

Team Liquids most notable players this week was Impact and Doublelift. Both players ended the week deathless with a score line of 5/0/13 and 9/0/14 respectively. With these two also being considered the biggest shotcallers on their team, that bodes very well for the upcoming season.

Even though Team Liquid looked like the strongest team in week one, there can be some worries in that they didn’t smash any lanes this week. Having a good macro game is a huge part of being a good team, but it’s hard to stay at the top if you can’t beat weaker opponents such as OpTic in lane. TL will be hoping to continue their winning streak against 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming in week two.

C92. (+1) Cloud 9, 2-0 (2-0)

W vs CLG

W vs Golden Guardians

Cloud 9’s first match of the split was against rivals CLG. This was expected to be a close match between two teams that come into this season hoping to challenge at the top, and the game surely delivered. C9 fell behind against an early game comp. Svenskeren struggled a lot vs Reignover’s Rengar, something that resulted in the rookie toplaner, Licorice, playing 1v3 for most of this early game. The way he did actually impressed a lot. Playing Gangplank vs Ornn, Rengar and Malzahar isn’t easy, but he managed not to fall too far behind. C9 came back into the game and grabbed the win by controlling the neutral objectives well in the later stages, and by good performances from their carries, Sneaky and Jensen.

Their next match was against considerably worse opponents in Golden Guardians, and it was shown in how the game went. They gave away some sloppy kills, and spent a long time before getting a sizable lead, but still always looked in control. They showed great sidelane control the whole game. They finished quite quickly as soon as they were able to secure baron.

The big question mark on whether C9 would succeed this split was placed on their rookie toplaner, and this week I believe that he performed very well. He showed that he can have an impact both while playing from behind and ahead. He had an impressive 7/0/6 scoreline on Kled vs Golden Guardians.

Cloud 9 will be going into a tough week two, playing against two other undefeated teams in Echo Fox and 100 Thieves. Licorice will be tested against what might be the two best toplaners in the league, in Huni and Ssumday. These games will say a lot about how good of a team the “loser of the off-season”, according to the community, really can be this split.

EF3. (+3) Echo Fox, 2-0 (2-0)

W vs FlyQuest

W vs Clutch Gaming

The cryptocurrency of the LCS. Some of the strongest mechanical players in the league, but also some of the biggest egos. This week we only saw the strong mechanical side of the players though. With an average KDA of 14.5 and the lowest average game time at 31 minutes, they absolutely smashed their games this week. Their game vs FlyQuest was dominated by the infamous Huni-Lucian, getting the turret solo before 10 minutes. After that, they moved nicely around the map, and snowballed into a controlled 29-minute win.

In their game vs Clutch Gaming we got to see FeniX show why his Azir always should be banned. He absolutely demolished the EULCS All-pro midlaner Febiven. Huni also abused the less experienced toplaner Solo. What was very impressive in this game was that even when they only were 2 kills ahead, they were still up 8.5k gold. They also showed the vision control of a top team.

All five players impressed very much, but especially their solo-laners. Huni hard won both his laning phases, and FeniX was one of only five players in the league that remained deathless. Dardoch really got to play his aggressive jungle style with this kind of priority from both his solo lanes.

Week two might be a defining week for this team, with them going against Cloud 9 and TSM. If they go 2-0 this week, it’s hard to see them not finishing top four, but if they lose both games, they could implode and struggle to reach their week one performance again. But for now, this is one of the teams to really fear.

100T4. (+1) 100 Thieves, 2-0 (2-0)

W vs OpTic

W vs CLG

100 Thieves was the only new team to go 2-0 this week, and although they went undefeated, I would have to say they looked the weakest out of the top four teams. Their game against OpTic showed us two teams that didn’t have the macro to close a game. OpTic won the early game, but 100T was in the lead from 30 minutes and out. They still wasn’t able to get their first inhibitor until 1 hour into the game.

In their second game, vs CLG, their botlane showed great laning prowess. They won lane despite playing much weaker early-game champions. They controlled the first 20 minutes, before the game started to stall out a bit. One teamfight win at 30 min snowballed the game into a 35-minute win.

The player that stood out the most for 100T this week was probably, to a lot of people’s surprise, Cody Sun. He led the team in damage in both games, and showed mastery on Ezreal vs CLG. Aphromoo is an honorable mention as he enabled Cody Sun’s performances.

Looking forward to next week, 100 Thieves will be facing the number one and number two teams on this power ranking in Team Liquid and Cloud 9. I don’t think anyone expects them to win those matches, so they can go into this week with nothing to lose. If they can get a result next week, they can prove to people why they should be considered a play-off team.

FQ5. (+4) FlyQuest, 1-1 (1-1)

L vs Echo Fox

W vs TSM

FlyQuest had to play their first week with academy midlaner Keane instead of their original starter Fly due to visa issues, but he was actually one of the team’s best performers. They started their week with a though loss against Echo Fox. The only players that really did okay that game was Keane and rookie jungler AnDa. Flame even got Flame-horizoned by Huni.

