The first week of the NA LCS Academy League is in the books and a whole lot more players have gotten some professional League of Legends experience.
With 10 games a week played a few days before the NA LCS matches, it can be a little difficult to keep up with North America’s developmental league. So, we at the Rift Herald are here to give you a brief summary of what you missed for each and every week of the Academy League’s inaugural season.
1. Winning is everything in the NA Academy League
Before we get into what happened this week, let’s make sure we remember what the point of this league is to begin with. While winning and losing may be the most important thing in the NA LCS, the Academy League is a little bit different. It doesn’t matter if a team is winning or losing, just that the players involved are progressing and developing well.
Thanks to that, there are certainly teams that already seem a cut above the rest, but by and large, those are the teams with players who have already spent time in North America’s best league. So, it’s no surprise that teams like Cloud9 Academy and Team Liquid Academy are already off to strong starts, with proven talent in important carry roles.
2. Echo Fox Academy are off to an impressive start
Of the teams without significant LCS experience as their anchor, it’s hard not to be most impressed with Echo Fox Academy who came out of the gate strong and ended the week with an impressive 2-0 start.
The team’s first match was a fairly clinical protect the Kog’Maw composition with AD Carry Lawrence Sze Yuy “Lost” Hui performing admirably on the champion. But Echo Fox Academy’s second game is where things really got going. The team drafted a composition with heavy poke, which helped them into fantastic sieges and some strong fights during the mid game. If the first game was all about Hui, than this one was centered on mid laner Tanner Damonte who went 10/1/4 on Zoe in the team’s 33 minute victory.
It may have only been the first week, but Echo Fox Academy have already gotten themselves out to a great start and set themselves apart with standout play from two young players.
3. Every team needs to get a little better at coming from behind
Comebacks aren’t easy in professional League of Legends. Getting a lead and keeping it is square one for most teams and fundamental to ensuring wins, so it’s no surprise that was the focus of most teams during the first week. Even less surprising, the only teams that managed comebacks were Cloud9 Academy and Team Liquid Academy, who we’ve already said have a bit of an experience advantage over the other teams. For the less experienced teams, comebacks are something they’ll have to learn in the coming weeks.
The good news for those teams is that this is the perfect place to practice. What we saw most in week one of the Academy League was a well played early game leading teams to slowly gain gold before winning the game. Not too many quick snowballs, but not many challenges to the winning team either. But, as the weeks go on, expect the younger Academy teams to start playing slower and looking for more creative ways to play their way back into games.