NA LCS Power Rankings: Playoffs week one

Following the final week of the regular season, we take a look at which teams are in control heading into playoffs.

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(Image Credit: Mamadou278)

1. TSM

What a split it has been for TSM.

After starting the season 4-5, TSM has roared back, going 9-2 (when you include the tiebreakers) over the second half of the split. Heading into week 9, TSM was merely vying just to get into the playoffs. However, after going 4-0 for the weekend, TSM shot all the way up to the third seed, taking commanding wins over Golden Guardians, CLG, Clutch, and TL in the process. Bjergsen looks ready to lead the team to their 11th straight final, recording no more than one death per game the entire weekend, and posting a KDA of 14.3 over that four game stretch. Look for TSM to beat Clutch in their quarterfinal match up this Sunday, and look for Bjergsen to be a big part of that victory. 

2. 100 Thieves

If any team came out of nowhere this split it is this one.

While 100 Thieves was a lock to make playoffs headed into week 9, I don’t thinking anyone expected them to walk away from the weekend as the number one seed. 100 Thieves looked great, defeating Clutch Gaming on Saturday followed by back to back victories over Echo Fox on Sunday. Cody Sun played extremely well, with a KDA of 9/3/24 over those three games. 100 Thieves looks to be synergizing at the right time, as they will ride a six game win streak into playoffs and have only dropped one game this entire half of the split (to TL in week 7.) Speaking of TL…

3. Team Liquid

After a poor showing in week 8, Team Liquid rebounded nicely over the weekend, beating Cloud 9 two times and Optic once. Although there are still a few kinks to work out, Doublelift seems to be coming back to form, going 20/2/23 over TL’s four games this week. The star AD Carry played Jhin for the first time this split, posting an absurd KDA ratio of 38 in the three games he played on the champion. Team Liquid heads into playoffs in fourth place, right where they are comfortable. Look for them to have a close match against Cloud 9 in their quarterfinal. 

4. Echo Fox

This team has a ton of questions surrounding them going into playoffs.

Although they were able to clinch a first round bye, Echo Fox did not have the greatest weekend, ruining their first place hopes with two losses to 100 Thieves on Sunday. The team is 1-4 in their last five games, with their sole win over FlyQuest in that stretch. That said, Echo Fox was playing with subs at support and mid lane this week, and were still able to take 100 Thieves to 52 minutes in their first match against them on Sunday. Is this team finally starting to tilt like some people thought they would? Or is this losing streak only a minor blip in a long split?

Only time will tell, as Echo Fox will face their biggest test yet next weekend in the semifinals.

5. Cloud 9

No team fell harder this week than Cloud 9.

After entering week nine at the top of the table, C9 went 1-3 this weekend, falling all the way to fifth place. C9 did not look good this week, dropping two games to Liquid and even losing to FlyQuest. Their lone bright spot came in their final game of the regular season, a 34 minute win against Clutch Gaming, highlighted by Jensen’s 4/0/5 performance on Galio. However, considering that Clutch had their fair share of struggles this weekend as well, that win does not mean nearly as much as it would have earlier in the split. C9 will look to rebound this weekend in what should be a great quarterfinals match against Team Liquid. That is if they can bring it back together.

6. Clutch Gaming

I don’t really know what to say about this team. One week they look like they can compete for a championship, the next they look like a bottom of the barrel afterthought.

Clutch Gaming went 1-3 this weekend, picking up their only win in a 40 minute bout against Golden Guardians. There are still reasons for hope, though. This team enters quarterfinals with Febiven and Hakuho both ranked in the top three in their position for KDA over the course of the Split, and when you look at the Split as a whole, you can make a compelling case for Febiven to win MVP—  which could be the moral boost this team needs entering playoffs. 

7. Optic Gaming

Optic ended their inaugural Split with a 1-1 showing. Although they did not have the chance to make playoffs going into the week nine, Optic did play the role of spoiler this weekend by snapping CLG’s four game win streak and ending their playoff hopes in the process.

It was recently reported that Zig and LemonNation will not be returning to the starting roster next Split, so look for this team to rebound in Summer with a revamped roster targeting some of its weaker points. 

8. Counter Logic Gaming

This is a very disappointing end to what was an incredibly disappointing split for CLG.

Several people had high expectations for this team coming into the Split, and now they are not even in the playoffs by its end. CLG dropped games to Optic and TSM weekend, going 0-2 in the final week of the Split. I hope this roster stays together for Summer though, as they showed flashes of talent at points during the back half of the Split and it would be interesting to see what they could achieve with another Split together. 

9. FlyQuest

FlyQuest surprised this weekend, losing to Echo Fox in a close game on Saturday and getting a win over Cloud 9 on Sunday. It was too little, too late however. As FlyQuest was eliminated from playoff contention a long time ago.

Better luck next Split.

10. Golden Guardians

Not much to see here, unfortunately.

The Golden Guardians continued their losing streak this week, dropping games to TSM and Clutch Gaming. They haven’t won once in their last five games, and their losses this weekend have given them sole ownership of last place in the league. This team definitely has the potential to grow over time, so an extra long break between Spring and Summer Split should be good for them. 

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