Their second game of the week is what earns them the 5th place on the power ranking this week, they were able to quite confidently beat the huge favorites in TSM. Again, Keane performed above expectations, now in a counter-matchup vs what is one of the two best midlaners in the league. They actually looked comfortable for most of the game, and impressed a lot.

FlyQuest can be one of highest placed teams after week two. The reason for that is that they face what most people consider to be the two weakest teams in the league in Golden Guardians and OpTic Gaming. It’s unsure whether Fly will be ready for those games, but I’m sure Keane will be ready to perform again if called upon.

CLG6. (-2) Counter Logic Gaming, 0-2 (0-2)

L vs Cloud 9

L vs 100 Thieves

CLG did not get the results they wanted this week, but even if they are unhappy about that, there were some positives to build on. In their game vs Cloud 9 they showed a very good early game. Reignover constantly pressured Svenskeren out of his jungle and stole his camps. Huhi had nice priority mid, and that resulted in kills top. But they showed what seemed to be a weakness in communication. As the game progressed Reignover often went in without his teammates following, and no one covered for Stixxay in teamfights. They slowly lost their lead, and in the end lost the game.

In their second game of the week, vs 100 Thieves, their botlane struggled immensely. They had picked a very strong duo of Caitlyn/Janna into Ezreal/Taric, but still managed to lose lane. This was also partly reasoned by Meteos having far more control over the bot side compared to Reignover.

There are quite a few players to look at for CLG, with Reignover, Stixxay and Biofrost being the main ones. I think Biofrost needs to step up a lot. He was supposed to be a mechanical upgrade compared to Aphromoo, but they lost lane against him and Cody Sun. Biofrost was also close to the bottom of the league in both KDA and Kill Participation this week, something that needs to improve.

Next week can be a good week for CLG to recover. They will be facing Clutch Gaming and Golden Guardians, both games must be considered very manageable games. If their botlane steps up, and they get work done on their communication and late game shotcalling, I still think CLG will be a contender at the top this season.

CG7. (0) Clutch Gaming, 1-1 (1-1)

W vs Golden Guardians

L vs Echo Fox

In terms of results, Clutch Gaming probably did what was expected by most people. In their first game you got a small teaser of what their mid/jungle can do during the season. They took a long time to close out their win against Golden Guardians, but it was safe and steady.

Clutch vs Echo Fox was one of the matches I was most excited to watch, as people couldn’t seem to agree on which of these teams were the strongest going into the season. But it was a stomp, Clutch never looked like they had any chance in this game, they consistently lost lane and they got out-rotated the entire game. Seeing Febiven losing lane to FeniX that hard is a worry for someone that’s wants to be contesting for best midlaner in the league.

Their player to watch has to be the earlier mentioned Febiven. He has a lot of hype going into this season, and is supposed to be the carry for this team. He did well against Golden Guardians, but really struggled against Echo Fox. Clutch Gaming-fans will be hoping that it was a one-time thing, and that he just gets better from here. Cause if he doesn’t perform, this team won’t either.

Where FlyQuest has the potential to really move up the standings next week, Clutch might risk falling down to 1-3. They are facing CLG and Team Liquid. CLG will hope to bounce back after a tough 0-2 week, while TL will try to continue their dominance by rolling over Clutch. Lira will have to do a lot of work to cover up what is probably weaker sidelanes in both matches, and Febiven will have to win his lane. We want to see at least a good performance next week if Clutch is going to be considered a play-off caliber team at the beginning of this season.

OpT8. (+2) OpTic Gaming, 0-2 (0-2)

L vs 100 Thieves

L vs Team Liquid

OpTic was expected to go 0-2, and they went 0-2. But they had moments where they did better than expected. They lost a long game against 100 Thieves that could have gone their way. The game was dead even at 55 minutes, but it was heard winning teamfights with Rengar against a Kog’Maw with lost of peel. They should perhaps have been able to snowball the lead after getting a 2.5k lead at around 15 minutes, but a Baron sneak by 100T made them lose control of the game.

In their game against Team Liquid they were able to get themselves a good scaling comp, and a small early lead. But it was clear that they were up against a more coordinated and experienced team, as they never had control of vision or the sidelanes. This resulted in TL picking them off in the jungle towards the later stages of the game, and eventually getting the win.

OpTic is a team with lots of players that can carry a game, and it’s hard to see them not picking up a few wins through a player such as PowerOfEvil. He got to play his signature Orianna against TL, but wasn’t able to stamp his authority on that game. He will try to prove NA that he is a great midlaner, and he should be able to secure a few wins for his team.

OpTic’s next week is going to be interesting. They start by playing against the TSM team that hugely disappointed this week, and there is a possibility for OpTic to exploit some clear weaknesses in that team and pick up a win. Their second game is against FlyQuest, that preformed above expectation this week, and might be 3-1 after two weeks if they beat OpTic. So OpTic will be one of the teams that can really define the standings in the early parts of the season.

