The 2018 NA LCS Summer Split is upon us, and its gearing up to be one of the fiercest yet. The North American representative to the Mid-Season Invitational, Team Liquid, fell short of many fan’s expectations. They, along with Echo Fox, are looking to bounce back to prove to their fans that they deserve national and international respect. 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming look to improve on their first split’s successes and build their legacies.
Champions – Team Liquid
Team Liquid, the victor of the Spring Split, fought hard through the playoffs to topple 100 Thieves in the finals. While their MSI run was underwhelming to many, their star roster is capable of bringing it back for summer. Doublelift is considered by some to be the best ADC in North America; combined with Olleh, the duo is threatening. This is highlighted when paired up with the support they receive from the rest of the team.
Xmithie’s objective control and ability to positively affect his lanes was crucial to the team’s success. Pobelter showcased his expansive champion pool of control mages throughout the split and put up impressive Kill Participation (KP) and CS numbers. Impact, usually renowned for his tank play, had impressive games on carries like Gangplank. TL clearly has strong players and a desire to prove themselves. This drive and their bot lane centric play-style will likely be enough to propel them to more split and playoff success.
Second Place – 100 Thieves
100 Thieves, one of the league’s newest franchising teams, made quite the impression in their inaugural split, coming close to taking the trophy home. Their playmaking was their biggest strength, with Meteos and Aphromoo well-known for their aggressive play-styles and play-making ability. Cody Sun is the player to watch for specifically; his KDA, kill participation, and damage outputs were extremely high. This is a great strength should the meta be a bot lane centric one.
Ryu worked with Dardoch and the bot lane to make proactive plays to win skirmishes and team fights consistently. Although Ssumday received a lot of criticism for his laning phase in the first half of the split, he seemed to bounce back towards the end, having great games on Cho’Gath and Darius. Synergy within the team appeared to be strong, and if the solo laners can continue to improve, 100 Thieves will be able to look for their first NA LCS Championship that evaded them last split.
Third Place – Echo Fox
Echo Fox looked geared to dominate the split throughout the first half but fell during the second and couldn’t quite make the finals. Huni’s performances in the top lane were magnificent. His adeptness for carry champions like Gangplank and even pocket picks like Lucian and Yasuo made him a terrifying force. Dardoch had high KDA and KP statistics and synergy with his solo laners especially.
Huni and Dardoch showed their dominance throughout the split, but it seemed as though Fenix and Altec struggled to. Fenix had one of the lowest kill participation of all mid laners during the split. Despite this, he did show decent synergy with Dardoch and had high damage outputs in their third place series against CG. Altec, even though he was not receiving as many resources as the solo laners, had very low KDA and kill participation numbers. If the team can continue to carry out of their solo lanes and jungle, they have a good chance for another solid playoffs run.
Fourth Place – Clutch Gaming
Clutch Gaming had a great first split in the LCS as well, taking the fourth-place spot. They had a distinct late game style that they excelled at. Febiven and Apollo consistently performed in the early game and late game team fights. These two were the backbone of the team, carrying CG in the vast majority of their games. Solo relied on tanks and excelled on them, but he failed to show much diversity or impact on the game.
Hakuho was great at enabling the team when he was on aggressive supports like the Thresh, but he and Lira lacked some consistency. Both players appeared uncomfortable on picks that weren’t typically in their pool and had questionable performances in some games. Their performances were adequate based on their fourth-place finish, but they both had issues that cost them a better spot. Fixing these and the draft problems that plagued them towards the end of the Spring Split is crucial. If they do so, CG can be a serious contender for a great playoff run.
Fan favorite and long-standing teams Cloud9, Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming look to regain their former glory this upcoming split. Newer additions FlyQuest, Optic Gaming, and Golden Guardians hope to make a comeback and show that they can compete with the star teams. With precious championship points on the line, as well as a ticket straight to the World Championship, teams will be putting their all into this split.
Featured image from LoL Esports.
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