1 – Team Solomid
A big week for TSM. Not only were they able to beat Phoenix1, signifying their perfect half season, but they were also able to take out rivals CLG, both in decisive 2 game series. TSM are starting to look unbeatable at the top of the pack, which is a scary thought.
Bjergsen was a total monster this week. Over 4 games, he racked up a combined KDA of 22/2/36, playing 4 different champions. Highlights from him came mostly from his Le Blanc game against CLG. Le Blanc is a champion which Bjergsen is known for, and one of his best champions, however he rarely plays it these days. He makes the champion look easy; out playing, duking and picking people off his enemies like it was nothing. The fact that TSM are now putting Bjergsen on assassins shows that they are diversifying their playstyle somewhat, as Bjergsen has been opting mostly for mages so far this split.
Hauntzer also beat Darshan at his own game, playing the Irelia vs Jax matchup, besting Darshan in 1v1 duels and making a name for himself as an excellent Irelia player. He played 4 games on her this weekend and looked great in general. One criticism for Hauntzer would be his champion pool as he has played most of his games on Irelia or Swain, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2 – Immortals
Okay, so maybe moving Immortals to third place was a mistake. They demolished their rivals in the standings, Cloud9, in a quick 2 game series, asserting their dominance in the mirco and the macro game. Cloud9 looked lost on the map, whereas Immortals were always one step ahead of the game. The key to their victory was the shutting down of Cloud 9’s biggest strengths; Sneaky in the botlane, and Meteos in the jungle, who were both effectively nullified by IMT.
Huni stood out in particular, bringing out his Rumble in game 1, to great effect, and going back to his recent favourite Irelia in game 2 of the series. At this point, Huni has so many champions that can be considered comfort picks, it’s ridiculous. He has also been playing a fair amount of Ryze lately, including twice this week against Apex. Immortal’s great strengths are aggression and flexibility, which are pretty well exemplified by Huni (Just don’t make him play tanks).
Pobelter has been playing really well for a few weeks and is probably the most consistent player on Immortal. He has played 11 games on Victor this split so far, and he has a 6.2 KDA on the champion with only a single loss. Pobelter has been very vocal about how he is able to do well with little help from Reignover, but now with a mage focused midlane meta, where the midlane is very important, he is able to shine with all of the attention he has been getting.
3 – Cloud9
Cloud9 had a devastating week. Not only were they were unable to beat IMT on Sunday, which was seen as too close to call, but they were defeated by Team Liquid in 3 games on Friday night.
Sneaky has for the whole split, been a force, and arguably Cloud9’s best player. However, this weekend, things went abysmally. His Ashe performed quite well, in the first two games against Liquid, however he played Sivir in both games against IMT and the final game against Team Liquid, all of which were losses. His Sivir KDA over the week was 1/13/7, which is a stark contrast to his play over the rest of the split.
Jensen had a rough time as well. His Twisted Fate looked very questionable in game 1 vs IMT, which is strange considering he is usually very good on the champion. He almost managed to keep C9 in the game in game 2, though, from some amazing Cassiopia play, which resulted in him narrowly missing out on a pentakill.
I’m still placing them in third, despite losing to 4th place TL, as I believe their poor results this weekend were a glitch in the Cloud9 system and they are actually still the third best team in the League. They will be put to the test next week, as they face group leaders, TSM.
4 – Team Liquid
The Team Liquid surge is in full swing, and who can stop them? It seems poetic justice to have TL in 4th place, and despite their victory against C9, this is where I trhink they belong.
There are a lot of positive things to say about TL, and many of them begin with Dardoch. Despite playing mostly Rek Sai, he is still able to put the team on his back and carry, and is looking more and more like his old self. Dardoch is a player who is, much like his predecessor I Will Dominate, is very driven by his emotions. When he is happy, he plays great, when he is tilted or frustrated, it is very evident in his play. Right now, Dardoch is clearly loving the game and TL are reaping the benefits.