TSM9. (-8) TeamSoloMid, 0-2 (0-2)

L vs Team Liquid

L vs FlyQuest

TSM was a huge disappointment this week, there is no other way to put it. They were expected to have a close game in the opener against Team Liquid, but got totally outclassed in that game. Their strong laners never really got any advantages, and the shotcalling they said these roster changes were going to fix were nowhere to be seen. TL simply out-macroed them.

Their second game was a lot closer, the only problem was that it shouldn’t have been close. They were playing against FlyQuest, with Bjergsen getting a counterpick against their substitute midlaner. Putting this game on Bjergsen wouldn’t be fair, as he played okay. Their three new players didn’t though. MikeYeung, Zven and Mithy ended the week with an average KDA of 1, and an average Kill Participation of only 57%. That is really low for what should be top players.

A player that should be able to step up is Hauntzer in the toplane, yes, he didn’t play the best champion to carry on vs FlyQuest in Cho’Gath, but he still didn’t play well. And vs TL he didn’t look good. Putting him on a stronger laner, and the botlane and jungle on more utility based champions will probably be the safest choice if they want to start picking up wins.

TSM will not be guaranteed a 2-0 week two either, they should match well up against OpTic, as their best player is going up against Bjergsen, but it’s not an easy match. And in their second match they will be facing the hot Echo Fox, which at times looked unstoppable this week. TSM’s best should be enough to win both those games, but it’s highly possible that they will end week to on a score of 1-3, and then people will start getting worried.

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

L vs Clutch Gaming

L vs Cloud 9

Golden Guardians was expected by a lot of people to be the weakest team coming into this split, and after one week they look like they might struggle to defy those expectations. Both solo-laners did okay, and Contractz has some good plays, but their bot lane struggled a lot. There was always going to be struggles for a botlane consisting of a rookie and a support that only has played with world class ADC’s such as Piglet and Doublelift. In their game vs Clutch Gaming they were able to stay close or even for the first 15 minutes of the game, but as soon as Clutch got the first tower, they just slowly lost the game.

In their game vs C9 the first 12 minutes was a lot of the same story as against Clutch, there was a low amount of kills, and the game was relatively even. They fell behind a bit after that, but a good performance by Hai stabilized the game for another 10 to 15 minutes, before they just couldn’t win fights anymore, and lost the game.

A player that needs to take step in order for this team to succeed is Lourlo in the toplane. He has been in the league for two years now and should be able to outperform toplaners such as Licorice, Zig and Solo if Golden Guardians is going to pick up wins. Especially in this meta where carries are playable toplane.

Going into the next week, Golden Guardians will be playing against FlyQuest and CLG. I think CLG is going to look better next week, and that beating them is going to be a struggle, but FlyQuest is one of the teams they might be able upset. If Hai and Contractz are able to team up and get things going, you never know what they can achieve.

Introducing and Ranking the NA LCS Teams

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This article will introduce all ten of the teams accepted into the newly franchised LCS, as well as giving a short analysis and personal ranking for each team.

Team SoloMid – 1st

TSM

  • Top: Hauntzer

Starter for TSM in season 7. 1st in CS difference @10, CS per minute, and DMG per minute for toplaners in summer.

2nd NA LCS All-Pro Toplaner.

  • Jungle: MikeYeung

Starter for Phoenix1 in season 7. 2nd in Kill participation, and 3rd in First Blood participation and DMG % for junglers in summer.

NA LCS Rookie of the Split

  • Mid: Bjergsen

Starter for TSM in season 7. 2nd in KDA, Kill participation, and CS per minute for midlaners in summer.

NA LCS MVP summer. 2nd NA LCS All-Pro Midlaner.

  • Bot: Zven

Starter for G2 Esports in season 7. 1st in DPM, and 2nd in CS per minute for ADC’s in EU LCS in summer.

2nd EU LCS All-Pro ADC.

  • Support: Mithy

Starter for G2 Esports in season 7. 2nd in KDA for supports in EU LCS in summer.

1st EU LCS All-Pro Support.

  • Coach: SSong

Coach for Immortals in season 7. NA LCS Coach of the Split.

Team SoloMid is the only team to qualify for all seven World Championships and all ten NA LCS Finals. They have won six out of those ten finals, and no matter where in the world they play, their fans can be heard chanting for them. Team founder, owner, and CEO, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, have been very clear about the fact that TSM are going to remain the top team in NA, and will focus on improving at the world stage. But even though TSM has found great success domestically, they have struggled at international competitions, not getting out of groups at Worlds since season 4.

With that in mind Reginald went into this off-season with a plan to make the roster into a team that has more potential at Worlds. He has said in interviews that a big problem for the team was the lack of communication from the support/jungle duo, that is so important in pro-play. He then went on to sign one of the most respected shotcallers and supports in the western region, in Mithy, joining alongside his botlane partner Zven, from G2 Esports. The fact that both those players require an import slot, meant that he had to replace Svenskeren in the jungle with a NA resident. He then went for what was rumoured to be the most sought-after players this off-season, Rookie of the Split, MikeYeung.

