With just one week of regular season play left in the North America LCS Summer Split, the standings are just about set. The current top six are all guaranteed playoffs spots, a rare accomplishment heading into the final week, and five of them have a shot at first place.
So, without getting too far into match scores and tie-breakers, let’s take a look at what the last week of the season could mean for all six of the Summer Split playoff teams.
Week 9 schedule: Team EnVy, Echo Fox
Far and away the most likely team to take first place, Immortals enter the week tied for the best record, with Team SoloMid, and are playing a fairly easy week. The, most likely, sixth seed in EnVy, and a non-playoff Echo Fox team should provide easy pickings for Immortals. Even if they lose both games, Immortals could still end up second, or at worst, third. It’s a fitting reward for the team that made the most important moves in the off-season and has looked consistently strong since week one.
Week 9 schedule: Phoenix1, Counter Logic Gaming
This is where things start to get interesting. Team SoloMid have one game that should be easy, despite P1’s strong performance last week against CLG, and one game that could be one of their hardest of the season. If TSM win both matches they’ll be guaranteed first or second. If they lose against Counter Logic Gaming, however, CLG will leap frog them in the standings, leaving TSM sitting in third.
Because their losses have come to Cloud9 and Team Dignitas — twice — the prospect of losing both games is one that TSM fans should dread as they could end up all the way down in fifth, making the rest of the playoffs an uphill climb for the pre-season favorites.
Counter Logic Gaming
Week 9 schedule: Team Dignitas, Team SoloMid
Currently sitting in third place, CLG have far and away the hardest schedule of any team in week nine. Not only are Team Dignitas the hottest team in the league at the moment, but TSM have always had their number when it comes to regular season play. Along side that, CLG are adjusting to a new jungler in Omar “OmarGod” Amin and, based on last week, aren’t quite back to their early season strength.
A 1-1 split would be a perfectly respectable result for CLG and would likely be enough to keep them at either third or fourth and give them an advantage in the first round of Playoffs. However, the more likely outcome is probably an 0-2 week which would probably put CLG at fifth when all is said and done. Should CLG shock everyone and pull off a win in both of their match ups this week, they would earn themselves, at worst, a second place finish and a week off before the Semi-Finals.
Week 9 schedule: Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid
Team Dignitas are in an interesting position because they can almost exclusively go up, and no one expects them to. The weight of history and expectation that weighs down every other team on this list for one reason or another is almost completely absent from Dignitas. And there isn’t a single good reason in the world for that to be the case. Team Dignitas may be the strongest team in the LCS at the moment and are certainly the hottest. They have adapted to the patch quickly and look strong in ever role, and are playing around objectives better than anyone. For all these reasons, Dig is more than likely to go 2-0 in week nine. That means that if any other team slips up, even a little, Dig are going to take their place.
First, and most likely, on that list will be CLG, who they play on Friday. It seems very unlikely that either Immortals or Team SoloMid will go winless on the week, but if they do, Dig will be the first in line to snatch up their first round byes.
Week 9 schedule: Team EnVy, Echo Fox
The key to any successful team is consistency. Which probably goes a long way in explaining why Cloud9 won’t be able to call this split successful. Sure they have managed to string together quite a few wins, after all they are really talented, but to try to predict how they will fair against any particular team in a given week is basically just a crap shoot. So, in a week where they will have to take on the sixth and seventh best teams in the league, neither game seems comfortably winnable.
With no games that seem winnable, it’s hard to see Cloud9 getting anywhere other than fifth place, based on the schedule every other team has.
Week 9 schedule: Immortals, Cloud9
There isn’t much to say for Team Envy in the final week of the Summer Split. Even with a miraculous 2-0 week, they would be unlikely to get anything other than fifth or sixth place and they would have to beat Immortals to even have a chance at that. So, this week is going to be much more about making sure that everyone on the team is comfortable in their role and well adjusted to the meta, as they try to make a serious run through playoffs.