After Week 3 of the NA LCS we’re starting to get an idea of who the top teams are. Although there’s some that are close to breaching into the Top 4, it’s clear that every team has some issues that need to be addressed before we can have a definitive #1 team. Here are the takeaway from Week 3 of the NA LCS Summer Split!
Team SoloMid is back on track
Although their first two weeks were shaky, TSM picked up a few solid 2-0 victories against both EnVy and Team Liquid. Granted TL are not a top team at all but EnVy was considered one of the stronger teams are a 3-1 start in the first couple of weeks. TSM went back to comfort picks in both matches and it really showed that when they are on those picks, they are still really good. It’s unclear what we can expect from them if they intend to use the LCS as a way to practice with new team comps.
One thing this shows is that TSM has a lot of confidence if they are willing to sack some of their matches in exchange for stage practice with new compositions. And rightfully so because we’ve seen that when TSM is on comfort picks they play much better than if they are testing something. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen is the main beneficiary of this because whenever he gets Lee Sin, he is able to take over games and snowball his lead into victories. He’s been looking better as the weeks have passed but he still needs to expand his champion pool and become more reliable on other champions.
The Korean Top Laners are starting to take over
With Samson “Lourlo” Jackson not doing so well on TL, Derek “zig” Shao struggling and Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell also having some trouble due to TSM having to work out how they allocate resources, the Korean top laners have started to reign supreme. Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, Lee “Flame” Ho-Jong and Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok are all playing really well right now. They’ve had their fair share of troubles adjusting to their teams but now that they’ve had a chance to get used to their teammates and the NA region as a whole, they’re doing much better. Surprisingly the only Korean top laners that aren’t doing so well are Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Jeon “Ray” Ji-won over on Cloud9. Although individually Ray has been doing okay, he’s still not playing that well with the team. Impact is the complete opposite where he does fine with the team but isn’t doing so hot individually.
Same old story for Team Liquid
At this point everyone that talks about Team Liquid sounds like a broken record. They continue to show the same issues they’ve constantly had. The first one being poor team play. TL just does not play well together as a team. Whether that’s because they just don’t mesh well or because they can’t click in the game and outside of it, it’s clear that they just don’t function well on the inside.
Another issue of theirs is that they often beat themselves. A good example of this is Fnatic from Spring Split. At first they did poorly because they were trying to play team comps that are considered good because they wanted to become an ideal team. But after realizing that they should just develop their own style, they did just that and finished 3rd place in Spring. Instead of trying to develop their own style and start from there, Team Liquid continues to draft themselves into compositions or picks that they are just not good or comfortable on. For unknown reasons Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin is constantly put onto Kha’Zix even though it’s obvious that he isn’t at his best on the champion.
The only positives about Team Liquid are that the bottom is lane is doing fine and Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer is finally starting to show up on stage. Even in losses he’s not doing too badly and is starting to have a bigger impact on the team. This is a big improvement considering how he previously had next to no impact. Time will tell if he can develop enough to the point where he can turn TL’s season around.
Despite continuous losses Phoenix1 is looking better
The addition of Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung in the jungle role seems to be working out well for P1. Although the young rookie still has some issues in his play, he shows a lot of promise and is playing quite well. His champion pool may be put into question if he starts getting heavily banned out but other than that he’s doing just fine. Not to mention he is still very young and has a lot of room for improvement.
The other positive change for P1 was swapping Jordan “Shady” Robison with Alex “Xpecial” Chu in the support position. For a while now Xpecial hasn’t really been considered one of the best supports in the league but he is still respected as a good player and an experienced veteran. The leadership and knowledge he brings to P1 is going to be valuable and it will help MikeYeung develop faster as a player if P1 plans to stick with him going forward.
With a lot of teams being close to each other in terms of record, the NA LCS is very exciting to watch right now. It’s going to be quite the battle between the top teams to see who will be the #1 team heading into playoffs.
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