Except for their relatively fresh jungler, this team is filled with experience from the highest competitions, Zven and Mithy was dubbed “The Best in the West” when playing in Europe, and they are expected to compete with former TSM ADC Doublelift and his support, Olleh, for that title over the coming splits. Adding the fact that they have one of the best NA toplaners in Hauntzer, and what is generally agreed to be the most valuable player in NA, in Bjergsen, this team look destined for another year of domestic success. Their new coach SSong will hope he can bring them even one step further, by taking them through groups at Worlds.

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

 

Team Liquid – 2nd

TL

  • Top: Impact

Starter for Cloud 9 in season 7. Lowest % of post 15 min minions, but 2nd highest DMG per minute for toplaners in summer.

Season 3 World Champion

  • Jungle: Xmithie

Starter for Immortals in season 7. 1st in First Blood %, and 3rd in KDA for junglers in summer.

1st NA LCS All-Pro Jungler. 3rd place NA LCS MVP summer.

  • Mid: Pobelter

Starter for Immortals in season 7.  3rd in KDA for midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Doublelift

Starter for TSM in season 7. 1st in DMG per minute, and XP difference @10 for ADC’s in summer

1st NA LCS All-Pro ADC

  • Support: Olleh

Starter for Immortals in season 7. 1st in Kills, DMG per minute, and DMG % for supports in summer.

1st NA LCS All-Pro Support

  • Coach: Cain

Coach for Team Liquid in season 7.

Team Liquid, formerly known as Curse Gaming, have been around since season 1, but have never won NA LCS playoffs. Only once, in season 5 summer, have they won the regular season. They are still considered one of the four big teams currently in the LCS, alongside C9, TSM, and CLG. They are known for having had most NA players gone through their organisation. Currently 16 out of the 32 resident players starting in the league, have been under the Team Liquid or Curse Gaming banner. Their owner, Steve Arhancet, have been very outspoken about how he is giving everything he got to make this into one of the top NA teams. Something that has shown in the amount of money that have been spent by TL this off-season.

Looking at the individual talent that have been acquired by TL this season, it seems that money was spent well. All five players went to Worlds last season, and three players was on the 1st NA LCS All-Pro Team last split. All five players have tons of experience, and have fought at the top for a long time. There has been some criticism around Impact’s performance last split, but I actually think he might be one of the most valuable players in the league. Taking into account both that he is able to perform without much jungler presence, and that he will become a NA resident next year, I think he might be one of the best signings this off-season. One worrying thought though, is that coach Cain has yet to find any success as a head coach. But having three fifths of last year’s Immortals line up, and adding what many consider to be the best western ADC of all time in Doublelift, and the former world champion Impact, sounds like a great recipe for success.

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

 

Cloud 9 – 3rd

C9

  • Top: Licorice

Starter for eUnited in season 7. 1st in Kills, KDA, and CS per minute for toplaners in NA Challenger summer.

  • Jungle: Svenskeren

Starter for TSM in season 7. 2nd in DMG per minute and Wards per minute for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Jensen

Starter for Cloud 9 in season 7. 1st in Kills, KDA, Kill participation, Gold & XP & CS difference @10, and CS per minute for all players in summer.

1st NA LCS All-Pro Midlaner. 2nd in NA LCS MVP summer

  • Bot: Sneaky

Starter for Cloud 9 in season 7. 3rd in KDA and Kill participation for ADC’s in summer.

3rd NA LCS All-Pro ADC.

  • Support: Smoothie

Starter for Cloud 9 in season 7. 1st in KDA and Kill participation for Supports in summer.

2nd NA LCS All-Pro Support.

  • Coach: Reapered

Coach for Cloud 9 in season 7.  NA LCS Coach of the Spring Split.

As one of the three teams that has won the LCS, and participant in 2 out of the three latest finals, there is no surprise that the team owned and run by Jack Etienne are still in the LCS after the franchising process. Cloud 9 competes in multiple other games such as Hearthstone, Super Smash, CS GO, and Overwatch too. C9 is the only NA team except TSM that have competed in every World Championship since the teams’ inception. They have also made it out of groups four out of five times, and has always been the NA team to make it the furthest into the tournament.

They have already shown a dedication towards young talent this year, in trading up for multiple spots in the NA Scouting Grounds draft, where they got their new toplaner for C9 Academy, League. Also taking into consideration that their toplaner on the main roster is a rookie, and that they had a rookie in the jungle last spring split, there is no doubt that C9 are focusing on the future.

Cloud 9 will be hoping to continue their tradition of success this year, with the addition of rookie toplaner Licorice, and former TSM jungler, Svenskeren. People have been questioning whether this might be a downgrade compared to Impact and Contractz which they had in the respective roles last season. But the fact that they have kept what might be the strongest core in the league, in Jensen, Sneaky and Smoothie, have kept fans’ hopes up. Jensen is, alongside Bjergsen, considered one of the best players in the league, with an impressive 8.7 KDA last split, compared to the second best which was 6.8. The biggest question regarding this roster remains their rookie toplaner. Toplane is a strong import heavy role in the league right now, and you might expect him to struggle against the very top teams in the league.

