The first round robin of the 2022 LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) summer split has come to an end. With every team having played one another, their current standings give us a good idea of the skill levels of all ten teams in the LCS. While their current ranks should not be taken as a direct indication of their final placement, they do provide a good indication of which skill cohorts teams belong in (think “in contention for Worlds,” “needs to rebuild,” “middle of the pack,” etc.).
Prior to the start of the split, I created a comprehensive list of the predicted final placement of each team based on their midseason roster changes, training camps, and previous performances. Before we get into those, let’s take a look at the mid-split standings.
1. Evil Geniuses (8-1)
2. 100 Thieves (6-3)
2. Team Liquid (6-3)
4. CLG (5-4)
4. FlyQuest (5-4)
6. Cloud9 (4-5)
6. Golden Guardians (4-5)
8. TSM (3-6)
10. Dignitas (2-7)
10. Immortals (2-7)
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 7th
Current Record (2-7)
My pre-split prediction for Immortals was very optimistic. With Kenvi, a rising star from the academy scene, specifically requesting to join Immortals, I assumed he would be able to make a quick transition to the LCS and find success with a roster he desired to be a part of. He, alongside IgNar and Lost, were the players I considered to be “make or break” for this split.
Unfortunately, his transition was not quite as seamless. As opposed to the 1v9 style champions he played on 100 Thieves’s Academy roster, Immortals seemed more comfortable placing him on scaling junglers.
This skill-set mismatch, combined with the scaling-based style PowerOfEvil practices, has made it very difficult for Immortals to find any success with such a weak early game. With both Revenge and the bot lane duo (IgNar and Lost) unable to survive in the early game, the play style mismatch of the team makes wins seemingly impossible. I do feel that the three aforementioned “make or break” players are still accurate; however, it feels more like more of the focus is on Kenvi now. While Immortals will almost assuredly miss summer playoffs, I do feel that Dignitas is the weaker team right now.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 9th
10. Dignitas (Tied)
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 8th
Current Record: (2-7)
Coming into summer I had much higher aspirations for this team. After ridding themselves of the dead weight of their perennially inting top laner, FakeGod, I had hoped that Gamsu would be able to step up and make a difference on this roster. Unfortunately for him, the top lane issue seems to be bigger than the player. Gamsu has done a much better job than FakeGod did; he has managed to acquire multiple solo kills, including one of Evil Geniuses’ Impact. The primary issue with this team seems to be their heavy emphasis on playing around bot lane.
With such a heavy priority on the bottom of the map, Gamsu is constantly left without resources and often taken advantage of by more proactive enemy junglers. Don’t get me wrong, River is one of the best junglers in the LCS, but the top side of the map is heavily neglected under his current approach. If Gamsu manages to survive, Dignitas have an opportunity to win; however, it seems like they cannot consistently build leads in the bot lane. While their mid-jungle duo is a point of light, it does not translate well against the much stronger mid-jungle duos of other, higher ranked teams.
I no longer feel that Gamsu is the “make of break” player on this roster. It’s now clear to me that the success of this team is contingent upon what happens on the lower side of the map. Unfortunately for Dignitas, their lack of consistent productivity down there makes them the worst team in the LCS.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 10th
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 5th
Current Record: (3-6)
While I was high on this roster coming into summer, it seems that the executives at TSM want them to fail. With only two of the original five players still remaining on the roster, it’s incredibly difficult to assess their ability moving forward. Their current roster, with three rookies, is 1-1; and while it’s too difficult to predict where these players will fit in with the rest of the league, TSM has one of the best mid-jungle duos in the league. Assuming TSM allows this roster time to develop, which is a big ask, I can’t see a roster with Maple and Spica not making playoffs.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 8th
6. Golden Guardians
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 9th
Current Record: (4-5)
Golden Guardians are one of the few teams on this list that I can’t fully wrap my head around. They have incredible team play, but find themselves in losing positions when they act as individuals. Despite this, their laning phases are extremely commendable, with Licorice being the most volatile. The mid/late game, however, appears to be their most insurmountable challenge.
