Week of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split is in the books! Although the quality of some of the games wasn’t the best, we still got some exciting matches that will have lots of fans talking. And with all of that talking come opinions and initial impressions after we saw each team player.
Cloud9 is the best team in North America
In our power rankings I placed Cloud9 right below Team SoloMid but with TSM struggling, the blue squad has rightfully taken their place at the top of the rankings. They looked great as a whole and delivered on the fans’ expectations of them. Their man in the mid lane Jensen looks to be in great shape after having a bunch of solid games and a really great performance on Ekko. Rookie jungler Contractz is fitting well within the team and is playing at a very good level for a new player in the LCS. Impact and the bottom lane of C9 are also as consistent as always and even substitute top laner Ray proved that there may be some merit to playing him over Impact from time to time. Things are looking bright for Cloud9!
Echo Fox – New Team, Same Problems
Sadly for Echo Fox they finished Week 1 with an 0-2 record after dropping both of their serious. The thing is though, they should have probably won both of them. In all of their games so far rookie jungler Akaadian has stepped up big time for them and given them leads in the early game. Unfortunately for FOX the same problems are popping up again for them despite their fresh roster. They are just unable to transition their leads into wins and their opponents are able to get back into the game and make a comeback. Whether this problem is related to Froggen and his shotcalling or if it’s just because the team is new and can’t communicate properly, it will be interesting to see if Echo Fox can fix this issue and improve as a team.
Akaadian is super impressive
I had to make a separate section for this guy because he earned it. The new Echo Fox jungler played incredibly well for a rookie. The reason why I value his performance so highly is because when a new player makes his debut, he will usually be a bit reserved and he will let his teammates guide him. Akaadian is a different case. Not only is he proactive and aggressive as a jungler, something we don’t usually see from newer players, he’s doing it on a team that he hasn’t been on for that long. In Contractz’s case you could say he’s been part of the Cloud9 organization for a while now and he’s familiar with it and his teammates. Cody Sun also had a good experience with Immortals, playing with them at IEM Gyeonggi. Akaadian had none of that and even in his team’s losses, he still performed great and made a case for himself that he’s a strong jungler to look out for.
Team SoloMid has to improve to be a top contender
Although TSM went 1-1 in their first week, their play was rather disappointing and uninspiring. The team was beloved in the Summer of 2016 for being an aggressive and proactive team. With Doublelift’s shotcalling missing from the team, they looked like a shell of their former selves. Their individual plays were indecisive and very rusty. As for their shotcalling it was very lacking and it showed that they weren’t focused and confident in their play. As it stands now it would be fair to say TSM is a middle of the pack team but because the season just started conclusions shouldn’t be made. The team can still improve and if they want to defend their throne as the champions of NA, they will have to improve. Their infrastructure is good with the addition of new staff members in the off-season so we can assume as the season goes on, the squad will ramp up and improve upon their initial performances.
Counter Logic Gaming is a big question mark
I really don’t know what to think of CLG in their first week. They lost their series to Team Liquid and even though they defeated Team EnVy 2-0, it wasn’t a clean sweep at all. However, CLG did show moments of brilliance in their matches that made me think they will return to their dominant form with more play time. HuHi was finally able to branch out a bit and play champions such as Corki and Katarina. CLG is making the right steps towards improving even further and they will need to do that considering their roster is unchanged. An even bigger question mark than the team itself is Darshan. We know by now that he can play champions which allow him to splitpush at a great level. But whenever we get to a tank meta, he’s good at playing tanks in team fights but when it comes to lane he’s just not at that high level he can be at. Whether or not CLG will be able to remedy this will be crucial to their success because if they don’t, it will end up hurting them if the meta continues to favor tanks.
FlyQuest and Team Dignitas are pretty good
Many people including myself expected this team to flop. Well it turns out they’re actually decent. Even though it’s only Week 1, it seems as though Hai and the rest of his teammates are playing fine individually and with Hai’s leadership, this team might just be able to make playoffs. Time will tell if they will drop down the rankings but as it stands right now, they are looking good. Team Dignitas is also looking quite good. Even though they were only able to defeat Phoenix1, they still looked good in their loss to Cloud9 and showed some great play in their debut week. Ssumday in particular has delivered some monstrous performances and justified the hype around him. The rest of the team also showed very good play, even the bottom lane of Dignitas which was the biggest question mark for the team. If Dignitas can continue improving and building synergy, we might be looking at a Top 3 team at the end of the split.
Week 1 of the NA LCS was a good indicator of what we can expected going into future weeks. Although the quality of the games could have been better, we should expect it to improve as the season goes on and teams improve more and more.