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NA LCS: Week 3 recap

By Daniel 'DanielPY' Yordanov
Jul 4, 2013 02:23

ImageMLG hosted the third week of the North American LCS. The crowds at Anaheim eagerly greeted their favourite teams and were not disappointed.

Just as SE DreamHack, every US Major League Gaming brings the community and the pro teams closer than ever with a lot of amazing action. For better or worse, the trends that dominated the first two weeks of the LCS continued at Anaheim, "the rich got richer and the poor got poorer". The three main contenders so far, US Cloud9, US Vulcun and US CLG still remain at the top, solidifying their position with a strong showing.

This guy was nowhere to be found during the TSM games. Awkward indeed.

On the other hand, we witnessed another mediocre or disappointing(depending on your favourite team) for teams such as US Dignitas, US TSM, US Team Coast and US Curse. All of these had mixed results against each other and were still unstable despite being three weeks into the season. It was not a display of bad game play, but the lack of cohesion in the line-ups was a bit frustrating to see again. In a similar fashion, we also had a game of the week and unsurprisingly, it was the ultimate clash - US Team SoloMid versus US CounterLogic Gaming. Both had a lot at stake and went at each other head strong. Overall, US MLG provided everything it was hyped up to - good set of matches, interesting take on the current state of the NA scene, tons of interviews and other information and a big clash.

Three Kings

The newly appointed "top dogs" remain the same with only US CLG breaking the top three for the first time. US Cloud9 continued their strong performance by beating US Team Coast and US CLG, with the latter looking pretty shaky despite winning their opening match. Great teamwork, excellent calls and top tier mechanics were key to the successful week of US Sneaky and his team. Only US Vulcun stepped up and managed to hand the second defeat to these hotshots as BG BloodWater's team is on the right track. Despite holding a rather unimpressive 6-4 record, the squad is sitting tight at the third place and has nothing in common with the US Vulcun from the Spring split.

Bigfatlp is quickly catching up to the top tier junglers in North America

They opened with a crushing defeat to their main contender for the top three spot, US CLG, but quickly bounced back by landing US Dignitas a quick punch and ending their hopes of having a successful week. US Team Coast members were the second victims and were sent in the middle of the table, where one crucial victory can send you way ahead and a defeat get you a one-way ticket to the bottom. Last, but not least, US CLG made it into the top three by beating US Vulcun and archrivals US Team SoloMid. The latter match was an absolute gem at MLG, giving us a true spectacle from both teams. Despite the narrow defeat, US Reginald's crew did give US CLG quite the run for their money.

The middle of the table: Limbo

The upper middle part of the table houses US Dignitas and US Team Coast. The former had a brilliant start of the week by handling US Team SoloMid their first defeat in a dominating fashion and definitely in style. A very key Master Yi by US Scarra made this game a living nightmare for his opponents who crumbled beneath the constant pressure and once again disappointed their fans. The winners of the Spring Split seem alone and lost. We rarely see good communication from them and it seems like only their strong mechanics are keeping them from losing even more. The star of this massacre was undoubtedly, US Scarra with his mastery of the Katana wielding swordsman. This victory gave his team some breathing space. Immediately afterwards, US Dignitas received a loud slap from US Vulcun, but managed to close the week with a victory over US Velocity.

Meet William "Scarra" Yi. US Team SoloMid's maker

Next up we have US Team Coast, who had a relatively quiet performance. After their dominating start, along with US Cloud9, these guys have had a lesser degree of success. This week was no exception as their only victory came against US Velocity. The other two games were rather unimpressive defeats to an ever-struggling US Curse and US Cloud9. Coach US Elementz's boys still have a lot to learn as they keep struggling ever since week one. They definitely are a talented bunch and must soak up every bit of experience they get from playing the best of the best in their region in order to remain at this level.

