FlyQuest Surprises, TSM Struggles: Week One NA LCS Headlines
Throughout the year, I will be here to give you the rundown on what you may have missed this past week in NA LCS.
Cloud9 and FlyQuest Unbeaten After Week One
Obviously, the shocker here is FlyQuest, as not many people would have had them winning both of their matchups this week. In their first series against Team EnVyUs, you could say their win was more of a win of circumstance rather than skill, as EnVy had to play without their starting Jungler, Nam "LirA" Tae-yoo. Though in their second series, they took two games off of Team Liquid, which cements them as a real threat.
Notably, FlyQuest thrives in the same way that the old Cloud9 lineup used to. They play a very similar style, focused around Hai "Hai" Du Lam’s ability to call for pressure mid in order for him to get a lead, which he then uses to snowball his other lanes.
Heading into the next couple weeks, I am really interested in whether or not they can keep this run of performance. If you rated this team off of pure roster strength, they would be probably at the bottom, but when playing together, they seem to have that old C9 magic.
Next week, they play Counter Logic Gaming on Friday, and Echo Fox on Sunday.
Akaadian Best Jungler NA?
Probably the most surprising thing this week, was Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham’s massive performances throughout the weekend. When he came into the week, not many people had high expectations for him as a player (including myself) and what he did was make all of those people eat their words.
The most notable achievements to know about Akaadian in week one is that he contributed to first blood in all five games, went 12-1-4 in Echo Fox’s only match win, had the most kills out of any player in the LCS, and that he was the most impressive player throughout the weekend. Despite all the positives he showed, Echo Fox still went 0-2 as a team and looked abysmal in the mid and late game.
Next week, they play Dignitas on Saturday and FlyQuest on Sunday, so their schedule does not get any easier.
Despite going 1-1, only losing to Cloud9, TSM looked very subpar. In their series against Cloud9, they got utterly dominated as they did not hold a gold lead at any point throughout their two matches. Then, against Immortals, they won two very unconvincing games while also losing one.
Notably, TSM’s bot lane was the biggest source of their under-performance and that was the concern of many heading into the split. Despite this, TSM still boasts a very strong lineup and their bot lane synergy very well could smooth out throughout the season.
Next week, TSM plays Dignitas on Friday and Team Liquid on Saturday.
Dignitas Looks Really Strong
Heading into this season, a lot of people were unsure whether or not this team would work. Some noted that the bot lane was not exceptionally strong, and that their communication would be quite weak since they have two new Korean imports. In week one, though, Dignitas proved that they can very well contend for a top spot in the LCS this season.
Obviously, they have very clear strengths in Lee "Chaser" Sang-hyun and Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho, but Jang "Keane" Lae-young was really the standout performer of the week for them. Even in losses, Keane looked very strong, most notably in his Azir game, where he posted a 9-1-2 scoreline. If he continues to perform like a top-three NA mid laner, then this team will undoubtedly be a top-three team come the end of the split.
Next week, DIG plays TSM on Friday, and Echo Fox on Saturday as they look to build on their strong week one.
CLG is out of Sync
CLG heading into the split were the team you would have expected to have the best team communication and synergy. In week one, however, they looked the opposite. Throughout their games, they had several head-scratching plays that caused many of us to wonder what happened.
Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black and Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya are supposed to be the rocks of the team, but this week, they were the under-performers. Both of them were caught out and killed way more then normal and frankly just did not look very locked into what the gameplan was. This could easily just be a bad week for them, but it is worth noting heading into week two.
Next week CLG plays FlyQuest on Friday and Cloud9 on Sunday, so their schedule just gets tougher.
Now for the TL section...
What Happened To Piglet?
This was easily the worst week of performances Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin has had in his LCS career. Statistically, Piglet was the second worst ADC of the week, only ahead of Yuri "KEITH" Jew from Echo Fox. The former world champion managed to die the most out of all ADCs, while also having the least amount of kills. What was the most surprising was that he had the worst gold difference at 10 minutes, as well as the fourth worst CS at 10 minutes, which are two stats he normally excels at, regardless of how the rest of the game goes. This could be very worrying for TL in the coming weeks if this continues to be a problem, as Piglet was supposed to be one of their biggest strengths.
What Happened to Reignover?
If Piglet had a bad week, then Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin had an atrocious one. Much like Piglet, Reignover had the worst week of his career. Now, if you heard this but did not watch the games, you may assume that is because of him not having his strong top lane duo of Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon. However, his was not the case, as Samson "Lourlo" Jackson actually looked like a monster this week. I think the problems were that he does not look very comfortable on Kha'Zix, and his mid and bot lane played absolutely horrendous.
Reignover has never been this mechanical assassin player that just hard carries games, he is more of the type of player who is going to out-path his opposing jungler and get CS leads, which he uses to get level advantages. While doing this, he is able to give great information on where the opposing jungler is, which enables his lanes to play more aggressively or passively depending on the situation. Lourlo did well with this information, his other two lanes did not. I do not expect TL’s bot lane to perform as poorly in the coming weeks, so I think as a team, they will get stronger. But, the mid lane situation is pretty bleak. Hopefully, they are able to figure out ways to minimize Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer’s deficiencies, or maybe Austin "Link" Shin is able to step in and play a more consistent style for them.
Lourlo the God?
Let me just list out some of Lourlo’s stats for week one. Most kills for a top laner, least deaths for any player, and highest kill participation out of all top laners. The guy was an absolute force for TL, despite the team struggling as a whole. This meta really suits his abilities as a player because he has always been a solid tank player, as well as being known for his Fiora. This, plus the fact that Reignover as a player provides a lot of helpful information for his top laner, should result in Lourlo continuing to have strong performances.
Next week, TL takes on TSM (Saturday) and P1 (Sunday), which should be two very close series.
You are now caught up. If you miss any other weeks throughout the season, be sure to check back here for another recap.
What was your favorite moment from week one of the NA LCS? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.