Introducing and Ranking the 2020 NA LCS Teams

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

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

Streaming Monday, Tuesday & Thursday!

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

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

Team Liquid– 1st

TL

  • Top: Impact

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

  • Jungle: Broxah (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Jensen

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

  • Bot: Doublelift

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

  • Support: CoreJJ

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

  • Coach: Cain

Head Coach for Team Liquid in summer.

LCS Coach of the Split & MSI Finalist season 9

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

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

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

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

Cloud 9 – 2nd

C9

  • Top: Licorice

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

  • Jungle: Blaber (Promoted)

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

  • Mid: Nisqy

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

  • Bot: Zven (NEW)

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

  • Support: Vulcan (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Reapered

Head Coach for C9 in season 9.

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

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

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

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

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

Team Solo Mid – 3rd

TSM

  • Top: BrokenBlade

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

  • Jungle: Dardoch (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Bjergsen

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

  • Bot: Kobbe (NEW)

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

  • Support: Biofrost (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Peter Zhang (Promoted)

Assistant Coach for TSM in season 9.

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

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

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

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

Counter Logic Gaming– 4th

CLG

  • Top: Ruin

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

  • Jungle: Wiggly

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

  • Mid: Crown (NEW)

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

  • Bot: Stixxay

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

  • Support: Smoothie (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Ssong (NEW)

Head Coach for Echo Fox in season 9.

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

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

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

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

Evil Geniuses– 5th

EG

  • Top: Kumo (NEW)

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

  • Jungle: Svenskeren (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Jiizuke (NEW)

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

  • Bot: Bang (NEW)

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

  • Support: Zeyzal (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Irean (NEW)

Strategic Coach for CLG in season 9.

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

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

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

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

100 Thieves – 6th

100T

  • Top: Ssumday (Promoted)

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

  • Jungle: Meteos (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Ry0ma (NEW)

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

  • Bot: Cody Sun (NEW)

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

  • Support: Stunt (Promoted)

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

  • Coach: Zikz (NEW)

Head Coach for TSM in season 9.

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

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

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

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

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

Dignitas – 7th

DIG

  • Top: Huni

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

  • Jungle: Grig (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Froggen (NEW)

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

  • Bot: Johnsun (Rookie)

Sub for TSM academy in season 9.

  • Support: Aphromoo (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Thinkcard

Head Coach for Dignitas(Clutch) in season 9.

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

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

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

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

FlyQuest – 8th

FQ

  • Top: V1per

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

  • Jungle: Santorin

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

  • Mid: PowerOfEvil (NEW)

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

  • Bot: WildTurtle

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

  • Support: IgNar (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Curry (Promoted)

Assistant Coach for FlyQuest in season 9.

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

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

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

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

 

Immortals – 9th

IMT

  • Top: sOAZ (NEW)

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

  • Jungle: Xmithie (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Eika (Rookie)

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

  • Bot: Altec (NEW)

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

  • Support: Hakuho (NEW)

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

  • Coach: Zaboutine

Head Coach for Immortals(Optic) in season 9.

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

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

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

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

Golden Guardians – 10th

GGS

  • Top: Hauntzer

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

  • Jungle: Closer (NEW)

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

  • Mid: Goldenglue (NEW)

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

  • Bot: FBI

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

  • Support: Keith (Promoted)

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

  • Coach: Inero (Promoted)

Consultant for Golden Guardians in season 9.

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

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

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

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

 

 

References

https://lol.gamepedia.com

https://oracleselixir.com

http://www.lolesports.com

NA LCS Week 6 Power Ranking

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

Header explanation:

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

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

L vs TSM

W vs Team Liquid

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

 

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

L vs 100 Thieves

W vs Clutch

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

 

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

W vs Echo Fox

W vs OpTic

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

 

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

W vs FlyQuest

L vs Echo Fox

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

 

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

W vs Cloud9

W vs FlyQuest

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

 

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

W vs CLG

L vs Cloud9

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

 

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

L vs Team Liquid

L vs 100 Thieves

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

 

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

W vs Golden Guardians

L vs TSM

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

 

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

L vs OpTic Gaming

W vs CLG

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

 

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

L vs Clutch

L vs Golden Guardians

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

NA LCS Week 5 Power Ranking

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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 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.

