1. Team Solomid (+0)
Team Solomid saw off challenges from both Could9 and Apex this week, and have secured their spot at the top of the standings even further. At this point, the only real challenges left for TSM are a hungry Team Liquid and a frightening Immortals. We can pretty much be sure of seeing TSM at Worlds, where they will truly be put to the test. Some predict that the current TSM could be as high as the second or third best team in the world.
Focusing on this week, Bjergsen was one of a few midlaners who played Talya, and to fantastic success. He dominated his lane and ended with a score of 7/0/5, and a kill participation of 100%.
Hauntzer also showed that he can play both Trundle and Shen this week, shying away from Swain and Irelia.
2. Immortals (+0)
Immortals swept Apex on Friday, with seeming ease, after which all eyes were on their match against Team Liquid. Liquid are looking very confident, and Dardoch in particular has been very out spoken about how strong he thinks the team is. The TL series was totally the Huni show though. There’s something that’s very satisfying about watching Huni totally go off. We saw it in game 1 where he locked in the Gangplank, and dismantled Liquid with huge barrel chains, and impressive flanks. Huni ended game 1 with a score of 11/3/5, dealing a little under 1000 damage to champions per minute.
We saw it again in game 3, where he locked in Hecarim, an old favourite. He used Hecarim’s speed to make Fabbbyyy’s Jhin’s life a living hell, bullying him throughout the game, and picking up 12 kills on his favourite pony.
The only real challenge that IMT have left is their match against TSM in the final week of the split, which will easily be the most hyped match of the season.
3. Team Liquid (+1)
If Immortal’s games were the Huni show, then TL’s were definitely the Dardoch show. His Graves in the games against IMT was a force, and he has been very outspoken about how strong he thinks the champion is at the moment. He came about as close as anyone else has to solo carrying against IMT, but as he skyrocketed ahead, he left his team far behind him.
Alongside Dardoch, Fenix is the other big carry of TL who’s been stepping up lately. His control mage play is stellar as always and his solo play and teamplay is a large part of Liquid’s success.
I was hesitant about putting them above Cloud9, due to how shaky they looked against Echo Fox, but their performance against Immortals was hard to ignore.
4. Cloud 9 (-1)
As expected, Cloud9 have bounced back from their awful week 5 with a convincing showing in week 6. No-one expected them to beat TSM, so it’s no shame that they lost, however they didn’t go down without a fight. Meteos in particular impressed in the series, continually trying to make plays across the map whilst TSM strangled C9 out of the games. Their games against NRG were much more convincing. Jensen had a great game on Talya in game 1, featuring some very creative uses of Weaver’s Wall to cut off NRG’s escapes, and block their attempted flanks.
C9 still have work to do, but their plan has always been a long term one. If they can get back on track with an easy schedule next week (They play Envy and CLG), they are still a legitimate playoff contender.
5. Counter Logic Gaming (+1)
CLG are improving, but they don’t quite belong with the C9/TL tier of teams quite yet. They still show sloppy teamwork, and individual mediocrity. Darshan in particular has had a pretty terrible season, still tending towards champions like Jax and Irellia and finding limited success.
On the bright side, Stixxay is playing better and better as the split has gone on, and alongside Huhi makes up one half of a somewhat reliable carry duo.
6. Envy (-1)
On paper, Envy have one of the strongest rosters in the league. However, after their loss to CLG this week, there have to be questions asked about their teamwork, and coordination. Their drafts are all over the place and they seem to be trying too many different styles but not mastering any of them.
LOD in particular boasts a pretty good statline, but the team can’t seem to decide whether they want to play around him or not. Developing a style is a hard thing to do, but if Envy want to contend with the top teams, they will have to find one that works for them.
Envy are slipping rapidly in the standings, and they will have to change something quickly to avoid falling into the bottom of the league.
7. Apex (+0)
A lot of the things I’ve said about Envy can also be applied to Apex. They are trying far too many things but seem unable to decide what direction they should go as a team.
For example, Keane picked in Le Blanc against Bjergsen in game 2 against TSM, but the team didn’t commit enough resources tot he midlane for Keane to get rolling in the early game, so his (Even then pretty substantial) impact was stifled somewhat.
Another example is Ray, who can be a huge playmaker for the team, but is prone to being camped, and is often left out to dry by the team when he falls behind.
8. NRG (+0)
NRG have a different story than the other “middle of the pack” teams. They have all the tools for success; Santorin is having a huge impact all over the map, GMB and Ohq playing DPS, whilst Kiwikid peels and Quas tanks. But it’s just… not working. Ohq has been failing to step up time and time again, Quas has been unreliable, and Kiwikid has been getting caught out way too often.
They need to find a way of enabling their star players, without being hindered by their side laners.
On the bright side, NRG have about the easiest week they could hope for next week, in the form of P1 and Envy, and if the team take this as an opportunity to improve, they could find themselves well within the middle of the pack by this time next week.
9. Phoenix1 (+1)
Phoenix1 have had what is probably their best week to date. Ever since Irori joined the squad, P1 have been on the upswing. His Hecarim, alongside Gate’s Bard or Braum can provide engage, whilst Mash and Pirean provide damage from the backline. It’s simple, but it’s effective.
Pirean has been playing really great for P1, especially on Azir. It’s a common misconception that all of the good Azir players are in the top of the table teams. Pirean has the mechanics, and he now has a team around him who are quickly growing and maturing.
P1 play NRG next week, who should represent another chance for them to climb in the standings.
10. Echo Fox (-1)
Echo Fox end the week in last place, both in this list and in the actual standings. They fell to both Team Liquid and their bottom of the table rivals Phoenix1. But there are positives to look at for Echo Fox fans.
One is their new substitute jungler, Kez. Although Fox haven’t won any games with Kez yet, the ex TDK jungler seems to add some sort of direction to the team’s play, which was absent before. With rumours of roster changes in the works, things may be looking bleak for Echo Fox, but their future could be a bright one.