The 2016 LCS Spring Split regular season is coming to a close this weekend. And whether it’s the intense battle for No. 1 spot in Europe, or to avoid the relegation tournament in North America, there’s still a whole lot to be decided.
This is what you need to know.
In Europe, G2 Esports, H2K gaming, and Vitality are in contention to take first place. Perhaps most crucial is clinching a top two spot, which ensures a bye in the first round of the playoffs. G2 and H2K are tied at 13-3, while Vitality lag slightly behind on 12-4 after their defeat to G2 last week. All three teams avoid each other in the final week of play, with H2K and G2 perhaps having the harder matches against Unicorns of Love. If they can overcome the fourth place side and all other games go as expected, we could be looking at a tiebreaker for first place. Vitality, for its part, will play bottom of the table sides Splyce (5-11) and ROCCAT (3-13).
At the other end of the standings, Giants are already condemned to the relegation tournament while Roccat would need a miracle: Win both games, and hope Elements and Splyce go 0-2 to force a three-way tie into the standard European tie-breaker finale. Splyce and Elements, both at 5-11, are battling for seventh place and a spot in the Summer split. Both sides are facing top four teams in the final week matches, so a single upset victory could turn the tide.
In North America, the incredible Immortals have already secured their bye in the playoff round and first place in the regular season. But the battle is on for that second bye, and it’s a two horse race between Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming (both 11-5). Those two teams have spent the previous three weeks alternating between second and third position, and they even have a 1-1 record against each other. Do I hear “tiebreaker”? It’s worth noting that Team SoloMid, at 9-7, could stake their claim in this battle if they pick up two victories and C9 and CLG lose all of their games.
Echo Fox, 6-10, could make a last-minute bid at the playoffs. That, however, would require victories over Cloud9 and Renegades, while at the same time Team Liquid and NRG (both 8-8) would need to lose both of their games. Even then it’s merely a tiebreaker. Echo Fox’s real threat comes from Team Impulse. The team started badly, but now could force their way into the seventh place safety spot, assuming they can pick up one more victory this week than Echo Fox since they come out on top in the head-to-head. Team Dignitas, at 4-12, still have the slimmest of chances to escape relegation, but would rely on losses from Echo Fox and Team Impulse, along with picking up two victories themselves over Team Liquid and CLG.
This only covers the very basics of what could happen. With 20 games yet to played, there are not only playoff and relegation tournament participants to be decided, but also the specific seedings. If there’s one thing that’s always a guarantee when it comes to the LCS though, it’s to clear your Friday and Sunday evening schedules. The tiebreakers are coming.