After another week of games the NA LCS is close to wrapping up. Things are looking pretty clear at the top of the standings, but the bottom is much more open. Even Team EnVy, despite their loss to Team Liquid, still have a chance of avoiding the promotion tournament. Here are the takeaways from Week 7.
Constant surprises by CLG
After a brutal loss to Team Dignitas it was looking like Counter Logic Gaming would finish Week 7 with an 0-2 record with their other match being against Cloud9. Well, as usual CLG surprised everyone by defeating C9 in a three game series. So what happened to cause C9’s loss? It’s easy to pin the blame on any specific member of C9, but the reality is that CLG just played well. While Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has been a huge liability for them in recent weeks, in the series against C9 he played quite well and didn’t hold back his team. CLG is definitely a weird team that can win against pretty much any team and lose against the weakest of teams. It’s impossible to tell if they will be able to keep up this performance but at the very least we can expect even more surprises from CLG until the end of the split.
Team Dignitas is rising
Despite a rough start to the split, Team Dignitas has slowly improved and are close towards snatching a playoff spot. As stated by Alex “Xpecial” Chu in a post-game interview, Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun and Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho have been making a big effort towards learning English and improving their team play. It’s definitely showing in their performance. Lae-Young “Keane” Jang has also been stepping up as an important carry for the team, which is something they really needed considering Ssumday was their only reliable win condition. Usually Keane is a serviceable player that does his job but him stepping up as a carry is going to be crucial towards Dignitas’ performance. With improvements in their cohesion and their individual play, we might just be looking at a Dignitas squad that might make a decent playoff run.
Tough times for Echo Fox and FlyQuest
Despite a hot start for Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, he hasn’t been able to keep his performance at a consistent level. This doesn’t mean he has been playing bad, but it does mean that his level of play just hasn’t been good enough to where it can win games for Echo Fox. The problem lies in the team’s inability to properly win matches when Akaadian doesn’t get them rolling in the early game. This is a massive problem that Echo Fox needs to resolve if they want to improve. No one player can constantly carry his teammates to victories. Everyone on a team needs to step up if that team is going to perform well and Echo Fox is on exception. The other struggling team is FlyQuest despite their really good start to the split. With Hai “Hai” Du Lam struggling in the mid lane, his shotcalling has taken a hit and he isn’t able to lead the team properly. Typically any team that Hai has been on starts to struggle when he is underperforming himself. This is no exception and if FlyQuest is going to bounce back, it needs to start with Hai getting back in his form from earlier weeks. Not to mention they need to fix their drafts. Being innovative and having pocket picks is a valuable skill. But constantly playing champions that are out of the meta and relying on them doesn’t work well in pro play. FlyQuest has shown a reliance on cheese picks and the results speak for themselves as they have barely picked up any wins with them.
Dardoch is back on track
Despite going 1-1, it was a good week for Immortals. It finally feels like they are working well as a team, and the players are performing. In past weeks, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett and Lee “Flame” Ho-Jong had shaky performances, while Eugene “Pobelter” Park was straight up donating kills to enemy teams. The bottom lane was also quite inconsistent and looked like one of the weaker bottom lanes in the league. But all of that is slowly changing with all of the players performing better individually and as a team. Dardoch especially seems to be the most crucial member for Immortals. Similarly to how Echo Fox functions, Immortals are a team that perform better when Dardoch is able to have a big impact in the early game and get all of the lanes going.
It certainly was an interesting week for the NA LCS and one that answered some of our questions. We now know which teams are going to form the Top 3, but anything below that is a mystery and it will be figured out in the final two weeks of the NA LCS.