After a long wait, the LCS came back last week with its new Lock In tournament. This was also the beginning of three games per weekend for the LCS. Now that most teams have played three of their four first games, FlyQuest having only played two, fans have been able to see who is performing up to expectations, exceeding them and falling well below them. Here is a look at the first TGH Power Rankings of 2021 for the LCS.
1. Evil Geniuses
Talk about a team who has come out of the gates swinging. Evil Geniuses are on an absolute tear right now and almost every player on their team is playing extremely well. Jiizuke and Impact look to be madmen who are taking down anyone and anything standing in their way. Deftly and IgNar seem to be a great pairing with Deftly finally looking like the player that many had thought he could be as he leads the LCS in kills with 25. Lastly, Svenskeren is doing an incredible job of objective control with the team having 16 dragons compared to their opponents three. All in all, this team looks incredible so far.
The thing is that they have done this before, specifically Deftly and Jiizuke. They have come out hot and then teams either adapted or the team they were on changed with the meta and they started to be less effective. As the LCS heads deeper into the Lock In tournament, EG fans need to hope that this team can continue and not fall off in a big way. If they stay strong then the rest of the LCS better watchout, EG may be a legitimate title contender.
At the time losing to EG was a huge surprise to many. While analysts and fans alike were not expecting them to be perfect right away, they looked pretty dysfunctional in game one. No one seemed to be on the same page and while talent alone was enough to keep them in the game until about 20 minutes, they ended up getting bled out. Luckily their next two games were much more like the C9 that fans were expecting.
Cloud9 absolutely stomped FlyQuest and IMT with Blaber and Zven leading the way. Perkz and Fudge still do not seem completely comfortable, it is only the first week after all. Letting the three other members lead the way is not the worst thing. Once all the pieces come online though, this team will be extremely scary. Look for them to make a deep run as the Lock In tournament continues.
3. 100 Thieves
Some analysts thought this team would be solid, others thought they were one-hit wonders. It seems like those who thought they would be solid are in the right so far. The only thing keeping this team from a perfect record is a weird loss to CLG, have looked awful outside of the win against 100 Thieves. Getting two wins against Team Liquid and TSM though must be very validating for this team. Even if neither team is at full strength for different reasons, 100 Thieves truly have come ready to prove themselves.
There is no doubt that the existing synergy between the four members is paying off and while Ssumday has not looked great so far, he will fall in line as he gets used to the way his new teammates play. Winning is contagious and this team feels like it is in a position to do a lot of it this season. They will need to make sure that they don’t have any major lapses like they did against CLG. If they can fix that then this will be a team to be feared throughout the LCS.
4. Team Liquid
It is hard to put TL here but without Santorin and a loss to 100Thieves already, this is where they need to be for now. So far Alphari might be the acquisition of the offseason. He has been on another level in his first LCS season. If not for Impact basically playing out of his mind, then Alphari would be leading basically everything statistically for top laners. Tactical and CoreJJ are back to their dastardly deeds and reminding everyone of just how great they are. Jensen has looked like he always does, solid.
With Santorin seemingly stepping in after Armao did a fine job of subbing, TL will finally have its full roster put together. Even without much practice, Santorin is someone who should be able to step in and do well right away. His style of play is one that needs plenty of coordination for sure, but he is also good enough to know what he can and can’t do with newer teammates. A major game against TSM will start their weekend and fans are hoping it will be a great one before heading into the Knockout Stage.
TSM are currently the worst of the top teams. This is because through one and a half games they looked absolutely atrocious. Getting their butts handed to them in game one against 100 Thieves and then needing a Spica smite steal of Baron to get them back on track against Golden Guardians. They are 2-1 but just barely.
So far Spica has been the guiding light for this team along with Lost who has played pretty well in his first three games. SwordArt and PoE have not been bad but they have felt invisible more often than not which is not something TSM can afford for them to do. Huni is a story in and of himself. Luckily some clutch ults in game two and a pretty strong game overall in game three has helped him to recover at least a little. TSM will need to show that they have made some pretty major progress this week if they hope to beat TL. Otherwise, they will likely be the third seed in Group A and could have a date with C9 in the first round of the Knockout Stage.