I expect Cloud 9 to place 3rd, with a potential between 2nd and 5th.

 

Counter Logic Gaming – 4th

CLG

  • Top: Darshan

Starter for CLG in season 7. 1st in kills, KDA, and First Blood % of toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Reignover

Starter for Team Liquid in season 7. 1st in Gold difference @10, and Wards per minute for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: Huhi

Starter for CLG in season 7. 3rd in DMG per minute, 2nd in DMG %, and 1st in Wards per minute for midlaners in summer.

3rd NA LCS All-Pro Midlaner

  • Bot: Stixxay

Starter for CLG in season 7. 1st in KDA and 2nd in kills for ADC’s in summer.

  • Support: Biofrost

Starter for TSM in season 7. 2nd in KDA for supports in summer.

NA LCS Summer 2016 Rookie of the Split

  • Coach: Zikz

Coach for CLG in season 7. 3rd in NA LCS Coach of the Split.

Counter Logic Gaming is the oldest of all the organizations in the LCS, HotshotGG founded the team as far back as April 16th, 2010. CLG have won two splits in the LCS, and famously finished second in the season 6 Mid-Season Invitational. Even though CLG are one of the oldest and most merited organizations in the league, it seemed, for a long time, like a possibility that they wouldn’t be accepted into the new franchised LCS due to lack of outside funding. But at the end of July, The Madison Square Garden Company, acquired a controlling stake in the organization, and later they hired Nick Allen as Chief Operating Officer for CLG.

Due to how long CLG have been in the league, and the fact that they always have been competing at the top, they are part of what is currently seen as the biggest rivalry of the NA LCS. There is a lot of competition between them and TSM, which are the two longest standing organizations in the LCS. HotshotGG and Reginald, founder, owner and CEO of TSM, have been seen on opposite sides of bets before the two teams face off multiple times.

There have been asked a lot of questions around CLG’s roster this off-season. People have mainly been questioning the loss of their main shotcaller and team captain Aphromoo, that left the team in favour of 100 Thieves. What made people question this decision even more is the fact that they have failed to replace him with any new shotcaller. Biofrost was replaced at TSM for not having the shotcalling they needed from the support role, and even though Reignover is known as a great early game jungler, he has never been the main shotcaller, something that was evident in his terrible season with Team Liquid last year. Therefore, a lot of pressure is on veterans Darshan and Stixxay, they have a lot of experience that they can possibly use to lead the team, but it is well-known that Top and ADC are the two most difficult roles to shotcall from. But there are also possible upsides to this team, one of Reignover’s weaknesses last year was that he was banned out of his best champs, but when he is on a team with Huhi, that always demands an Aurelion Sol ban, that will definitely help him out a lot. If Reignover quickly can develop synergy with his two, great, solo laners, they can be contenders for a deep play-off run this split.

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

 

100 Thieves – 5th

100T

  • Top: Ssumday

Starter for Dignitas in season 7. Top 3 in KDA, and first in kill participation for toplaners in summer.

1st NA LCS All-Pro Toplaner

  • Jungle: Meteos

Sub Jungler for Phoenix1 in season 7. 64% win rate in 22 games throughout the season 7 regular season.

  • Mid: Ryu

Starter for Phoenix1 in season 7. Finished 3rd in spring regular season.

  • Bot: Cody Sun

Starter for Immortals in season 7. 2nd in KDA and Damage per Minute for ADC’s in summer.

2nd NA LCS All-Pro ADC

  • Support: Aphromoo

Starter for CLG in season 7. 2nd highest First Blood % of supports in summer.

3rd NA LCS All-Pro Support

  • Coach: Pr0lly

Coach for H2K in season 7. Coach of the split in EU LCS summer.

100 Thieves is one of the four new organisations that are joining the LCS in 2018, and is owned and run by YouTube creator, and former Call of Duty pro, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag. Nadeshot used to be a player under OpTic Gaming, but left and started his own esport organisation, 100 Thieves. This can possibly create one of LCS’ most exciting rivalries in the years to come, as Nadeshot definitively is one of the more prominent team owners. 100T is affiliated with NBA team Cleveland Cavaliers.

100T is one of the teams in the LCS that seems to have had a solid plan going into the off-season. As soon as the team joined the league, Pr0lly was announced as head coach of the team, and it has been very evident from interviews with both him and Nadeshot, that Pr0lly had a huge part to play in acquiring the roster. They quickly got their topside of the map with Ssumday, Meteos and Ryu. Getting Aphromoo took a bit longer than they had hoped, but he seemed to be their top priority, and in the end, they got their man. Aphro has said on stream that he played a huge part in choosing his botlane partner, and they ended up getting Cody Sun. They also got one of the more popular players in the academy league, Levi, known for his appearance for Gigabyte Marines in Worlds 2017.

This team is, for most people, seen as the best team out of the four new ones that joined the LCS this year. A lot of people have tipped them as high as 3rd, but also as low as 6th or 7th. The team clearly has a lot of talent in their roster, Ssumday could be argued to be one of the best toplaners in the league, Ryu got to the semi-finals of worlds as late as season 6, Aphromoo and Meteos has been top players in the league for a long time, and Cody Sun was a part of one of the best botlanes in the league last season, playing with Olleh. But at the same time there can be asked a lot of questions around the motivation of the players, both Ryu and Meteos showed signs of giving up last season when they played for Phoenix1, and Ssumday and Aphroomo have been around for a long time.

What I expect will make this into a play-off team is their coach Pr0lly, which I think might be one of the better coaches in the league this coming season. He was the coach of the H2K team that Ryu got to the worlds semis in season 6, and he was the one that got to build this whole roster.

I expect 100 Thieves to place 5th, with a potential between 3rd and 6th.

 

Echo Fox – 6th

FOX

  • Top: Huni

Starter for SKT T1 in season 7. 1st in DMG %, and 3rd in DMG per minute for toplaners in LCK in summer.

Worlds finalist season 7.

  • Jungle: Dardoch

Starter for CLG in season 7. 3rd in DMG per minute, and 2nd in DMG % for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: FeniX

Sub Midlaner for Gold Coin United in season 7. 1st in Kills, CS & gold & XP difference @ 10, and DMG per minute for all players in NA Challenger spring.

  • Bot: Altec

Starter for Dignitas in season 7. 2nd in Kill participation, Gold difference @10, and XP difference @10 for ADC’s in summer.

  • Support: Adrian

Starter for Dignitas in season 7. 1st in Kill participation, and Wards per minute for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Inero

Coach for Echo Fox in season 7.

Echo Fox is one of the six former LCS teams, that was granted a place in the new franchised league. Echo Fox is owned and run by former NBA athlete Rick Fox, which has become quite popular within the League of Legends scene, being one of the front-runners in connecting esports with traditional sports. Rick Fox is seen by many as the catalyst that sparked the huge amount of interest several NBA teams have shown in the LCS, shown by the number of investors currently in the league coming from basketball. Although Echo Fox is one of the teams that has LCS experience, they have only been around since spring season 6, and have yet to qualify for the play-offs. Even though they still haven’t shown success on the rift, they have shown a willingness to work towards the future, as they have been the only team to effectively use a ten-man roster. They were well-known for only scrimming within that roster, but have announced that they won’t continue that this year, as they don’t think the depth of NA talent is good enough that they can do that successfully.

Echo Fox did not announce to many changes to their backroom staff or infrastructure coming into this season, Inero remains their head coach, and Peter Zhang (Former head coach of Team Liquid) is their assistant coach. One thing they did change though, was their roster. Only one out of the ten players they had last split, Damonte, remains under the Echo Fox banner. And he has been moved to the academy roster.

Their new roster has been met by a lot of scepticism from the community. Although there is no doubt about the huge amount of individual skill on this team, there are multiple players that have had their mentality and teamwork questioned. Former Team Liquid duo Dardoch and FeniX was stars in the infamous Breaking Point video, Echo Fox is Adrian’s sixth team in the LCS, and their toplaner, Huni, is known to tilt if things don’t go his way. But if this roster can avoid any teamwork or tilt related issues, it is impossible to see how far they can go. Huni played in the worlds final for SKT T1 last year, and Dardoch was for a long time considered one of the most valuable players in the NA LCS due to him being resident. FeniX might not have competed in the LCS in season 7, but he consistently put up top three midlaner numbers when he played for Team Liquid. And Altec and Adrian is one out of only four botlane duos that have prior experience together in the LCS. So, if this team can avoid some of their very evident risks, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

I expect Echo Fox to place 6th, with a potential between 3rd and 8th.

 

Clutch Gaming – 7th

CG

  • Top: Solo

Starter for Gold Coin United in season 7. 1st in DMG %, DMG per minute, and Kill participation of toplaners in NA Challenger summer.

  • Jungle: Lira

Starter for Team EnVyUs in season 7. 1st in Kills, XP difference @10, and lowest death share of junglers in summer.

3rd NA LCS All-Pro Jungler

  • Mid: Febiven

Starter for H2K in season 7. 1st in KDA, First Blood %, and CS difference @10 of midlaners in EU LCS summer.

1st EU LCS All-Pro Midlaner

  • Bot: Apollo

Starter for Team EnVyUs in season 7. 1st in CS difference @10, and CS per minute for ADC’s in summer.

  • Support: Hakuho

Starter for Team EnVyUs in season 7. Lowest death %, 2nd in Wards per minute, and 1st in Wards cleared per minute for supports in summer.

  • Coach: David Lim

Coach for Team Liquid in season 7.

