The Spring Split has come to an end with one of the most jam packed days in NA LCS history. It’s not often that a split ends with a 10 game day, but that’s just how close things were when we got down to the wire. But, after 15 games in two days, we finally know exactly who’s playing who in the playoffs next week.
The week’s biggest winner is, without a doubt, 100 Thieves who finished the Spring Split in first place. It’s a fitting reward for a team that’s been more consistent than anyone else across all nine weeks. They may not have ever really looked like a dominant team, but 100 Thieves knew how to win games, and play to each opponent without losing their style in the process.
The flip side of this are the two teams that spent most of the split in first and second only to take a dive in the last few weeks, Cloud9 and Echo Fox. For Echo Fox, things didn’t go too poorly. Sure, they lost their way in weeks 7, 8, and 9, but the split never got away from them and they stayed close enough to the top to at least get the second seed after losing their tie-breaker match to 100 Thieves.
Cloud9 on the other hand, were another story entirely. While the beginning of the split made them look like an unstoppable force, the end of the split brought with it absolute disaster. The Cloud9 bottom lane fell apart at the seems, jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen went from one of the league’s best junglers to its most inconsistent, and even star rookie Eric “Licorice” Ritchie seemed to have a hard time keeping up with the meta. All of this ended up throwing Cloud9 all the way down from a first place tie, to barely making playoffs as the fifth seed.
TSM is probably the best (and only) example of a playoff team that turned things around for the better in the second half of the split. While their first half was marked mostly as inconsistent play and a total lack of teamwork, TSM’s second half looked spectacular as their superstar bottom lane found their groove, jungler Mike Yeung came into his own, and mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg turned his slow start in one of the most impressive NA LCS split performances ever. TSM came together as a team at just the right moment moving from barely being safe in sixth place, to securing themselves a third place spot in the Spring Split playoffs.
The final two teams in the NA LCS playoffs are Team Liquid and Clutch Gaming, who are both frustrating models of inconsistency. When they’re on, they look incredible, taking the match to their opponent, grabbing an early lead and never letting go. When they’re off, they look incompetent and you begin to wonder how they ever won a game in the first place. That being said, in the tie-breaker matches on Sunday, it was Liquid that was able to pull out the victories they needed, while Clutch’s reliance on star jungler, Nam “Lira” Taeyou proved not quite enough to pull them any higher than sixth place.
With the table finally set, the NA LCS playoffs will begin this weekend, with matches between Team Liquid and Cloud9 as well as TSM and Clutch Gaming. The matches will be played on Saturday, starting at 5:00 p.m. EST and Sunday, at 3:00 p.m. EST. Like the regular season, all playoff matches for the NA LCS can be seen on the Riot Games Twitch and YouTube channels, as well as on lolesports.