6. Golden Guardians
It feels weird putting such a young and unproven team this high up but they deserve it. Golden Guardians have been probably the second biggest surprise (with someone below them being bigger) in this very early season. They were one Baron away from starting off 2-0 and likely finishing week one at least at 2-1.
The biggest surprises have been Iconic and Stixxay. For Iconic, he was not someone that performed all that well during Scouting Grounds and many did not think he was anywhere near ready for the LCS. Thus far he has been really good and showing that he deserves this chance. As for Stixxay, many thought his best days were way, way behind him. After one excellent game and two solid games, the conversation might be turning on its head. Add in Niles who has been strong in lane along with Ablazeolive and Newbie holding their own against tough competition and one has a solid Golden Guardians team. Truthfully this may be the highest they are ranked all season but they should enjoy the success while they can or maybe they can prove everyone wrong and keep it going into the regular season.
Immortals coaching staff and players should be very proud of their placing here. Even without three of their players and likely their best player in Xerxe, they were still able to get a win against Dignitas. While Dignitas have their own issues, Immortals have seen growth already in two players that may play a major role in their future.
Revenge and Insanity have had their share of ups and downs in week one but they both have shown promise in these first three games. Both have actually had leads in gold and experience coming out of lane thus far showing that lanning phase has gone well. As the team comes together and actually figures out how to play better as a team with all the pieces in place, Immortals could be a dark horse candidate. It likely won’t be in this tournament but hopefully, once the season starts, IMT fans will have something to look forward to with each game.
After surprising everyone by stomping what is now considering to be a worrisome FlyQuest team, Dignitas have struggled quite a bit in their last two games. A common theme in both is that they are actually able to keep even with basically every team in the early game. Then by the mid-game, they start to lose control and let the snowball start rolling for their opponent.
This partially has to do with the lack of experience and cohesiveness with three very new players. It is something that should start to iron itself out with time. Until then, aphromoo has to be the one to be the bandaid for Dignitas. He has the experience and while Dardoch is also a veteran, he is not a player that can be trusted with mid and late-game shotcalling. Even with FlyQuest looking terrible, there is still a chance Dignitas could miss out on the Knockout stage. This week they need to work on fixing their mid-game issues if they want to have any chance at making it further into the Lock In tournament.
CLG like a few other teams are missing some of their starters. Now, after stating that fact, there is a lot to worry about with this team. So far they lead the entire LCS in deaths as a team with Smoothie being the leader with 21. Also, every lane is losing in gold and experience at ten, except for top where Solo continues to show he deserves another chance. WildTurtle has seemingly been doing what he can but CLG have had a rough go of it.
Their hopes for the regular season will have to lie with Broxah coming in and having a much bigger impact than Griffin has had. Otherwise what was once seen as a roster that could make some noise may go quietly into the night. They are stacked with veterans in a league that is full of rookies and yet, they are the first team to be knocked out of the Lock In tournament and the only one who does not play in week two. Now they will have to watch the rest of the tournament from their couches and try to find a fix for what has ultimately been a disappointing start to 2021.
There has been no bigger disappointment after one week of play than FlyQuest. They have a total of three kills in two games and have looked absolutely lost all while only missing Josedeodo from their starting lineup. The worst part is that Diamond, their support, has two of their three kills thus far. Luckily for them, they are the only team heading into week two with two games to play on Friday so their Knockout Stage hopes are still alive.
Nxi has looked completely out of his element so far and the team has seemingly been shocked into submission in both games. They have brand new everything, including coaching and they will need to look to Licorice to help guide them. Their last two games are against Evil Geniuses and Immortals. If they can find the miracle win against EG then at least they are playing an Immortals team that is definitely beatable. If they end up being the only team to go 0-4 then FlyQuest will need a lot more than trees and oceans to fix whatever is wrong with their team.
“From Our Haus to Yours”