Things are finally starting to shake out in North America as the hot teams continue to claim wins while those struggling are starting to lose hope of a high playoff placement.
Can we just talk about Team Dignitas for a minute? Long known for their early season success, with the Spring Split as the lone outlier, DIG started to finally see some success with their jungler Azingy. Granted we mostly saw him do well on Zac, it came as a surprise to many when the team decided to sign Helios. We knew they were trying to get him before the split started but he’s seemed to have melded effortlessly. His macro game shot calling is supported by KiWiKiD’s micro focused efforts and it’s leading to win after win for the organization.
Team Impulse and Team Liquid were the next to fall to the DIG train as Gamsu solidified MVP honors for the week with his spectacular Hecarim and Jarvan play. His 11/0/10 Hecarim shattered LCS records as the highest KDA whilst still maintaining 100% kill participation. TIP hardly knew what hit them.
Despite his basketball mishap which left him temporarily without full utilization of his pinky, Doublelift performed up to snuff. Pobelter carried the team after a slow and sloppy start for the CLG bottom lane duo and rallied the team back after it looked like they could possible lose to Team Dragon Knights. Against Cloud9, the injured ADC would claim his first Pentakill of the season.
Team SoloMid continues to look sloppy. After dropping to a considerable deficit, the TSM squad would win a single team fight in Team Liquid’s jungle. Bjergsen’s Azir flank would grant them the ace and out of no where TSM claimed the win. The crew also struggled against Hauntzer and Gravity who are still fighting to prove they deserve a spot among the elite. Once again it looked like they might lose the match but an over anxious Altec on Tristana would jump a bit too deep and GV devolved into chaos. TSM capitalized on this and took the win. Cloud9 is really having a tough time finding its new identity. With Meteos now taking the helm as shotcaller the team isn’t making the right decisions. Losing to both Enemy Esports and Counter Logic Gaming, C9 now finds itself solidly below the .500 mark. Team Liquid had a really tough week as they looked to take down both TSM and DIG until a single late game mistake that would basically cost them the game. As a result, they join Gravity just outside the top three spots in the league. Team8 claimed a really close match against TDK who are still yet to fulfill their full roster. Once again they lost all of their bans as Mancloud came into their mid lane role past the date for roster changes. So while T8 got only their second win of the split, TDK is yet to win after a full four weeks of the Summer Split. Assuming it will take a couple weeks for the full team to meld, we wouldn’t give much hope for the team making a run too far outside of the top seven.
Most Picked Champions
Before you can truly understand the most picked champions, you really need to see who was the most banned. Ryze had a 100% ban rate while Gragas continues to be the most powerful Jungle pick. Interestingly enough, Nidalee was eliminated in five of the ten matches though she was only chosen in two. Outside of that Rumble, Rek'Sai, and Azir were by far the most popular in their roles. Corki came close to beating out Kalista but thanks to the fact that she was banned more and therefore more highly prioritized, she eked out a win this week. Thresh returned though Alistar and Nautilus were hot on his heels.
Counter Logic Gaming continues to perform at a very high level and therefore claims sole possesion of first place. Team SoloMid and Dignitas again went undefeated though they showed signs of weakness. Gravity and Team Liquid had excruciating defeats after coming close to winning and drop one game back of the duo ahead of them. The rest of the league is struggling to find consistency with the bottom group anxious to start stealing some wins.
Counter Logic Gaming (7-1)
Team Dignitas (6-2)
Team SoloMid (6-2)
Team Liquid (5-3)
Team Impulse (4-4)
Enemy Esports (3-5)
Team 8 (2-6)
Team Dragon Knights (0-8)
Fantasy LCS Breakdown
North America had an incredibly high scoring week as both DIG Shiphtur and T8 Nien earned quadra kills while CLG Doublelift earned his first pentakill. It might be time to stop expecting teams against C9 to score low. Even when they lost last season they were still relatively stingy as far as giving up points goes, however they seem to be desperate to win and are pushing a bit harder when behind. That said, DIG might just be the real deal, they're scoring incredibly high when they win.
Week 4 was a respite for many of the struggling EU LCS teams. Others who had looked strong slipped a bit but for the most part we saw the league close a bit tighter.