After the 20 minute mark, it feels like the enemy team just needs to wait for any one of the five GG members to put themselves in an overextended position, and they can capitalize and take an advantage. If the Golden Guardians can maintain their awareness into the mid game, they have the potential to contest the 5th place spot; however, I just don’t see that happening by the end of this split.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 7th
6. Cloud9 (Tied)
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 4th
Current Record: (4-5)
Cloud9’s current record is of no indication of the capability of this roster. While their shocking loss to Immortals makes it hard to make a case for a 4th place finish, Cloud9’s potential far exceeds that of any team currently not in the top three. When the entire intended starting roster is playing, this team is 4-2. I don’t think they will break into the top three—it doesn’t seem possible with their 0-3 opening weekend—however, they are one of the best teams in the league and can only get better as the split goes on.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 4th
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 6th
Current Record: (5-4)
FlyQuest has been the second most surprising team this split. Although their adjustment in the top lane appeared to be a bit of a downgrade, Philip has proven himself to be incredibly effective alongside an already strong core of four proven players. This year has been incredible for the FlyQuest roster, and the largely silent spring bot lane appears to be coming out of their shell. I’ve been incredibly impressed with this roster so far, and I feel that they have the potential to contest Cloud9 for the fourth place spot.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 5th
4. CLG (Tied)
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 10th
Current Record: (5-4)
Ahead of FlyQuest, CLG has proven themselves to be the most surprising team this split. Similar to FlyQuest, their pre-split move in the top lane seemed, on paper, to be negligible. Because the roster was already very underwhelming in spring, I didn’t feel that CLG would even be in the question for playoffs; however, Dhokla has shown himself to be one of the best top laners in the league and a driving force for this CLG squad. While I believe the top three teams hold the best players in almost every role, I think Dhokla is either the fourth or fifth best top laner ahead of or behind Fudge.
The only reason CLG does not rank higher is that, when this team is not winning, they are losing by large margins. In other words, they have very high highs, but very low lows. Between CLG and FlyQuest, I do feel that the boys in green are a much more cohesive team and can build leads much easier.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 6th
2. Team Liquid
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 2nd
Current Record: (6-3)
Team Liquid continues to be one of the most disappointing showings this year. While their roster contains some of the most decorated players the Western League of Legends scene has ever had, they consistently fail to equal the sum of their parts. What should be the most dominant bot lane in the league very inconsistently outperforms their laning opponents. Bwipo, with one of the widest champion pools, cannot solo carry his team. Bjergsen plays way too passively, and only has an impact on the game in team fights. And Santorin, the team’s best performer this split, plays a role where he cannot carry the team.
Despite these inefficiencies, TL are still able to outperform almost every other team in the league. While this is impressive, they should be dominating every other team in this league. With the amount of money going into this roster, TL will likely blow up this squad if they do not win this split. Unfortunately for them, I don’t see that happening with Evil Geniuses on the rift.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 2nd
2. 100 Thieves (Tied)
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 3rd
Current Record: (6-3)
Despite Abbedagge’s rocky early performances, this team is still incredibly impressive. Their win over Team Liquid, while boring, was a great indicator of the level of this team. Unfortunately, that victory was overshadowed by their subsequent losses to both Cloud9 and FlyQuest. Although Abbedagge was still in his slump, I do feel that 100T’s roster should be able to win those games. Their FlyQuest loss was just a failure to execute their game plan in the same way they did against Team Liquid. Assuming Abbedagge maintains his form, this team could make a play for second place; but they are too docile in this scaling meta to win against Evil Geniuses.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 3rd
1. Evil Geniuses
Pre-Split Predicted Ranking: 1st
Current Record: (6-3)
Despite their slight hiccup to CLG, Evil Geniuses appear to be unbeatable. After taking down both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid, this roster is bound to repeat their title run. I do not feel like any of the teams—in their current form—can contest Evil Geniuses. While their bot lane is a notable weak point, their ability to protect that weakness is top notch. Assuming that the MSI burnout does not catch up to them, EG are a safe bet for Worlds and the LCS Championship.
Post Mid-Split Predicted Ranking: 1st
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