The 2016 NA LCS Season saw many things come to fruition. CLG proving their worth without Doublelift, then Doublelift proving his by taking TSM to their fourth NA LCS title, lots of drama within organizations such as Liquid, records being set, matches being held in a huge venue that has never hosted a League of Legends event. All of those things made the 2016 season a special one. With that said let’s recap how the teams within the league performed throughout the year.
The Champs – Team SoloMid
When it comes to domestic performance, TSM was definitely THE team to beat in NA. Spring was rough for the team as everything was falling apart but after the departure of YellowStar and the addition of Biofrost, TSM dominated the Summer Split and achieved the biggest win streak in a row in NA history as well as an incredibly impressive 17-1 record. While Counter Logic Gaming achieved 2nd place at the Mid-Season Invitational and also managed to win the Spring Split, TSM was able to come in 2nd place in Spring and then win Summer. If we count international performances, CLG would take the edge for sure. But within NA, TSM had a better year overall.
The Faithful – Counter Logic Gaming
Make no mistake, TSM may have been a more dominant team domestically, but CLG proved it’s worth. Even after losing superstars Doublelift and Pobelter, CLG still managed to pull off a repeat and won their second LCS title in a row and in the organization’s history. Aphromoo deserves a lot of credit for being able to shotcall and lead the team towards victory while also learning how to play with a new ADC and teaching him the game. Darshan and Xmithie also deserve a lot of praise. The CLG top laner was able to have a really impressive spring split and a great run at MSI, while Xmithie proved to be CLG’s most consistent point, almost always performing well in most of CLG’s games.
The Solid Squads – Cloud9, Immortals
Despite not winning either split this year, Cloud9 was able to have an admirable performance at Worlds (being the only NA team to make it to Quarterfinals) and also made the Summer NA LCS finals, losing 1-3 to TSM. It’s true that C9 didn’t achieve the best of results throughout the year, but they’ve remained a solid team even after Hai stepped down as their shotcaller. Immortals on the other hand were able to have two very dominant splits and could have had the most dominant year in the history of the NA LCS. But both times, they failed in the playoffs against TSM and C9. This makes it impossible to put them in the Top 2 but the team was still a very decent team despite failing to win playoffs.
Middle of the Pack Teams – Team Liquid, Apex Gaming, Team EnVyUs, Phoenix1
If there’s one thing these teams share, it’s that all 4 of them showed potential to be a top team. In different weeks during the Summer Split, they showed good play that made you believe they could be a contender for at least a Top 3 placing. But playing well in one week and doing poorly in another just doesn’t cut it and every one of these teams was a middle of the pack team in the end.
The Depressing Teams – NRG Esports, Echo Fox
Both squads were expected to do okay. NRG had the potential to be something more than a major fluke but the team just couldn’t click and failed to deliver. Echo Fox also had the faith of the fans after their surge near the end of the Spring Split. But alas, both squads failed to improve in any way and continued to get progressively worse with time. While in NRG’s case it wasn’t a severe collapse, the team just couldn’t find any cohesion and would eventually get relegated. Echo Fox was able to keep their spot by defeating NRG 3-0 in the promotion tournament, but the team has a lot to work on if they don’t want another awful performance next year.