LoL NA LCS Week 4 Power Rankings
1 – Team SoloMid
What else needs to be said about the current TSM that hasn’t already before? Their jungle/mid synergy is the best in the league, which is particularly scary when you consider that Bjergsen and Sven are two of TSM’s biggest carries. Additionally, Doublelift answered my question about his champion pool (Directly, I have no doubt that Doublelift definitely reads my articles).HE barely flinched when Lucian was denied from him in TSM’s series against Envy, and locking in the utility picks of Ashe and Sivir respectively. This shows us that Lucian isn’t Doublelift’s only champion, it’s just the one he thinks is strongest in the current meta. Solomid faced their final challenge this week, by felling Envy in a decisive 2-0 series. Now it’s only Phoenix 1 that stand between them, and a perfect half season, and the bottom of the pack team will have to pull off something on par with subbing in Faker to stop the Solomid Machine.
2 – Cloud9
Now this is tentative, because Cloud 9 were beaten by Immortals earlier in the split, but the team have come along such a way since then, it’s hard to deny that they are deserving of this spot. One man they can thank for this, is their AD carry, Sneaky. Sneaky has been playing absolutely out of his mind the past 2 weeks, playing a variety of different champions, and having some insane stats to back him up. He has the lowest deaths of starting AD carrys, which is particularly impressive when you take into account the fact that he’s played more games than any other AD carry, at 21. This translates into an incredible 1.3 deaths per game, and a 9.1 KDA, which is the highest in the whole league. To top his week off, he even picked up a Pentakill in game two against Envy, which ultimately resulted in Cloud 9 pushing for the nexus, and the game.
Elsewhere in Cloud 9, Impact is looking better every match, and not just on tanks. He played 2 Lissandra games against NRG, and was able to use the champion to great effect, especially during the second game. He was able to totally shut down and bully Quas, gaining a 100+ CS advantage, and making a huge…impact with a game winning initiation.
3 – Immortals
Now some of you might wonder why Immortals are below Cloud 9 on the list, despite having a better record a series victory over them. Immortals are a great team, no questions asked, but they are marred by a slight inconsistency, which causes them to drop random games to teams like CLG. A lot of this can be attributed to Huni. Huni is one of the best carries in the League. He is always able to make huge plays when his team needs him, and has exceptional mechanics. Despite this, he often gets caught out, and actually has the most deaths of all players in the league, despite also having the most kills for toplaners. That said, Immortals are still able to win a lot of games, and I’m not saying that Huni is dead weight, more that he needs to manage his aggression, more like he was doing last season on Fnatic. Outside of the Huni factor, Immortals are looking crisp. Wildturtle as usual is putting up big numbers, and the team easily swept Team Liquid. The real battle for second place will commence on Sunday, as Immortals will take on Cloud 9.
4 – Envy
Envy had the roughest week of their split so far, having been 2-0’d by both Cloud 9 and Team Solomid. Although there is no shame here, TSM and C9 are both great teams, it’s got to be a blow for the team, as they tried to cemend themselves as a top teir team. Sadly, although Envy are not on the same level as the top three teams on this list, but they are by no means bad.
It’s hard to take anything from their first game against C9, as it was so one sided, but in their second game, they came pretty close to winning. Seraph is looking very good on Hecarim, and Ninja’s midlane Ezreal was beginning to come online, however as the team tunneled in on Jensen’s Cassio during the deciding fight, Sneaky’s Ashe went untouched, and managed to pick up a Pentakill. League of Legends is such a team focused game in it’s current iteration, that one bad call in the late game, can often cost the game. Shotcalling is definitely an area where Envy can look to improve if they are to challenge any of the top three teams.
Unfortunately, their series against TSM was just as one sided as the one against Cloud 9. Envy have an important game next week, against their standings rivals, in 4th place regulars, Team Liquid, the result of which will be very telling as to how good the team actually is.
5 – Team Liquid
Team Liquid are still on the rise, but it would be a stretch to call them one of their region’s top teams at this stage. So midway through the split, they sit comfortably in 5th place, overtaking Apex, who the defeated in a 2 game series. Fenix was the man of the hour in these victories. His Le Blanc had a bit of a slow start, but in the mid/late game, he managed to pick off so many key targets from 100 to 0. His Victor was also on point in game 1, managing to pick up 9 kills, and dealing incredible amounts of damage in teamfights.
Another Key player this week was Piglet’s substitute, Fabby, who played 4 Ashe games, and looked great on the champion. His arrow accuracy was nothing short of amazing during the series against Apex, but he struggled to make an impact in the Immortals series.
The loss to Immortals was not on Fabby’s shoulders, however, as both games were incradibly 1 sided. Fenix picked Le Blanc again, but was unable to get rolling, and was out scaled and out pressured by Pobelter’s Azir. TL have another tough week ahead of them, with IMT and C9 on the horizon, so they will have to work hard if they want to continue their upwards trend.
