While international League of Legends fans were hoping that the European LCS would be more competitive than ever, the North American side of things has more than lived up to its hype. With no team currently 4-0, the scene is a mess. With Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Team SoloMid, Gravity, and Dignitas all tied for first, as well as old champions Cloud 9 being third place, everyone seems to be taking games off of everyone else.
For those who don’t know much about professional League of Legends and want to know the specifics, such as what a split is, an adc, top laner, jungler, etc. refer to the NA LCS Week 1 Recap. Everything is explained and more in the first few paragraphs. With that out of the way, let’s dive into the second week of the North American LCS!
Counter Logic Gaming: 3-1
Their only loss belonging to TSM, longtime rivals and frequent victors of their matches, no one is sure if Counter Logic Gaming is entering their fabled Golden Age, or if they are just in the honeymoon stage. Replacing old mid laner Link with Pobelter, the new player seems to be revitalizing the hopeful team. Even against Bjergsen, he showed no fear, willing to engage and jump in against him when other mid laners wouldn’t. Krepo, EU LCS caster, coined the pun for Bard in CLG games as the #GoldenEngage.
Beating Cloud 9 and the previously undefeated Team Liquid, Gravity is standing with the other teams as number one. Both of the games were fairly one sided, with Gravity taking the lead and never giving it up. This bodes well for them, showing that they know how to finish out games as well as compete with top level teams, since Liquid looks like one of the strongest teams in the scene currently, and Cloud 9 is still speculated to blow up the scene with mid laner Incartnati0n.
Team Dignitas: 3-1
Maybe this really will be a successful streak for Dignitas. Even though the teams they beat were Team 8 and Team Dragon Knights – arguably some of the weakest showing teams in the LCS – the wins have held Dignitas in good standing. The same team that narrowly avoided relegation now will have to stand up against Team SoloMid and Team Liquid, who seem to be the two strongest teams in the scene now.
Team SoloMid: 3-1
Winning both games against CLG and Team Impulse, TSM seems to be coming back from the slump they were in post-MSI. With Bjergsen still dominated mid laners of all kinds, and the team continuously supporting him, they are back at full form and dominating the region. With their only loss being to Cloud 9, they haven’t let that slow down their ambitions for Worlds. Constantly ensuring fans that there would be top lane/jungle synergy, one of the big concerns is that the strategies TSM is promising won’t ever see LCS play.
Team Liquid: 3-1
Giving Piglet Kalista seems to be a bad idea, and even tough Liquid lost their first game against Gravity they have made sure that the loss will not dictate the rest of their split. Looking much better than last split, with Piglet finally synergizing with the team, Liquid is looking like one of the top three teams that they claimed they could be. While they have yet to play CLG, TSM, or Cloud 9, Liquid is setting themselves up for success.
Enemy eSports: 2-2
The only other team to go 2-2 between the North American and European LCS, Enemy took a game off of Team Dragon Knights before losing to Team Liquid, staying consistent in their 1-1 weekly showings. Playing some of the higher standing teams, it is relatively impressive that they are managing to compete at the level they are. With Team Dragon Knights – the other Challenger team to come in this split – flopping around, Enemy looks to be a rising star.
Team Impulse: 2-2
Taking a very convincing win over Cloud 9 but losing to TSM, Impulse remains one of the most interesting wildcard teams. With XiaoWeiXiao’s LeBlanc destroying whether or not Impulse wins or loses, the team has shown that they have the skills to take games off of anyone. With a playstyle that revolves around team fighting and getting as many kills as possible, no team that steps onto the Rift with them will walk away without a little blood being drawn.
video credit to /u/correiajoao
Cloud 9: 1-3
With loyal fans insisting that it is impossible to tell how a team will do with only 4 games, Cloud 9 is starting off on the wrong foot. Only winning against TSM in the first game of the split, they have dropped every game since. Hopeful mid laner Incarnati0n has yet to show up with the same kind of solo queue aggression that he is famous for, and Cloud 9 seems to be fumbling with communication and synergy. Mentioning they will start off weak, it’s only a question of how long until Cloud 9 finally becomes a contestant for the top three spot.
Team 8: 0-4
Someone has to start off 0-4, and while it’s not favorable – hell, it’s not even remotely desired – Team 8 has to show that they are more than just free games. Losing to Impulse and Liquid this week, it’s not looking good for them, who even included solo queue player History Teacher to their management at the beginning of the split. The change hasn’t shown to pay off, but maybe Team 8 will win eventually. They can’t possibly do worse than Velocity did.
Team Dragon Knights: 0-4
The challenger team of ex-CLG top laner Seraph, TDK’s losses hasn’t been complete steamrolls, but they haven’t managed to close out games. When they lose the lead, it seems to be lost forever, no matter how hard anyone – especially Seraph – tries. Of the two teams at the bottom of the standings, they seem like the most likely to rebound and eventually start taking games off of people. The clash between them and Team 8 will bound to be as interesting as a match between the top teams!
North America is living up to the hype, really proving that they are a much more competitive League of Legends region than ever before. With CLG maybe in their Golden Age, Liquid finally synergizing with Piglet, and TSM showing why they have been multiple time split champions, no team is safe from anyone else. Even Impulse, Enemy, and Cloud 9 should eventually be taking games off of the elite members of the region. With Cloud 9’s communication and synergy issues haunting them, once they get that under control they are still looked to challenge TSM for number 1 spot of the summer split.