Why FeniX will be a top three midlaner

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The 2018 spring split will have, arguably, the strongest pool of midlaners NA LCS has ever seen, with four new players coming in to replace players that weren’t considered good enough by any of the ten teams. The players entering the LCS are Fly, PowerOfEvil, Febiven, and FeniX. The players they replaced were Keane, Goldenglue, Nisqy, and Froggen. All these players could be considered upgrades, the only thing that is surprising some people is that Froggen was replaced, as he was producing great stats every year. Having these four players joining the other six strong mids, in Huhi, Hai, Pobelter, Bjergsen, Jensen, and Ryu, makes this one of the most stacked roles in the league. Which will result in a great debate in who will be the best preforming midlaner.

My “dark horse” for a midlaner that might have a great season is FeniX, which is playing for Echo Fox. FeniX, formerly of Gold Coin United and Team Liquid, is a player that is know for having great laning stats, and being a consistent team fighter, while struggling at being proactive in the mid game, and providing vision control. In his three splits in LCS (Not including his rookie split) He was consistently top two in CSD@10, twice coming behind Bjergsen, and once having the best stat in the entire league. This was despite TL not being a top team. He also was top three in Damage per minute in those three splits. This shows that he has some huge upsides, and that he has the potential to being one of the best midlaners in the league.

But despite these upsides, there are some weaknesses in his game that can’t be ignored. He has been in the bottom two for wards per minute out of midlaners all three splits. There sometimes can be logical reasons for a player having low warding stats, such as switching to red trinket early in a game, or always playing from ahead as a team, which again would result in more wards cleared. But the thing is that FeniX have been the worst at wards cleared per minute every single split he has played in the LCS. This could be a worrying trend, and might be one of the reasons he didn’t play in the LCS last year.

What makes me think that he still will be a top three midlaner this year, is that he has players that might naturally cover up his weaknesses. Huni in the toplane is one of the most aggressive players in the entire world, and will require a lot of attention from the opposing jungler, which will result in FeniX not being punished as much for his lack of vision. At the same time, their support Adrian, is known for providing thorough vision control for his entire team, something that is a great compensation for FeniX’s weakness. He will be competing against great players such as Huhi, Febiven, Pobelter, and PowerOfEvil for being the third best midlaner in the league, but I believe that FeniX’s great laning and team fighting will make him a better player than the ones I mentioned, and that he will be the best midlaner except Bjergsen and Jensen.

TL; DR: FeniX is good at killing minions and champions, but not wards. Junglers normally kill FeniX, but they will be too busy killing Huni. And Adrian will kill and place wards so that FeniX won’t have to.

Champions to watch in LCS – patch 8.1

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Top – Gangplank

gangplank

Gangplank rose a lot in popularity after the introduction of Runes Reforged. The addition of Kleptomancy boosted his win rate a lot. And thanges to Sterak’s Gage gave him a good option to his classic lethality and crit second items if he is in need of more durability. With the rise of tanks in the toplane, Gangplank will once again be able to survive his laning phase, and use his natural armor penetration to have priority over the tanks in a side lane later. This is one of the few picks that some pros are willing to take into Ornn in the toplane, so watch out for teams wanting to trade Ornn first pick for two of the other strong champs.

Jungle – Evelynn

evelynn

Evelynn strikes fear in every carry’s heart on the Rift. After her rework last season, she has rose from being a niche pick into becoming one of the most popular junglers. And as marksmen have started building lots of sustain, Evelynn will try to punish that by killing them before they get to heal anything. Her camouflage is a great counter to all the extra wards that has come from Zombie Ward, and as a jungler she earned a lot from the changes from Thunderlord’s to Electrocute. Combining this with the new Frostfang build that has popped up, she has all the tool necessary to succeed in this meta.

Mid – Azir

azir

Azir has been one of the most hype champions to watch since his entrance into pro play. The Shurima Shuffle is one of the most iconic combos in the game, and a good Azir player is amazing to watch. And there is a lot of great Azir’s in the LCS. Bjergsen is known for having a very good Azir, and everyone remembers FeniX’s 1v4 Quadra vs CLG for TL. Azir is another champion that went through a few changes towards the end of last season, decreasing his range, but increasing his damage. These changes have given him the option to drop building Nashor’s Tooth, and go straight for Morrellonomicon, which in some situations may be great.

Bot – Vayne

vayneThe champion almost every world class ADC has made his name on is back in the meta. With the new Korean Fleet Footwork + Relic Shield build, she has enough sustain to get through laning phase, and take over the game in a side lane in the mid game. Vayne have been around 65% pick/ban in solo queue for the last patches, and that will definitively transfer over to pro play. Will we see Doublelift smashing his old team in a stylish fashion in week one?

