At the end of the first week of North American LCS, it seems we have an 8-way tie for second. Team Liquid stands alone at the top of the standings at 2-0, while sitting below the rest at 0-2 is Cloud 9, a huge surprise. Below are the greatest contributors and disappointments from the wonderful week 1 NA LCS action. (My Rule: I will not use one player in multiple categories).
MVP: IWDominate (Team Liquid)
In terms of shot calling and individual performance, Team Liquid jungler IWDominate had a memorable MVP week. As the primary voice on Team Liquid, the team’s objective control and movements were spot on. IWDominate went 5/2/17 on Jarvan IV and 3/1/16 on one of the few Nunu games I have seen in competitive play recently. In his game on Nunu, IWDominate contributed to 19 out of 21 total team kills, and it is safe to say that no other jungler (or player for that matter) had more of an impact all around the map as IWDominate in Week 1.
Surprise Standout: Slooshi (Team 8)
After getting camped by Santorin and jumped on by Bjergsen against Team SoloMid, Team 8 mid laner Slooshi proved just how resilient he is. Although his Lulu in their first game against Counter Logic Gaming was underwhelming, he returned against Team SoloMid to show off one of the strongest Orianna games in recent memory (9/2/3). He melted his targets with shockwaves, and absolutely took over the game in a way Bjergsen could not. This is one of the times it is safe to say that I was wrong about a player in my rankings. Slooshi surprised me completely with his display this week.
Surprise Disappointment: Meteos (Cloud 9)
Meteos has been touted as the best jungler in North America for some time now, but both his performances this week against TSM and Gravity looked sloppy compared to previous splits. I hope that Meteos returns to form because when he plays well, he ends up showing what a North American jungler is made of. However, his 0/5/4 game on Rek’Sai and 1/2/6 game on Elise show that maybe the king of the old jungle may be struggling a bit to adapt to the new one.
Greatest Improvement: Apollo (Team Impulse)
Apollo, formerly known as WizFujiin from the old 2014 Spring Split Team Coast roster, came into both of Team Impulse’s games showing massive improvement from his old form. Even in Team Impulse’s loss to Team Liquid, Apollo played solid on Sivir (1/2/7) and won out in CS, while his game on Corki against Team Dignitas (4/0/2) lifted Team Impulse to victory. It seems Apollo got over his LAN jitters, and he looks to be a positive contributor to a promising Team Impulse lineup.
Greatest Flop: Crumbzz (Team Dignitas)
Team Dignitas jungler Crumbzz laid a rotten egg this week. In the game Team Dignitas won, Crumbzz went 0/3/4 in one of the most embarrassing showings on Jarvan IV I’ve ever seen. He followed that up with a 1/3/1 performance on Rengar, which honestly made me think he was wearing drunk glasses all weekend. Crumbzz will need to step up his game and create meaningful pressure around the map like he did early last season for Dignitas to move forward.
Top Laner of the Week: Cris (Team Coast)
Team Coast top laner Cris shocked me this week, and he looked like he made some adjustments and improvements in the time between the expansion tournament and the LCS. Cris’s performance on Irelia against Team Winterfox was by far the strongest game played by any top laner during the week (10/1/10). He died one time during the entire week, and instead of being the weakest part of Coast (which is why I projected), he turned out to be the strongest point on the team by far. Now, we will see how consistent he can be.
Jungler of the Week: Impaler (Team Coast)
Besides IWDominate’s breakout performance, it looked like a pretty unstable week for junglers. It was so unstable that I chose a jungler that had a decent game 1 and a strong game 2 in Impaler from Team Coast. His 1/2/7 game on Rengar was solid besides the attempted Baron that cost them the game against Team Dignitas. Against Winterfox, Impaler’s Jarvan IV was top notch at 4/3/19. If he can continue to make the impact he is making in games, it will only improve Team Coast’s chances on the season.
Mid Laner of the Week: Bjergsen (Team SoloMid)
Despite TSM’s loss to Team 8 in their second game, very little of that was due to Bjergsen’s individual performance. In fact, he went 5/3/3 in the game on LeBlanc despite the rest of the team’s struggles. However, his first blood on Cloud 9 mid laner Hai was exactly what the doctor ordered, and his Ahri play throughout that game was a vision of the once dominant Bjergsen that burst onto the North American scene a year ago.
Marksman of the Week: KEITHMCBRIEF (Team Liquid)
KEITHMCBRIEF subbed in for AD carry Piglet this week, and Team Liquid wanted to show off his skill by building team compositions around him. The challenger AD carry pulled off a 9/1/12 performance on Caitlyn laning against the Rush Hour bot lane of CLG, while he went 6/1/11 on Kog’Maw. This showed me that if you put that level of talent around KEITHMCBRIEF, he will perform better than we’ve ever seen him before.
Support of the Week: Xpecial (Team Liquid)
Coming in with a substitute AD carry, Team Liquid support Xpecial had his work cut out for him. However, after keeping overaggressive marksman WildTurtle safe for several seasons during his days in Team SoloMid, peeling for KEITHMCBRIEF looked like a walk in the park for this all-star support. With a combined KDA of 3/3/28 on Janna and Annie this week, