After a grueling Week 4 which put them against two of the strongest teams in the league, Immortals stands on top of the NA LCS ranking. That being said there’s four other teams that are right on their heels. Here are the takeaways from last week’s NA LCS matches.
Xmithie is having a breakout split
After being repeatedly criticized and blamed for a lot of CLG’s losses last split, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has stepped up big time ever since joining Immortals. Not only is he outsmarting most junglers he faces off against, he is also mechanically outplaying other players. Even during his best days on CLG he was never this impressive. And it’s not even that he was never impressive on CLG because he was. But on Immortals he is showing a new side to his play that we haven’t seen ever since his days on Team Vulcun.
His teammates deserve credit too however. Even though he hasn’t been on the team for long and he’s their only new player, it seems like the whole team is working well with him and is giving him the freedom to play however he wants and have more of a leadership role. Safe to say even though the split hasn’t ended yet, Xmithie is an early candidate for MVP.
Is Team Dignitas starting to drop off…again?
Man it’s just a mystery how Dignitas often has a hot start to the split and then starts randomly dropping off as the weeks go by. It’s still too early to assume they’ll go on a downward spiral but that’s where things seem to be going for them. The thing with DIG is that when they play a standard game where they have a clear win condition that doesn’t just revolve around Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho splitpushing for a victory, they just play the game well and end up winning more. But when they are forced to rely on Ssumday they start losing because their strategical communication probably isn’t as good due to the language barrier.
So how does Team Dignitas fix this? Obvious the Korean players need to keep learning English. But at the same time the team as a whole needs to understand that they can’t continue to rely on Ssumday for wins. Teams have already figured out how to beat DIG when they use that strategy. Ad besides that Team Dignitas is a solid team when they play normal compositions with clear victory conditions such as sieging or 5v5 teamfighting. They should just stick to what they do well and focus on perfecting it.
Cloud9 is back in form
Although not fully! Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen is playing incredibly well and he is topping a lot of categories within his role. The bottom lane for C9 hasn’t had the best split but they are slowly picking it up and are starting to do better. Pretty much the most unreliable role for C9 right now is the top lane where both of their top laners are having unstable performances. One game they’d do well and the next one they’d completely drop the ball.
Jensen is clearly the backbone of this team which is definitely worrying. We can see that when Dignitas tries to make Ssumday the backbone of their team, it stops working at some point. The same can easily happen to C9 and it has actually happened before twice. In the last two NA LCS finals it was Jensen dying in a late game teamfight which sealed the deal for C9. Bottom line is that C9 needs more than one carry to succeed.
Does Phoenix1 stand a chance at Rift Rivals?
The short answer is most likely no. But the long one is a little more complex. Although P1 has a terrible record and are sitting at the bottom of the league tied for last place, they are showing signs of improvement. Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung isn’t going to instantly transform them into a top team. But he can definitely save them and keep them in the running for Top 3. For a rookie he’s very impressive and he definitely has the potential to catch people by surprise at Rift Rivals. Teams in NA have barely seen him play let alone European teams. Although P1 will most likely get destroyed at Rift Rivals, they have the potential to get upset wins if MikeYeung shows up big time and the other players can step up.
In Week 5 we will see TSM facing off against both C9 and IMT, two matches that will determine a lot in the standings. We’ll also have a match-up between CLG and C9 and if history has shown us anything it’s that whenever they play against each other the games are always exciting!