There has certainly been plenty of drama leading up to the start of the 2020 LCS Summer Split. Luckily, once the games started, it seemed as though most were just ready to watch some North American League of Legends. Week 1 was certainly full of great performances and some that made many wonder what their team is thinking. With that comes a Summer where eight LCS teams will have a chance at fighting for three Worlds spots once the Split has concluded. This is way more than ever before and because of this, teams will have time to refine and hone their skills in order to make a run at representing the LCS. With that, here are the standings after Week 1 along with some analysis of whether the teams will keep their spots or move up or down the rankings as Week 2 comes along.
T1. Cloud9 2-0
Is there really much that needs to be said about C9? They are the best and even if they lose one or two games they will continue to be the best team in the LCS. Right now, no one is at their level. The hope for everyone in North America is that one or two teams can at least get close to Cloud9’s level in order to not only push them but also make the LCS a threat at Worlds.
Cloud9 get Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians in Week 2. While these won’t be walks in the park by any means, both should be victories in confident fashion for C9.
T1. Evil Geniuses 2-0
This team could not have asked for a better start. While they were clearly a top team last Split, it is clear that they came to play. Even with the potential for a seven-man roster, Evil Geniuses would no longer be Geniuses if they tried to mix up what they are doing right now. EG are already in a groove and stopping that would be an incredible mistake. Also worth mentioning that Jiizuke is looking like he did when he lead Vitality to Worlds right now and when he plays like that, there is little doubt that he needs to be in the early MVP discussion.
Heading into Week 2, EG have the hardest schedule by quite a large margin. They will be challenged by the other teams that are currently 2-0 in Cloud9 and Team Liquid. If Evil Geniuses can come out of this weekend without getting battered and a win against either team, then they are well on their way. Even if they lose both games but do not get crushed then that’s a great sign for this team. They should focus on continuing to diversify their strategies and champion pools, something Jiizuke has no problem with. This team is dangerous and anyone who thinks otherwise is severely underestimating them.
T1. Team Liquid 2-0
Look, everyone, TL are back. It seems as though internal squabbles really were the problem. Or, is it possible the DL was just a scapegoat for the team as a whole? Either way Tactical looked very strong and joins Johnsun as a very promising NA bot laner. Forgetting to give Jatt credit too would be a major disservice. While he has plenty of talent, it seems that the team is coming back together and look like the Team Liquid of old. Whether Jatt is the one making the minor adjustments or just managing the personalities doesn’t matter if this team continues to perform.
Week 2 will see Team Liquid battle 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses. The 100 Thieves game is not one that Team Liquid should ignore. That team has plenty of firepower, it seems as though they just went into Week 1 unprepared to face two very strong teams in Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses. Speaking of Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid better be prepared for quite the challenge. Jiizuke alone is frightening and his erratic style should prove problematic for Jensen. If Team Liquid get through Week 2 at 4-0 then it might be time to officially say that they are back.
T4. FlyQuest 1-1
In week 1 FlyQuest went from one end of the spectrum to another. They faced a Cloud9 team that still is very tough against FlyQuest and then they had easy pickings against Immortals. They still can remind everyone why they were the second-best LCS team last Split. That said, the competition from a multitude of teams has gotten much tougher. It seems as though many of the top teams have upgraded in one way or another. This is not to say that FlyQuest need to change anything but more point out the fact that they will need to up their game to keep their position near the top.
It will be an interesting Week 2 for Flyquest. Either they could have two teams that are extremely dysfunctional and FlyQuest is able to easily go 2-0. Or, they might have to see a team in TSM who are figuring things out and becoming dangerous and Dignitas who have more talent than they showed in Week 1. If this is the case, FlyQuest could be having to fight their way back up the standings in a pretty major way. The most important part for FlyQuest is that they do their thing. They know their style and how to win. While it might not be a great style for Worlds, it will do the job for now and once they’ve locked some things up they can take the time to expand their available strategies.
T4. Golden Guardians 1-1
It is time to get this out of the way, Closer is an absolute animal. He is and will hopefully be the face of this franchise for quite awhile. The addition of Damonte and bringing back Huhi is definitely the best version of Golden Guardians. It is exciting to see a team that has struggled for so long, finally find their footing. Even if they are 1-1 right now, there is still a much higher ceiling for this team to reach than ever before. That said, they still are going to have to fight to stay anywhere near the top. This is because they are not the only team that has been progressing in 2020.
As for their Week 2 they will continue to be challenged. CLG have a win under their belt but they were also perfect gamed by Evil Geniuses, so it is clearly a matchup that favors Golden Guardians. Their second game against Cloud9 will be an early-season litmus test to see how much better they actually are. As long as the outcome is not a complete stomp by Cloud9, Golden Guardians should have their heads held high and know that they are growing.
