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?

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