Thoughts on the NA LCS Finals

This weekend marked the end of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. The finals ended with a nail-biting 3-2 series leaving Team Solo Mid as the split champions once again.

Though the finals were exciting to watch, as a TSM fan I can only describe the finals as a clusterfuck, not because I was upset by the ending, but because of the sloppiness with which TSM closed the series.

Both teams played very well but the first two games showed that TSM could easily beat Cloud 9.

If you don’t know much about League of legends games, typically the faster the game the more convincing the win.

The average game time for professional games is probably around 30-35 minutes. TSM took the first game in 28 minutes (pretty fast).

They then took the second game in just over 22 minutes, that’s faster than any previous TSM victory this split. TSM could have taken 48 minutes to win game three and still would have set the record for fastest finals win in NA LCS history. But that isn’t what happened.

C9 proceeded to take the next two games, don’t get me wrong they played well but it was obvious TSM was choking. And with the threat of a reverse sweep TSM needed to shape up.

Luckily for TSM fans they did, and though the final game was thrilling to watch (picture me screaming at my computer instead of studying for a test) it was a little too close for comfort and hopefully showed TSM what they needed to work on in the coming weeks.

The next League of Legends tournament is the Mid-Season Invitational, where the winner of the spring split from each region will face off against each other in Brazil. This is the true test. TSM has showed that they are the best in the region but now they need to prove they can stand their own on an international level.

 

NA LCS Finals: Thoughts and Predictions

With this weekend being Finals, the North American LCS 2017 Spring Split will soon come to a conclusion with the 3rd place match between Phoenix 1 and FlyQuest and the 1st place match between Team Solo Mid and Cloud 9.

Meaning that the split will come to an upsetting and predictable end. Upsetting not because I dislike the teams in the finals (this shows that they are the best in the region and thus deserved the spot), but rather because I feel that we all wanted something different, given that this year’s finals is simply a mirror of the 2016 Summer Split.

The regular split and finals thus far were full of excitement and upsets only to end on the same terms as last time. It does however give these two teams (which let’s be honest are the best hope this region has to win internationally) a chance to gain momentum going into summer spit and possibly worlds.

The winners will also earn a spot in the 2017 MSI where they will test the waters against the international teams they will most likely see at worlds. As far as which team I think will win, I have to go with TSM.

 

Though they had a rough beginning this split, TSM has shown significant progress as a team. They came in with a new ADC and it really seemed to mess them up at first. But since TSM WildTurtle has settled in to his past home the team is functioning as well as ever.

Whereas C9 synergized from the start with their new top lane they steadily lost their lead towards the end. And though they seem to have fixed their problems (judging from their 3-0 victory against P1) I still feel as though TSM is stronger at this point.

Given that TSM Hauntzer has shown time and time again he can survive (and mostly win) against anything a team can throw (It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a top lane 2v1 so well) and with TSM Bjergsen being able to stomp anyone in the region who is put in his lane, I see little room for C9 outside of bot lane (where TSM should be able to hold the line as well).

But seeing that TSM likes to throw the first games in these matches then sweep the next 3 I suspect the series will end 3-1 TSM (maybe 3-2 if things don’t go as planned one game).

After Finals the team that wins will compete at MSI where they face off against the winner of the splits around the world and where the season gets truly exciting.

NA LCS Quaterfinals Recap

This past weekend marked the completion of the quarterfinals for the North American LCS spring playoffs.

In this, the teams that earned 4th -6th place during the regular season competed to earn a spot in the semifinals against the first seed Team Solo Mid and the second seed Cloud 9. Team Dignitas competed against Phoenix 1 and Count Logic Gaming faced off against FlyQuest.

The first match between Dignitas and P1when about as well for Dignitas as you’d expect. P1 came out strong from the start and swept them in a 3-0 series leaving Dignitas behind.

P1 has shown time and time again that they are a formidable team (if getting 3rd in their first season wasn’t enough) and they showed that again with the only clean sweep thus far in the playoffs.

As for Team Dignitas, they will be going home for now, but they will return for a chance at redemption in the summer split.

The second match of the quarterfinals however, didn’t go as many expected. CLG started off strong coming out of the gate winning the first two games of the series. But then things went horribly wrong for CLG.

Their opponents FlyQuest came of the second game ready to play and showed it by winning the match with a reverse sweep making the final score 3-2 FlyQuest. Though I will say that CLG has certainly not been playing as well as they have in the past but this was unexpected.

In previous splits where CLG seemed to fall short in the regular season they have picked up the slack and performed very well in playoffs, but that just wasn’t the case this split. However much like Dignitas they will have a chance in the summer to show that they can perform when it matters.

This weekend is the semifinals. Meaning C9 will face off against P1 and TSM against FlyQuest. And though I had hoped to see the rivalry of TSM vs CLG I’m sure both games will hold plenty of excitement.