Following their loss against Fnatic last week, Giants Gaming has continued to slide. With a loss against both Gambit Gaming and H2K Gaming, the Spanish crew now finds itself firmly out of contention for the top three spots. Fnatic took down Origen in this week’s big show match that proved to be a bit of a landslide. Niels’ Sivir encompassed all six of OG’s kills while the FNC crew pushed 20 deaths down onto the usually disciplined xPeke led squad. Both teams would go on to win the next day’s matches over Copenhagen Wolves and Elements, respectively. SK Gaming finally found firm footing and took off running this week, not only earning their first victory of the season but going undefeated against Unicorns of Love and Team ROCCAT. nRated’s Lulu led the team with a 1/3/24 record that stands in stark contrast to the numbers everyone was putting up before. H2K continued it’s tear, now on a six game win streak. The week of supports, KaSing’s Thresh and Alistar put up a 33 KDA with zero deaths. This proved enough to earn him the title of MVP for the week, retaining the award in the H2K skill pool. A bunch of squads including Gambit, Elements, and UoL went 1-1 on the week, tightening up the race to get out of the last three spots. Sadly, the Wolves and ROC both went without a win as the replacement of Woolite with MrRalleZ failed to pop into place seamlessly.
Most Picked Champs
It's really refreshing to see someone other than Azir as the most picked midlaner. There's probably a plethora of reasons why we're suddenly seeing him banned the majority of the time (6/10 matches) but we're certainly welcoming of Lulu. Since Gragas is currently being banned roughly half the time, Rek'Sai is once again the most played while Rumble suffers a similar fate. Alistar and Sivir remain our staple bottom lane duo.
Fnatic, H2K, and Origen are clearly the three best teams in Europe. Four teams are currently tied for seventh place and none of them want to be in the lower three lest they come to face relegation later in the season. GIA has slipped just a bit and it will be interesting to see if they can turn things around and we’ve finally seen that OG might not be quite as strong as we thought.
H2K Gaming (7-1)
Giants Gaming (4-4)
Unicorns of Love (4-4)
Gambit Gaming (3-5)
Copenhagen Wolves (2-6)
SK Gaming (2-6)
Fantasy LCS Breakdown
The undefeated squads of this week had particularly good matches. For once we see a couple players from multiple teams represented rather than every member of one team being the best choice. If you've been holding onto SK for the first three weeks, your patience may have finally paid off while the rest of us kick ourselves for priortizing Origen over H2K, the latter of which continues to put up fantastic numbers. With a total of 362.56 points, the all EU LCS team scored noticably lower than last week (423 points).
Team8 got some bad news this week as it was announced that Slooshi will be leaving the team for the immediate future as there were some medical issues in his family. As a result this is his last planned competition for the time being as the team opened against Enemy Esports.
Though the group lacked mid game objective control, a crucial teamfight around the 30 minute mark helped secure T8 four kills, a tower, dragon, and baron in quick succession. It was here that the group started to close out their first victory of the season, an important accomplishment with impending changes on the horizon. Team SoloMid lost to Team Dignitas and forfeited first place to them. We'll let that sink in for a moment. Okay, don't get us wrong, TSM had a commanding lead, but clearly wasn't playing at their best. The group miscalculated in a crucial late game team fight that saw Bjergsen jump in and explode allowing Dignitas to push with Baron for the win. It was a stunning turn of events though the group would rebound with a win over the TDK sub-squad. DIG wouldn't be able to hold a spot among the top teams however as it then fell to Gravity who continues to look astoundingly strong at times. Cloud9 had an equally rough week with Team Liquid securing a resounding win over them. Meteos was completely shut down by Quas' Hecarim and IWillDominate's Ekko. As a result the group simply had no way to fight their way back into the match. Their second win of the season came against T8 the next day in what was a sorely needed victory. Counter Logic Gaming went undefeated after trouncing Gravity with tremendous KDA numbers. Their second match against NME only further padded those scores on route to their undefeated performance. Aphromoo's Bard was absolutely spectacular and now we can see why it has been and will certainly continue to be banned against him.
Counter Logic Gaming (5-1)
Team Liquid (5-1)
Team Dignitas (4-2)
Team SoloMid (4-2)
Team Impulse (3-3)
Enemy Esports (2-4)
Team 8 (1-5)
Team Dragon Knights (0-6)
Dignitas continues its trend of early season success even with Helios coming in on his first week of competition since leaving Winterfox. Counter Logic Gaming looks more solid overall with their only loss coming from TSM who has dropped out of the first place tie. Team Impulse looks a bit shaky at 3-3 but they're still in a remarkably better position than those below them. Cloud9 has much work to do, NME shows continued promise in the future, and TDK looks like it will be hard pressed to recover from the prolonged absence of Emperor and Ninja. These next few weeks could be crucial to the lower ranked teams if they want to have any hope at making a charge at the top two spots. Thanks to the implementation of Championship Points, a bad split can mean the difference between attending worlds or not. Note: I'm on the road this week so our NA recap will be a bit briefer than usual and won't include the champion and Fantasy LCS breakdowns. No worries though, the graphics will be included in next week's EU LCS recap.
