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LOL

The Continuing Gap Between The Two Halves Of The LCS

Image via Riot Games

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

26th Nov 2021 18:06

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A new League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) year means a new offseason that preambles it. A new offseason means players either play on new teams, play with new teammates or don’t get to play at all. One thing that never changes though is the gap between the top and bottom halves of the LCS - it’s always there. 

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This gap could be seen as a necessity in many ways. Apart from that, it is essentially a given: this isn’t new, this pro-League of Legends play is still a sport. And like any sport structured sport ala NBA, NFL and the like, money is involved. When money is involved, some teams will have more than others, that’s the way of the land.

We are now a year removed from what was one of the most historic offseasons in LCS history. An offseason that not only saw the likes of Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh come to the region, also saw two of North America’s greatest players hang up the mouse and keyboard in Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Not only that, this offseason was home to some of the most noteworthy turnover ever seen in the league with nearly half of its players from 2019 not returning for the 2021 season. 

This change allowed for teams to start anew in many ways. Although you had the two clear teams to beat in Cloud9 and Team Liquid with what were the strongest rosters on paper. You also had teams that were clearly under them at third through fifth places: teams like Team SoloMid, 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses come to mind. Then of course you had the following teams in Dignitas and the rest. As for how the season ended, that’s another topic.

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Knowing all of this, the 2021 season was one of the few chances for this sort of “gap” to be restructured. In a league that has constantly had the three-headed beast of Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and Team Liquid run amok, organisations that haven’t previously seen success had their chance to finally pick at that prestige. Unfortunately for them, that was not meant to be, for the most part. Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and Team Liquid all got to stay at the top - varying in positions - but they were joined by 100 Thieves along the way. 100 Thieves joining them along the way should be of no surprise, as although they couldn’t find the same success they saw in their inaugural LCS season, the Thieves were still constantly looking for the next big heist to put them alongside the region’s greats. This constant strive to win culminated in 100 Thieves taking what wasn’t theirs and getting their first-ever LCS championship.

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

Sure, the league had the likes of Dignitas and Evil Geniuses who also carved their path - Evil Geniuses more so than Dignitas with their impressive summer split - but it’s still not the “unf” sound that puts that needed punch. The teams at the bottom clearly stayed at the bottom while having the classic rare win here and there over the top teams and the improvement from spring split to summer split, but in the end, things stayed the same.

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The Gap In The 2022 Season

The gap is looking to continue for the 2022 season, although some full rosters aren’t yet confirmed, the same can be expected. 100 Thieves is still intact after they won the 2021 summer split, Team Liquid even though they rebuilt and kept their starting jungler and support, gained powerful players. Team SoloMid is yet to confirm their support and mid-laner, are still looking very solid with the players they now have. Cloud9 on the other hand has changed things up with their roster, but they can be expected to do well, seeing the organisation’s past.

Evil Geniuses, again, they’ll be in that upper half of the gap. It’s just up to the rest of the teams in the league to step up. But will they? History tends to say otherwise.


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LOL

LCS Lock In 2022 Week 2 Takeaways

Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

24th Jan 2022 12:54

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