The NA LCS opened up play for the first time in 2018 this week and it may not have gone how most people were expecting. After the first week of NA LCS play, Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming are both winless, while 100 Thieves and Echo Fox are undefeated.
If you missed the games, or just want to make sense of what you saw, don’t worry, because we’re here to breakdown all the winners and losers from the first week of the NA LCS.
It’s no secret that people were skeptical of this roster when it was first announced. After all, it’s a collection of players known for being fairly selfish in-game, something most often balanced by more supportive players in other roles. But the other side of that coin has always been that this roster is also extremely rich in raw talent, and that’s what was on display in this week’s NA LCS matches.
At least for now, it’s hard not to see this as the most dominant team in the league. But, as other teams get more practice together and their game plans become tighter, it remains to be seen whether or not this line-up can grow beyond it’s pure skill into something more. For week one though, enjoy the spotlight Echo Fox, you’ve earned it.
Getting bounced from your team is an inescapable reality in any competitive sport and the NA LCS is no different. But even if it’s bound to happen to most players at least once, it’s still hard to blame them for feeling like they something to prove in their first game back against the old team. Which is exactly where Team Liquid AD Carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng was at to start this week, when TL faced off against TSM. And boy did he prove it.
In the NA LCS’s first match of 2018, TL absolutely demolished TSM and Peng looked good while doing it going 5/0/5 on Tristana. Along with his support Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung, he crushed TSM’s new Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez bottom lane.
That alone would probably be enough to qualify Peng as having a winning week, but he also doubled down on his performance against TSM by playing just as well against OpTic Gaming on Sunday and helping TL get out to a 2-0 start in the split so far.
Sometimes the NA LCS can feel like a slow train that always arrives at the same destination — TSM in the finals — but this split it’s hard not to notice that the station the train is leaving from is a little less stable than in years past. For the first time in a long time, TSM’s starting roster has a very long way to go to get on level with the best in the league.
If there’s a silver lining to be had in TSM’s abysmal 0-2 start to the split, it’s that they can really only go up from here, and the ceiling is high. After all, their bottom lane are proven international contenders who likely just need some time to get on the same page as the rest of the roster. But that leaves the lingering question mark of Mike Yeung. It’s true that the young jungler is talented, and seems laser focused on improving, but just how much he can improve, and whether it will be enough to take TSM back to the top of North America are questions we likely won’t have answers to for at least the next few weeks.
Anyone who wanted a kill early in the game
It’s easy to assume that the Stopwatch memes have gotten a little out of hand over the last couple of weeks. I mean, it’s the profile picture on the official League of Legends Facebook page for goodness sake. But then you watch the LCS and you realize that maybe the memes haven’t gone far enough.
Stopwatch was taken in almost every NA LCS game this week and most often by at least two people on each team. Matches with six or even seven stopwatches at the beginning of the game weren’t even surprising.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the rune, and I think it can lead to some exciting and even aggressive plays by giving players an added safety net. But it’s probably a little too strong when you could justify having one on every champion in a game. Even something as simple as taking away the item’s sell value could be enough to put it just where it should be as a situational pick, rather than a must have for every game.