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League of Legends NALCS Spring Split: Week 9 Power Rankings

What was essentially a pretty straightforward week in the NALCS resulted in questions for some top teams. Has the fatigue of the split begun to set in for Cloud9 and FlyQuest, or are the new meta changes playing a role in performance?

10. EnVyUs (3-13) Seraph, Lira, Ninja, Apollo, Hakuho (AlexIch)

Last week’s rank: 10

Envy are really good at doing one thing, and one thing only: coming out really hot, really motivated, and managing to win their first games. Envy showed up, like last week to take down Game 1 of both their matches against Dignitas and Cloud9, but then fell apart in a way only Envy could. I really like their roster and consistent will to improve, but they’re not exactly getting better if they can’t win two games in a series. It’s hard to gauge their overall skill. Seraph appears to fall behind in games, and may need to be looked at for the next split. Hakuho and Apollo just aren’t there. At this point, Envy’s roster is just getting some nice, pro-level practice for the relegation tournament.

9. Team Liquid (4-12) Lourlo, Reignover, Piglet, Youngbin, Matt

Last week’s rank: 9

After the honeymoon games went away, the truth for Liquid began to quickly unfold in a very disappointing manner. Unfortunately for this squad, they are far too new and fresh with one another to produce a solid game together. Piglet is probably about 500 games of challenger ladder mid-laning away from being a worthy mid player, and Doublelift is far too rusty with his new squad. On top of that, Matt has been officially sat for Adrian. Although Adrian is a far better support, he feels a bit out of place and has not had time to gel with DL properly. The quick 0-2’s against Dignitas and Phoenix1 were almost expected at this point. Liquid is officially out of running for playoffs, so I would just take this time to practice with the squad. They’ll top off their final games against TSM and FlyQuest.

8. Echo Fox (5-11) Looper, Akaadian, Froggen, Keith, Gate

Last week’s rank: 8

What can you say about Echo Fox at this point in the season? It’s been a rough time and it’s not getting any better. It’s said to even think that they have a chance to get into 6th place if Immortals and FlyQuest don’t win any games, and EF wins out completely against Envy and struggling FlyQuest. Although that probably won’t happen, it’s nice to see Echo Fox are not going to be completely discouraged to play next week. Something needs to be done about Keith, it just doesn’t seem like he’s getting it. Froggen is the cornerstone of the team, and the addition of Looper and Akaadian is great. However, the bottom lane is a wreck that needs to be addressed sooner than later. Keith going into summer on the team would be a mistake.

7. FlyQuest (7-9) Balls, Moon, Hai, Altec, LemonNation

Last week’s rank: 4

Whoa, what happened to FlyQuest? It is clear that the long-overdue reality of the team’s personal mechanical ability is beginning to overtake their ability to perform. After a couple of 1-1 weeks, FlyQuest are on the wrong side of the playoff picture looking into a tie for 6th with Immortals. It is fair to say that they have fallen behind due to having to play some fantastic teams lately, but this roster was able to keep up beforehand. Now that there are new changes to the overall meta, it looks like Hai’s squad is not getting it. We have to remember Altec and Moon are fresh arrivals  from a failed NRG team, before becoming ringers for other teams. Balls is a year separated from LCS and is now making a comeback, and LemonNation hasn’t been that great for a while. If FlyQuest are going to get it together and make a playoff push, this next week is the week to do it. FQ will face Echo Fox and Liquid in what should be easier matches, but may not be. It’s a simple boundary for FlyQuest right now: win, and get in.

6. Immortals (7-9) Flame, Dardoch, Pobelter, Cody Sun, Olleh

Last week’s rank: 6

Immortals have to be the most up and down team we’ve seen all split, aside from FlyQuest who are making a full roller coaster to top off the season. In some games, IMT look as if they’re truly starting to come together. However, other matches are showing the complete opposite. It is clear that Flame is getting along with the team more and getting more comfortable playing beefy top lane characters. Cody “Done” is still more like Cody “one and done”. It’s tough to see Immortals do too well in the playoffs, but it could be a lot worse for the young squad. With a battle for 6th, they have tougher games against CLG and Dignitas coming up this week. It could be worse, but the team can definitely come together and pull off some more upsets after taking down Cloud9 this week. That really put them on the radar for other teams to watch out.

5. Dignitas (8-8) Ssumday, Chaser, Keane, LOD, Xpecial

Last week’s rank: 7

After a demolishing of Liquid and Envy, Dignitas are .500 and on a 4-0 streak ready to make a deep run into the playoffs. However, they’re now forced to take on Cloud9 before capping off their games against a hot Immortals team. I guess we’ll see what they’re made of, though I fully expect them to crack playoffs and take a spot. They’re improving exponentially, and the sky is the limit at this point for Dignitas. We’ll see what happens for them going into the end of the split, but they’re in great shape.

4. CLG (9-7) Darshan, Xmithie, HuHi, Stixxay, Aphromoo

Last week’s rank: 5

CLG are pushing on, and they’re only getting better as they progress. Their main problem as a team is the fact that they play to the level of their opponents for some reason. I’m not sure why they do that, but that’s how every match feels with them. It’s not going to be easy for CLG to play against Phoenix1, TSM, or Cloud9, but the fact that they play up to their opponents level should only make them better in the long run. I like Huhi on Jayce a lot, it seems like he is actually able to carry his own. Stixxay is expanding his role, and Darshan is getting back into his groove. CLG are getting it together, just in time for playoffs.

3. Phoenix1 (11-5) Zig, Inori/Meteos, Ryu, Arrow, Stunt

Last week’s rank: 3

This next week will be the real test for Phoenix1, as they draw Cloud9 and TSM. Theyre snuggly sitting in the number 3 spot and are slightly out of the first-round bye, but beating Cloud9 will take them one step closer to the bye. They have something to legitimately play for, and C9 is not looking like they’re playing their best at the moment. If Phoenix1 can catch them off-guard next week like CLG did this week, they could take the #2 spot and earn themselves a nice break. Stunt is fitting in really well with the team, and Meteos continues to dominate the NA scene as a jungler. Cloud9/FlyQuest may have made a mistake letting Meteos go, as he is starting to make a serious case for being ahead of Inori on P1’s depth chart.

2. Cloud9 (12-4) Impact/Ray, Contractz, Jensen, Sneaky, Smoothie

Last week’s rank: 1

Cloud9 are starting to slip, and this is not a good time for the team to get fatigued. It is often expected for new players to not be able to keep up through an entire split, but most of these guys are long-standing veterans. Contractz is beginning to show his weaknesses, and Smoothie seems like he’s losing a bit of touch too. It took a loss to Envy in Game 1 for the team to finally wake up, and they quickly recovered from that match. Cloud9 are capping their split off with a match against newly-risen Dignitas and red-hot Phoenix1, which isn’t going to be easy. The latter match may be for a bye spot, so I expect them to come determined.

1. Team SoloMid (14-2) Hauntzer, Svenskeren, Bjergsen, Wildturtle, Biofrost

Last week’s rank: 2

The kings of the split’s second half are looking really strong, and they don’t seem like they’re going anywhere. Svenskeren is doing interviews at this point just to show off his weight loss or something, but TSM can’t stop winning. Turtle looks good, Hauntzer looks good, and Bjergsen may win split MVP. He is by far the strongest mid player in the North American scene. Team SoloMid are making a very strong case for winning the split, representing NA at MSI, and possibly making some noise there. TSM caps off their amazing run against a struggling Team Liquid and a solid Phoenix1 team. Regardless, they’re nestled into a bye and rolling right into playoffs.

Agree with our Power Rankings? What would you change? Let us know in the comments!

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