2017 NA LCS Spring Split: Week 2 Round-Up

 

The NA LCS Spring Split continues to be in total chaos as every team is trying to separate themselves from the rest. While in Europe we have more of a clear picture on which teams are good and which ones aren’t, in North America every team that isn’t named Cloud9 has not established itself as a strong contender yet. Here are the takeaways from Week 2 of the NA LCS.

 

Cloud9 is still the best team

 

The only undefeated squad after the first two weeks, Cloud9 are definitely above every other team in the league. They are just meshing and playing really well together and it shows. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is still playing at a very high level. Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen is in great form and whenever that’s the case, it’s great news for Cloud9. Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Andy “Smoothie” Ta are consistent as ever and even Juan “Contractz” Garcia is playing well for a rookie. It’s just hard to find too many faults in Cloud9’s play at the moment. Their macro is solid, their players are good and they perform well as a team. They even have a talented substitute top laner waiting on the bench in-case they want to use him. We might be in for a split where Cloud9 resurges and wins their first split in two years.

 

Team SoloMid is slowly improving

 

It’s clear that TSM are still not at their old level. However, they showed some decent improvements in Week 2. Their main problem is still their shotcalling and proactivity. It was better this week, but the loss of Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng was a huge blow to the team and the playstyle they developed. TSM’s identity last year was an aggressive and relentless team that dominated every opponent in the early-mid game. They would close a lot of games within 30 minutes, completely smashing their opposition. But this split, it seems like the team has reverted to a more passive playstyle where they try to capitalize on mistakes rather than just using brute strength to win their matches.

Whether TSM is intentionally playing like this and developing a new style for themselves is unclear. But whatever the case is, playing passively and hoping for the enemy team to make mistakes is not the most optimal way to play the game. Elite teams like SK Telecom or KT Rolster will absolutely punish this sort of playstyle. TSM must find a way to fix their shotcalling and be more proactive if they want to start doing well.

 

The Dignitas hype has died down

 

The most hyped up team coming in this split did not have a good week. They lost both their matches to Team SoloMid and Echo Fox. It’s evident that they have communication issues due to the language barrier between their Korean imports and their other players. In an interview with Yahoo Esports, it was stated by AD Carry Benjamin “LOD” deMunck that they are playing for the long haul and early losses in the split won’t hurt them too much in the long run. Even so, Dignitas needs to stay above the bottom at the very least and losing three of their first four games is not a good sign for them. The excitement levels have definitely gone down for Dignitas and good results should be expected from them going into Week 3.

 

Echo Fox is starting to re-surge

 

It was a good week for Echo Fox as they picked up their first series win since the start of the Summer Split last year. On the back of great play from the players and some creative drafts, they are finally showing some improvement and the potential to be a strong team later on into the split. The expectations going into next week should be that Echo Fox will remain a decent middle of the pack team, but breaking into the Top 3 will not be an easy task for them. They need to play at a consistently good level and some of their players have shown us that they aren’t always too consistent.

Perhaps the most interesting thing that came out of Echo Fox’s games was their support Camille pick that was played by Austin “Gate” Yu. It proved to be instrumental towards their team fighting and early game skirmishes and it’s definitely going to put other teams on notice. If they aren’t careful and let Echo Fox get Camille again, it’s not even certain which player on their team will play her. This creates a lot of unpredictability in Echo Fox’s drafts that will surely be useful for them going forward.

 

Most of the teams have glaring issues

 

Team Envy have a solid early game but throw away any lead they have amassed in the mid game. Counter Logic Gaming is a complete wildcard, and while they can look amazing one day, they can also look awful the next one. Team Liquid is showing that they lack direction and cohesion in their play. Not to mention Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin being repeatedly targeted in draft phase. Immortals are incredibly sloppy and don’t have very much synergy at all. Their players continue to make very questionable plays and in-game decisions that make little to no sense. FlyQuest is a solid all-around team, but their problem is that they live and die by Hai “Hai” Du Lam’s shotcalling. So if Hai is having a rough game and is being heavily targeted, FlyQuest will likely fall apart. Phoenix1 boasts a 3-1 record, but their early games can be questionable in some games and although their teamfighting from behind is solid, they need to fix their early game shotcalling to avoid falling into gold deficits.

Week 3 is going to be a crazy one with every squad looking to improve. Teams will be trying to distance themselves from the pack and it’s going to be interesting to see if any new team comps or playstyles are developed along the way.

 

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