NA LCS: The League of David and Goliath
The exciting culmination of the NA LCS Spring Split regular season taught us that the region is incredibly divided between title contenders and teams avoiding relegation. The trend seems to have been clear where teams with management problems, translate those problems into poor team performances on stage. The league’s Goliaths have proven that they possess sufficient resources to potentially become a good team. Lack of talent and experience seems to be an important factor in the overall organization performance as well.
Although their organization is new, they enjoyed the benefits of investors and sponsors that supply key resources to compete for the title. With the acquisition of two Korean players, the exploitation of regional talent, and the acquisition of Matt Dylan all point to the direction of great management decisions with abundant financial resources.
2)Counter- Logic Gaming:
I did not think in a million years that releasing Doublelift could have resulted in team improvement. I was skeptical of the organization statements that they released him because the team under-performed because of him. Although it was obvious that Doublelift influenced the team in a negative way, I would have never thought how much damage a single personality could have on a team. The Doublelift story comes at a time where another trend seems to arise. The trend is that as the game develops, mechanics are much less of a factor and macro-level play and strategy have become more important.
3) Cloud 9:
They are another example of macro-level play and chemistry outperforming mechanics. Bunnyfufu is regarded as a better mechanical player, yet they perform better with Hai. Cloud 9 has tremendous talent and it would of no surprise if they manage to steal the crown from Immortals.
4) Team Liquid:
Dardoch deserves an article dedicated to himself. However I will briefly describe how he drastically turned around a season for a team that was at the brink of starting a 0-4 season. In that fourth game, Team Liquid led by Dardoch managed to turn around a huge gold deficit and in doing so managed to qualify for playoffs. Dardoch deservingly won rookie of the season and should be MVP contender.
Probably not too happy with how things turned out in the second half of the season. NRG is still a new organization that should look at the split as a learning experience. Monetary resources allowed the org to acquire Korean talent, but poor macro-level game-play and lack of strategic diversity stagnated progress.
I was expecting TSM to be the second best team and title contender for the League. They have historically been incredibly good in preparation for playoffs and should be considered in the conversation. They are definitely capable of providing an upset, especially in the quarterfinals against C9. However, the amount of talent in that team does not justify a 9-9 season. I was progressively expecting them to suddenly dominate the League once the team learned to be on the same page, but I was left waiting.
The teams that did not qualify for playoffs all showed that it was not as much as the player’s fault, but an organization problem. Echo Fox did not know how to handle team VISAS. Renegades could not find replacement for a severely underperforming RF Legendary. Team Impulse did not manage to sell their LCS spot before the season started and Dignitas did not provide too many resources into their League of Legends team. Overall, the teams that did not qualify for playoffs share a single denominator, a lack of management involvement with the team and with the players.
courtesy of Forbes.com, lol.esportspedia.com, youtube.com, redbull.com, lol.esportsmatrix.com, gosugamers.net and gosugamers.net respectively.