Clutch Gaming is a team new to the LCS in 2018, they are owned and run by the NBA team Huston Rockets. They have been building their knowledge in the League of Legends scene for about a year before joining the LCS, and has already gotten one of the best scouting systems in the league. Their Director of Esports Development, Sebastian Park, has been very outspoken about, although they have been studying the scene over the last year, there is still so much they don’t know about LCS and esports in general.

Clutch’s roster has been dubbed by some as a better version of Team EnVyUs, having acquired the core of their team in jungler Lira, and botlane Apollo and Hakuho. They have also added NA toplaner Solo, and European midlaner Febiven.

This is a team that should be competing for a play-off spot, their jungler, Lira, is considered one of the best, maybe even the best jungler in the league, their botlane is said by many to be one of the most underrated duos last year, and could become even better now. Febiven have shown great consistent performances in EU over the last few years, and could become another great European import midlaner in the NA LCS. Where the biggest question marks surrounding this team currently are, is around Their toplaner, Solo, and their coach, DLim. David Lim was the coach of the Team Liquid team that didn’t perform at all during the 2017 season, and even though it’s hard to say how much responsibility he had in that awful year, he still doesn’t have any success to show to in the LCS. Their toplaner Solo, has only played five total games in the LCS (excluding promotion/relegation), and he lost all five. He has also failed to qualify for the LCS through the promotion tournament the last three splits.

If Lira and Febiven quickly develops a good mid/jungle synergy, and Solo can hold himself against all the incredibly strong toplaners currently in the league, Clutch Gaming could definitively get into the play-offs. But there is the possibility that they might have some problems in drafts, which Team Liquid sometimes had under DLim last season, and that their team won’t gel early in the season.

I expect Clutch Gaming to place 7th, with a potential between 5rd and 8th.

 

Golden Guardians – 8th

GGS

  • Top: Lourlo

Starter for Team Liquid in season 7. 2nd highest First Blood % and 3rd lowest Death % for toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Contractz

Starter for Cloud 9 in season 7. 1st in KDA and DMG per minute for junglers in summer.

NA LCS Spring Rookie of the Split & 2nd NA LCS All-Pro Jungler

  • Mid: Hai

Starter for FlyQuest in season 7. 3rd in DMG %, Wards per minute, and wards cleared per minute for midlaners in summer.

  • Add carry: Deftly

Starter for eUnited in season 7. 1st in DMG per minute, CS difference @10, and CS per minute for ADC’s in NA Challenger summer.

  • Support: Matt

Starter for Team Liquid in season 7. 1st in First Blood %, and 2nd in Kill participation for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Locodoco

Coach for Gold Coin United in season 7.

The new team, Golden Guardians, is owned and operated by NBA team Golden State Warriors. They are the only team that is fielding an all NA roster in the NA LCS this coming season, and have stated that they have a big focus on player development, and that they hope they can use their current roster to evolve one of the strongest NA cores in the league in coming years. Their Head of Esports, Hunter Leigh, have experience working at Riot, with the NA LCS. He has revealed in interviews that they didn’t go into the process of acquiring players with an all NA roster in mind, but decided that it was the best option they had.

There is a huge amount of game knowledge in this team when you add together the brains of midlaner Hai, and coach Locodoco. Hai is known as one of the greatest North American players, and has played three roles professionally. Locodoco have a ton of experience as both a coach and a player, he has been the coach of TSM, Team Liquid, and Gold Coin United over the last years, and is one of the few coaches that is fluent in both English and Korean. It’s clear that those two will be leading the team since the four other players on the team, have limited experience compared to Hai and Loco. Matt and Lourlo both joined Team Liquid in spring season 6, while Contractz joined C9 a year after. Deftly is completely new to the LCS, and will be hoping he can compete with great NA ADC’s such as Sneaky and Doublelift.

There is a lot of split opinions regarding this team. Some people have expressed their joy over seeing a team working to build a team based on NA talent, while others have said that it is impossible to find success in the LCS without using imports. This team will have to defy odds if they want to reach the play-offs, but all their non-rookie players have shown glimpses of top-level NA performances throughout their career. Matt was during his rookie split touted as the nest great support, and has shown a few amazing games on champions such as Bard and Thresh. Contractz was awarded Rookie of the split in spring 2017, and while this year might not have been “the year of Lourlo”, he claims on Twitter that this year will be.

I expect Golden Guardians to place 8th, with a potential between 7rd and 10th.

 

FlyQuest – 9th

FLY

  • Top: Flame

Starter for Immortals in season 7. 1st in Gold difference @10, 2nd in KDA and CS difference @10 for toplaners in summer.

3rd NA LCS All-Pro Toplaner

  • Jungle: AnDa

Sub Jungler for Immortals in season 7.

  • Mid: Fly

Starter for Gold Coin United in season 7. 1st in KDA for midlaners in NA Challenger summer.

  • Bot: WildTurtle

Starter for FlyQuest in season 7. 4th in CS per minute and DMG per minute for ADC’s in summer.

