When both TSM and Counter Logic Gaming struggled in the first couple weeks of the season, it seemed far too early to say that they had truly fallen from their former glory. Now, as we pass the Spring Split’s halfway mark with both teams still below a 50 percent win rate it seems clear that a sea change is upon us. Sure, either team could still make playoffs, but neither is likely to enter as favorites to win the split for the first time ever in the NA LCS.
If you couldn’t guess from all that, both TSM and CLG lost their matches in week 5. For TSM that meant a loss to longtime rivals Cloud9, currently sitting in second place in the league, as well as their second down to the wire loss against Clutch Gaming in as many weeks.
On the Counter Logic Gaming side, their losses came against Team Liquid, who are now tied for third place with Clutch Gaming, and 100 Thieves, the NA LCS’s most decidedly middle of the road team. CLG’s record now sits at 3-7, just one game below TSM’s 4-6, but if the season were to end today, that would mean a playoff spot for TSM while CLG would barely miss.
On the opposite end of the table, week five also gave us a match up between the league’s clear best teams, Cloud9 and Echo Fox, who battled for the title of the league’s best. In the end of just a 33 minute game, Echo Fox came away with an impressive win and cemented themselves at first place with a record of 9-1.
If it’s time to make statements about teams like TSM and CLG, maybe it’s fair to do the same with Echo Fox. When it was announced, this roster was surrounded by dark clouds of doubt from almost anyone who has followed North American League of Legends over the last several years. Echo Fox combines players that have struggled to get along on previous teams into one group, but it turns out the team has gotten the formula exactly right, as Echo Fox is both the best and most coherent of any team in North America.
Each player on the Echo Fox line up has had the chance to shine in one game or another, their teamwork seems as strong as anyone’s in the league, and it wouldn’t be too far off to say that their roster might have the best player in each role halfway through the season.
With 10 games down, and eight still left to play for each team, every match from here on out will be imperative. TSM and Counter Logic Gaming may still be in a fight with new teams like 100 Thieves to make playoffs, but at least we finally know for sure who sits at the top of the league.