With only four games remaining until the end of the regular season in the spring split, which teams are poised to make the deepest run? Only three games separate seed two through six and lots of teams are starting to shift so here’s how I think teams will fare heading into playoffs.
1. Echo Fox (11-3) – Echo Fox has been the best team thus far much in part to their top lane superstar Seung-hoon “Huni” Heo. For the team with a lot of big egos that was expected to explode after their first few losses, they are definitely proving a lot of their doubters wrong. With their upcoming games coming up against two of the worst teams and two middle of the pack teams, there is no reason for them to not be a lock for the number one seed heading into playoffs. Now we have to wait and see if their success can translate when the series turns to best of five.
2. Cloud9 (10-4) – Many can argue that Cloud9 has been the best overall team but when matched up against Echo Fox they’ve lost both games. Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has been having another MVP caliber split, their bot lane duo in Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Andy “Smoothie” Ta have been arguably the best duo this split, and the new additions in top and jungle have been excellent despite much of the teams criticisms saying that the team “downgraded” from these positions in the off-season. With the most experience look for this team to make a deep run.
3. Team Liquid (8-6) – Team Liquid was one of the favorites heading into the season, and after a dominant start to the season they have started to slip up the past few weeks. They still have the rawest talent, experience, and expensive roster so they won’t underperform for long. This week Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng will want to exact revenge on his former team when they play Team Solomid on Saturday. Look for Team Liquid to get it together and make a strong playoff push.
4. 100 Thieves (8-6) – With the exception of their total demolition at the hands of TL, 100 Thieves has been very competitive against other top teams. But as one of the new franchises in the LCS, we don’t know what to expect from them when it comes to the postseason. Their ADC Liyu “Cody Sun” Sun is statistically the best in his role but the game tape shows at times his positioning isn’t the best and doesn’t have the best decision making. Hopefully, alongside Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black he can learn and develop more in order to help his team advance in a very tough lower seed bracket.
46.4% dmg share, feeling blessed ? https://t.co/4FWYZZTgjk
— Cody Sun (@Cody_Sun1) February 25, 2018
5. Clutch Gaming (9-5) – Currently sitting with the third best record in the LCS, they certainly don’t have their work cut out for them for the final two weeks. With games against TL, Echo Fox, and 100 Thieves I expect this team to start to free fall. If they can prove me wrong they can be a legit contender to win the spring split. On paper they have a decent team but come a best of five series their weaknesses will really start to show. It depends on how hard mid-laner Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten can carry them because if he can’t I don’t see them making it past the first round.
6. Team Solomid (7-7) – Since the founding of the NA LCS TSM has been a participant in every single final so their expectations are nothing less than victory. New additions Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez were expected to make TSM by far the best team in the west. They have had real trouble meshing as a team and have been by far the biggest underperformers. The team will look to rally around four-time MVP Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg for one final playoff push.
7. Counter Logic Gaming (5-9) – At this rate, they need a miracle to be able to make the playoffs. With only four games remaining they are two games out of the playoff picture and the likelihood of TSM not making playoffs is near impossible. This may be the first time in a few years that this founding LCS team hasn’t made playoffs. Recently they have been streaking and support Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has really returned to old form so I think they very much have a shot at making playoffs in the summer split.
8. Golden Guardians (4-10) – Golden Guardians was expected to be the worst team because they had some very questionable roster moves. After losing their first eight games they have started to pick up some steam but it’s a little too late. I think this team has the most room for improvement among the bottom teams but I still think they are a few players away from long-term success. They have time to learn and grow and maybe they continue this late-season success into the future.
9. Flyquest (4-10) – Winless in the past four games, Flyquest is limping to the finish line. They made significant upgrades to their roster from last season, but haven’t had much success since they got off to a decent start. Again they do have two young players and some pretty bad decision making so maybe with time they can reach their potential. Luckily they no longer have to worry about relegation and can take their time without having to worry about losing their spot.
10. OpTic Gaming (4-10) – This is the only team I can say for sure absolutely needs to make changes if they ever want to be successful. They have without a doubt the worst top laner and support in the league, and a very average jungle and ADC. The only bright spot in the team is mid-laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage who is the only one you can say is top five in their position on this team. They should seriously an overhaul if they continue at the rate they did last weekend where they got destroyed.