With another satisfying weekend on the LCS wrapped up, let’s take a moment to review what happened- who won, who lost, and who should be happy even though they lost. Even without finding victories, a few teams this week should take heart with their improved appearances, with some taking games off top teams, and others simply improving their play and providing hope for the rest of split and the future.
Amazingly enough, one of these victory-in-defeat teams turns out to be Liquid, who actually turned game one against Cloud 9 and stunned fans of both teams with their victory. Unfortunately for them, Cloud 9 still slammed home the second two games to take the series, but the need to do so shows a hint of hope for Liquid fans. In a similar position, Team Envy put up a startlingly strong showing against TSM. Winning the second game- and coming into the third with a strong lead- Envy showed why they actually deserve their number four position right now. Struggling to not get caught out in the later stages of the games, Envy should look to tighten up their discipline a smidgeon, and hopefully expand this into closing out their gold leads. Rounding out the pack here, Fly Quest struggled mightily against both TSM and Cloud 9. Despite the brutal matchups back to back, Fly Quest managed to return to their successful roots of last split, forcing games into busy bloodbaths, trading kills, towers, and gold back and forth. I know, if you’d said last split that Liquid and Fly Quest were a toss up in who looked worse, I’d have called you crazy. But that’s the difference a few months can make I suppose. Despite falling apart and looking very shaky in the mid to late game, Fly Quest’s early game has begun to show marked signs of improvement- and could be a launching board to turn the team around. Echo Fox, meanwhile, prove themselves better than Europe with their defeat of Phoenix 1- but still in the bottom half of NA with their loss to Dig. While a loss to Dignitas isn’t anything to be ashamed off (both TSM and CLG have done it now over the past two weeks), Echo Fox continues to struggle to string together the multiple series wins they need to increase the gap between them and the three way tie for last place.
Much like fans expected, Cloud 9 and TSM both looked to be in strong form this weekend, despite each struggling a bit in. Cloud 9 began their weekend by making fans panic, with the team dropping Game One against Team Liquid- despite Jensen having a lead. They managed to right this wrong as quickly as possible, giving the entire LCS and viewers an abbreviated demonstration of why you should do your best not to let Jensen play Orianna. Cloud 9 shook off any doubts about their play in the next series, where they systematically took Fly Quest apart, with Jensen yet again showing why his Leblanc is nearly always banned. TSM made similar statements with their play as they, much like Cloud 9, ran straight over Fly Quest. Unfortunately, their weak moments came after the strong, as they came within inches of falling to a surging Team Envy. However, Bjergsen also reminded teams why they shouldn’t let him have his own mid lane power pick, repeatedly catching Envy out with his Syndra. You’d think it’d be obvious by now, right? Don’t allow top tier Danish midlaners free access to their strongest picks. Crazy concept.
Like all weeks, these games came with a series of upsets and surprise wins that force us to question whether the top tier teams are really as good we think. Immortals- the number one team coming into the week- fell to Dignitas. Although this isn’t necessarily an upset, seeing how Dignitas spanked TSM a week ago, the loss still contributes to the sense that at the top of the standings, no one really dominates the NA scene. Each of these teams can take matches off of anyone else. It certainly wasn’t as clear or decisive a victory as when Dignitas beat TSM, but it is a victory nonetheless- and proves Dignitas needs to be taken very seriously by top teams. CLG, on the other hand, found themselves dropping the last two games in their series against Phoenix 1, despite an incredibly one sided game one. The turning game of the series came, of course, with CLG allowing P1 to pick up Nidalee for the rookie superstar MikeYeung. In yet another demonstration of why you shouldn’t give your opponent their signature champion, Phoenix 1 wrapped up the last two games for the series win and upset.