Multi-Esport Cities

While the Esports industry is very young, franchising has allowed for it to mature much faster than its traditional sports counterpart. With franchising coming into play there are many different groups and people buying in, and these entities want esports teams in their cities.

This means that many fans will start to want to see their teams in person and thus esports arenas are the next step, you can check out why that is here.

The teams in League of Legends have not officially stated what cities they will be based in, so some of this is a bit of guessing as either they were founded in these cities or have major investments from them.

Now here is a list of US/NA cities that already have multiple teams in them:

Boston:

  • Boston Uprising (Overwatch League)
  • Celtics Crossover Gaming (NBA2k)

Cleveland:

  • 100 Thieves (League of Legends)
  • Cavs Legion (NBA2k)

Dallas:

  • Dallas Fuel (Overwatch League)
  • Mavs Gaming (NBA2k)

Houston:

  • Clutch City (League of Legends)
  • Houston Outlaws (Overwatch League)
  • OpTic Gaming (League of Legends)

Los Angeles:

  • LA Gladiators (Overwatch League)
  • LA Valiant (Overwatch League)
  • The Overwatch League
  • NALCS

Miami:

  • Florida Mayhem (Overwatch League)
  • Heat Check Gaming (NBA2k)

Milwaukee:

  • Bucks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • FlyQuest (League of Legends)

New York:

  • Counter Logic Gaming (League of Legends)
  • Echo Fox (League of Legends)
  • Knicks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • New York Excelsior (Overwatch League)

Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Golden State Guardians (League of Legends)
  • San Francisco Shock (Overwatch League)
  • Warriors Gaming Squad (NBA2k)

Philadelphia:

  • 76ers GC (NBA2k)
  • Philadelphia Fusion (Overwatch League)

Toronto:

  • Raptors Uprising GC (NBA2k)
  • Team Solo Mid (League of Legends)

 

We will make sure to continue updating this list as more esports franchise, more teams commit to cities, and more teams join the already franchised leagues. An EU and Asia list will come out once a couple other franchising esports leagues finalize.

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Robert!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Smite Season Ticket Predictions

Smite Season Ticket predictions: Week 6

Moving into the last week of the Spring Split, we’ve got some interesting matches lined up.

On the EU side, it will be exciting to see how Obey Alliance will perform. After their upset against NRG, they’ve proven they have what it takes to stand up to Europe’s best teams. And with match-ups against Team Rival and Dignitas, we’ll know how they stack up against the best by the end of the week.

Over in North America, it’s still intensely even competition in the Spring Split. After finding their footing in week three of the split, we get to see how far EUnited has come. With matches against the teams that obliterated them in the first week of the split, Luminosity and Spacestation, EUnited has their chance at redemption.

With that, let’s go to the picks.

Tuesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Rival vs NRG EsportsSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Rival

Both of these teams are around the same skill level. However after dropping a game to Obey Alliance last week, I have to give this one to Rival.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsSK Gaming vs MousesportsSmite Season Ticket Predictions

SK Gaming

Mousesports are having some trouble finding their playstyle as a team. Everyone enjoyed watching their crazy picks at the beginning of the split. And while it may not have worked out for them in the short run, it’s better to be the meta definer coming up with new strategies if you aim to be a top team. In the past week, though, Mousesports have been picking fairly conventionally. And they haven’t seen any more success than when they were picking Janus Jungles and Chaac Mids. I don’t anticipate this being a good direction for the team, and I can’t see them finding their footing in the last week of the split.

 

Wednesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsEUnited vs LuminositySmite Season Ticket Predictions

EUnited

While Luminosity took this match up 2-0 in the first week of the split, EUnited is stronger than they were back then. While I don’t doubt Luminosity’s skills either, I think EUnited can manage to pull a win this time.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsSplyce vs Counter Logic GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Counter Logic Gaming

Splyce is still having trouble finding wins in this split. And while they’re not a weak team by any means, CLG is still looking stronger right now.

 

thursday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Dignitas vs MousesportsSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

Again, Mousesports are having identity problems. If they can’t manage to beat SK gaming, there’s certainly no reason to change my mind in a match-up against the EU powerhouse Team Dignitas.

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Rival vs Obey AllianceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Rival

I want to believe that Obey can take these matches. They’re definitely the team to root for if you like underdogs. But I pick with my brain, not my heart, and my brain says Team Rival.

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsObey Alliance vs Team DignitasSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

Again, I would love to pick Obey here. But with the information we have, Dignitas is just the stronger team.

 

Friday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTrifecta vs Counter Logic GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Trifecta

CLG has been underwhelming lately. They’ve fallen from grace after looking like the strongest team in the split half way through. On the other side of the spectrum, Trifecta has been fairly impressive. Taking wins off of both EUnited and Luminosity, Trifecta has had a strong showing in the past two weeks. Because of that, I have to predict Trifecta.

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsEUnited vs SpacestationSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

This is another match-up where I want to vote for EUnited, but I just can’t. Spacestation has seated themselves on the throne of the SPL, and while EUnited certainly has a chance to take this I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsSpacestation vs TrifectaSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

Just like with the last match, Trifecta is a strong team that has a chance. But it’s hard to deny that Spacestation is the strongest team in North America right now.

 

Summary

Team Rival > NRG Esports

SK Gaming > Mousesports

EUnited > Luminosity

Splyce < Counter Logic Gaming

Team Dignitas > Mousesports

Team Rival > Obey Alliance

Obey Alliance < Team Dignitas

Trifecta > Counter Logic Gaming

EUnited < Spacestation

Spacestation > Trifecta

 

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Philip.

