LCS Summer Split: a League apart
The North American LCS is now the 2nd best league in the world. The European LEC is at the top. Welcome to League of Legends in 2019.
Team Liquid shattered the reigning World Champions Invictus Gaming at MSI 2019 and advanced to the finals against G2. They got roflstomped in 3 matches and set the record for the fastest series defeat in an international event. Could the problem be back home?
The NA LCS in Spring was a League of only three teams TSM, Cloud9 and Team Liquid. The other nine teams did not even come close in contention against these three. The pre-Spring predictions came true although my 100 Thieves prediction was uber wrong. I call super team; they respond with last place.
So, who can I be wrong about this time?
The LCS is not a competitive region internally. Internationally they are now the 2nd best region in the world. But inside the franchised league we can see a massive discrepancy in relative strength between top and bottom teams in the standings. This seems to be the cause of the lackluster performance at MSI by the LCS Spring Champions. While the LEC featured two underdogs and eight competitors, the LCS featured only three. If there is only two teams that can challenge you, you can expect to have the needed adversity to grow.
Does anything change coming into Spring?
The top three is still here. Although, Liquid’s Doublelift says he played “bad” at MSI, the team is still relies on him to make them the top team in NA and take a four-peat in Summer. As for Cloud9 and TSM they just have to do a little better then spring and they are right at the top.
damn I played like shit, let's do better at worlds
— Yiliang Peng (@TSMDoublelift) May 19, 2019
The troubling part is what comes after these three. First off, 100 Thieves picked up Amazing as their jungler, and sent Huhi packing for the likes of Soligo. If these two manage to find synergy guided by Amazing’s veteran experience and the offer of lane stability they might be “not last”. CLG may be back. They managed to snatch Ruin out of 1907 Fenerbahçe to take Darshan’s place. With CLG being so close to winning so many games in Spring, Ruin might provide just the aggression they need to turn things around.
Every other team in the LCS is sticking to their guns and not rushing with the roster swaps mid-way through the competitive season. This leaves me unimpressed as the faults of the teams are still there and not mitigatable due to player’s inbuilt playstyles. Flyquest wont suddenly get aggressive and versatile. Clutch Gaming won’t stop being pointlessly aggressive and the Golden Guardians just can’t break through the “peak” they are at as individuals. Maybe there is hope for Optic and Echo Fox to get more synergy rolling and get gud.
Overall the North American LCS is three teams that are still a league apart from the rest. I hope the mid-season point gave teams enough time to reevaluate and we will be treated with more drama in summer.
The LCS returns on June 1st. The Countdown starting at 1:30 PM PT (10:30 PM CEST). The broadcast are at watch.lolesports.com.
The full schedule is available here.
Note: Each Sunday, Two Academy teams will play a game on stage at the LCS Studio with the aim at promoting the Academy league.