It was a good week to be blue as the team on that side of the map claimed nine of the ten matches. There were bloodbaths left and right as even the usually restrained Cloud9 let themselves go a bit, racking up 20 kills against the Team Dragon Knights sub-squad.
Team Impulse was the organization to beat this week despite losing to Gravity on Saturday. The crew performed tremendously and put up incredible numbers as they took down Team Liquid. Yet another .500 week, TIP remains an even 5-5 on the split as a perfect week still eludes them.
It was one of those tough to measure weeks as most teams went 1-1 with the exception of Counter Logic Gaming who finally faltered to an 0-2 performance along with the still struggling Enemy Esports while GV and Team SoloMid went 2-0.
Team Liquid was led by Fenix’s Azir who got a one v. four quadra kill, propelling his team to a win over CLG. His 11/0/5 performance was unanswerable by the group that has had all of the answers up until this point. I wouldn’t call it tilting, but CLG was clearly affected by the huge loss as TSM continued to be their kryptonite, handily taking them down.
That said, Team SoloMid wasn’t without their own issues as a terrible tower dive in Team8’s bottom lane put them preposterously far behind and the team was left to play safe for the rest of the early-mid game. They did come back from that to win, but we’re still left with the feeling that TSM is a bit shaky.
C9’s happiness was short lived as Impulse steamrolled the former NA LCS Champions. With that Balls’ Rumble suffered its first defeat as he now has a 17-1 record in regional games. T8 took down NME with a ton of armor stacking that brought the game well past the 40 minute point.
TDK finally got Emperor and Ninja back from their visa issues and both seem to have brought incredible and much needed confidence to the team. Ninja held his own on Viktor against Shiphtur’s Azir with some great mechanics that previously weren’t there. More importantly, Emperor on Sivir had much better teamfight positioning. His substitute Lattman was frequently on top of the enemy team, costing them DPS. It was a welcome sight as the group earned their first win of the season right at the halfway mark.
Most Picked Champions
The meta in North America might be a bit stale. Sivir was picked in all ten matches this week while Rek'Sai was locked in every time she wasn't banned. Azir was either of the two in nine of the ten while bans seemed to have stagnated a bit. Ryze was out in every match, Gragas eight times, Alistar and Kalista both seven.
Annie was a welcome change, that much is certain, but we might need some changes in the ADC role. The next closest was Kalista in only three, that's a staggering differential.
Fantasy LCS Breakdown
As I mentioned before, Team Impulse had crazy bloodbaths this week against Gravity and Cloud9. There's not a ton to say other than they had two stomps even though GV managed to come back and win.
Fenix's quadra kill locked him up the Flex position while TSM eked out GV in their own 2-0 week.
Top - TIP Impact
Jungle - TIP Rush
Mid - TIP XiaoWeiXiao
ADC - TIP Apollo
Support - TIP Adrian
Flex - TL Fenix
Team - Team SoloMid
NA vs. EU Standings
Week 1: NA LCS (418.77) > EU LCS (379.29)
Week 2: NA LCS (376.70) < EU LCS (454.94)
Week 3: NA LCS (406.41) < EU LCS (423.06)
Week 4: NA LCS (431.64) > EU LCS (362.56)
Week 5: NA LCS (414.06) > EU LCS (347.87)
North America leads 3-2.
Team SoloMid now leads North America and that's probably bad for the region as a whole considering they too have looked weak for a bit now. CLG dropped both of their matches and in doing so lost a lot of their internation credibility. Gravity's Altec led them to two wins and earned his first MVP title.
Team Dignitas still looks strong but lost against the true Team Dragon Knights who earned their first win in their first match with their full squad. If they're looking that good in wins against teams previously tied for first, Team8, Enemy, and C9 better watch their tails.
So that happened. Fnatic is now an undefeated 10-0 as they managed to take down both H2K Gaming and Gambit Gaming. After defending their previous record of nine in a row twice (over both SK and H2K in the previous splits) FNC finally broke the barrier and reached double digits. The question that now remains is how far can they continue to push this? They face Giants Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves next week before their next huge challenge in both H2K and Origen in Week 7.
One thing became really clear this week: Fnatic is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the EU LCS. Many had pegged H2K and OG on the same level as them, however, both have stumbled at points throughout the season while FNC just keeps knocking their opponents down.
H2K had a rough week after dropping to Fnatic in day one. As the last match of the week they would struggle against SK Gaming with only Ryu to give them hopes of a victory. Regardless, they played confidently and even looked to be ahead despite numbers proving the opposite.
Though on a much easier schedule, Roccat solidified their first undefeated week of the split as Steve finally came into proper form. His Ekko play was all around satisfactory with a 8/6/14 in his two games. Vander’s Janna was nothing to be scoffed at either with a 25 KDA on one lone death. It’s a great sign for a team that has looked good all season long but hasn’t quite been able to seal the deal.
ROC wasn’t the only team to show up this week though as the Elements began to come together (still no Captain Planet though). Many questioned the decision to sub in Nyph for PromiseQ but it clearly paid off. Perhaps the perspective of being a coach has allowed for him to improve their in game decisions. With no real stand out performer, EL fought hard for their two wins over SK and Giants, something that’s certainly welcome, especially considering Roccat’s success.
Most Picked Champs
There was actually a good amount of spice in this week's competition. Ekko managed to finally boil his way to the top of the top lane (while still being utilized in the jungle).