Top Image courtesy of Smitegame.com, SPL logo and Esports Team logos courtesy of Esports.Smitegame.com

Smite Season Ticket Predictions

Smite Season Ticket predictions: Week 5

Now that we’re done with rerun week, I can start actually predicting things instead of regurgitating last weeks results. Which would be more fun in a different SPL climate. But this split’s North American teams are so even that it seems practically impossible to make clear power rankings.

EUnited beat Counter Logic Gaming, Counter Logic beat Spacestation, Spacestation beat Luminosity, Luminosity beat EUnited… All of these teams are in the same tier. It’s great for watching games, but stressful for predicting them.

At least the European side is a little easier. There seem to be two distinct echelons of EU teams, with Rival, NRG and Dignitas being top teams and Obey, SK and Mousesports being lower. But if teams from the same tier face off in EU, it can be just as hard as an NA game to predict.

Oh well, you’ve gotta pick someone. Let’s get into the picks for week 5.

 

Tuesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Rival VS Team DignitasSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

Rival and Dignitas are both great teams, and both could easily take this. But for my money, Dignitas comes out on top. Dignitas are still the standout team of the European Pro League, even if they’ve recently lost some sets.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsObey Alliance VS MousesportsSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Obey Alliance

Two of the weaker teams square off in this set. But Mousesports is too inconsistent, and their drafts can get a little too crazy. And while I like experimental drafts as much as the next guy, they don’t translate cleanly into wins.

 

Wednesday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionseUnited VS TrifectaSmite Season Ticket Predictions

eUnited

It’s hard to vote against eUnited in these match-ups after their Week Three comeback. Last week they looked as strong as they did in the World Championship. And while I don’t doubt that Trifecta could take this, the same could be said for the team I vote against in practically any North American match-up. They’re just too even.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsSpacestation VS Counter Logic GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

On the opposite end of the spectrum, before eUnited’s comeback CLG was looking like the best team in the world. But after taking a loss from not only eUnited, but from Luminosity, they don’t look so tough anymore. Spacestation, on the other hand, is a consistently great team.

Thursday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTeam Dignitas VS SK GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Team Dignitas

This is the day where that short tier list I made starts coming in handy. Dignitas is in the top three, and SK is in the bottom, which makes this prediction easy.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsNRG Esports VS Obey AllianceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

NRG Esports

Thursdays in the EU SPL seem to be the designated strong team versus weak team days. NRG is good, Obey isn’t. Easy FP.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsNRG Esports VS SK GamingSmite Season Ticket Predictions

NRG Esports

I like the low stress environment Thursday is creating here. I don’t have to think very hard. But there’s also not much to write about. That tier list is pretty real; so far none of the lower echelon teams have managed to take even a game off of the top three, let alone a whole match. It would be exciting to be wrong about these matches. But it also wouldn’t be responsible of me to predict SK.

 

Friday

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsTrifecta VS SplyceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Trifecta

This is the battle of teams I’m not quite sure what to think of yet. Splyce has a number of talented veteran players that we haven’t seen in action for a while, and I’d love to see them find their footing in this match. But for right now, they’re not great. Trifecta in the short term is a pretty lukewarm team. They never seem to look that strong or that weak. But in the short term, I have to give this one to Trifecta.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsLuminosity VS SpacestationSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Spacestation

This is the match that I’m most unsure of. Spacestation is still a consistently strong team, but Luminosity had a strong showing last week. But when in doubt, vote for Spacestation. That way at least John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter fans won’t get mad at me.

 

Smite Season Ticket PredictionsLuminosity VS SplyceSmite Season Ticket Predictions

Luminosity

I’m still reluctant to give Splyce my vote, and to repeat myself Luminosity has been looking incredibly strong lately. This is probably about as easy to predict as North American matches can get. And even here, I have no doubt that Splyce could take the game. It’s really anyone’s league in North America.

 

Summary

Team Rival < Team Dignitas

Obey Alliance > Mousesports

EUnited > Trifecta

Spacestation > Counter Logic Gaming

Team Dignitas > SK Gaming

NRG Esports > Obey Alliance

NRG Esports > SK Gaming

Trifecta > Splyce

Luminosity < Spacestation

Luminosity > Splyce

 

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Philip.

Top Image courtesy of Smitegame.com, SPL logo and Esports Team logos courtesy of Esports.Smitegame.com

Several players from 2017 Immortals found success in the 2018 Spring Split

An Echo of Immortals in the 2018 Spring Split

Leading into the 2018 Spring Split, ESPN’s Jacob Wolf reported that Immortals would not be included in North America’s franchised LCS. The League of Legends community responded to the decision with disbelief, anger and confusion. They also wondered, “If IMT did not get accepted into the LCS, then which teams are safe?”

A Brief History of Immortals

Immortals entered the NA LCS in 2016 with Huni, Reignover, Pobelter, Wildturtle, and Adrian

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Immortals entered the NA LCS in 2016, announcing Huni, Reignover, Pobelter, WildTurtle and Adrian as its roster. Dylan Falco would coach. They finished the 2016 Spring and Summer regular seasons in first and second, respectively, but only secured third in both playoffs. IMT barely missed Worlds that year, because they lost to Cloud9 in the Regional Qualifier.

