Immortals live up to their name
The undisputed best team in North America, Immortals are cutting a path through their opponents with remarkable ease. Former TSM ADC Jason "WildTurtle" Tran has rediscovered his Season 3 form, and with a team finally backing up his aggressive moves instead of stifling them, he is thriving in this new squad.
Former Fnatic duo Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon and Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin are tearing up the league, showing their established synergy and leading from the front. Immortals have the potential to go undefeated in NA as the other teams don't appear as coordinated or well bonded as this team does. If they can continue to grow, NA might be looking at a genuine world class team by the time Summer rolls around.
No lost time for NRG
A strange team comprised of world stars like Lee "GBM" Chang-seok and Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong along with young rising talent, NRG has been a pleasant suprise so far. I believed in their potential to be a strong team and they appear to be living up to their billing. Only dropping games to a revitalised Liquid and Immortals, NRG could be in contention for a long playoff run.
Once again Johnny "Altec" Ru is playing to a high standard, perhaps putting himself for contention to be the best NA ADC, and justifying his initial hype. Although it certainly does help when GBM, a player renowned for his mastery of control mages, innovates out a spectacular mid Zilean to help destroy your opponents.
Cloud9 are terrible without Hai
A huge fall from grace somewhat continues as 2 time champions Cloud9 are once again struggling. Fans were hopeful for a turn around with the addition of aggressive jungler Lee "Rush" Yoon-jae, but so far he has been a bit hit or miss. Being a player I personally really enjoyed watching, lets hope he can get back to his old form soon.
However, the real issue appears to be in the support position. Captain and veteran shot caller Hai "Hai" Du Lam seems to need to play, else the team cannot secure a victory. New player Michael "Bunny FuFuu" Kurylo is by no means bad, but the team just can't seem to function without their leader. With Hai only seeming to be able to play Alistar to a high level, Cloud9 could be in trouble especially when other team start to pick the pace around them.
TSM struggle to find their new identity
NA's favourite team, TSM, are going through a rough patch. The arrival of European legend Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim hasn't quite seemed to click yet, and the team is attempting to discover their play style. A critique of the old line-up was its passivity, simply waiting for other teams to take the initiative, and this roster looks to be in danger of repeating that style.
Star mid laner Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg needs to redefine his role within this team. With a new carry in Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, he needs to decide how the team is going to operate, and their games so far have shown that they have the talent to become a very powerful western team, but that it will require some time for them to unify their styles.
Liquid's infrastructure might be starting to pay off
One of my most respected owners, Steve "LiQuiD112" Arhancet, has made huge changes to his team this year. Combining the challenger team of Liquid Academy and the main roster, with a rotational system and a shared house environment, as well as the acquisition of former TSM coach Choi "Locodoco" Yoon-sub, Arhancet has either built a recipe for disaster or huge success.
The first few weeks things did not go well, veteran jungler Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera retired, and Liquid were forced to place 2 challenger players into the starting line-up. However, both Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett and Matthew "Matt" Elento have been revelations. Aggressive, but with coordinated synergy from their time on TLA, the pairing have given a new lease of life to the roster, allowing Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin to unleash his excessive talents and carry his team to a 2-0 record in Week 3.
- CLG have been solid but unremarkable. A roster that I predicted would have that initial synergy but no huge mechanical advantages looks to be doing pretty well. Solid game plans have not always worked out but this CLG shouldn't suffer from the drops in form of its past rosters, and if they can get top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya rolling, then a strong play-off performance is not out of the question.
- It is a testament to the weakness at the lower end of the league that Team Impulse are at 3-3. Winning games despite looking pretty poor takes some skill, and I still think TiP will finish down in the bottom 3 at the end of the split.
- Dignitas remain average to poor. A roster which only ever seems to go downhill, long suffering Dignitas fans look to endure yet another rough season. A team seemingly unable to ever be relegated, I'm certain Dig will survive, just not in any meaningful capacity.
- Echo Fox are not good. Nobody really expected them to be, but with their one hope Henrik "Froggen" Hansen having visa issues, NBA legend Rick Fox's team should be ready to experience some tough times ahead.
- Renegades are really struggling. RNG support Maria "Remi" Creveling could be leaving in the near future, and it looks like my favourite player of all time; Alexey "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin, could once again find himself out of the LCS.
NA LCS Week 3 Standings
2. Counter Logic Gaming: 4-2
2. NRG eSports: 4-2
4. Cloud9: 3-3
4. Team Impulse: 3-3
4. Team Liquid: 3-3
4. Team SoloMid: 3-3
8. Team Dignitas: 2-4
9. Echo Fox: 1-5
9. Renegades: 1-5
Images courtesy of lolesports
League of Legends Editor at SK Gaming from 10/2014 -
Nerd since 1996 and committed to helping the growth of e-Sports in anyway possible!
- League of Legends: Gold I
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive: Gold Nova 1
- Smite: Gold 1
- Hearthstone: Rank 8
Currently Reading BA English and Sports Science at Loughborough University
My twitter: @SK_Krahft
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