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 Dignitas, TSM, Team Coast and 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 - Team SoloMid versus CounterLogic Gaming. Both had a lot at stake and went at each other head strong. Overall, 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.
The newly appointed "top dogs" remain the same with only CLG breaking the top three for the first time. Cloud9 continued their strong performance by beating Team Coast and 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 Sneaky and his team. Only Vulcun stepped up and managed to hand the second defeat to these hotshots as 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 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, CLG, but quickly bounced back by landing Dignitas a quick punch and ending their hopes of having a successful week. 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, CLG made it into the top three by beating Vulcun and archrivals Team SoloMid. The latter match was an absolute gem at MLG, giving us a true spectacle from both teams. Despite the narrow defeat, Reginald's crew did give CLG quite the run for their money.
The middle of the table: Limbo
The upper middle part of the table houses Dignitas and Team Coast. The former had a brilliant start of the week by handling Team SoloMid their first defeat in a dominating fashion and definitely in style. A very key Master Yi by 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, Scarra with his mastery of the Katana wielding swordsman. This victory gave his team some breathing space. Immediately afterwards, Dignitas received a loud slap from Vulcun, but managed to close the week with a victory over Velocity.
Meet William "Scarra" Yi. Team SoloMid's maker
Next up we have Team Coast, who had a relatively quiet performance. After their dominating start, along with Cloud9, these guys have had a lesser degree of success. This week was no exception as their only victory came against Velocity. The other two games were rather unimpressive defeats to an ever-struggling Curse and Cloud9. Coach 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 Curse and 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 TSM, a once proud giant in the scene. Another player was added to the "seriously under performing list": 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 CLG being a bitter one.
Uncle Saint has a lot to answer for.
Finally, we landed at 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 TSM and Team Coast. If only they hadn't lost in such a silly manner to outsiders Velocity...
The best and the worst: Week 3
MLG: Anaheim did make this an easy job. Here are the three "worst" this week:
3. Velocity eSports
The squad has the exact opposite record of pack leaders 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 Curse. After three weeks packed with matches of all kind, 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 Copenhagen Wolves did.
2. Team Curse
One could argue that 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 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. Team SoloMid
If Reginald had kept his promise and retired before Season 3, we would probably be seeing how Velocity are sweeping the floor with 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 Dyrus and WildTurtle) or Reginald will once again have back pains for another week.
Compiling the "best" list was also quite easy.
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, BloodWater's addition was a very wise choice as almost every aspect of their play has been upgraded and now 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. Zach 'Nientonsoh' Malhas and Austin 'LiNk' Shin
Both youngsters of CLG are very, very quickly blossoming into absolute superstars in the NA region. 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 Nien who played a key part in the victory against 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. CLG has a bright future with both in their lines.
1. Counter Logic Gaming
Despite losing to the seemingly unstoppable 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, CLG are back as the top dogs of the North American region once again. The best part is that Nien and 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! CounterLogic Gaming are back.
MLG did live up to its name and all the hype along with it. Next week, the teams will be back in the 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 Cloud9 and 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.
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)