The first week of the 2017 season wasn’t exactly full of upsets or surprises, but it was full of fun games. The meta has shown itself so far to be fast and explosive full of long games, big fights, strange picks and comeback victories. Meanwhile, most of the rosters we expected to need a game or two to settle in did well, with a few more established groups struggling.
In all, it was one of the more exciting opening weeks to a season in recent memory and all signs point to week two being even better, despite a couple of the regions being on break.
1. Longzhu Gaming vs. KT Rolster
When: Wednesday, January 25 at 3 a.m. Eastern.
Why: So far, it has been difficult to tell exactly what kind of team either Longzhu or KT are. Longzhu have shown potential to be a good team, but has struggled so far when facing off against one of Korea’s best teams, Samsung Galaxy. This series should provide them a chance to prove that they will be able to compete with more than just the likes of Jin Air. KT on the other hand have shown themselves to be able to out muscle their opponents and out think them, what we haven’t seen is the team putting both parts together in one game, against a top half of the league opponent.
2. Team SoloMid vs. Team Dignitas
When: Friday, January 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern
Why: These two teams have a lot in common. They both looked very strong in one of their series, they both have strong rosters and wide champion pools and they both lost to Cloud9 in Week 1. It’s more than a little disingenuous to assume that this series is just a consolation prize for Cloud9’s fallen opponents though. Aside from simply being a series between two of North America’s strongest looking teams, it’s also a chance for both teams to prove that their losses to Cloud9 were a fluke rather than proof of struggles within the roster.
3. Unicorns of Love vs. H2K
When: Saturday, January 28, at 10 a.m. Eastern
Why: H2K looked utterly dominant in the first week of the EU LCS. Every lane won their match up and Macin “Jankos” Jankowski was able to apply thorough pressure keeping both Origen and Splyce consistently on the back foot. But Unicorns of Love are a tough to predict team. They have already given the world a perfect counter to Malzahar support, and seem likely to have more secret picks up their sleeve. The question in this series will be whether or not UOL’s creativity in the pick and ban phase will be able to overcome the sheer talent of H2K.
4. Misfits vs. G2
When: Saturday, January 28, at 1 p.m. Eastern
Why: G2 is really good. But we know that already. The real reason to tune into this game is Misfits. In their first series of the season they showed that they were a talented smart team, but they were also a team that showed a willingness to take risks and that makes their games a ton of fun. In particular, keep an eye out for the deadly push and pull between Tristan “PowerofEvil” Schrage and Byung-kwon “KaKAO” Lee who seem both in-sync and in competition for who will get the chance to be the team’s damage carry.
5. Phoenix1 vs. Team Liquid
When: Sunday, January 29, at 3 p.m. Eastern
Why: This is going to be a great match up for both teams to prove themselves. Both teams had moments of brilliance in their first week along with a few too many mistakes. But with both teams looking like playoff possibilities, it’s likely that this match could provide a preview of a more meaningful one in the future.