Once again, things are getting spicy in the North American League of Legends scene. Week six of the LCS Summer Split has shaken up the standings quite dramatically, and warped previous understandings about the placement of the top teams in the league.
As playoffs draw nearer, the top of the standings grows more and more obscure. Currently, there are three teams tied for third place, making the five remaining matches in each teams’ schedule increasingly more important.
For the teams teetering on the edge of playoff contention, winning these matches is critical if they wish to keep their seasons alive. For the middle-of-the-pack teams, the outcomes of these matches might not affect their playoff attendance, however, the volume of victories will affect their position in the playoffs.
Winning these matches could be the difference between facing elimination from the start and having a little breathing room against the league’s best rosters.
As a quick refresher, here is a look at the LCS standings in the aftermath of this week’s matches:
- Evil Geniuses (11-2) *Clinched Playoffs
- 100 Thieves (10-3) *Clinched Playoffs
- Cloud9 (8-5)
- CLG (8-5)
- Team Liquid (8-5)
- FlyQuest (7-6)
- Golden Guardians (4-9)
- TSM (4-9)
- Immortals (3-10)
- Dignitas (2-11)
Read more about the LCS Playoffs.
Evil Geniuses: Bound For a Repeat
At this point, it goes without saying that Evil Geniuses will make the Playoff Finals. As the undisputed best team in the league, EG is going to be the decider between a Championship and a long drive home. It should be noted, however, that they are not unbeatable.
With two losses and a dangerously close match against Immortals this weekend under their belt, EG have looked shaky recently. They are not shaky enough to drop out of first place, but perhaps their playoff run will not be nearly as clean this time around.
100 Thieves: Title Contenders Once Again
As the current longest-standing unchanged roster in the league, it is unsurprising to see 100 Thieves eyeing the third playoffs appearance. On paper, the most likely playoff finals matchup is 100T vs EG. A repeat of the Spring finals sounds one-sided on paper; however, 100T has shown tremendous growth this split; just last week, the boys in red secured their first win against this new EG squad since the Spring Split.
With another 2-0 week in the books, the gap between second and third widens as quickly as the gap between first and second. It is a tight race for first place between the two playoff-clinched teams.
Cloud9: On The Right Trajectory
Cloud9 is a strangely volatile team. Despite holding one of the best records (8-2 since week two) as a five man squad, their matches are a bit scary. This team has the names and skills to be a playoff contender, but if their regular season matches are any indicator of their consistency, it is unlikely that they will upset the top two teams.
8-2 is an excellent record, but the quality of these wins is worrying. Quite a few of them could have swung either way, making it difficult to make a case for C9 against the likes of 100T and EG right now. If they can dial in before playoffs, however, this roster has the potential to upset.
CLG: No Longer Pretenders
The biggest dark horse of this entire split has been CLG. Predicted almost unanimously to finish in 10th place this split, CLG have blown all expectations out of the water. This week was one of two tests for this roster. Although they played Dignitas and Golden Guardians, teams that perform unexpectedly well have been known to do so inconsistently.
With wins against both of these teams last week—boosting their record to third place—CLG is no longer a playoff “pretender;” this team is a legitimate threat to the top of the table.
This week, however, will be the second test. With games against FlyQuest and C9, CLG’s performance this weekend will give us an indicator of the consistency of this roster at the higher levels.
Team Liquid: On the Verge of Collapse
Team Liquid have been an utter disappointment this split. For a team built for winning domestically, TL has done a whole lot of losing. While their current placement is great, it is nowhere near where a roster of this caliber should be.
TL should be contesting EG alongside 100T, but instead they are fighting for third with the likes of C9 and CLG. This roster has shown nothing to indicate that TL is nearly as talented as the individuals that constitute it.
Just last week they lost to Cloud9, a roster with similar experience, but one less split of team synergy. If TL is built to win, they need to show up this week. With matches against FlyQuest and Evil Geniuses, the opportunity to prove themselves is here. This is a make or break weekend.
FlyQuest: The Wild Cards
FlyQuest is one of the hardest teams to pin down this split. With wins over CLG; 100T; and C9, this team should easily be a top five team. However, their losses against TSM and IMT highlight a concern about their consistency.
FlyQuest have shown that they have the tools to compete against the best teams in the league, but they need to be able to close out favorable matchups against the lower tier teams in the league. If they had that consistency, FlyQuest would be sitting in an uncontested third place right now with a 9-4 record. Instead, they are fighting for their lives in sixth.
This weekend is a big test for this roster. With games against CLG and TL, the teams directly ahead of them, FlyQuest is another team with a make or break weekend in front of them. Wins over both of these teams will put them in the contest for third place, but losses will almost guarantee a 6th place finish this split.
Golden Guardians: First Round Playoff Elimination
Despite picking up River from Dignitas last week, GG has proven they are not playoff material. While they will likely be one of the last qualifying teams to break into the playoffs of the LCS Summer Split, it is unlikely that they will win even a single game. River has the potential to make this team more competitive, but it looks like it is going to take time.
TSM: On a Knife’s Edge
TSM are likely going to have to play against IMT in a tiebreaker for the playoff spot. These teams have identical schedules—with the exception of one team—for the remainder of the split. Fortunately for IMT, they have to face off against GG, while TSM has to face off against EG.
If IMT can pull off the upset against GG, IMT and TSM will have identical records and identical opponents, making the fight for playoffs very interesting. With what has been shown in recent weeks, IMT are the favorites to make the comeback qualification, but TSM currently have the better record.
Immortals: Potential For an Upset
IMT have improved dramatically since the mid-split break. Just last week this team went blow for blow against the best team in the league. Now, with the opportunity to make the playoffs with just two manageable upsets, this team is on the verge of something great. With an identical schedule to TSM’s for the last week of the split, the fight for the final playoff spot is going to be very interesting.
Dignitas: Go Next
Although they have all but publicly stated their perspective on this split, Dignitas is already eying 2023. With the worst record in the league and no hope to improve, DIG is focused on rebuilding. They traded their best player, River, away to GG in hopes that GG could make a difference in the playoffs.
While that seems unlikely so far, their rebuild without River has a long way to go. Come 2023, this team will still likely be uncompetitive. The remainder of the LCS Summer Split is already a wash for them and they will probably finish winless with a 2-16 final record.
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