In 2017, Immortals broke up and completely rebuilt its roster around Pobelter. Flame, Dardoch, Cody Sun, and Olleh joined as starters, while Anda signed as a substitute. Hermes moved up to fill the head coaching position. During 2017 Spring Split, this roster finished seventh in the regular season, narrowly missing playoffs. In the mid-season, Immortals traded Dardoch to CLG for Xmithie, imported Ssong as head coach, and brought on Stunt as a substitute. The invigorated team rose to second place during the Summer regular season and playoffs. IMT booked their first ticket to Worlds, where they finished 14th-16th.

And Immortals’ time in the NA LCS ended there. They would not get a new opportunity to dominate North America like 2016, or go to Worlds like 2017. The team fully disbanded, and the league moved on.

EX-IMMORTALS IN 2018

Immortals traded Dardoch to CLG in 2017

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Following Riot’s permanent partners announcement, Team Liquid acquired most of Immortals’ released roster. Xmithie, Pobelter, Cody Sun, Anda and Olleh joined the organization initially, but Cody Sun went on to 100 Thieves and Anda went to FlyQuest. Flame and Stunt signed with FlyQuest, as well. TSM picked up Coach Ssong to lead their new roster.

Four fifths of Immortals’ 2017 roster met in the last stage of playoffs. Xmithie, Pobelter, Olleh and Cody Sun made it to the finals, yet again, with Team Liquid winning the whole split and 100 Thieves second. Flame, Anda and Stunt finished the split in eighth place, and Coach Ssong finished fifth-sixth with TSM. However, this was the first time Anda and Stunt entered a split as starters. Flame performed perfectly fine as an individual top laner. And Coach Ssong helped build TSM into a formidable team, even if they fell short in playoffs.

Looking back at previous iterations of Immortals, Huni, Dardoch and Adrian made up three fifths of Echo Fox this split, finishing third in playoffs. Wildturtle joined FlyQuest in eighth place, but had several stand out performances himself. Reignover played with CLG to secure seventh place, and Dylan just led Fnatic to their first LCS title in two years.

Immortals Echoing through the LCS

Olleh, Cody Sun, and Zmithie used to play on Immortals in 2017

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Each of these individuals had significant development during their time on Immortals. Ssong, Huni, Reignover, Flame, and Olleh might not be in North America without importing with IMT. Xmithie and Pobelter might not be as renowned as they are now without taking Immortals to Worlds. Cody Sun, Anda and Stunt might not have starting roles this year. Wildturtle and Adrian’s stock definitely rose after their time on IMT, and Dardoch’s trade may have spurred changes with him. Dylan Falco got his first coaching job on Immortals, long before joining Fnatic.

Although Immortals’ organization no longer plays in the LCS, their players and staff have spread throughout the league. Many individuals had their LCS debut with IMT, and, through their development, upgraded the ecosystem overall. IMT put up strong performances throughout 2016 and 2017, leaving their mark in the history books. Although its banner no longer hangs in the LCS arena, Immortals’ legacy echoes on through the players and coaches they brought to the table.

credits

Images: LoL Esports Flickr

The Game Haus covered the NA LCS finals LIVE. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for articles, pictures, videos, interviews, and more content from Thomas and other contributors!

Luminosity

Can Luminosity Outsmart Counter Logic in Week Four?

Luminosity rounded out week three with an interesting set against Counter Logic Gaming. LG may not have secured the victory, but they certainly performed better against the at the time undefeated North American powerhouse than anticipated. Let’s take a look at how the game played out and what it might mean for week four.

Overview

Luminosity

Maybe it was Arachne-phobia?

While an initially surprising at first, Counter Logic choosing Arachne as a first ban was likely what kept Luminosity from being able to clench the victory in game one. This season, Weak3n has continued to show just how well he can perform with this god and every match she has been on the battleground has resulted in a win for LG. Choosing to put heavy focus on Weak3n from the start kept the jungler from being able to capitalize on the gank opportunities that the team has done so well setting up for him since week one. Despite this, LG played exceptionally well, showing they were more than capable of holding their own against CLG. Unfortunately, by the end of the game Luminosity was struggling to find a way to close out the match. Continuing to keep pressure on Weak3n allowed CLG to alleviate much of their late game pressure and it showed.

Eventually, the gap was too wide for Luminosity come back from. Following up a close game one, the picks just weren’t strong enough from LG to contend with the superior team composition. Between Homiefe’s Mercury pick effectively countering Weak3n’s Da Ji, Hurriwind’s Discordia mid continuing to burst down the team and a tenth pick Cu Chulainn from solo Fineokay, Luminosity struggled to find their footing. Counter Logic Gaming took a quick and decisive game two to close out the set.

THE RESULTS

LG Picks:

Solo: Cerberus (Game One 2/4/5), Nemesis (Game Two 0/5/1) – KikiSoCheeky

Jungle: Serqet (Game One 2/2/2), Da Ji (Game Two 0/4/4) – Weak3n

Mid: Ullr (Game One 3/7/1), Janus (Game Two 2/4/1) – Keegsmate

Support: Athena (Game One 1/0/3), Sylvanus (Game Two 1/1/1) – NotGeno

Carry: Jing Wei (Game One 0/3/2), Cernunnos (Game Two 1/4/2) – Clout

LG Bans: Game One – Sol, Thoth, Janus, Geb / Game Two – Sol, Thoth, Osiris, Nu Wa

CLG Picks:

