Showing posts with label LCS Worlds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LCS Worlds. Show all posts

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Worlds 2015 Groups have been drawn!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who’s on Track for Season 4 Worlds?


by Reece "Sabrewolf" Dos-Santos


This season is shaping up to be the first season of NA where the three spots for worlds are not completely predictable. The NA LCS, by the half-way point, has already seen a good share of upsets, turnarounds, and explosive matches. By week six, the usually dominant Cloud 9 have already picked up their most losses in a split and appear to mirroring their European counterparts, Fnatic, in putting up inconsistent showings that vary from world class dominance to frighteningly average slumps.  When looking at the NA LCS with an objective view of only this split, it’s hard to deny that the three teams currently in pole position look to be the ones that push for the three NA spots.

The NA LCS:

CLG have consistently shown superiority in rotations, and mid to late game clarity in their game play.  They know what they’re working towards in almost every game and cleanly achieve their goals. The only team CLG cannot seem to overcome at this moment is Cloud 9, who delivered two of their four overall losses. LMQ got off to an electrifying start in the NA LCS, and while there were concerns about their ability to hold it up, they have been addressing the critics with particularly strong performances from Vasilii and three time "MVP of the Week," XiaoWeiXiao. Performances that are being backed up more and more by an improving Ackerman. Meanwhile, Dignitas have shown that they mean business with their additions of ZionSpartan and Shiphtur, and they have honestly shocked many watchers with their overpowering form in the first half of the split. However, like the other two front runners, Dignitas show signs of cracks. These cracks were clearly evident in their complete decimation at the hands of compLexity. Dignitas, out of the three, has had the best showings, but also put out one of the worst. The key to securing the Worlds' spot for them is simply consistency.

Despite being the favorites and the biggest NA names, Cloud 9 and TSM have had some substandard performances and only recently began clawing their way back. TSM, in particular, have begun to find some sort of form since the addition of Locodoco as a coach, but their main problem as a team is their inability to take games from the top teams in NA. They have a clean 6-0 record against the bottom three but are 0-5 against the top three. If TSM can work out how to challenge the top teams, they can push their way in for one of the spots at worlds, but unfortunately, a perfect record against EG, COL, and CRS won’t get TSM anything more than a mid-table finish. In almost a complete opposite regard, Cloud 9 are 2-0 against CLG, yet they haven’t been able to pick a win against the two bottom teams in the NA LCS. Whether it’s an issue with underestimating the lower tier competition or simply a bad clash of match-ups, Cloud 9 are sitting in fourth place solely because of their inability to take games from the lower tier competition. Both Cloud 9 and TSM can make it to Worlds, but only if they look at each other’s weaknesses and learn from them. The NA LCS is no longer their playground - it’s a battleground.

NA LCS Dark Horse: Evil Geniuses

The Evil Geniuses were mediocre at best last split and looked to repeat that form this split until they swapped out Snoopeh and Yellowpete, who honestly were well past their prime. The additions of Altec and Helios have completely revitalized the team and seem to have brought out the best in Pobelter, Krepo and Innox. Their performances have suddenly become fluid, calculated and hard-fought, and they only look to get better and better as they become more adjusted to each other - which is a scary thought when considering how good they looked in Helios’s first week. EG may sneak their way into playoffs and could be the team to upset the war between the Top Five.

The EU LCS: 

EU, however, isn't as much of a tight contest compared to NA.  Alliance are already an almost guaranteed spot with a completely dominant 10-2 record, with losses against SHC and GMB which honestly seemed like they had simply removed their foot from the gas pedal. Alliance was a team created by Froggen to go Worlds, and honestly it seemed shaky at the start of the Spring Split, but then the team grew used to each other and almost perfectly synergized. We have to give it to Froggen, he knows how to create a top tier team. At this point, the only plausible way Alliance could not make it to Worlds is through a monumental internal explosion between them, the chances of that are highly unlikely. But EU have shown that any team can slump their way out of first place in the blink of an eye. Alliance’s test now is merely breaking that stereotype, which shouldn't be hard for them.

The other team that looks jet set for Worlds is SK gaming who, like Alliance, completely shot out from the bottom of the table into complete bliss in the second half of spring. SK has shown complete dominance in their team-based game play and map rotations, and clarity in ending games where they are comfortably ahead. Jesiz, in particular, has blossomed into a hero that SK Gaming can rely on in almost every game, along with consistent performances from CandyPanda and Nrated, with Freddy and Sven rarely making mistakes themselves. Two of SK’s four losses are against Alliance and  that's perfectly understandable considering the depth of Alliance’s dominance in the first few weeks of summer.

The third EU spot for worlds is where things heat up as there is no clear team that looks set to take it. The main battle seems to be between Supa Hot Crew, Fnatic, and Millenium, all of whom have put up good performances but still have consistency issues that hold them back. The one thing that unites all three teams is the talent of their mid lane: Kerp, Selfie, and xPeke are all world class mid laners who can easily carry their teams on a good day, but have also shown that they are not exempt from being shut down. Similarly, all three teams also have standout ADC’s in Creaton, Mr RalleZ, and Rekkles, who are complete monsters when left unchecked. The battle between these three teams is where EU playoffs will become interesting, as SHC and MIL have mirrored Alliance and SK’s resurgence from the bottom two teams into top of the table powers, but Fnatic are three split champions for a reason. They always find a way to weasel themselves into pole position when it matters, but this split will be their hardest test yet.

EU LCS Dark Horse: Roccat

Roccat are undeniably talented. They are one of many teams to deny NiP a space in the LCS and showed overpowering form in spring that led them to finish third place overall. They, however, inherited the “first place slump” that so greatly affected Fnatic, and have only recently begun to recover with two back to back 2-0 weeks (partly due to one of the matches being a forfeit). Roccat’s point to work on is simply closing out games and playing with more of a passion rather than playing not to lose. Their overly passive game play was the main catalyst of the ward chanting and Mexican waves from the London LCS crowd that sought entertainment.  


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