Rek'Sai narrowly beat out Gragas as the most picked/prioritized Jungler. Outside of that we only saw Lee Sin, twice and Olaf, Rengar, and Wukong, once. The release of Runeglaive will certainly be a welcome addition when the next patch sees play.
Azir still sits among the most played in the Mid lane, but Varus finally gained enough momentum to overtake him. Jayce is also seeing considerable prioritization for the first time this split.
Sivir, Corki, and Kalista are the Holy Trinity of ADCs with 6, 5, and 4 picks, respectively.
I have to admit that I was rooting for Janna to overtake Alistar, and she came close but was one game too slow to earn the spot. Regardless, seven games out of ten for each is pretty definitive.
With the schedule reaching the halfway point there are four clear divides in the standings. Fnatic stands atop alone while Origen and H2K try and figure out if they’re true contenders for first place. Giants sits atop the three way tie of Elements, Roccat, and Unicorns of Love. Below them is a tied Gambit and SK with the volatile Wolves bringing up the rear.
H2K Gaming (7-3)
Giants Gaming (5-5)
Unicorns of Love (4-6)
Gambit Gaming (3-7)
SK Gaming (3-7)
Copenhagen Wolves (2-8)
Fantasy LCS Breakdown
Roccat makes it first appearance on the all EU LCS fantasy team with their long games and Jankos' presence. Despite only going 1-1, SK had tremendously bloody games and as a result find themselves dominating this week in points. Febiven is surprisingly the only representative from Fnatic, H2K, and Origen and it's not surprising given he earned MVP honors this week.
A total of 347.87 points is the lowest we've seen from either region thus far and that's a result of the more competitive games this week. Lower ranked teams did well while those above them duked it out in low kill games.
Patch 5.12 just hit the servers and brought with it a slew of minor tweaks to champions, some major mastery changes, and Enchantment Runeglaive's debut. Luckily we've got the latest breakdown from our friends at LolClass where they talk to pros Bjergsen, Dyrus, and Sneaky about the most significant part of the patch!
Enchantment - Runeglaive
With this new enchantment for AP junglers replacing Magus, the jungle just changed up a bit. It's best illustrated by saying that instead of a Codex, you get a Sheen. This makes clears better for many junglers, but it will hurt some outliers who struggle.
The general gist is that players will now be trying to go 21 points into the defensive mastery tree, rather than 15 or even 9.
This means now there will be a tangible difference between a pure tank and a hybrid tank; formerly several champions would go 15/15/0 and now they'll be forced to go deeper into the tree, getting less damage for free.
Essentially they've relocated a lot of the skills to make sure the tree gives a better benefit to those who go further.
Below are the champion changes summarized from the video. In particular, Lux and Elise saw some of the biggest buffs while Ekko and Ryze were brought further under control.
Ashe's change to Ranger's Focus (Q) is overall a minor nerf, but it will change Ashe's potential slightly. She might miss out on a few clutch kills.
Reducing the mana cost of Braum's Q and increasing the damage results in an increase to our Frejlord friend's power with no downside.
The nerfs to his attack speed are meant to curtail his jungle potential, where he was starting to make a splash.
By reducing his Q's AP ratio by nearly half, he's weaker yet still remains a strong pick.
His ultimate now costs 100 mana, up from a 0 cost. This will cause him to focus on mana oriented builds but he did gain mana scaling to help compensate.
Elise's W is no longer activated, meaning she'll have more reliable sustain in both top lane and the jungle.
Dyrus thinks this helps her top lane out a lot.
Her E gives her extra damage when she Rappels, making her somewhat stronger.
These are solid buffs, as they make him do more damage overall with his ultimate.
However, his ultimate is still weak because it can easily be interrupted and that remains the flaw in Galio's kit. It's a very high level change, QSS just counters him much that it's likely not enough.
Gragas will be banned a lot less, but he'll still likely show up.
These changes are again meant to target his sustainability in the jungle as well as his ganks. He'll be able to slow less, making his ganks less devastating.
Jarvan IV's E and Q combination will be two seconds shorter meaning it's a noticible buff. It should help make him more popular as a jungle and top laner; seeing as how he's always been a consistent pick, he should see more play.
A pretty clear buff that will make Jax stronger, especially if he doesn't build defensive items since it makes hime innately tanky.
Lux received some of the biggest buffs in the patch: the change to her shield will let her react to skill shots much better, since her shield will now be instant. This may bring her back into the competitive limelight.
Her E will also be helpful for high latency and the skill's general accuracy.
The patch's changes will make Malphite a better pick overall against a heavy physical damage team--while he's still situational, he only got stronger. Expect to see him more, even potentially in the mid lane.
Ryze should be more balanced now, as his passive is brought down to a much more reasonable 2.5 seconds instead of 6.
The reduction of the root from Ryze's Rune Prison is also extremely impactful; he's now forced to max Q due to the changes in damage and his W will no longer be as scary as it is since it will no longer be maxed.
The buff to Trundle's R makes him much better mid and late game. He's already an anti-tank, but now he'll heal even more.
It was quiet on the PBE for a while, but today's PBE update gave us one new skin and a brand new champion: Gentleman Gnar along with Tahm Kench and Master Chef Tahm Kench. Talk about one contestent Gordon Ramsay probably wouldn't want to meet, right?
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.