NA LCS Promotional Tournament Wrap-Up

The last few weeks have been stressful for every team in the North American professional scene as they prepare for playoffs. But the teams with the hardest week were those competing in the promotional tournament this past weekend.

The winners of which are given a spot in the North American LCS Summer Split and a chance to compete for a spot at the World Champions. Team Liquid of course, competed in the LCS this past spring split, and though they fixed many problems with the movement of Piglet to Mid lane and the addition of DoubleLift as ADC, they still fell short due to their poor performance in the beginning of the spit.

Team Envy on the other habitually showed poor macroplay that allowed teams with less individual talent to out scale the typically strong individual players in Envy. These teams competed against the first and second place of the Challenger Series Spring Split.

Team Liquid played against first place eUnited and Team Envy faced off against the second place Gold Coin United.

Going into this series I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both LCS teams had the potential to win but could have easily fallen short had they not showed up to play. The first matches saw a Team Liquid win (with DoubleLift and Piglet winning at this level isn’t surprising) and a Gold Coin United win (also not surprising).

These teams then faced off against each other. But Team Liquid was able to pull the win (3-2) leaving Gold Coin United to play against Team Envy who were able to eliminate eUnited. Envy Tried to throw the games but were able to pull out a win, keep their spot and return to the LCS along with Team liquid.

I can’t say these games weren’t close and the challenger teams played well but they fell just short, but the promotional was just the beginning of the playoff season.

This weekend is the beginning of the NA LCS spring playoffs, where Counter Logic Gamming will play against FlyQuest and Phoenix 1 will play against Team Dignitas. So I’m sure many surprises are in store in the coming weeks.

League of Legends: NA LCS Playoff Preview

After 18 games best of 3 games for each team the North American LCS spring split regular season has come to an end. With Team Solo Mid (15-3) in first place with Cloud 9 (14-4) following closely behind in second.

These teams will not play again until the semifinals. Their opponents will be decided by best of 5s between third –sixth places in the quarterfinals.

In third we have Phoenix 1(11-7) who will face fifth place Team Dignitas (9-9). The winner of which will play against Cloud 9.

The fourth place Counter Logic Gaming (10-8) will play against fifth place FlyQuest (9-9), and the winner of this series will play again TSM. I could go on about what I expect to happen in these matches but honestly with the trend this split has presented thus far most bets are off.

I will say Phoenix 1 should be able to beat Team Dignitas and CLG should be able to beat FlyQuest based off base statistics and team experience but if this split has taught us anything about professional league of legends it’s that predictions can mean very little just look at last week I mean who could have predicted that Team Liquid(5-13) would have been able to beat TSM 2-1?

However coming up this week isn’t the quarterfinals, it’s the promotional/relegation matches Team Liquid and Team Envy( 3-15) will face off against eUnited and Gold Coin United from the North American Challenger Series.

The winners of these matches will be promoted/remain in the LCS the losers will be demoted/remain in the Challenger Series. For Envy anything could happen but with Liquid besting TSM in the last week of the regular split they showed that they can perform well for the important games. So without any massive mistakes, they should be able to secure their spot for the summer split.

I am sure that both the promotional and playoff matches will hold plenty of excitement. We will just have to see who will come out on top and secure a lead and potential momentum heading into the summer split where the teams in the NA LCS will compete for their spots in the 2017 World Championship.

Is Team Liquid in crisis?

It would be impossible to talk about the history of North American LCS without talking about the formally great Team Liquid. Though this team never won either a spring or summer split they heavily shaped how the game was played in the early seasons.

However, recent splits have not been so kind. They went from a middle of the pack team in the last few years to a second to last team this split and unless they seriously improve in this last week before finals they will be facing relegation and risk not returning to the LCS.

Given their current state the team has made a few desperate calls. They were able to get former Finatic jungler Reignover and since he is one of the best players in North America it was expected that the team would succeed.

However, that wasn’t the case.

The team’s main carry has been for  years the former SKT T1 ADC and season 3 world champion Piglet. But with the current meta being particularly hard to carry from the ADC position the team decided to move Piglet to mid lane.

Which may seem insane, but he showed promise and was able to hold his own against other mid lane talent in the region, but this move wasn’t even their biggest change. Team Liquid then picked up Doublelift, who, up until recently, was on a break from professional play but planned to return to Team Solo Mid (TSM) in the summer.

Doublelift replaced Piglet in bottom lane, but with little time and preparation a huge improvement  couldn’t have been expected, and wasn’t really seen, in fact in the last 2 weeks the team went 1 and 4, which only move them from last to second to last and still in threat of relegation.

If the team wants to save their spots in the LCS they have to beat out Echo Fox which would place them 3rd from last and safe from spring relegation.

But, since one of the games is against the current split leader TSM this will be a very tough week for them. Here’s hoping these drastic changes are enough to save the once great Team Liquid.