Unlike in the other regions, the first event of the LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) is the annual Lock-In tournament. All ten LCS go head to head for a cash prize of $150,000 before the start of the Spring Split.
This allows teams to gauge their opponents and test their new rosters before the matches affect their standings.
This year, after a surprising upset over Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid claimed the second (and their second) Lock-In Tournament victory. This left many fans and analysts with the impression that Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses would be the teams to watch moving into the Spring Split.
However, with the opening weekend of the Spring Split now over and the first ten matches already played, the dynamic has already changed drastically.
Analyst Rankings Prior to Split
- Team Liquid (TL)
- Evil Geniuses (EG)
- 100 Thieves (100T)
- Cloud9 (C9)
- Team SoloMid (TSM)
- Dignitas (DIG)
- Counter Logic Gaming (CLG)
- Golden Guardians (GG)
- FlyQuest (FLY)
- Immortals (IMT)
Week One Day One Overview
- TSM vs. EG
- FLY vs. CLG
- TL vs. 100T
- GG vs. C9
- IMT vs. DIG
Day One of the Spring Split went almost entirely as predicted, aside from two surprising upsets. The first match pinned unofficial second seed against unofficial fifth seed in EG vs. TSM.
Although TSM took an early lead, a team fight-gone-wrong lead allowed EG to trade 4-1 and take a 3000 gold lead at the 17-minute mark. While TSM put up a commendable defense, the early gold lead gave EG too much control, and they won 13-7.
Match two pitted two low-ranked teams against each other with FlyQuest vs. CLG. With many fans rallying behind CLG’s up-and-coming bot lane duo (Luger and Poome), it was a bit shocking to see FlyQuest win the matchup. FlyQuest managed to win the match 22-12 in just under 49 minutes in what may have been one of the longest matches in LCS history.
Match three was undoubtedly the match to watch. Coming off of an underwhelming Lock-In performance, the 2021 LCS Champions in 100 Thieves were pitted against the number one team and Lock-In victors in Team Liquid in their opening match.
While TL were the favorites, analysts were cautious to make any definite predictions about the match’s outcome, and for good reason too.
Seizing an early lead and drafting for late game scaling, 100 Thieves took control of the matchup way too early for TL to overwhelm their scaling. This draft led 100 Thieves to win 3-11, with their star ADC “FBI” ending the match 9-0-4, flawlessly dismantling TL and earning him the LCS Player of the Week award.
Match four showed just how good Cloud9 will be in this split. Pitted against Golden Guardians, C9 wasted no time, quickly dismantling GG in only 26 minutes. That’s not even the best part.
Now under a new head coach, “LS,” C9 have drastically changed their playing style to embrace the enchanter meta fully. This quick victory was stellar, but doing it with Ivern mid made it all the more impressive.
Match five pinned the fan-favorite underdogs in Dignitas against the undisputed worst team in the LCS in Immortals. To the surprise of no one, Dignitas swept IMT 17-3 in just over 31 minutes.
After being ranked the least scary team by the LCS teams themselves prior to Lock-In, Dignitas has made some seriously unexpected and impressive plays, including knocking 100 Thieves out of Lock-In contention in the opening match of the knockout stage.
Since then, DIG has been on a tear and stolen the spotlight from the top teams in this split.
Week Two Day Two Overview
- CLG (0-1) vs 100T (1-0)
- TSM (0-1) vs DIG (1-0)
- EG (1-0) vs C9 (1-0)
- GG (0-1) vs FLY (1-0)
- IMT (0-1) vs TL (0-1)
Day two was just as electric as day one, with four teams extending their record to 2-0, four teams decreasing their record to 0-2, and two teams evening themselves out 1-1.
Match one once again went in favor of 100 Thieves, making it seem as if the defending champions picked right back up from where they left off last split. Taking the match in just over 31 minutes, 100T dominated 25-6.
Match two once again highlighted the impressive performance of Dignitas as they shocked the LCS community once more. Beating TSM in just under 38 minutes, DIG demonstrated that their dominance is no joke, winning the matchup 15-6.
Match three was once again the match of the day, pitting C9 against EG. While many fans expected an EG victory, C9 once again drafted an extremely crafty and unique enchanter-based team composition. Sporting a Soraka mid, C9 once again put their opponent in an uncomfortable position.
With most teams practicing against the meta champion pool, C9 showed just how lethal off-meta champions could be when played correctly. With a 39 minute victory, C9 upset EG 17-11.
Match four was just as traumatic for GG as their previous showing. Despite taking an impressive 4-0 trade early in the match, GG fell apart.
This allowed FlyQuest to take another unexpected victory and move their record up 2-0. In exactly 34 minutes, FlyQuest beat Golden Guardians 14-8.
Match five was just as much of a stomping as was predicted. With the predicted best team playing against the predicted worst team, Team Liquid demolished Immortals 20-6 in just under 29 minutes. While the Lock-In champions fell short in their first matchup against 100 Thieves, they did continue to prove that anyone can beat IMT.
The 2022 LCS Spring Split opening weekend was nothing short of electrifying. With records indicating that the top two teams from Lock-In might not be as dominant as previously thought, this split will undoubtedly continue to be one of the most exciting LCS showings of all time.
The excitement continues on Feb. 12th, with EG opening the weekend against DIG followed by C9 vs. TL. Those are two matchups you will not want to miss.
But, in the off chance that you do, come back here for another overview of the 2022 LCS Spring Split.
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