The playoffs are approaching for the NA LCS and Week 6 was another grueling obstacle for all teams. It is becoming very clear how the standings will shape out coming into the final weeks but every team has the potential to go down or up. Here are the takeaways from Week 6:
Cloud9 and Team SoloMid are the top dogs
Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Probably not. And it shouldn’t be. While Cloud9 suffered their first loss as well as an 0-2 in Week 5, the blue team bounced back easily and are once again considered the strongest team along with rivals Team SoloMid. Despite facing off against FlyQuest once more in a series that was expected to be close, C9 was able to make short work of them, defeating them in a 2-0 sweep. This further proves that there’s a gap between TSM/C9 and the rest of the teams.
Team SoloMid on the other hand is becoming much more decisive and consistent. They easily defeated long-time rivals CLG in 2-0 fashion and were also able to dispatch Team Dignitas without much difficulty. Things are finally clicking for them and with Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell stepping up as a shotcaller alongside Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, TSM is going to be a force to be reckoned with heading into playoffs. Even Jason “WildTurtle” Tran who has been criticized in the past has been performing at a better level. If TSM continues to be consistent, we may be looking at another C9 vs TSM finals.
Rough times for Immortals
So usually if you’re facing off against the bottom two teams in your League, you’re expected to go 2-0 in that week. For Immortals that sadly wasn’t the case. Instead of beating both opponents, they lost to them and have endangered their playoff spot. While it’s not any one player’s fault, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett‘s play was very questionable in Week 6. He seemed like he was out of it in both series and was tilting pretty hard in their losses. Although he is usually praised for his Lee Sin play, this time around he performed poorly on the champion and made very questionable in-game decisions that would end up costing him greatly.
The good news for Immortals is that Li “Cody Sun” Yu Sun and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung seem to be clicking slowly but surely as a bottom lane. Cody Sun has been playing better as the weeks go by and Olleh remains a solid member of the team. If the top side of the map for Immortals can fix their inconsistent play and be more dependable, we may be looking at a decent playoffs team. But as of right now Immortals have issues that they need to address before they want to aim for higher goals.
Inconsistency continues to plague Counter Logic Gaming
Man it’s tough to figure out what’s wrong with CLG. They played a good series against Phoenix1, winning it 2-1. But then it all came crashing down against Team SoloMid as they got crushed 0-2 and didn’t put up that much of a fight. One obvious weakness for them is Jake “Xmithie” Puchero. While usually he is a very stable player that CLG can always rely on, that hasn’t been the case this split and Xmithie is currently leading the NA LCS in deaths.
The bright spot for CLG seems to be Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes in the bottom lane. Although his teammates are largely inconsistent, he continues to be a rock in the AD Carry role for his team. If the other members are able to step up in their play and perform well in most games, then CLG will likely become a title contender. But as it stands right now, it’s looking like while they will make playoffs, they won’t be able to win it all.
What does Phoenix1 do moving forward?
So despite using William “Meteos” Hartman as a substitute jungler, Phoenix1 has won 3 of their last 4 matches. That’s very impressive and it begs the question of whether or not P1 should try to stick with Meteos as their jungler. Rami “Inori” Charagh is a good player and mechanically he is better than Meteos at the moment. But what Meteos brings to P1 can’t be understated. He has experience and is a veteran, he is good from a macro perspective and he is likely more flexible than Inori who does well on carry junglers but not as great on supportive ones. It’s going to be a tough decision for Phoenix1. Both players bring something different to the table and figuring out what they require more is going to be P1’s task when it comes to finding the right fit for them in the jungle role.
Team Liquid might have found their solution
Let’s just say it right now, Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin has performed better as TL’s mid laner than Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer has. Yes that’s a rough statement towards Goldenglue. But it’s a true statement and it bodes well for TL. Piglet was heavily focused during draft phase in most of TL’s Week 6 games. But even so he was able to pick up a lot of different champions and perform well on most of them. It seems that he really is more suited towards mid lane right now and that’s great for TL because they needed a stable player in the mid lane badly.
The problem with this comes in the form of Young-bin “Youngbin” Jung. While Piglet himself stated that he didn’t perform that well in Week 6 but he will help the former mid laner improve his ADC play, this does mean that TL is going to have an easy time escaping relegations. Youngbin’s play has been underwhelming so far and it begs the question of whether or not TL should try to develop him or just find a more suitable person for the position.
The split is winding down and we’re starting to get an idea of what the playoffs will look like. While everything can still change, Team SoloMid and Cloud9 are the most likely contenders for winning the split. Next week’s games will be crucial, especially for teams in the middle and bottom of the standings.
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