T4. TSM 1-1
Yin and Yang, good and bad. TSM need to find balance. Many people knew this coming into the Split but many were surprised to see just how much TSM struggled against Team Liquid. They were uncoordinated and just looked completely lost. Luckily they reminded everyone what they could be with a dominating performance against Dignitas. TSM have the talent to be a top team and probably a Worlds representative now that Doublelift is on the team. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, their hopes will fall onto Spica’s shoulders. Luckily he has a lot of time to really hone his skills and prove that TSM made the right choice by naming him the starter and not trying to sign someone else.
TSM’s Week 2 starts off with seemingly a trap game. No one can figure out what Immortals are doing, including Immortals. But, TSM fans are too often disappointed by the team seemingly forgetting how to play League of Legends when they play bad teams. Hopefully, for their sake, this will not be the case. Game two of the weekend will be an extremely important one. It will be a rematch between TSM and FlyQuest with TSM looking to get revenge for not having the chance to make to the Spring Split Finals. This should be one of the better games in Week 2 and one that will really show LCS fans where each team stands at the beginning of the Summer.
T4. CLG 1-1
Are CLG back to what they were? Probably not. Are they the worst team in the LCS, also probably not. That said, they are still a team that has already been perfect gamed by Evil Geniuses. Good team both in the playoffs and during the regular season do not allow for that to happen even in their worst games. With the expanded playoffs though this team gets a bit of life. This is mostly because some of the teams below them are going to have quite the rough Split. CLG will likely be the seventh or eighth team in playoffs and that’s honestly not bad considering the trainwreck they were last Split.
Week 2 will present an opportunity for CLG to prove the haters wrong though. They face Golden Guardians who are on the rise and Dignitas who truthfully looked pretty out of sorts in their first week of action. If CLG can find a way to win both games then there is a chance that they are remembering who they were last season. If they go 0-2 then CLG fans should settle in for what will likely be another unfortunate Split.
T8. 100 Thieves 0-2
While 100 Thieves did face the top two teams in the LCS right now, that is no excuse to look as bad as they did. Their draft was pretty average and any progress Ryoma looked like he had made was seemingly thrown out the window. There are a lot more questions than answers for this team right now. The only consistently performing players are Cody Sun and Ssumday. While Ssumday can try to put most of the team on his back, the LCS is much stronger at the top than last Split and thus, it will be tough for him to hard carry basically every game. Expect some changes to be made if this team continues to struggle over the first few weeks. They have enough talent to make playoffs and need to make that their goal.
Onto Week 2 and 100 Thieves will start their week against a revived Team Liquid. Unfortunately for them, Team Liquid matches up well against 100 Thieves. Broxah is a much better jungle than Meteos and even though Cody might be better than Tactical overall, Stunt is not in the same stratosphere as CoreJJ. The only way 100 Thieves win their game against TL is if they play through Ssumday and even then, top is not exactly a great lane to play through right now. Their game against Immortals should finally allow for 100 Thieves to get their feet under them. Again though, if they go 0-2 in Week 2 then some changes may need to be made and quickly.
T8. Team Dignitas 0-2
What to say about Dignitas? Did they run out of money paying Huni? Or maybe it is just that some of these players are getting exposed in a big way. V1per has not been a great addition so far, Akaadian continues to look outmatched and because of that, Froggen and Johnsun can’t scale. This team is a hodgepodge of players who don’t seem to fit well together. Dignitas will struggle this Split but luckily for them 80% of the league makes it into playoffs. If they can find a small semblance of rhythm then there is a chance they can make some noise. If not, well then it’s time to blow everything up and build around Johnsun. But hey, it is only one week into the Split, maybe this is just an overreaction?
Dignitas will have their chance to make their noise here in Week 2. They face a CLG that has a win against arguably the worst team in the LCS and FlyQuest who will likely give Dignitas some issues. If Dignitas can find their way to .500 either on purpose or accidentally then good for them. If they finish the weekend 0-4 then they just have to hope that they are better than Immortals and 100 Thieves in order to achieve their playoff dreams.
T8. Immortals 0-2
What in the world are Immortals doing? It is understandable if they are trying to figure out what young talent they have but if that is the case then why even sign Xmithie? This team is a trainwreck and it is doubtful that it is getting any better. Starting Gate over Hakuho makes zero sense considering he is older than Hakuho. Starting Altec over Apollo is also extremely questionable. And to end this rant, Immortals have to admit that Eika is just not working. There are plenty of young NA mids waiting to get a chance and yet the almost 24-year-old who has little history of success is still starting. Go get Evolved, Palafox, Ablazeolive or someone that the team can build around. To no one’s surprise, this team started 0-2 and may be the LCS doormat this Split.
Looking ahead to Week 2, Immortals will face TSM and 100 Thieves. Depending on who they role out there, these games are going to be tough for Immortals to win. If their lineup looks something like it did last Split with sOAZ top, Xmithie jungle, Eika or literally anyone else mid, Apollo and Hakuho bot then Immortals can at least put up a fight. Hell, if they do that lineup then they can probably win some games, especially if TSM play as they did against TL and if 100 Thieves continue to struggle at all facets. Either way, Immortals fans should buckle up because the Summer Split is not going to be a pleasant ride.
“From Our Haus to Yours”