Support – Shen

shen

The support pool allows for almost every type of support to be played, so this is going to be one of the most exciting roles to watch this split. The addition of Aftershock as a keystone has given life to Shen as a support. His ability to block basic attacks with his W, and having an AoE taunt, gives him a lot of 2v2 duelling potential in the lane. Also taking into consideration that he is a very good toplaner, increases his value in proplay even more by being a flex pick. Out of all the five champions, this is the one I expect is the safest to say that we will see.

5 Esport personalities to watch in NA in 2018

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Locodoco

@Locodoco

Locodoco is probably the person that has suffered the most from the controversial documentary, Breaking Point, that was released by Team Liquid after season 6. Since then Locodoco have been coaching the Challenger team, Gold Coin United. Both splits he managed to qualify for the promotion tournament, but was unable to beat the LCS teams. This year he is back in the LCS, coaching the new team Golden Guardians, working with his former players Lourlo and Matt.

Although the community put a lot of the responsibility of TL not making finals or worlds on Locodoco, it can’t be argued with the fact that they failed way worse after the replaced him. It is correct that they replaced Dardoch and FeniX too, but neither of them found great success after leaving the team either. This season Loco have a team mixed with young hungry players, and a veteran like Hai. His team is one of the teams with the least expectations, and this gives a lot of room for him to work with this team in peace in the spring split, and make them a real contender for summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Locodoco will be a contender for coach of the split in summer.

 

Travis Gafford

@TravisGafford

Travis Gafford have been around the League-scene for a long time, probably most known for his exclusivity rights regarding Doublelift-interviews, and running Yahoo Esports. In June 2017 Yahoo decided to shut down their esports branch, and Travis was without a job for the first time in years. Most people expected him to find a job at another big media company, or join Riot in some way. After a short time working independently, he decided to continue working for himself, creating content on his YouTube channel, and on Twitch.

Throughout this off-season Travis have created tons of interviews, and shows. At the time of writing Travis have 112k subscribers on YouTube, and his latest Doublelift exclusive had 400k views. He is also the person that has brought most of the information about the newly franchised LCS to the community, and he has been responsible for more hype around the LCS than Riot themselves. If Travis Gafford continues producing high quality content like this in the future, I am most certain that he will be the number 1 independent esport content creator and reporter.

 

Stunt

@Stuntopolis

Stunt is a player that have been in and around the LCS and Challenger scene for some time now, he has played a few LCS games, but haven’t found his breakthrough yet. Last season he was constantly at the top of the ladder with multiple accounts, playing as his main role, support. In pro-play he has shown performances on lots of different supports, performing on whatever was meta at the time.

One of the reasons I expect this to be the year that Stunt breaks through, and becomes a top NA support, is that he has gathered a lot of experience by playing with world-class ADC’s in Piglet and Arrow, which although both great, have very different playstyles. Piglet is known for playing aggressive in lane, while Arrow is more of a teamfight specialist. This year Stunt will be laning with another experienced ADC in WildTurtle at FlyQuest, and I expect them to have the potential to be a top calibre botlane this season.

Ovilee May

@OvileeMay

Ovilee May seems to have sprung into the esports scene out of nowhere. The Communication Studies and Broadcast Journalism student was introduced to the community through the Yahoo Esports channel only this February, and before the year was over, she was traveling with Riot as an interviewer to the 2017 All-Stars event. Ovilee have entered the hearts of western esports viewers through enormous amounts of enthusiasm spiced with a lot of sarcasm.

She worked with Yahoo Esports and Travis Gafford until that was shut down in June, and was expected to continue to work with Travis for the foreseeable future, but was quickly given an amazing opportunity at Riot. Ovilee will be hoping to continue growing her name in the industry in 2018, and might also open the NA esports scene up to more females, as it is currently dominated by males.

Bjergsen

@Bjergsen

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Bjergsen have been considered one of the better midlaners in the world for a long time, and have been the cornerstone of TSM through all their success in the last few years. This year the Dane have had major changes around him, with the team changing three out of the other four players, and the coach. And I believe this will benefit him. The addition of one of the most well-known shotcallers in the west, in Mithy, will allow Bjergsen to take a step back from being a main shotcaller, to focusing more on his laning, where he haven’t been as dominant as earlier. He will hope to remove any doubt on whether he is the best midlane Dane in the world.

 

References

http://www.travisgafford.com/

https://ovilee.com/

https://lol.gamepedia.com