Surprisingly, the lower part of the middle houses US Curse and US Team SoloMid. The once feared teams are struggling more than ever to produce stable results and ever since the beginning of the Summer Split, we have seen them rise and fall to all kinds of opponents more than once. Both were once hailed as dominators of North America. Ironically, this statement is laughable looking at the second to last placement of US TSM, a once proud giant in the scene. Another player was added to the "seriously under performing list": US Dyrus. While it is true that the friendly giant had only one week of bad play, it could not have come at a worse time: games versus all of their big name opponents. Sadly, all three were defeats with the game against US CLG being a bitter one.

Uncle Saint has a lot to answer for.

Finally, we landed at US Curse. Shaky, uncoordinated and lacking the cohesive element that would bind them together and would make them a force to be reckoned with once again. Despite this, the team had a successful week with victories against US TSM and US Team Coast. If only they hadn't lost in such a silly manner to outsiders US Velocity...

The best and the worst: Week 3

US MLG: Anaheim did make this an easy job. Here are the three "worst" this week:

3. US Velocity eSports

The squad has the exact opposite record of pack leaders US Cloud9 and if their performance continues this way, we can safely label them the "one-hit wonder" of the NA LCS. Their only victory this week came from a serious mistake and a disastrous call from US Curse. After three weeks packed with matches of all kind, US Velocity are showing that they really do not deserve to be in the LCS after all. I could be wrong, but I do not see this team repeat the feat that the former DK Copenhagen Wolves did.

2. US Team Curse

One could argue that US Curse are on the right track, but with this pace, it may take them a long time to actually get where they are going. Newcomers and other teams are well on their way to a World Finals spot, while US Saint's men are still struggling to find their best form. They need results and they need them fast. Good news is that they don't have the worst record in the world and a clean sweep in week 4 could spearhead them ahead.

1. US Team SoloMid

If US Reginald had kept his promise and retired before Season 3, we would probably be seeing how US Velocity are sweeping the floor with US TSM. I know I am being harash, but a team of their stature cannot afford to lose against every major rival in a week's time. Unacceptable. Either they find how to overcome their slumps (looking at you US Dyrus and US WildTurtle) or US Reginald will once again have back pains for another week.

Compiling the "best" list was also quite easy.

3. US Vulcun

These guys are making a serious statement ever since the split started. Taking games off big names, they solidified their third place and hold a positive record. Apparently, BG BloodWater's addition was a very wise choice as almost every aspect of their play has been upgraded and now US Vulcun has all the necessary tool to put a hold on any team's dream of a top three finish. It is yet to be seen whether they will continue their winning spree or will slump in mid-season.

2. US Zach 'Nientonsoh' Malhas and US Austin 'LiNk' Shin

Both youngsters of US CLG are very, very quickly blossoming into absolute superstars in the NA region. US Link is already a dominant force in mid lane. In addition, he is quite well-spoken in his opinion regarding the meta and regularly gives advice to aspiring players via his blog. Along his side is US Nien who played a key part in the victory against US TSM, which fans will hold dear for a long time to come. Both have to take great pride in the results of their hard work. US CLG has a bright future with both in their lines.

1. US Counter Logic Gaming

Despite losing to the seemingly unstoppable US Cloud9, the team feel empowered by the changes. Their newest additions are proving more than capable and have shown results which definitely exceed expectations. After being in "exile" for the better part of Season 2 and the Spring Split, US CLG are back as the top dogs of the North American region once again. The best part is that US Nien and US Link have not still shown us their full potential and I still do think that they are the most unpredictable players on the team. More threats, more damage, more wins! US CounterLogic Gaming are back.

US MLG did live up to its name and all the hype along with it. Next week, the teams will be back in the US Los Angeles studio where they will once again battle it out for the precious ranking points. Despite the ups and [major] downs, the overall standings, excluding US Cloud9 and US Velocity, are surprisingly close. The coming week should establish a more clear view on the table, once the dust has settled on the battlefield.

*All images are copyright of their respective owners.



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