Solo: Camazotz (Game One 4/3/5), Cu Chulainn (Game Two 3/1/8) – Fineokay

Jungle: Da Ji (Game One 3/1/7), Mercury (Game Two 7/0/7) – Homiefe

Mid: Discordia (Game One 3/1/6, Game Two 5/0/4) – Hurriwind

Support: Fafnir (Game One 3/2/11), Athena (Game Two 0/1/14) – Jigz

Carry: Hachiman (Game One 3/1/8), Hachiman (Game Two 3/2/7) – Snoopy

CLG Bans: Game One – Arachne, Nemesis, The Morrigan, Poseidon / Game Two – Arachne, Camazotz, Ullr, Jing Wei

Winner: Counter Logic Gaming 2-0

Predictions

Moving into week four, we will see Luminosity rematch Counter Logic Friday, April 13. This is a great opportunity for the team to figure out how to adapt if Weak3n can’t gank. There needs to be more focus on strong picks during draft that also gel with the rest of the team. They need to try and adapt to their opponents’ choices to really play off god picks and read into strategies to keep themselves in the game. As long as they play similarly to how they did in the first game and we can see more confidence from the rest of the team to perform regardless of their jungle’s presence, it’s possible we could see the results just as easily tip in LG’s favor as they did CLG. Perhaps after their loss to eUnited, this will be the start of a Counter Logic losing streak?

LuminosityRegardless of the outcome, just like the rest of the North American split has been, it’s guaranteed to be an interesting game. Before CLG though, Luminosity will be once again be facing off with Trifecta.

You can catch all of the week four action live on Mixer. The broadcast will be streamed exclusively through the SmiteGame channel on Mixer.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brian Quisenberry.

Top image courtesy of youtube.com

Smite Esports

North American Smite esports teams are more balanced than ever before

It’s anyone’s league

Going into Season 5 of Smite esports, Smite fans knew exactly what team to look for: eUnited. The world champions, eUnited were the undisputed kings of Smite. Luminosity Gaming, on the other hand, were the opposite.

Smite Esports

Image Courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

Fans had mixed opinions on the organization’s new roster, fueled by Jungler Kurt “Weak3n” Schray’s polarizing reputation. When eUnited and Luminosity were scheduled to play against each other, most people wrote this match off as an easy 2-0 for eUnited.

Then Luminosity won. That was the first match of the NA Season 5 SPL. And the excitement didn’t stop there. Across the first week of the Season 5 SPL, we saw an amazing amount of close games and sets going to game 3.

The perfect storm has hit Smite esports this season, and the playing field has never been more even. There is no dominant team that nobody can take a game off of. There is no laughing stock that can never seem to win. The outcome of a match never feels predetermined going into any of this season’s matches. Anyone can win, and anyone can lose.

The causes

The new SPL rules have some part to play in this shift. Season 5 of Smite esports has only six participating teams, as opposed to all previous season’s eight. This increased barrier to entry has prevented weaker teams that would normally be bullied into the bottom seed.

But rule changes can only go so far. The heart of this season’s balanced state lies in the teams themselves. They’re all just a lot stronger than in previous seasons. Players have found rosters with amazing synergy, leading to some amazing performances.

The teams

Smite Esports

Image courtesy of smite-esports.gamepedia.com

Space Station Gaming, who most agree to be the strongest team currently, feels like an old Cloud 9 reunion. Gathering most of the classic roster, they’ve most notably put Andrew “Andinster” Woodward back into the jungle after a long break playing Mid. And after his performance over the last week, it feels like he never left.

And they’re not alone: Counter Logic Gaming, Splyce and Trifecta are all full of veteran players who have shown they work well together. Each has proven that they have what it takes to stand up to Space Station Gaming. Trifecta took a game off of SSG in their set last Friday, taking the match to game three. Counter Logic Gaming beat both Splyce and Trifecta, but not without a fight: both matches went to game 3. In fact, the only matches that didn’t go to game 3 in the first week were the two matches that eUnited lost, against Luminosity and then Space Station Gaming.

eUnited’s problem

Smite Esports

Image Courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

It may be tempting to say that the world champions are washed up after their poor performance. But that would be a little naive. Only a few months ago, they won the world championship. It takes a little longer than that for a team to go from the best in the world to “washed up.” Instead, Space Station Gaming’s ADC John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter explained it best before their showmatch at the Las Vegas Esports Arena, saying “I think [eUnited are] still a little stuck in season 4.” Indeed, it seems eUnited are having trouble adapting to this season’s changes. While they may seem weak now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see eUnited turn it around and play like the world champions that they are.

In any case, this season of Smite esports is shaping up to be one of the best in years. The balance between each team gives each match a sense of excitement, and the close sets have never been a disappointment. Any Smite fan that’s not watching these turbulent early matches is missing out on some of the most entertaining matches in SPL history.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Philip.

Top Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

Team Liquid win the regular season Academy League

Team Liquid finish first in Academy; Cloud9, FlyQuest and Echo Fox to playoffs

The inaugural North American Academy League finished its first split last night. Nine weeks of competition ended with Team Liquid in first place, followed by Cloud9, FlyQuest, and Echo Fox. These four teams move on to the playoff stage of the Spring Split to battle for bragging rights.

Week Nine

The final week of the Spring Split shook up the standings quite a bit. Coming out of week eight, Cloud9 and FlyQuest were tied for first. Team Liquid followed in third with Echo Fox fourth. CLG sat fifth, while 100 Thieves and TSM tied for sixth. Clutch and OpTic tied for eighth, and Golden Guardians rounded out the league in tenth.