Week 3 of the European LCS almost feels like an enigma. With Ekko released, upsets, and all sorts of shenanigans, there’s certainly a lot to talk about.
Thursday was relatively uneventful as far as winning goes. Origen beat Unicorns of Love, Giants Gaming topped Team ROCCAT, H2K Gaming beatdown SK Gaming, and Fnatic bested Elements. The only real toss up was whether the Copenhagen Wolves or Gambit Gaming would start things off with a win, though the latter eventually triumphed.
SK put up a tremendous fight against H2K, surprising basically everyone. Freddy122 opted into Dr. Mundo against Odoamne’s Rumble and Ryu brought out Twisted Fate for the first time in Europe. One of the premier showings this week, H2K snuffed out the flames that SK has kindled for the first time this year. Froggen became the first to play Ekko in the region though they lost to Fnatic. And then Airwaks and Kikis took Ekko into the Jungle...and lost. Then Huni brought him top and earned the only win on him this week. Where will we see him next? Support seems most likely. Someone should make that happen. “When we qualified for the EU LCS in December,” Giants PePiiNeRo told LoL Esports earlier this week. “I wanted to add a clause in the contract with Giants that they let me play as the AD carry when we played against him. But they called me insane.” Well guess what? PePii locked in Lucian while Adryh took Lulu and the two swapped roles for the entire game. It was an entertaining bout, one where PePii fared much better in than Adryh as the team lost to Fnatic, but it’s something we haven’t seen before in the EU LCS. (And that includes that crazy Millenium - Alliance match that ended last year’s Summer Split). Origen was handed its first lost thanks to Woolite and Team ROCCAT who finally had the momentum to close out a game. Despite being only 2-4, the group has consistently performed well only to drop games to their opponents. Gosu Pepper pulled out his Taric against SK Gaming as Gambit managed to turn things around with a 2-0 week. The split is starting to look grim for the SK club as they’ve been unable to win a single match thus far.
Most Picked Champions
As we mentioned before, Ekko was all over the place: in the jungle, soloing top, going mid (as one would expect him to). But the real surprise is that Azir and Gragas have remained staples for so long and show no signs of wavering. All three weeks thus far they've been the most highly picked/prioritized and that's kept them representing their respective roles. Sivir and Alistair have been chosen two of the three weeks while top lane is yet to see a repeat. Ryze and LeBlanc were by far the most banned champions, nine and eight times, respectively.
Origen finally lost but Fnatic is undefeated. Ekko has been played as in Top, Jungle, and Mid lanes. Pepii and Adryh swapped roles for their game against Fnatic. Gambit rebounded with two wins while SK is still seeking out a light at the end of the tunnel.
H2K Gaming (5-1)
Giants Gaming (4-2)
Unicorns of Love (3-3)
Copenhagen Wolves (2-4)
Gambit Gaming (2-4)
Team ROCCAT (2-4)
SK Gaming (0-6)
Fantasy LCS Breakdown
H2K Gaming has absolute bloodbaths as they won against both SK Gaming and Unicorns of Love. The former hasn't given up many fantasy points prior to this split but this isn't the same disciplined SK we had come to know. UoL is well known for the action that frequently takes place and helped bolster H2K's already impressive numbers further. With Gambit's two wins they managed to put up the most points as a team while Huni keeps being Huni and playing like the best top laner in the entire LCS. The all EU LCS team earned a total of 423.06 points, higher than anything North America has put up thus far and second only to EU's total last week.
Because of his feature in ESPN, this week's contest will challenge you to play champions that Faker has utilized in his competitive matches (as of 6/10) on any map mode (Summoner’s Rift, The Crystal Scar, The Shadow Isle, Howling Abyss, Team Builder).
Since Riot gave it their all, let's kick it up a notch here as well. Five people who reply to this post will be getting a $10 RP code to buy one of these skins or chromas. Just tell us your favorite skin from the new patch! We'll pick winners on 6/15 by 12:00PM PDT.