The current kings of the NA LCS are Team SoloMid. But that could change as soon as the Spring Split of 2017. With Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s announcement that he would be taking a break during the Spring Split, TSM is losing one of its main shotcallers. Not only is Doublelift one of their main carries but he also synergizes well with Biofrost. Such a huge blow to TSM is a signal for other teams. With the champions possibly being vulnerable, it opens the door for other teams to overthrow them. Here are some potential candidates:
Counter Logic Gaming
The former two time LCS champions lost to TSM in the Summer Semifinals of the NA LCS and had a poor Worlds showing, not making it past groups. However, if there’s anything that CLG proved it’s that they can build a good team without having five superstars in all positions. Whether or not CLG has any roster changes in the off-season, what matters most for them is using their players to the fullest and making them work as a five man unit. If the CLG support staff is able to do this, CLG have the potential to bring in their third LCS title.
If C9 is able to keep their roster intact, they should be good for next year. They already showed great potential after one split with this roster, making it to the NA LCS finals and being the only NA team to make it out of groups at Worlds. Another split with the same roster will do wonders for them. It will allow them to build up more synergy and that will be very helpful for them (especially for Meteos) because they’ve shown a lack of synergy often. Meteos hasn’t been able to work that well with his lanes so giving him more time to play with them will not only help him regain his form but it also lets him build up synergy with his teammates. Assuming C9 sticks together and continues to improve, they will be a strong contender next year.
I’ll be brief on this one, it seems like Immortals will be splitting up next year. So if they do split up then they won’t be a contender, at least not for now. But if they keep their roster, it’s hard to say they shouldn’t count as a strong contender, considering how they had two dominant splits in a row (despite their flops in the playoffs).
The reason why Team Liquid is in this list is because it seems likely they will be rebuilding their whole team. If they are able to build a strong team around one or two of their players or just start from scratch and make a team with star players in all roles, they can be a contender. As of right now, considering their history it’s unlikely they will be able to challenge for the title, but we can never know until we see what the line-up is like for next year.
The title is up for grabs next year! Whether TSM retains it, one of their rivals takes it, or a new team appears to claim it for themselves, the 2017 NA LCS season is looking very promising.