Day One

Cloud9 finish the regular season Academy League in second place

Image from Leaguepedia

C9 and FLY faced off on day one of week nine, which would determine who would solely hold first place. C9’s “bouncy house” composition finally came through, despite FLY’s accrued gold lead. FLY’s 8,000 gold lead crumbled quickly after C9’s Baron call around 38 minutes. Two major team fights, and C9 took the Nexus, as well as first place. The rest of Thursday’s matches went to the expected victors (Liquid, Clutch, FOX, and CLG).

Day Two

Team Liquid took their shot at Cloud9 on Friday, hoping to challenge the top spot. V1PER’s snowballing top lane Olaf went berserk, finishing 9-3-4 with the most gold in the game. With the win, Team Liquid tied for first, which would later force a tiebreaker.

The following match, Clutch versus 100 Thieves, was another crucial head-to-head between tied teams. These two, along with TSM, sat tangled in sixth with a 7-10 record. The match remained relatively even through 23 minutes, but a big Baron take for Clutch blew it wide open. Piglet’s Twitch finished 8-1-3. Linsanity’s Ryze went 0-5-2. The loss bumped 100 Thieves out of sixth.

Echo Fox finish the regular season Academy League in fourth place

Image from Leaguepedia

Echo Fox defended their playoff spot by upsetting FlyQuest in Friday’s showdown. Three early kills to FOX’s carries set them up for an easy snowball. Damonte’s Anivia, OddOrange’s Sejuani, and Allorim’s Sion combined for an incredible amount of crowd control, which FLY was unable to overcome. Erry’s Jinx never came online, and FOX closed out the game with only a single tower lost. This victory solidified FOX’s fourth place finish, as well as FLY’s third place finish.

To finish out the day, Liquid and Cloud9 rematched to tiebreak first place. Risky Riven and Kog’Maw picks put a lot of pressure on TL throughout the mid-game. C9 racked up a 4,200 gold lead by 19 minutes, winning skirmishes around Goldenglue’s Ryze. However, like the rest of the matches, TL’s Baron capture and teamfight win put them back in the saddle. C9 looked shaken, as V1PER’s Riven and Mickey’s Swain broke the team up and pushed them back. Liquid ended just under 37 minutes with nearly 10,000 gold over Cloud9.

Playoffs

Unlike the LCS, only four teams enter playoffs in the Academy League. The semifinals consists of Team Liquid versus Echo Fox, and Cloud9 versus FlyQuest. These teams will play a best-of-five to see who moves onto the finals. Team Liquid beat Echo Fox in both of their regular season face-offs, while Cloud9 and FlyQuest went 1-1.

Team Liquid v. Echo Fox

Team Liquid win the Academy League regular season

Image from Leaguepedia

Team Liquid seems the most explosive team in the league. They average .76 combined kills per minute, more than any other team, while Echo Fox averages .57, third lowest. Look for Joey and Hard to force plays, while Damonte and Lost do their best to carry. Mickey does some of the highest damage in the league, so FOX should do all they can to hold him down. According to Oracles Elixir, Echo Fox has the stronger early game, while Team Liquid have the superior mid-late game.

V1PER played 14 of 17 games on carries, such as Riven, Camille, and Yasuo, while Allorim played almost exclusively tanks, like Sion, Ornn, and Maokai. Mickey’s champion pool has been all over the place, while Damonte has mostly drafted Cassiopeia and Ryze over the second half of the split. TL and FOX’s AD carry position is probably the most unbalanced. Lost consistently outputs more damage, more kill participation, and higher KDAs than Shoryu. He is also unafraid to draft Ezreal or Kog’Maw, where Shoryu leans on Tristana and Xayah much more. This offset could be exploited over a series.

Cloud9 v. FlyQuest

Flyquest finish the regular season Academy League in third place

Image from Leaguepedia

FLY and C9 will be a much closer match-up, on paper. Their team-wide statistics generally line up, with FlyQuest looking slightly better overall. Baron and Elder Drake control are their widest gaps. C9 only takes 54 percent of Barons, while FLY takes 72 percent. On the flip-side, FLY takes 33 percent of Elder Drakes, while C9 has taken 100 percent. These trends could result in divisive games.

Keith topped the Academy League in virtually every stat. He has the highest KDA, kill participation and damage per minute, while also maintaining the lowest death share. Zeyzal and he will most likely win Cloud9 the series, matching up against Erry and JayJ. However, Keane and Shrimp will get things going early, maintaining some of the highest First Blood and kill participation rates of any jungle-mid duo. Shiro appears to be C9’s weakest member, and his reliance on Gnar could get exploited.

The rest of the league

The other teams enter the off-season for a much needed break. CLG finished fifth, only one win from fourth place. TSM and Clutch tied for sixth with 8-10 records. 100 Thieves kept eighth for themselves, while OpTic concluded their season ninth. Golden Guardians bottomed out the league at 2-16.

Without the immediate fear of relegation or promotion tournament, it is difficult to predict what this mid-season may be like. The Academy League is supposed to center around developing rising talent, so losing is not necessarily cause for change. Team pride will most likely win out, resulting in plenty of recruitment for fresh new talent. A few players may even get scouted for low-level LCS teams.

Golden Guardians and OpTic Gaming should probably make sweeping change with their rosters, as their Academy and LCS squads failed to really pull together. Xpecial, Hai, Contractz and PowerOfEvil are probably the most safe candidates for rebuilding around, but anyone is fair game at this point. Coaches and support staff may also be considered for replacement. These new organizations most likely learned a lot in their first Spring Split, which they will utilize in off-season decision-making.

credits

Featured Image: LoLesports.com

Other Images: Leaguepedia

Statistics: Oracles Elixir, Games of Legends

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Typical League of Legends statistics oversimplify the game

Standard League of Legends statistics oversimplify the game

Just like traditional sports, esports analysis is full of statistics which are meant to succinctly represent teams’ and players’ strengths and weaknesses. Professional League of Legends is no exception. League analysts use numbers and percentages regarding creep score, jungle proximity, gold difference, and kill-death-assist ratio to understand each match and to judge each individual over time.

