21 Feb LCS Breakdown
The Spring Split is already underway and there have been some surprises as well as some pretty predictable outcomes. From Fan favorites dominating the top of the leader boards to the bad teams still being, well, bad. I’m going to be giving my personal opinion on each squad and possibly give them a few things they could work on.
1. Team Liquid (7-1)
This team has been dominant ever since adding Doublelift and Impact last year. The “Fourth Place” curse was lifted when Liquid pulled off back-to-back Split titles and propelled themselves into the first seed for NA at Worlds. Now, with the addition of Jensen to the Mid Lane, they look like the most dominant team in North America since the old TSM days(Anyone else remember how dominant they were?). Team Liquid has only dropped one game, but their games have been clean and decisive, which they’ll need to keep up if they want a shot at going to MSI.
2. Cloud 9 (6-2)
The first NA team to make it to the Semi-Finals of Worlds in over 7 years. This team coming out of Worlds looked as dominant as ever. Sneaky and Zeyzal controlling the Bot Lane with Jensen and Licorice in the solo lanes, all the while Svenskeren is in the Jungle? It was one of the best line ups in NA…Until Jensen was traded to Team Liquid, the team that currently sits atop the standings. C9 fans all thought hope was lost, until a shiny new European import came in by the name Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer. Cloud 9 has had no trouble integrating him into their roster and has cruised by many teams in the standings. With the veteran leadership of Sneaky and Coach “Reapered”, the young talent of Zeyzal and Licorice, and the European stars Svenskeren and Nisqy, this team looks set to possibly take home their first split win since 2014.
3. FlyQuest (5-3)
This FlyQuest team has shown that it deserves to be in the third place spot and want people to know that they aren’t lacking anything to be a threat. With a decisive victory over TSM, FlyQuest have even tackled the veterans to the league. Speaking of Veterans, FlyQuest has its own veterans with the help of Pobelter and WildTurtle. The team has only been in the LCS for close to two years, but this is definitely the best they’ve been ever. If they keep this up, they could potentially be staring down the sights of their first Split final.
4. Echo Fox (4-4)
Echo Fox was a laughing stock when they first made their LCS debut, but they’ve turned it around since then. Echo Fox has given themselves some premised synergy with the addition of multiple Ex-Team Liquid members in Fenix, Apollo, and Hakuho. Not only are they tied with 2 other teams for 4th, but they recently beat the #2 seed from Worlds, 100 Thieves. The acquisition of Rush has made their jungling position a more solid, aggressive one. Not that Dardoch wasn’t aggressive, but having a more consistent jungler can be what Echo Fox needs to solidify a playoff position.
4. Team SoloMid (4-4)
TSM has be very disappointing this season and could definitely be higher up on this leaderboard. Their new Top Laner, Broken Blade, has shown up some of the best names in the league and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Bjergsen(or “Bjeardsen” as many people have started calling him), has been playing no differently. However, TSM sits at only 4th in the standings. TSM has had a change in not only the top lane, but also in their jungle. Akaadian has shown promise, but he needs to be able to venture off of the tank junglers that the team keeps shoving him on. Until he is able to provide more than just a little crowd control, his true potential won’t shine and TSM won’t rise in the standings.
4. CounterLogic Gaming (4-4)
CLG hasn’t looked their best ever since the “Rush Hour” disbanded (Only true LCS fans will know the strength of that Bot Lane). The pickup of PowerOfEvil wasn’t really an upgrade or a downgrade from Huhi, but more of a sideways shift. Now, I’m not saying that changing one of your solo lanes doesn’t affect your team, but this move wasn’t as drastic as CLG needed it to be. There used to only be 3 teams that went to Worlds: TSM, CLG, and Cloud 9. Cloud 9 was the only one of those 3 teams to attend last year. Something tells me that it’s time for both CLG and TSM to take a hard look at their rosters and figure out why they’re tied for 4th right now.
7. Golden Guardians (3-5)
Talk about a mismatch of talent. I don’t know what this roster is to be honest with you, but then again, every team has to start somewhere. Golden Guardians, however, have created a good roster when it comes to the champs they play. Having an aggressive jungler like Contractz paired up with a reliable tank/fighter in Hauntzer and the “Anivia-God” himself Froggen give a very unique blend that has beaten both TSM and CLG. The Tenth-Place curse is no longer on their shoulders(at least for the time being). Golden Guardians needs to apply more of what their specific players are good at rather than try and make them a team that they aren’t.
7. 100 Thieves (3-5)
Is this the same team that went to Worlds as the #2 seed? Are we sure? No, no its not. While 100 Thieves has added serious talent since its creation (*Cough* Ssumday and Bang *Cough*), it isn’t synergizing like they wanted it to. Sure they’ve created an environment that is more comfortable for their Korean imports, but at what cost? If 100 Thieves wants to have another shot at the Worlds stage, then this roster needs to learn to work together. Not every play is highlight reel worthy. Sometimes the only flashy thing you do in a game is get a double kill, but that’s definitely better than going for a 1v5 and dying.
9. Clutch Gaming (2-6)
Remember when I was just talking about creating a comfortable environment for your Korean imports? Well, Clutch did the same thing, only theirs is working out even worse. Piglet has been in and out of the LCS for many years now and it has never been on the really good teams. The “4th place curse” Team Liquid was a tragedy that occupied much of his NA career, and it hasn’t gone much better. But it isn’t just Piglet. Huni has been under the same dilemma. While he did have his run with Immortals, it just seems odd why he hasn’t been on a top 3 NA team in a while. This roster needs to flex around their mid laner, Damonte, who has been doing some pretty big things this Split. If they do that, maybe they can turn things around.
9. OpTic Gaming (2-6)
To many, Ganon just seems like another being trying to take over the world. But he is a more dynamic character than just that. Ganon takes on many different forms throughout the Zelda games and each one is completely different than the last. From a spiritual being to a huge physical opponent, Ganon poses a threat no matter who you are. The addition to him in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate(Through the classic game-mode; I just beat him as Young Link before writing this) was another great idea from Nintendo. Adding a classic rival to Link really makes the game-mode worth playing.