LCS Week 1 Rundown:

 

As the MSI teams dust off their shoulders from the venerated patch and head into the new 7.10, we’ve seen a number of upsets and teams outperforming their expected levels. The metagame of League for this patch is heavily focused on objective control, the team who can more efficiently control their lanes, tends to focus on ensuring that they are able to grab the two neutral objectives, Dragon and Rift Herald. The change to Rift Herald has made killing it a more worthwhile investment, so we are seeing more jungle activity between the middle and top lane. While no teams have necessarily emphasized keeping the buff for a short while, we have seen strategic placement for the Herald, using him as a battering ram to plow through a pesky turret that the enemy team has been defending during the game. In the lanes, we’ve seen more and more control mages along with the occasional ADC midlaner, a few lane bullies, and the occasional reworked Galio. The newly released Xayah and Rakan are seeing a lot of action in terms playtime and pick/ban frequency along with some of the modified junglers, in the form of Sejuani and Zac. It is likely that the meta will keep shifting as teams play more and more against each other to find out which champions perform the best in different scenarios, but less about the meta and more about the regions.

NA LCS:

The start of the NA LCS was quite interesting, some teams performed the way I expected them to, while others soared in their first week. The biggest surprise was Immortals, who went won both of their 1st-week series against two teams from the previous splits top 3, Cloud 9 and Phoenix1. It is hard to pick out just a single well-performing team member from the IMT line-up, as all of them played in a way that exceeded almost everyone’s expectations. “Pobelter” looked to be the best midlaner playing this week and is certainly a player to watch in the upcoming weeks to see if his performance stays the same. Echo Fox joined IMT among the teams who weren’t expected to get many wins in their first week. While they had an easier schedule than IMT, they won both series without losing a game, which is a massive improvement compared to their last season as even “Keith“, who many had railed in the previous reason, seemed to be playing better. Considering the announcements made by Echo Fox; about how they will only practice with their Challenger team, which was then followed by their roster reveal for that squad, which consisted of many legendary NA LCS players, “imaqtpie“, “Voyboy“, “Shiphtur“, “scarra“, and “Dyrus“. This has created some hype for the team, but will that hype be enough to carry them through the season?

The other two teams who ended their first week with a perfect 2-0 scoreline were Team Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming. DIG had a somewhat easy schedule facing off against FlyQuest and Team Envy, but the big surprise for most was how they kept up their performance level from the Spring Split. They showed clear signs of having improved their communication between their Korean and American players, and support “Big” proved to be a valuable asset during the game despite some doubts. CLG seems to have benefited from the “xmithie” – “Dardoch” trade, beating C9 and TL in a convincing fashion. While the current standings look like things may turn out to be very different than what most people predicted, it is still just the first week of competition, so we can only hope that these teams keep up their impressive performances, but they will eventually have to play against each other, and only one team can ever achieve a perfect 18-0 season.

To me, the least surprising situation of the NA LCS is the two losses that Team Liquid suffered during the first week. Putting the roster back the way it had been seems to have done nothing to improve the team’s synergy or level of play. Already having to sub in “Slooshi” for “Goldenglue” is indicative of the glass heart that the team possesses. The moment that the team is dealt a blow against their confidence, some of their players crumble under the pressure. It will be interesting watching the rest of their season and see how they will try to mend their internal problems this time. Another strange thing about the current standings is the poor start for the top 3, as both P1 and C9 ended their first week at 0-2, and TSM only ending up going 1-1. Whether this is just early season jitters remains to be seen, or if the supposed lower tier teams have actually found that competitive edge this season, expect an update on these things next week when we know a little more.

Current Standings:

  1. Counter Logic Gaming 2W-0L
  2. Team Dignitas 2W-0L
  3. Immortals 2W-0L
  4. Echo Fox 2W-0L
  5. Team Envy 1W-1L
  6. Team SoloMid 1W-1L
  7. Team Liquid 0W-2L
  8. Cloud 9 0W-2L
  9. FlyQuest 0W-2L
  10. Phoenix1 0W-2L

EU LCS:

The EU LCS was more predictable than their NA counterpart this week, with nearly all teams performing in an expected manner. Fnatic beating Misfits was the only major surprise of the week, as we saw the same FNC who had dominated the last few weeks of the EU LCS return at the start of the Summer Split. The two new teams of Ninjas in Pajamas and Mysterious Monkeys put up decent fights against their opponents, but there was still too much to overcome as they had to go up against two of the higher tier teams in H2k and FNC. Meanwhile, the series between ROCCAT and the redeemed G2; who were playing with 3 substitutes in the series, ended with G2 winning 2-1. Losing out on having 3 of your main roster is a severe blow to any team, but the subs managed to pull through, in the end, contributing to the win heavily by the end of the 3rd game. Both “Trick” and “Expect” will return in week 2, but whether “Perkz” has recovered from an illness remains to be seen.

Focusing on Fnatic’s impressive performance, it became clear that their Korean boot camp during the off-season helped them tighten up their teamwork and general level of play. “Caps” looked more confident with his play, matching the playoff form he had during the last split, and “Rekkles” showed everyone that he still had that fire from season 3 inside of him. Meanwhile, the Misfits looked a little lost against the pressure from FNC, seemingly following their late season dip from the Spring playoffs. “Maxlore” hasn’t proven himself as an upgrade compared to “kaKao“, but the season has just started so we need to keep an eye on the team as we get further into the season.

As EU still only plays a few games per week compared to NA, with most teams just playing a single series, it is harder to tell if a single series performance is a fluke, with the team either playing up or simply doing poorly. Team Vitality looked lost against Unicorns of Love, but we cannot say for certain that they are on the same level as Mysterious Monkeys. Meanwhile, the teams who had multiple games look a little stronger or more shakey than the others, simply by having had more games during the week. FNC looks insanely strong and holds the top of the standings having beaten MSF and NIP, but with H2k having taking wins off MM and SPY, they didn’t end up looking too solid, having had some shaky moments in both series. We need more games to see if the 4 losing teams can win series against other teams before we can judge the wins for what they are.

Current Standings:

Group A:

  1. Fnatic 2W-0L
  2. G2 Esports 1W-0L
  3. Misfits 0W-1L
  4. Ninjas in Pajamas 0W-1L
  5. ROCCAT 0W-1L

Group B:

  1. H2K 2W-0L
  2. Unicorns of Love 1W-0L
  3. Splyce 0W-1L
  4. Team Vitality 0W-1L
  5. Mysterious Monkeys 0W-1L

 

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An avid eSports fan ever since friends introduced him to the competetive side of gaming a few years back. As an English student, he's learned how to analyze efficiently, and he likes to utilize those skills to combine two pastimes, gaming and reading. Timothy has been writing articles for his own blogs over the years, most of which are currently inactive or simply do not exist anymore. You can expect a lot of talk about League of Legends and Overwatch from him, as it's his favorite competitive game.

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