  • Support: Stunt

Sub Support for Immortals in season 7. 83% win rate in 12 games in spring season 7.

  • Coach: Robert Yip

Coach for Immortals in season 7.

FlyQuest is considered by many to be the biggest surprise of the teams that were expected to be accepted into the new franchised LCS. FlyQuest were originally Cloud9 Challenger, and got into the LCS and re-branded for spring 2017. They are probably the team that has shown the least in terms of content or interviews so far, but was said to be focusing on becoming one of the most fan-centric teams in the LCS, in Riot’s announcement article. One of the things they have done so far, is that they had their fans decide on their jersey for next split, through a voting process on Twitter. With the backing of the Milwaukee Bucks, FlyQuest will hope to show that they deserve to be a part of the franchised LCS.

Their roster is one that might lack some experience, AnDa is a rookie, while Stunt only have played a total of 13 games in the LCS. Fly is also new to the LCS, but has played for teams such as KT Rolster and Longzhu Gaming. He finished 2nd in LCK season 6 summer playoffs, but since then we haven’t seen a lot of good performances from him. He played last split for Gold Coin United in Challenger, but failed to qualify for the LCS. Where the team will find their experience is in their two veterans, Flame and WildTurtle. Flame surprised a lot of people with his great performances last split, and made 3rd NA LCS All-Pro Toplaner. WildTurtle is one of the players that have been around for a long time, he has spent the last few seasons playing for Immortals and TSM, before transferring to FlyQuest for last summer split.

There is a lot of if’s that has to work out if this team is to succeed this split, AnDa needs to have a Rookie of the Split performance, Fly needs to find back to his KT Rolster performances, and WildTurtle needs to take Stunt under his wing, and finally make him the LCS starting calibre support that people have touted him to be. One thing that has to be said, is that their coach, Robert Yip, has worked with Flame, AnDa, and Stunt at Immortals.

I expect FlyQuest to place 9th, with a potential between 8th and 10th.

 

OpTic Gaming – 10th

OPT

  • Top: Zig

Starter for Phoenix1 in season 7. 1st in Wards per minute, and 4th in Damage per minute for toplaners in summer.

  • Jungle: Akaadian

Starter for Echo Fox in season 7. 2nd in Gold Difference @10 for junglers in summer.

  • Mid: PowerOfEvil

Starter for Misfits in season 7. 1st in Kills and Kill % in EU LCS for midlaners in summer.

  • Bot: Arrow

Starter for Phoenix1 in season 7. 1st in Kill participation, and 3rd in DMG % for ADC’s in summer.

NA LCS Spring Split MVP

  • Support: LemonNation

Starter for FlyQuest in season 7. 2nd in Damage per minute for supports in summer.

  • Coach: Zaboutine

Rookie Coach for this season.

OpTic Gaming may be new to the LCS, but definitively not new to esports. They bring one of the best known fanbases in esports, The Green Wall, into the LCS this year. They have teams in Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Overwatch and more. And although OpTic might not have much experience in the League scene, their new LoL General Manager, Romain Bigeard, formerly of Unicorns of Love, brings that over from Europe. Many will probably remember him dancing on the stage dressed up in pink every week of the EU LCS. Romain has said in interviews that he got a lot of freedom and responsibility when creating this roster and coaching staff.

Most followers of professional League of Legends will be very familiar with the names on this roster, LemonNation is even one of the oldest players in the entire scene, at 28 years old. But one person that doesn’t have this experience is their coach, Zaboutine, which until this season, was a shoutcaster and analyst in French web-TV. Romain said in an interview that he had a lot of confidence in Zaboutine, even though he hadn’t done any coaching before leading Team Ocean Drake to victory in the 2017 NA Scouting Grounds.

Although there is a lot of experience, and coach Zaboutine have won every tournament he has coached so far in NA people does not seem to have too much fate in OpTic this coming split. People fear that their sidelanes might really struggle in lane phase. Arrow is known as a great teamfighting ADC, but have shown that he often struggles in lane, and pairing him up with LemonNation, which had the lowest First Blood % of supports last split, they might struggle a lot. Although Zig have shown that he can hold himself against good toplaners, there is an even greater pool of toplaners in the LCS this year, and questions about his champ pool is floating around. But if Akaadian can carry this team beyond lane phase, their carries both have great teamfighting capabilities. In spring Arrow had an incredible 589 Damage per minute, and PowerOfEvil’s Nashor’s Orianna is well-known to deal tons of damage.

OpTic will definitively be hoping to get into play-offs, and as long as the season is best of ones, they have a shot, but I think it will be a struggle for them. They lack that one player that can take the team on their back and carry them to victories.

I expect OpTic Gaming to place 10th, with a potential between 7th and 10th.

 

References

https://lol.gamepedia.com

https://oracleselixir.com

http://www.lolesports.com

Pictures

http://www.lolesports.com/en_US/teams

https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NA-LCS.jpg