North American League of Legends Championship Series – Week 9
Team SoloMid – This week (2-0), Overall (19-3)
TSM continued their domination over most of the North American LCS this week with decisive wins over XDG and Dignitas. Granted, those aren’t the highest caliber of opponents, but they still looked extremely well coordinated and didn’t seem to be struggling with the return of Bjergsen at all.
In fact, Bjergsen played amazingly in both of their games this weekend. His Zed play was top notch as expected, but he was also quite impressive on Lulu, which is a champion that doesn’t fit his assassin playstyle. Bjergsen leads the league in kills and is on pace to set the all time record for kills in a season.
TSM has its eyes set on the number one seed and with its remaining schedule being fairly easy, it looks like it could be within its grasp. Next week the team has to face CLG, who could give them a pretty good fight, but finish out with Curse, Coast and EG, who are all struggling with consistency.
Cloud 9 – This week (2-0), Overall (18-4)
Cloud 9 is coming off of a solid international showing at IEM Patowice, where it managed a couple of victories against some good Chinese teams. Cloud 9 had a fairly easy schedule this week against Team Coast and an EG full of substitutes. They handled much like you would expect the second place team to, quickly and easily.
Cloud 9 remains the ever-consistent team in the NA LCS. They play every game with the same precision and control. Occasionally a team can catch them off guard with a crazy pick or sudden lane swap, but for the most part Cloud 9 is always prepared. However, this also makes them quite predictable and the other top teams just might be able to exploit that when it comes to playoff time.
Counter Logic Gaming – This week (2-0), Overall (14-8)
CLG came into the week facing a fairly weak schedule and was able to avoid any upsets. Its first matchup was against Evil Geniuses, who was using three substitutes because of work visa issues, which have plagued numerous teams this season. They were able to secure the victory and then faced a Coast team that can only be labeled as inconsistent for another hard fought win.
If you had to pick a bubble team in the NA LCS, CLG is the obvious choice. It is obviously the best of teams not named TSM or Cloud 9, but it remains to be seen how it can match up with the league’s elite. CLG shows a lot of promise and continues to improve each week, but next week will be the true test when it takes on TSM. With a win, the group could put themselves in a great position heading into the playoffs. They have almost assured they will not face relegation so they can begin to look forward to the post-season.
Team Curse – This week (1-1), Overall (9-13)
Curse was riding a wave of victories into this very important week. Since adding BunnyFuFuu to the lineup the team was 5-1 and poised to finally grab sole possession of fourth place. Every game is important for Curse, but the match against Dignitas was extremely important to gain the advantage in the race to avoid relegation. Curse was able to pick up the victory and secure the advantage (if the season ends in a tie).
Unfortunately, in its second game, Curse ran into XDG and lost a 52 minute game. Curse fell behind early and tried to mount a comeback, but over aggression spelled its doom after a missed initiation by IWillDominate on Kha’Zix. This lack of consistency is the trouble with all of the bottom five teams. Curse picked up the win that it needed, but was unable to secure a victory against a team it should have easily beat. The league is split between the top three teams, fighting for a championship, and the bottom five, fighting to avoid relegation.
Team Dignitas – This week (0-2), Overall (9-13)
Dignitas struggled a lot this week. The group was destroyed by TSM after picking a unique team with Imaqtpie on Quinn and Crumbzz playing Kayle in the jungle. DIG was never able to get the initiation it needed and the game spiraled out of control after an ace at dragon by TSM ten minutes into the game.
The major problem this week was Dignitas’ inability to pick up a win versus Curse. The battle at the bottom of the standings is very close with all the teams looking to avoid relegation. At this point in the season, teams need to be able to win versus their closest opponents or risk plummeting to the bottom of the standings. This is exactly Dignitas’ problem. Even when it performs well, the team just can’t seem to capture the victory. It is hard to pinpoint what happened to the Dignitas that dominated the first two weeks, but it appears to be looking for team compositions that compliment the individual players, and it doesn’t seem to be working.
Team Coast – This week (0-2), Overall (7-15)
Coast had a rough schedule this week, having to face both Cloud 9 and CLG. It lost to Cloud 9 fairly easily but managed to put up a fight against CLG before its fall. Shiphtur played amazingly on Ziggs and gave his team every opportunity, but it was too hard to overcome a large early CLG lead.
Coast is a team with all the makings to be great, but just can’t quite put it together. It has standout solo lane players in ZionSpartan and Shiphtur and a decent supporting cast in the other positions. Coast’s major problem seems to be balancing meta picks like Renekton and Lulu, with its own preferences. ZionSpartan and Shiphtur like to play dueling champs like Jax and LeBlanc, but struggle with the more defensive style champs that are prominent in today’s game. If the team can figure out how to let its top and mid lanes thrive in the tank meta, Coast could make a run in the playoffs, if they qualify.
Evil Geniuses – This week (0-2), Overall (6-16)
There is not much to say about EG this week. Snoopeh, Krepo and Yellowpete were all forced to leave the country because of issues with their visas so the team was filled with three players from the North American solo queue. Thinkcard, Ken and ROBERTxLEE did the best they could, but the schedule wasn’t in their favor, having to face CLG and Cloud 9. When the regular players return they will have to buckle down to stay out of the basement or they could be facing a more permanent return to Europe.
XD.GG – This week (1-1), Overall (6-16)
XDG had a tough schedule this week with having to face TSM and Curse. The game against TSM went as many thought it would, with an easy win for TSM, but XDG was able to pick up a much needed victory against Curse. You could make the argument that this win is much more important because Curse is within striking distance of XDG. If the team can finish strong it might be able to salvage what has been a disaster of a season.
XDG has looked better in recent weeks with the addition of Sheep at support. However, it still seems to make the same mistakes it always has. XDG starts off strong, but when it comes time to close out the game, the team struggles. It manifested in the Curse game, when it had a huge lead early and yet the game still went 52 minutes. XDG escaped with a victory this time, but can’t count on these kinds of games if it wants to finish strong.