6 – Apex
It’s been another mediocre week for Apex, as they have dropped in the standings for the first time since week 1, in light of their defeat at the hands of Team Liquid. When it comes to this point in the split, the most important attribute a team can have is consistency, and this is something that Apex are yet to find, although midlaner, Keane, is putting up strong performances, even in Apex’s losses. he played 4 different champions over 4 games, and looks very comfortable playing different styles depending on what his team needs, be that utility in the form of Zilean of Karma, teamfighting in the form of Vladamir, or map pressure in the form of Twisted Fate. He currently has a 5.4 KDA, which is second amongst midlaners, and is currently the highest performer on Apex.
Outside of Keane, the rest of the Apex members tend to look very good in their victories, but average in defeats, none more so than toplaner, Ray. He played 2 losing games of Swain against TL, but went a combined 11/0/11 on Jax and Fiora in their two wins against Echo Fox. It could be a case of him preferring the splitpush/duelist style, which is what he has excelled on the most so far, but Ray definetly needs to become more consistant if Apex are to break the top 4.
7 – Counter Logic Gaming
CLG went 1-1 this week, after tasting defeat at the hands of IMT, but looking decisive over Phoenix1 (Which let’s face it, they are hardly the first team to do). A thing I’ve spoken about in terms of a lot of teams and players on this list is looking good in victories, but awful in defeats. I’m going to single out Stixxay for CLG, as he went 7/0/5 in the team’s victory against IMT, but a combined 1/7/3 in the two games that followed. The strange thing about CLG, is that the thing that characterized their team towards the end of last split, and at MSI was their coordination, and shotcalling, something that has been largely absent in their play this split. The team have abysmal kill participation across the board, the highest being Xsmithie with 69.2%, which is actually decent for junglers. However, considering the fact that some of Aphromoo’s peers have KP percentages in the high 70’s, of even 80’s, 65.6% is hardly a score to be proud of. The CLG botlane was once the pride of the team, but for now is one of their main weaknesses.
However, if CLG need any motivation to get their act together, they face TSM on Sunday, as a rematch of the Spring final, a match that Solomid will likely be coming into undefeated. IF there was ever an upset story to be told, it’s here.
8 – NRG
NRG managed to pick up their second victory this week, albeit against the League punching bag, Phoenix 1. Outside of this NRG continue to struggle. Quas in particular is having a rough time. He got absolutely dumpstered by Impact in the series vs Cloud 9, and although he managed to pick up 9 kills of Ilaoi, he continues to look unspectacular on everything else. Alongside good performances by the carries, Santorin stands out as the star player on the team. His individual performances of Rek Sai have been great (He has a 7.9 KDA on the champion), and his stats overall are impressive. He is a part of almost everything that NRG are doing, as he sports an 80% kill participation, which is the highest of all starters in the league. He even managed to steal Baron during their losing game against P1, to keep his team in the game, but it was sadly not enough. If NRG are to hope for a late season surge, it’s Quas and Kiwikid who I’m looking at to step up.
9 – Echo Fox
Echo Fox had a strange week. On 1 hand, they were defeated, convincingly, by middle of the pack Apex in 2 games, without getting so much of a word in, but on they other, they were able to take a convincing win from Team Solomid all the way at the top of the standings. I suppose this shows that although the league has a very distinct top middle and bottom, the teams are closer in terms of skill than the standings might suggest. To focus on the positives then, Froggen against Bjergsen in game 1 featured two great midlane performances by two of Europe’s legends of the midlane. Froggen and Bjerg both had great games, but in the end, Fox were able to close out the game, with Froggen’s Cassiopea carrying them to victory.
Keith also looked good in this game on Jihn, and as a team I was impressed in Fox’s play. In my opinion, Fox are a much better team than their record suggests, as they have young, talented players, as well as a living legend of the game in the midlane, but unfortunately, they still lag behind the competition in 9th place.
10 – Phoenix1
I always get a little sad when I get to the end of my power rankings, because I love underdogs, and I hate writing about how bad Phoenix 1 are playing, so lets look at the positives. They managed to pick up a single game this week, against NRG, which was easily one of the most exciting games of the LCS so far. I mean, it was a total Clown Fiesta, with lots of kills, and mistakes by both teams, but Phoenix 1 managed to come back from a 14K gold deficit, due to some great Bard ultimates from Gate, and from great engages from Inori on Hecarim. To come back from such a disadvantage is an impressive thing in it’s self, especially since on top of the gold, NRG had 3 mountain drakes, multiple barons and a 9 kill Ilaoi, and this victory is significant for P1, as it shows that they are a tenacious team, and that Gate is at least a good team captain.