Major fireworks went off in the LCS last week. After a half split of Cloud9 dominating in North America, the front-runners are all of a sudden struggling, never more so than in last week’s upset loss to Team Liquid. For the first team all year, it looks like C9 could have a fight on their hands for the LCS title.
And it isn’t just Liquid in the mix, either. TSM and FlyQuest, both of whom went through a considerable period of inconsistency at the beginning of the summer, put up clean 2-0 records to prove that there are multiple teams willing to challenge for the top. It’s a welcome turn from a few weeks ago, when we were fretting whether anyone would challenge C9 and prepare them enough to play higher level competition at Worlds.
To evaluate how far C9 have fallen back to the pack, we asked our League analysts to rate each from one point (worst) to 10 points (best). Turns out, C9 didn’t move very far at all:
In fact, there wasn’t very much movement at all in much of the standings. In some cases this is reversion to the mean, with talented teams like Liquid and TSM figuring things out. In other cases, that reversion has had a negative impact, like CLG’s continued slide down the rankings as the split has progressed.
We told you: CLG, Dignitas, Immortals
It’s not that CLG are an outright bad team. There are playoff-caliber players on this roster, and multiple members like Pobelter, Sitxxay, and Smoothie have international experience to boot. It’s just, a few weeks at the beginning of summer aside, the team dynamic has been strange. Last week’s 0-2 was surprising to few. From a higher-level view, it looks like the roster is still rudderless after dumping coach Tony “Zikz” Gray two years ago. Zikz has not had a killer record since his departure, but he certainly knew how to make the most of his CLG rosters. In this case, both team and coach may have been better together than they have apart.
Dignitas continue to pick up unexpected wins, but to us, it hasn’t amounted to much. They were behind for most of their last victory over Evil Geniuses and their losses have been incredibly painful to watch. While winning here and there is nice, we still hope to see younger players receive LCS playtime for this organization.
Immortals have given their young guns some run, and mid laner Insanity has impressed at times. He leads the league in damage at his position, but was unable to do anything against EG starter Jiizuke last week.
Failure to launch: Golden Guardians, Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves
We keep waiting for one of these teams to…
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