However, the standard League statistics more often oversimplify the game. KDA, CS difference, damage per minute, and other typical measures cannot fully represent a team or a player. Most fans understand that these numbers have their limitations, and are insufficient for understanding the game.

The EU LCS stats team created a complex damage metric.

The EU LCS stats team created a complex damage metric.

The Stats Science series from last year’s EU LCS covered most of the major shortcomings of standard League stats. Kills and assists are affected by team playstyle, champion pool, and game time. Poke champions have higher damage per minute than tanks. Some carries more frequently die while dishing higher damage, while others prioritize survivability over damage to champions. The variables go on and on.

KDA

For example, look at FlyQuest’s Flame in the NA LCS. His 3.4 KDA is tied for second among top laners. Flame only averages 1.8 kills and 4.2 assists per game, but his 1.8 average deaths per game is third lowest. These numbers paint Flame as a conservative player–middle of the pack offensively, but knows how to stay alive. His numbers align closely with CLG’s Darshan (2.1 kills, 5.3 assists, 2.2 deaths, 3.4 KDA).

NA LCS top laners’ statistics after eight weeks

But look at FlyQuest’s team statistics compared to CLG’s. FlyQuest has the lowest kill:death ratio in the league–8.2 kills to 12.1 deaths for a .68 K:D. Meanwhile, CLG rank three places higher with a .98 K:D (11.1 kills, 11.3 deaths). All of FlyQuest’s players have lower KDAs than Flame, but Darshan has the lowest on CLG. These factors provide context for comparing players’ KDAs.

Laning Stats

CS difference, gold difference, and XP difference make up the three primary laning phase statistics. All three of these numbers are tied to one another, as longer laning provides higher XP, which allows more opportunity for farming CS, which allows for more gold. Global gold from dragons, turrets, and other objectives can contribute to the gold difference, as well.

However, several outside factors affect a player’s laning phase. Continuing the comparison from above, Flame averages ahead 190 gold (2nd), 63 XP (3rd), and 4.8 CS (3rd) at ten minutes. Darshan starts behind 49 gold (6th) and 0.4 CS (5th), but ahead 2 XP (7th). But, like KDA, laning statistics require more context to properly judge.

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Out of 16 total games this split, CLG and FlyQuest drafted so that Darshan and Flame both locked in their champion before their laning opponent in six games (37.5 percent), while choosing their champion after their opponent in ten (62.5 percent). Also, their champion pools are similar. Gnar and Gangplank have been the power picks of top lane, so it is not surprising to see them as Flame and Darshan’s most played. Both have a couple of Cho’Gath games, some Camille and Ornn. However, Darshan played Vladimir and Maokai twice each, and Fiora once, while Flame had one Sion game. Flame may have a slight advantage in laning strength champions, but not by much.

Jungle proximity is another variable that might contribute to their laning phase disparities. It is possible that Flame or Darshan gets more early attention from their jungler or the opponent’s jungler. The additional pressure could help them to fall behind or get ahead in the first 15 minutes. These statistics are not publicly available, so it remains unclear whether Reignover or AnDa more frequently pressures top lane. 

Team success can help contextualize an individual’s contributions, as well. CLG generally gets ahead by 135 gold at 15 minutes. FlyQuest starts 1,242 gold behind, on average. According to OraclesElixir.com, FlyQuest carries the lowest Early Game Rating of any NA LCS team (38.1), while CLG sits sixth (51.1). This team-to-team comparison allows analysts to understand each player’s individual contributions within the five-man roster.

Damage

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Damage is usually the final metric for top laners. DPM (damage per minute) is the typical calculation, which just divides a player’s total damage to champions by the number of minutes in the game. Again, Flame and Darshan occupy similar territory compared to other top laners. Flame averages 463 damage per minute (4th), while Darshan averages 450 (6th).

Of course, champion pool probably has the largest effects on a player’s damage, especially in top lane. It is common for tanks, fighters, mages, ranged, and melee champions to rotate through the meta. Gangplank, Jayce, and Vladimir average much higher damage per minute than Ornn, Cho’Gath and Maokai, for obvious reasons.

Multiply each champion’s average damage per minute by the number of times each player drafted them, and we get which player is expected to have higher damage statistics. Flame’s champion pool averages 15 more damage per minute (471) than Darshan’s (456), which makes up the discrepancy between their individual stats. However, CLG has the second highest team damage per minute (2,188), while FlyQuest only has the fifth (1,884), even though FlyQuest games are generally longer (39:36) versus CLG’s 39 minutes.

It is not surprising that Flame contributes 24.5 percent of FlyQuest’s damage (6th), but Darshan only contributes 21.3 percent (9th). But, as GamesofLegends.com founder, Bynjee, explains, “I don’t like when people use DMG% to compare 2 players. If you want to compare their damage, just use DPM. DMG% needs to be used from a team [point of view].” Comparing these two players is a perfect example, as their damage per minute is roughly the same, but their team-wide damage is different. Therefore, Flame’s percentage of damage is higher than Darshan’s.

