The NA LCS 2017 Spring Split has been full of twists and turns, but over the last four weeks the best teams have seemed to make themselves known. With some of the early season standouts, like FlyQuest, losing steam, and some of the favorites, like CLG, finally gaining it, the playoff picture gives us four teams all but guaranteed to make it, with four other teams fighting for the two remaining spots.
Three teams have clinched spots already: Team SoloMid, Cloud9 and Phoenix1. For a quick refresher as to how this all works, the top six teams in the standings get playoff bids, the next two (7th and 8th place) qualify for next split, and the bottom two will have to play the top two Challenger Series teams (Gold Coin United and EUnited) to secure a spot in next split.
Two teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention as well: Team Liquid and Team Envy. Those squads can only hope to avoid the relegation tournament for now, but time is running out.
If the season ended today, the first round would feature Phoenix1 vs. Immortals and Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Dignitas. The winner of that first series would face Cloud9 in the second round, while the winner of the second would face Team SoloMid.
Here’s a full breakdown of the best and worst case scenario for each team that could go to playoffs:
Remaining Opponents: Team Liquid, Phoenix1
Best Finish: First place! If they win one match this week, or Cloud9 loses one, TSM will secure the No. 1 seed for the Spring Split 2017 playoffs.
Worst Finish: If they lose both matches this week, and Cloud9 wins both matches, TSM could end up as the second seed, depending on tie-breakers.
Remaining Opponents: Team Dignitas, Phoenix1
Best Finish: If Cloud9 win both matches and TSM lose both matches this week, Cloud9 could end up as the number one seed.
Worst Finish: With just one loss to Phoenix1 the two teams could swap places, with Cloud9 finishing the season in third place, depending on tie-breakers.
Remaining Opponents: Cloud9, Team SoloMid
Best Finish: With one win and a Cloud9 loss Phoenix1 could end up the number two seed depending on tie-breakers. Otherwise, they are likely to stay at three.
Worst Finish: While two losses and two CLG wins could mean — with very unlucky tie-breakers — that P1 drop to fourth seed, the far more likely outcome is that they stay third no matter what.
Counter Logic Gaming
Remaining Opponents: Immortals, Team Envy
Best Finish: The path to playoffs is pretty clear for CLG. They need one win in either of their last two matches or a loss from either FlyQuest or Immortals.
Worst Finish: If CLG were to lose both of their last two games, while Immortals and FlyQuest both won their remaining matches with Team Dignitas also beating C9, CLG would likely miss playoffs thanks to tie breakers.
Remaining Opponents: Cloud9, Immortals
Best Finish: Two wins guarantee Team Dignitas a spot in playoffs, while one win coupled with a loss from either Immortals of FlyQuest would do the same thing.
Worst Finish: Two losses from Dignitas along with two wins from both Immortals and FlyQuest would lead to Dignitas narrowly missing playoffs at seventh place.
Remaining Opponents: Echo Fox, Team Liquid
Best Finish: With a win in both of their final games and an Immortals loss, FlyQuest could secure a playoff spot. The same could be done with one win and two Immortals losses.
Worst Finish: If FlyQuest were to lose both matches this week and Immortals — or even Echo Fox — managed to win both of theirs, FlyQuest would be out of the playoff picture. Similarly, one win, accompanied by two from Immortals could also be the end of FlyQuest’s 2017 Spring Split journey.
Remaining Opponents: Counter Logic Gaming, Team Dignitas
Best Finish: Similar to FlyQuest, Immortals will need two wins and a loss from their closest competition — FlyQuest — to avoid a tie-breaker deciding their playoff fate. While one win and two FlyQuest losses would also help them advance.
Worst Finish: Two losses for Immortals would all but kill their hopes at Playoffs, while one win may not even be enough to keep them out of seventh place.
Remaining Opponents: FlyQuest, Team Envy
Best Finish: Echo Fox will need things to go very right to make playoffs, requiring two losses from both FlyQuest and Immortals as well as to win out themselves, only to put things into a tie-breaker scenario. Thankfully, with FlyQuest as their first opponent of the week, Echo Fox will have some say in whether or not this happens.
Worst Finish: The worst finish for Echo Fox would send them into the relegation tournament. With only two teams going from the LCS to the relegation tournament, however, this isn’t going to be very likely, as Echo Fox is ahead of both Team Liquid and Team Envy in the standings. The only way for this to happen would be for Echo Fox to lose both of their matches this week, with Team Liquid winning at least one, bringing the decision into tie-breakers. The same would be true if Team Envy won both of their matches, however, Echo Fox would own that tie-breaker. The easiest way for Echo Fox to avoid the relegation tournament is to win at least one series while Team Liquid loses at least one.