Last week was full of upsets and entertaining games, and with Week 6 coming up we take a look at the main talking points and players to look out for.
The previous week of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) was full of upsets and entertaining games, and with Week 6 coming up we take a look at the main talking points and players to look out for.
Cloud9 - 1
The biggest upset of Week 5 was Cloud9’s first loss in the Summer Split, and only their third loss this year. Not only that, but they were stomped by one of the bottom teams - 100 Thieves. While this loss does shatter their fans’ dreams of an 18-0 split, it has little impact on the standings or C9’s dominance.
While C9 is still far ahead domestically, there are worries about how they will fare internationally against the other major regions. “I think in Spring Split they looked a lot better than they [do] now,” said TL Jensen in a recent interview:
When I look at their players, they’re making a lot of individual mistakes.
The LCS, while fun to watch, is often criticised for being less competitive than China, Korea and Europe. In a more stagnant competitive environment, C9 has to keep improving and refining their playstyle to stand a chance against the best the world has to offer. Part of this process is learning new compositions and widening their champion pools, which is what C9 was trying to do in this match.
Without taking away from 100T’s performance, it’s pretty clear that C9 was experimenting here. Many people have pointed out that C9’s draft played a large role in their loss, especially the choice to leave Olaf open for Contractz. This was a sacrifice they made in order to secure the Senna/Wukong bot lane, but ultimately it didn’t pay off. It will take some more time before Zven and Vulcan can perfect this unfamiliar style of play.
The draft problems were only worsened by Nisqy’s Cassiopeia pick, which didn’t allow him to cover for Blaber’s aggressive play like he normally does. “Almost every other game . . . he’s playing Zoe, he’s playing Rumble, he’s playing Galio, he’s playing TF, all these really, really active mid lane champions,” said IWD on this week’s episode of Facecheck. “[When] you throw him on control mages the team just doesn’t look the same.” Paired with a strange Jayce pick that didn’t seem to fit their composition, C9 put themselves at a disadvantage from the get-go. What followed was a swift defeat; “It didn’t look like they lost, it looked like they got hit by a freight train,” said LS.
At the end of the day though, this could be a good thing for the team. C9 so rarely loses that they have little experience playing from a bad position, and without any domestic challengers their growth would be stunted. Hopefully, the roster can learn from this defeat and step onto the international stage as a better team because of it. In Week 6 it would be nice to see more experimentation that will prepare them for Worlds, rather than them continuing to rack up easy domestic wins.
100 Thieves stealing wins
100 Thieves, on the other hand, had their best week yet. Since bringing in players Contractz and Poome, they have won three of their last four games to become a real contender mid-way through this Summer Split. Only a couple of weeks ago they were 1-5, but after their triumph over C9, they have to be taken seriously. Perhaps with the exception of Ryoma, all of this roster’s pieces are solid; even the rookie Poome has earned the approval of fans in a remarkably short time.
The stand out stars of last week were Contractz and Ssumday, who performed amazingly in both wins against FLY and C9. While Contractz ended up getting the Player of the Week award, Ssumday has also been a consistent anchor for 100T. Even when 100T performed poorly, Ssumday was regarded as one of the best individual players in the LCS, if not the best. With a promising jungler in Contractz to back up his carry-oriented play style, 100T could be on the verge of a big win streak.
Unfortunately, 100T’s other import Ryoma is yet to prove himself as a mid laner. Recently he has received a lot of criticism for his gameplay, and while this week he performed acceptably, it will take more than a few wins to earn the approval of his critics. Since he is taking up an import slot, he is held to a higher standard and until he can improve, Ryoma will always be seen as the weakest link.
In Week 6 100T will have a tough time against the second and third place teams TSM and TL. Even one win would cement 100T as a true middle of the pack contender, perhaps overtaking the faltering FlyQuest, CLG and Evil Geniuses.
- Read More - TSM vs C9: The Greatest NA Rivalry
TSM benches Biofrost for Treatz
Last week TSM had an awful time, going 2-0 to both C9 and IMT, a bottom team in the league. They have now fallen behind TL by two wins to sit in third place, only one win ahead of EG, FLY and CLG. This was unexpected since C9 seemed to believe that TSM was clearly the second-best LCS team.
TSM’s confusing drafts played a big part in their losses, as did some critical decision making mistakes. Broken Blade, in particular, caught a lot of flak from fans last week for his poor Mordekaiser and Wukong games.
It seems like these were not TSM’s only problems though, as Biofrost has been benched in favour of TSM Academy’s Treatz. While Doublelift and Biofrost are known for their great synergy, Bio hasn’t been at the top of his form this split. Treatz, on the other hand, has consistently been a top support player in Academy and has been waiting for a chance in the LCS since he joined TSM Academy for the 2019 season. This split so far he has enjoyed an 80% win rate over ten games, in which he has already played six different champions.
Doublelift and Treatz have already been duo-ing to prepare for Week 6, and in a recent Twitter post we can see his strong shot-calling ability. While Biofrost is not a terrible support by any means, maybe TSM just needs a strong leader like Treatz to micro-manage them to victory.
Games to watch
After the bloodbath that was Week 5, it’s hard to count out the lower teams anymore. With the exception of C9, these games could go either way very easily and are sure to deliver some thrilling upsets. With Poome’s solid performances on 100T, it will be interesting to see if Treatz can live up to the hype. Both the rookies will face off in the first game of Week 6, in a bot lane matchup that you won’t want to miss.
100T also has to beat TL, who have pulled away from TSM to place second in the standings. A win against both the first and second place teams would catapult 100T into relevancy, giving them the momentum they need to climb the standings. For TL though, a loss against 100T would be devastating to their morale and reputation. Many critics already believe that they are over-performing, so a loss here would only give them more ammunition.
Like 100T, GG, DIG and IMT are looking to prove that their success last week was more than just a fluke. With the bottom teams now hot on their heels, the middle teams of EG, CLG and FLY will also really need to pull out a few wins this week. Another 0-2 record could send any of these three spiralling down towards the cutoff point for playoffs.
With so little between the bottom and middle team, each win is pivotal. If you have time to watch the whole broadcast, pretty much all of the games this week should be hard-fought battles.
Images via lolesports