Conclusion

NA LCS top laners’ statistics after eight weeks

Gold, vision, and other statistics exist that can help judge between players. Baron, dragon, and objective control can help judge between teams. But keep in mind how shallow these figures are, and what they represent. More importantly, figure out what shortcomings they have. Is a low gold percentage necessarily bad if a top laner is playing mostly tanks? Is vision score connected to game length and number of Barons or Elder Dragons? For example, OraclesElixir.com’s founder, Tim Sevenhuysen, commented, “I don’t trust vision score because I don’t really understand it, and because it makes subjective judgments that are disguised as an objective measurement.” 

Balancing all of the data presented above, Flame appears to be the superior individual top laner. Despite FlyQuest’s downward tendencies as a team, and as individuals, Flame maintains mid-high performance compared to other top laners. Opposing top laners usually get to counter-pick Flame in the draft, and his team has the worst early game in the LCS, yet he averages ahead in all laning stats. Flame also outputs the expected damage, while staying safe enough to keep a high KDA. All things considered, Flame is likely a top three top laner in the NA LCS.

credits

Featured Image: Reddit Post-Match Discussion

Other Images: LoL Esports Flickr

Statistics Screenshots: Oracles Elixir

Other Statistics: Games of Legends

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Postseason

The NA LCS postseason takes shape

There is only one week remaining in the North American League Championship Series, and the postseason is taking shape. After Week 8, there are four teams that have secured a place in the playoffs, three teams that are officially eliminated and three that are still fighting for the chance to go to the finals. Each team only has two games left to solidify their final standing in the spring split.

Secured:

Echo Fox

Echo Fox took off running Week 1, and though they may have stumbled a few times, they hardly slowed down. Even with two losses last week, they are still tied for first place with 11 wins and 5 losses. Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon has returned from Korea to dominate the top lane, and the new roster has been dominating the rift.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett appears to have finally found a team that is a good fit. He has spent the last few years bouncing from team to team every few months, and many thought that this would just be another short stop for him before he moved on to another team, or left the pro scene altogether. Instead, he has been playing better than ever, and it seems that for the first time in his career he is connecting just as well with his team off the rift. They are in the position to secure first place as long as they win both of their Week 9 games.

Postseason

Echo Fox (Courtesy of LoL Esports)

Cloud9

Currently tied with Echo Fox for first place is Cloud9. Though they have not ever won an NA LCS split, they also have never failed to make it to Worlds. Additionally, they have been the only North American team to make it past the group stage in the last two World Championships. They have several experienced players, including Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi who most consider to be the best ADC in the league. However, their rookie Top Laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie has also been getting a lot of attention. He has held his own against some of the most experienced Top Laners in the West, and his lane control has been a key part of many of their victories.

Clutch Gaming & 100 Thieves

The other two teams to have secured a playoff spot this week are Clutch Gaming and 100 Thieves, but they have a lot more in common than just that. Both new to the NA LCS this year, they each rebounded from a rough start to make it into the postseason. Clutch Gaming and 100 Thieves are backed by the Houston Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. Additionally, both have relied on a mix of veteran LCS talent and fresh skill to succeed this season. Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black and the rest of 100 Thieves will take on Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and Clutch Gaming in the first game of Week 9 to decide their final rankings.

 

Eliminated:

 

On the other side, this week’s games also saw three teams eliminated from the possibility of extending their seasons.

FlyQuest

Last year, FlyQuest finished their first split in 4th place, exceeding the expectations of most. This year has been a different story, and the changes made by the rest of the league outpaced their own. Many people thought it was an improvement when they chose Jason “WildTurtle” Tran to replace Johnny “Altec” Ru last year. Now, Altec is on Echo Fox, tied for first, and FlyQuest is figuring out how to improve before the Summer Split arrives.

OpTic Gaming

The other two teams that are officially out of playoff contention are both brand new to the league. OpTic Gaming is an established esports brand that has just branched out into League of Legends. With a team full of veterans such as Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, and Daerek “LemonNation” Hart, expectations were high. There were some impressive individual performances that looked promising at times. However, they never really played up to their potential as a team, and it resulted in their current 4-12 record.

Postseason

OpTic Gaming (Courtesy of LoL Esports)

The Golden Guardians

The Golden Guardians are a new team backed by the Golden State Warriors, and unfortunately for them, they did about as well this season as people expected them to. Hai “Hai” Du Lam’s experience was not enough to outweigh the rest of the team, and they were outplayed in nearly all of their performances this split. They have the skill to improve as a team in the future, but they have a long way to go.

 

Still fighting:

In the final week of the Spring Split, there are 3 teams that are technically still fighting for playoff spots. To make things more interesting, many predicted Team Liquid, Team Solo Mid, and Counter Logic Gaming  to be at the top of the table. TSM and TL each only need to win one of their Week 9 games to move on. If either team does this, it will dash the hopes of CLG.

Team SoloMid

TSM made big roster changes that included the addition of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez. Coming from G2 Esports, they were widely regarded as the best Bot Lane duo in the West. Unexpectedly, these two were one of the weak points for the team for most of the season. Most of the weight was left on the shoulders of Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg to carry them even this far. Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell was not a liability in the top lane, but wasn’t as consistently strong as he has been in the past, and Jungler Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung was less explosive than they had hoped he would be.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid acquired an entirely new roster full of experience at the end of 2017. They started off the season strong, dominating the first 3 weeks to earn a 5-1 record. Two losses to top teams in Week 4 seemed to shake their confidence, and since then they have failed to have another 2-0 week. One of the most “hit or miss” teams in the NA LCS, they will need to be in top form to ensure a playoff spot. If Bot Lane duo Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung play as well as they did in Week 1, this should be a breeze.

