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The Mid-Season Invitational is over, and the LCS is back in business. Week 1 of the LCS Summer Split has already concluded, and quite a few takeaways emerged. Today, we grade each team based on how they performed in the first week, ranking them at the end.
Team Liquid were not expected to rebound strong after the short break post-MSI. They shot out of the gate by beating TSM to a bloody pulp but lost to Echo Fox due to overconfidence. From denying TSM any towers to throwing against a team that now has a 66% win ratio against them in 2019… Well, Week 1 could have gone worse.
Team Liquid were expected to finish the week with this record, but the results of the matches flipped. To be objective, TSM lost the game in draft and TL looked extremely cocky against Echo Fox. Claims of burnout and jet lag seem to have been exaggerated, but TL still looked shaky. A Week 2 against CLG and 100T should be the bounce back they need.
TSM started extremely slowly in Week 1 of LCS Summer. While they did beat CLG for the second day, the TL loss was a big shock. The drafting in that game was frankly terrible, scaling in a fast-paced meta. 2-0 was expected, and TSM did not deliver on those expectations.
The black and white brigade get a worse grade than the champions because of higher expectations. Losing to Liquid was a hard stop on the TSM hype train, but the LCS Summer Split is far from over. They face Echo Fox and Clutch in Week 2, and they outclass both on paper. If drafts shape up, they should regain top form.
Cloud9 had a dominant start to the LCS Summer Split. After playing a deceptively one-sided match against FlyQuest, they put Clutch in the dirt. Jack’s lads combined for a whopping 45 kills in Week 1, the most of any team.
C9 fulfilled expectations and might have even surpassed them. Licorice in particular was an absolute monster, and everyone did their jobs. There isn’t much to be said other than Cloud9 started strong. They face Echo Fox and Golden Guardians in Week 2, a much stronger set of opponents.
FlyQuest admittedly had one of the hardest Week 1 schedules of LCS Summer. Golden Guardians and Cloud9 were two of the scariest opponents coming into the Split, and they showed it. FQ lost to both of them by being outplayed on a macro level consistently.
All is not lost for FlyQuest despite the rough start off the line. They had flashes of Spring form, but they mostly lost to superior map movements and objective control. Looking ahead, they have TSM and Optic in Week 2, one of which should net them their first win of the split. If it goes to 0-4, then panic needs to set in.
Golden Guardians did not shoot out of the gate — they instead kept a steady pace so as to not burn out. Their play was overwhelmingly efficient, dominating both of their opponents. Echo Fox and FlyQuest made playoffs in Spring, and GGS played them like a fiddle to start LCS Summer.
GGS played like a prototype Korean team in Week 1. They had the lowest kills and deaths of any team that won a game, using superior macro to sweep the week. Week 2 puts them up against two extremes: Clutch Gaming and Cloud9. The former should be an easy win, but the latter could see them pull the upset.
Rush on Sundays is a magical thing. After Golden Guardians outclassed them, Echo Fox exploited the cockiness of TL to upset the reigning champions. They started Yusui and Lost as a test this week, and said test was not a complete failure.
Echo Fox are DEEP in the hardest two-week schedule they could have drawn. Even with TL and GGS done, Week 2 has them face Cloud9 and TSM. The fact that they won ANY of those four is already a great start. Even so, Fenix and Apollo need to come back for Week 2.
Counter Logic Gaming
CLG looked improved from last split. They took TSM the distance and embarrassed 100 Thieves to kick off LCS Summer. There wasn’t anything spectacular about CLG, but it was better than last split, which was mediocrity given team form.
CLG performed exactly as expected: better than last split, but still not a top team. The biggest positive is that Ruin already seems to be a fair improvement over Darshan. OpTic and TL await them in Week 2, so another 1-1 week is projected.
OpTic are one of three teams who opened LCS Summer with a perfect week. What’s wrong with that? Well what’s wrong is that the two teams they beat are 100T and Clutch Gaming. The record sounds much less impressive in context.
Yes, OpTic went 2-0, but the teams they beat finished ninth and tenth in Spring. These are the teams that had less than ten wins combined in Spring, and OpTic struggled mightily against them. CLG and FQ sit ready for them in Week 2, and both are hungry for wins. Don’t expect this run to last.
Clutch opened LCS Summer at 0-2. It isn’t a good thing, but even then it wasn’t all bad. Clutch were manhandled by C9, but they managed to put up a fight against OpTic. Their communication also seemed to have improved, but that will only take you so far when you lead the league in deaths as a team.
Clutch have two extremely limiting problems. The first is that their drafting is among the most suspect in the LCS, catering too much to the players over synergy. The second is the inconsistency of Huni and LiRa, who average nine deaths a game as a pair. If they were tanks or supports, that wouldn’t be an issue, but they exclusively played carries. Clutch have the scary Golden Guardians and the potentially beatable 100 Thieves in Week 2. This is the time to get the team together, or it may not happen at all.
LCS Summer Split was supposed to be a rebound for 100T. Alas, that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon. CLG destroyed them, and the game against OpTic was arguably the worst since franchising started. They don’t die as much as clutch, but more seem to just roll over on the Rift.
Amazing was to be a game changing addition to the team but looked anything but Week 1. Rumors of poor communication have been present for weeks, and it showed. Liquid should be as close to a guaranteed loss as can be, and Clutch are the closest to a beatable team for 100T at the moment. Week 2 is do or die for the boys on the Heist.
Power Rankings after Week 1 (From Spring Finish)
- Cloud9 +2
- Team Liquid -1
- Golden Guardians +3
- TSM -2
- Echo Fox –
- CLG +1
- FlyQuest -3
- OpTic Gaming –
- Clutch Gaming –
- 100 Thieves –
The movement from Spring to LCS Summer Week 1 is pretty self explanatory given the explanations above. Even so, Week 2 should be better indicators moving forward amid the testing and rest leading into Week 1.