Fenix is another key player in TL’s recent surge. After a disappointing start to the split for Fenix individually, he has definitely stepped up his play in the past few weeks and looks like one of the best midlaners the region has to offer. Like everyone else in the league, he has been finding success on Victor, but he has also been looking great on Le Blanc and Cassio this week. His Cassio in particular looked unstoppable in TL’s series against Envy, where he went 3/1/14.
5 – Envy
Over the past few weeks, Ninja has been making a name for himself as one of the best Anivia players in NA. Apparently in game 1 against Fox, Froggen heard about this and confidently locked her in against Ninja, and tore Envy apart in the ensuing game. Envy’s solo-laners honestly had a pretty rough time overall against their Echo Fox counterparts, but luckily it was Envy’s botlane who came through to carry them to victory in the series. LOD in particular picked up a KDA of 12.3.18 over the 3 games. This shows that although Envy is traditionally a team focused around Seraph and Ninja, they are not the only carries on the team. A surprise loss to Envy may have caused them to drop in the standings, but Envy are by no means a bad team.
6 – Counter Logic Gaming
CLG finally look to be picking up a little steam/ they are nowhere near on the level of one time “rivals”, TSM, who dismantled them this week. They are however looking more like a mid-tier team, and less like a bottom 3 team now. During MSI, Huhi was seen by some as the weak link in the CLG chain, but boy has he improved. His Vladimir in the games against NRG was devastating, and it’s looking like one of his best champions.
7 – Apex
A tough week for Apex. Not only were they defeated by Immortals, but they also dropped a series to bottom of the standings team Phoenix1. P1 gained an early lead over them, and they were simply unable to gain a foothole.
Keane is still looking like Apex’s best player. His proficiency on control mages like Victor and Zilean is amongst the best in the league, and he always has the “Keane Factor” to fall back on if the popular meta fails him. No one decides what Keane’s meta is apart from Keane.
Ray is looking more and more like a liability for Alex. His carry style is very high risk and high reward, and Apex aren’t really reaping many benefits from it.
8 – NRG
NRG can have mixed feelings about this week. They defeated Echo Fox, which was expected, but they didn’t put up much of a fight against CLG, who they could have beaten, on current form. Quas is looking better this week, and seems to have found a home in Jax, who he seems to be picking whenever he is allowed. NRG’s problem is that they are very secure in their spot. They can beat the teams below them in the standings with ease, but are struggling when it comes to climbing.
Santorin continues to be a bright spark in the team, and I think he is currently the most underrated player in NA. His Rek Sai in particular is a monster, and he actually has the highest kill participation of all starters in NA, at 80.4%
9 – Echo Fox
I’m almost running out of things to say about Echo Fox, as it’s the same story every week. They looked promising against NRG, but faltered in terms of shotcalling, which cost them the game. Game 2 came down to a tense base race, which Fox were winning, but they chickened out at the last minute and split their decision between recalling and staying, not committing to either. NRG called the bluff, and tore down the nexus turrets with Quas’ Jax and ended the game. In game 1 against NRG, Fox seem to have found a formula which was working; a comp centered around Froggen’s Twisted Fate. Putting their captain on a playmaking champion like this could be perfect for Fox, as it would allow Froggen to cover for some of his team’s weaknesses.
10 – Phoenix1
They did it! Phoenix1 became Phoenix 1-10. After losing in turn to every team in the NA LCS, Phoenix1 picked up their first series win this week against Apex gaming in a close 3 game series. Gate seemed strangely calm in his post game interview, stating that he thinks Phoenix1 are a much better team than their results suggest, which is a statement I am hesitant to agree with, but do so nonetheless. P1 are a pretty good team, but so are all of their competition. Even though they were able to defeat Apex, due to acquiring a very early gold lead, it still took them a long time to close the game out, and the team have a long way to go if the dream of a reverse sweep (Or anything close to this) is to become a reality.