The more things change in the NA LCS, the more it seems like everything always stays the same in the end. After a hard week for Team SoloMid, having to play against the top two teams in Cloud9 and FlyQuest, the veteran team has managed to go 2-0 and get closer towards regaining their first place spot from last year. Meanwhile teams that were expected to do well struggled heavily. Here are the takeaway from Week 5 of the NA LCS.
Team SoloMid had an amazing Week 5
With how they have been playing in-general and how indecisive their matches can be, the expectations for TSM weren’t very high considering they were facing off against both Cloud9 and FlyQuest. But TSM managed to survive, and not only that, they took both series in solid 2-1 wins. Although it wasn’t super clean and the single game they lost in each series was a big throw on their side, the fact is that they managed to go 2-0 after facing off against two of the other top teams in the same week. They did look good in their victories and the synergy between Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell is improving. Going into Week 6 we can expect good things from TSM. They may not have the same playstyle they had last year but it seems they are back on track and they definitely have the chance to retain their title from last year.
Rough week for Cloud9, FlyQuest and Echo Fox
Oh boy, where to even begin? Let’s just start with the team that was least expected to go 0-2. Cloud9 came into the week after barely defeating FlyQuest but it was still expected they’d be able to beat both TSM and Phoenix1 that were coming off losses. That was not the case, however, as they lost 1-2 to TSM (and they did not look good in their losses) and then fell 0-2 to a Phoenix1 squad that had Meteos subbing in for Inori after he hadn’t been playing League that much and wasn’t able to scrim with the team for very long. So what went wrong with C9? Their drafts were not that great. Usually Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu is praised for his strong and witty drafts, but in Week 5, he dropped the ball, crafting compositions that did not make too much sense. Not to mention Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong in particular wasn’t the rock we are used to seeing. He had a very weak Rumble game, getting solo killed by Hauntzer’s Shen. The rest of the team also did not perform to the standard we usually see from them, and while it’s not time to worry for Cloud9 yet, they need to pick themselves off the ground and shape up if they want to stop losing.
For FlyQuest it was a similar story. Against TSM, they lost in a similar fashion to C9, losing two games decisively and taking one game due to a throw by TSM. But against Team Dignitas the drafting and over-aggressiveness was their main problem. In both games they would pick Jarvan for Hai “Hai” Du Lam, a pick that is rarely seen, and if it is, it’s usually in the top lane. While Hai did okay on the pick, it did not fit very well into their team comps and wasn’t very effective as FlyQuest was losing fights left and right. Considering how Hai is as a person, it seems unlikely FlyQuest will continue losing games. But just like C9, they need to shape up and be careful of getting complacent.
As for Echo Fox, well, they just had an even week. One has to wonder if Henrik “Froggen” Hansen really is cursed from his time on Alliance, because for some reason, Echo Fox looked like an entirely different team in Weeks 2 and 4 as opposed to Weeks 1, 3 and 5. As stated by Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham in a recent vlog of his, he was one of the underperformers for the team. The reason being that he did not practice too much on patch 7.3 and when he got a bit focused in champion select, he was put on champions on which he wasn’t comfortable. That being said, when one player on Echo Fox is having a rough performance, it seems that the others aren’t able to pick up the slack. The team needs to fix this because being a team that falls apart if one player underperforms is definitely not a good thing.
Coach Cop was the solution?
Team Dignitas has recovered for now with a 2-0 week! They were able to defeat FlyQuest in a pretty big 2-0 upset. They would then go on to defeat Team Liquid 2-1 in a closer series. It was definitely a great week for Dignitas, and if they are able to use their wins as momentum, we might be looking at a future playoff-worthy team. A large credit goes towards David “Cop” Roberson, who was re-hired as a coach for the team and drafted compositions that were comfortable for the team to execute and win on. The players themselves also performed better than in previous weeks and it’s great to see that Dignitas didn’t just fall apart.
Phoenix1 surprises everyone while Team Liquid surprises no one
Despite having to sub in William “Meteos” Hartman in place of Rami “Inori” Charagh, the P1 squad managed to go 2-0 this week. Not just that, but they managed to pick up 2-0 sweeps over both Team EnVy and the 1st place team, Cloud9. One has to question if Meteos will continue jungling for the team in the future. Inori was struggling before he was subbed out, and while Meteos’ mechanics are rusty, he is still good when it comes to macro play and playing within a team setting. On the other end of the spectrum, Team Liquid delivered on the expectations they have set for themselves. Sadly, those expectations were that they would lose both of their matches in Week 5, and that’s exactly what happened after the team fell 1-2 to both Team Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming. There’s no use in sugarcoating it. This team is slowly falling apart, and unless they make a drastic change that could potentially save them from the relegation zone, it’s looking bleak for Liquid and their fans.
Next week the NA LCS is on break due to IEM Katowice. No NA teams will be attending the event, but it gives all squads a good amount of time to rest up and fix any issues that they might be having. How they use this time off will be crucial towards each team’s performance going into Week 6.