Postseason

Team Liquid (Courtesy of LoL esports)

Counter Logic Gaming

Last, there is Counger Logic Gaming. While technically still in the running, everything possible must go their way to have a chance at playoffs. If they don’t, it will be the first time ever that CLG did not advance past the regular season. Going 3-3 in the first three weeks, they then went on a six-game losing streak. However, something changed in Week 7, and they have won four straight games. Led by incredible performances in the Bottom Lane by Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang, they have looked strong enough to have people hopeful for a last minute comeback to force a tiebreaker.

 

Regardless of the outcomes of this week’s games, you can bet that they will be some of the best of the season. As some teams fight for a spot in the playoffs, others jostle for a better ranking and playoff berth. Even the eliminated teams will be fighting to win some respect and finish with the best record possible. With so much on the line, the NA LCS games in Week 9 are not ones to miss.

 

Find the rest of my articles here. If you would like to contact me or keep up with things I like, find me on Twitter: @buttsy11.  For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports

Svenskeren is not worried about the recent 3-3

 


The last three weeks, Cloud9 has gone 1-1. Is this signs of C9 having weaknesses, or is it more experimenting on stage?

“So we have been trying out a lot of stuff on stage. If we only cared about winning, we might not have tried things out, but Reapered knows what he is doing. So he is just giving us a lot of training time on stage where it is a lot more valuable than playing that way in scrims. Because in scrims you can kind of stomp the game and the enemy will give up and give a lot of free kills and snowball a lot faster. But on stage, the games are typically a lot slower, so you can’t snowball as fast. So I think Reapered knows what he is doing and giving us a lot of practice time on stage. I’m not really worried about the 1-1 weeks because we are just using it for practice mostly.”

 

Both Reapered and Jack mentioned that their focus is solely on Worlds, so it definitely makes sense that you are treating stage time as practice time. What is it that you’ve learned specifically while on stage while using that as practice?

“It’s just that on stage we can pick Lucian top and Jayce top, and I just played Volibear right now. So you can play whatever you feel like. And if you think it’s a strong pick then Reapered just believes in you and you can pull it out. So even though a lot of champs might not be meta, or whatever, you still get the chance to show your team whatever is actually viable. So it’s a pretty nice environment where the games are more relaxed I guess. And we actually get chances to prove ourselves.”

 

The Jungle Meta has seemed very stale this season, with 45 Sejuani games picked out of 70 games. Now that there is finally a patch affecting the jungle – now that there is no Tracker’s Knife – are we going to start seeing some of the jungler pool opening up?

“You’re already kind of seeing it now. The champs that were strong before are still super strong, like Skarner and Sejuani. Sejuani had to go trackers knife before, so she didn’t deal too much damage, but with red smite now, she can actually just one shot you. It’s kind of stupid that tanks deal so much damage because of red smite too. It’s not just that assassins that can use it. Obviously Kha’Zix is super strong as well, but that’s not really because of the Skirmishers. It’s that the True Invisibility is kinda bullshit – there’s no counter play to the champion. I think that the patch has not been figured out completely yet, there might be some strong champs as well. Volibear is fine, any tanks are pretty okay because you generally out-scale if you have an enemy that doesn’t go tank, then as a team comp you kind of just win later on in the game. It’s pretty open as long as your team comp makes sense.”

 

So why have we seen two Lee Sins since the removal of Tracker’s Knife?

“I ran into some Lee Sins in solo queue where it seems pretty strong because with the Electrocute and the Skirmisher’s, you actually have a lot of early game damage. But it just gets out-scaled so hard and it’s pretty hard later on to be useful at all, you have to go for some pretty sick outplays. But in competitive, where the players are like even skill as you, they can kind of play around your play. So I just don’t really see the risk of picking it being worth it.”

 

Do you have any thoughts on some other picks we haven’t seen yet that may be pretty good?

“I obviously don’t want to leak whatever I’m practicing before I put them on stage. But yeah, I’ve been playing some champs that are definitely viable, I just haven’t put them on stage yet. Obviously there are more than Sejuani and Skarner that’s available.”

 

Any thoughts on some of the middle tier teams and which seem like they might be able to pull something off in the playoffs if they make it there?

“Well CLG is looking pretty good right now on the new patch. And you can never underestimate TSM. So I think as long as we don’t go against TSM in the first round, it should be pretty good for us.”

 

Lastly, you’ve been on C9 for a while now. So what is it like with the change to a new organization, and what is it like having Jensen in the mid lane?

“My time on C9 has been really positive. There’s not that many stressful situations where a lot of people are yelling or aggressive. Everyone is pretty neutral in the discussions and take things with an open mind. And I think Reapered leads the conversation so there isn’t much opportunity for people to get in heated arguments because Reapered has the final say. And working with Jensen is pretty easy I would say. I thought he would be really different coming into the team, but he has actually grown a lot as a person rather than when I knew him in EU where he was kind of a kid. But now he is pretty mature and takes in a lot of stuff I tell him and he tells me a lot. So we improve together, and obviously he is a super good player.”

 


Find Svenskeren on Twitter @C9Svenskeren. Check back here for more content and our YouTube channel for my video interviews! If you’d like to contact me, go ahead and tweet @parkeso. For pictures and stories, follow my Insta @parqueso. If you’re not big into social media, email me at parkesotwo@gmail.com. =)