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LOL

2021 LCS Teams That Missed Worlds

Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

23rd Sep 2021 19:19

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The League of Legends World Championship is right around the corner which means that each region has had a chance to decide its representatives. For North America, or the League Championship Series (LCS), only three teams will get to represent the region—this means that seven other teams will be stuck home.

The three teams North America will send out are 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and Cloud9. As their second-ever Worlds trip, 100 Thieves will be representing the region as the number one seed after a surprising and decisive sweep over the second seed, Team Liquid. This leaves Cloud9 as the third and final seed to represent North America at Worlds.

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In this article, we will be focusing on those seven teams that didn’t make the cut and are stuck at home watching the international tournament like the fans of the region. We will also be looking at their overall performance for the year.

Team SoloMid 

As a team who meandered amongst the top for most, if not all of the season, this is the team, who out of all of the seven teams who didn’t make the cut, feel the most stung.

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This team suffered a lot to start the season with the LCS Lock In tournament; discombobulation, lack of synergy and overall poor play were what governed them. This continued through to the first week of LCS regular season play in the spring. Once in the second week, things began to change—it was a completely different team. The act of mish mashing five players that were strong in their own right but never had played with each other began working, a sense of direction was found. Top two finishes in each regular season granted them byes for the subsequent playoffs but they always fell short. This led to a strong performance all year long but not strong enough to get over the hump. A third place in the Mid-Season Showdown (MSS) and a lowering to a fourth place in the LCS Championship in the summer was all they had to show for it.

 

 

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Evil Geniuses

Similar to Team SoloMid, they also feel a good bit of sting for not making it to Worlds. A team that started surprisingly strong in the Lock In tournament, came back down to earth in the subsequent spring, which landed them at sixth place for the regular season—ending in fifth-sixth position for the MSS.

This all changed though as once in the summer, this team drastically improved, and at one point could’ve been pit as the best team in the league. Seemingly, an addition of rookie AD Carry, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki was all that they needed to improve, and also an MVP-like performance for their mid-laner, Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro. This team was ferocious and was clearly here to stay, they were one game away from taking the second seed from eventual LCS Champions, 100 Thieves. It was just whether or not they could continue this type of play into playoffs. 

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Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT

Once the LCS Championship, they couldn’t translate that level of play, landing at an eventual fifth-sixth finish for the playoffs; a mirroring of the spring.

Dignitas 

As one of the teams that didn’t make it to playoffs during the Lock In tournament, Dignitas weren’t looking too hot going into spring. But like Team SoloMid, they had a sudden change of heart or change of pace and got on track. So much so, that they seemed like the unexpected gatekeepers between the two halves of the LCS. This put them in a surprising position in which was led by Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett’s evergrowing champion pool was a main focal point. Besides Dardoch, younger generation talents Aaron “FakeGod” Lee and Max “Soligo” Soong showcased solid play all throughout the spring. It was rounded out by a stable bottom lane of AD Carry Toàn “Neo” Tran guided by experienced support, Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black.

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Even with all this good stuff, Dignitas finished in fifth place for the spring’s regular-season later being swept by 100 Thieves in the losers’ bracket. 

Once in summer, things didn’t really improve, in fact, they got worse in a way. Dardoch was out, which meant the main focal point, an experienced player and a head amongst the players was gone. This led to worse quality of play from the team essentially mirroring spring’s result but with a little bit of a worse twist.

Immortals

If Dignitas were the sort of gatekeepers between the two halves of the LCS, then Immortals were the ones that weren’t too far behind. In a way, they were just a worse Dignitas but with one caveat, they never really had an identity. Be it their play through top, their play through jungle or whatever else they threw onto Summoner’s Rift, it was never enough.

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This level of play left them out of the MSS, and although they did better in spring, they still finished in fifth-sixth place alongside Evil Geniuses.

Golden Guardians 

To start the 2021 season, this was the worst-performing team, and rightfully so. A team full of Academy and Collegiate players struggled massively throughout both the Lock In and spring, only mustering four wins in total—one during the tournament and one during spring’s regular season. It was an inexperienced team, and to not really fault of their own, they could never pick it up. The team was constantly taken advantage of through the top side of the map and could never recover, this led to them missing the MSS alongside three other teams.

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Once in the summer though, they really picked it up after they brought in experienced top laner, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie over from FlyQuest. This led to them jumping from last place in the standings for the spring, to eight in the accumulated standings come summer, but most importantly it meant they got to participate in the playoffs. That participation in playoffs was all they could celebrate as once in playoffs, they were swiftly dealt with by a Cloud9 who fell into the losers’ bracket round one.

 

 

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FlyQuest 

Going into this 2021 season, FlyQuest were seen as one of the teams that although weren’t gonna be able to compete with the Team Liquids, Cloud9s and Team SoloMids of the world, would still be able to stick around the middle of the pack. The Lock In tournament did see that but it would be the only time this would happen. As during the spring, FlyQuest just couldn’t quite hold it together. 

Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT

Although they were realistically one game behind Immortals in the spring’s regular-season standings at eighth place, it was just not a good look. It was as if they were a mix of Golden Guardian’s inexperience and Immortals lack of identity. This team had hyped up jungler—due to his play in last year’s Worlds—in Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas while having a duo of Academy players that were solid in their own right in mid-laner Cristian “Palafox” Palafox and support David “Diamond” Berube; the potential was there. This potential never fully showed as they failed to qualify for the MSS and later on in the summer failed to qualify for the LCS Championship.

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Counter Logic Gaming

As the most disappointing team in many people’s minds, Counter Logic Gaming had one thing that rosters like Golden Guardians’ and FlyQuest’s didn’t, experience. One could say that even though the calibre of players was not quite up to par with other teams, this was one of the most experienced rosters in all of the league. Finn “Finn” Wiestal in the top lane, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen in the jungle, Eugene “Pobelter” Park in the mid-lane, and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Andy “Smoothie” Ta for a bottom lane. All experienced players in either North America or Europe, or both, and all capable of performing well just didn’t.

This lack of good play led to one of the most unheard-of statistics in LCS history, a statistic that had them give themselves first bloods for over 10 games in a row and terrific early games during the spring, only to completely collapse come mid to late game. This stat put them barely above Golden Guardians who were in last place and out of the MSS. 

It didn’t get much better either. In the summer, they went away with Pobelter and brought on Tanner “Damonte” Damonte in the mid-lane seemingly as a latch-ditch effort. And like spring—due to their disappointing level of play—they missed out on the LCS Championship.

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Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT
Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

Alongside the “dynasty teams” atop the standings, Counter Logic Gaming has is one of the older organisations in the league, even then, they’ve time and time again fallen to last place during multiple splits. 

 

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LOL

Running It Back - Team Liquid

Photo via Riot Game/Getty Images

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

22nd Oct 2021 16:51

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