After six weeks of play North America’s standings finally seem to have settled. When the season started there was consistent prediction that some of the teams that sat at the top of the North American League Championship Series table would begin to fall off at some point, but through 12 matches it still hasn’t happened. Instead, the league has stayed relatively similar, with three distinct tiers of teams.
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Team SoloMid
These teams are unarguably the best in the league at the moment. They seem to have the strongest handle on the meta — though the disastrous patch 7.14 will shake that up significantly — and have been on top of their mechanical game. What’s more, these are the teams that can always be counted on in the late game to effectively move towards victory with very few mistakes.
What makes these teams the best is that there is not one thing you could point to when they win. They are simply outperforming the other teams in the league at every stage of the game. If these three teams keep this level of performance up, the semi-final match up that includes them going head to head should be a treat for all of us.
- Team Dignitas
- Team EnVy
Each of these teams is marred, above all else, by consistency issues. Thanks to that fact, this group is by far the least stable of the three. Each of these teams seems primed to either make their way into the top tier, or drop down into tier three, if only they would play similarly from one week to the next.
Their sterling history makes Cloud9 the easiest choice to move up, but after their week six losses to Team EnVy and Immortals it’s hard to ignore the consistency issues that have plagued Cloud9 throughout 2017.
Perhaps the team that actually has the greatest chance at breaking into the top of the NA LCS standings is Team Dignitas. While they have never quite look like one of the league’s most dominant teams they have quietly proven to be a thorn in the side of teams at the top of the standings. Back in week two they beat Team SoloMid and just this week they managed an impressive win over Counter Logic Gaming. Of course, they have also lost to Team Liquid, the league’s worst team, a fact that keeps them firmly rooted here in Tier two among the teams that can’t quite take a strong performance from one week and continue it into the next.
- Echo Fox
- Team Liquid
This is a strange group because it seems like many of these teams should have far better records than they do. Echo Fox has given some of the league’s best a run for their money, and never quite seem out of games thanks to Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham’s early game, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen’s mid game. The only standout issues for the team is that they aren’t able to close games out, failing to take objectives in the mid game and losing control late.
Meanwhile, Phoenix1 had a phenomenal performance at NA/EU Rift Rivals where they took down the European competition and beat out Cloud9 for second place on the North American side. But, at least after one week, they haven’t been able to transition that success back into the NA LCS, where they once again looked disconnected and like they didn’t quite trust the judgement of rookie Jungler and Rift Rivals star Mike Yeung.
The final two teams in this group haven’t shown much promise this split. While Team Liquid struggled with this exact same line up last split, FlyQuest’s struggles are a bit more unexpected. Their issues seem to stem from a team dynamic that just doesn’t work. With Johnny “Altec” Ru, who played AD carry with the team in the Spring Split, where they finished third, FlyQuest were able to move quickly and surprise the enemy team with carries coming out of every role. However, with Jason “Wildturtle” Tran, the team seems confined and stuck into a meta that doesn’t favor them and that they can’t quite adapt to.