Five weeks have passed in the LCS spring split and the middle of the pack has begun to divide. Top teams are surging with team play and vision control, while others lack synergy and discipline. We’ve gotten lucky enough to see some incredible action though. The first half of the split has given each team a fair glance at their opponents, so it’s safe to say we should expect to see more aggressive play in the next few weeks. With that, here are the biggest winners and losers of the LCS so far.
Clutch Gaming (3-7)
Everyone knows the old saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Unfortunately for Clutch Gaming, they haven’t gotten going and surely haven’t been a tough opponent for most of their competitors. Tied with 100 Thieves at 3-7, they sit at the bottom of the LCS.
Their overall team K/D/A is among the lowest this split at 2.73. On top of that, they haven’t shown up against good teams. Their only respectable victory was against TSM in week one, but since then they have played consistently poor as a team.
On the bright side, Clutch Gaming has an easier week ahead of them with matches against 100 Thieves and EchoFox. Going 2-0 this weekend would surely boost team morale and hopefully give them the spark they need to make a push for the playoffs. If Clutch can’t get it together this weekend, they’ll most likely be out of playoff contention and looking for roster changes.
100 Thieves (3-7)
This 100 Thieves squad has definitely shown some promise this split, but their record keeps them at the bottom with Clutch Gaming. Their win resume isn’t impressive either, as they’ve only beaten Clutch, CLG and GGS. In fact, all three of those wins came consecutively, meaning their inconsistent play is costing them victories.
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black hasn’t played to his full potential and the same can be said about Andy “AnDa” Hoang. Both have poor K/D/A’s and consistently force their teammates to pick up their slack. Overall this team hasn’t played to their potential, but if they can find a rhythm in the next few weeks they can make a run at the playoffs. Everybody was shocked to see them start 0-3, but even more shocked when they bounced back to 3-3. If they can limit the death totals and play the champions that they’re most comfortable with, expect to see this team competing in the playoffs.
Golden Guardians (4-6)
2019 hasn’t been great to the Golden Guardians so far, as they’re clumped with two thirds of the competition at the bottom. After starting the spring split 0-4, GGS has managed to find a sliver of hope these last few weeks. Going 4-2 has to feel good when things weren’t clicking before, but can they maintain this momentum?
With experienced players like Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell and Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, it’s hard to understand why this squad started off this way. Their early-game potential is usually very high, but it’s too easy for their opponents to climb back into the game. It’s very obvious that this team needs a bit more practice before they can break away from the rest of the pack.
If GGS wants any chance of reaching the playoffs, they’ll have to play the way they did against TSM and work their advantages. Hauntzer does a great job of getting ahead in the top lane, but they’re not able to utilize that momentum elsewhere on the map. It’s definitely going to be an uphill climb for the Golden Guardians the rest of the way.
Cloud9 has maintained their second place position for three weeks. What has kept them among the top teams is their control of both the early game and overall vision. The synergy is clearly flowing for C9, but the way they cancel out their opponents’ vision of the map is spectacular. Control wards are seen in every member’s inventory before every fight or clearing of an objective. This allows them to set up properly and force the enemy team into bad positioning.
Usually before any of this happens, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi has built up a huge advantage for himself in the bot lane. His K/D/A of 8.75 is one of the best in the LCS. Having a polished support like Tristan “ZeyZal” Stidam by your side certainly makes it seem a lot easier than it is. This duo is one of the biggest factors in Cloud9’s success so far. At 8-2, this team will continue to flourish as long as they don’t make any drastic changes. Expect to see them battling Team Liquid for the first place spot very soon.
Team Liquid (9-1)
Though the members of Team Liquid have consistently proven their worth over the years, it’s fair to say that no one expected them to start off 7-0. Naturally, the hype train rolled to a stop as they lost their first and only game of the split to TSM in week four. However, Team Liquid hasn’t really lost a step even though Cloud9 is on their tails. Their game knowledge and passion to win reigns over every other team in North America.
We’ve seen them dominate teams with ease just as often as we’ve seen them pull wins from the ashes. It doesn’t matter who they play against because they’ll always be prepared for any circumstance.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has been the shining star for this Team Liquid squad with a K/D/A of 11.11. He’s comparable to LeBron James of the NBA because of his ability to bring his team back from behind. Doublelift is usually the team’s leader in total damage and kills, whilst holding the lowest death count in the game. He is just one bright spot in the shooting star that is Team Liquid. The only way this team loses another game this split is if they stop playing their game.
Team SoloMid (6-4)
Everybody knows TSM to be this unstoppable, powerhouse of a team, but we didn’t see either of those qualities until recently. Just a few weeks ago, this same team was tied for last place with a record of 2-4. Though this was shocking, it didn’t seem to ruffle the feathers of any member of TSM. They responded with a gargantuan win over Team Liquid and have left the rest of the competition in their dust ever since. TSM picked the perfect time to bounce back as they now sit in third place behind Cloud9 and Team Liquid.
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has been a catalyst for TSM these past few weeks. Though his K/D/A doesn’t necessarily show it, Bjergsen has been on point with every champion he’s played.
Whether it’s landing abilities, farming minions or forcing opponents out of lane, his stamp is all over their recent success. Credit also has to be given to Andy “Smoothie” Ta, as he is the definitive overall MVP this split. His play-making ability is unlike any other support in North America. Not only that, but he seems to be having a lot of fun with this group as a whole. That is most likely bound to rub off on his teammates as they make a push for second place. Their upcoming match against Cloud9 this weekend will surely be one of the best and most competitive matches of the split so far.
Featured Image Courtesy of Blitz Esports.
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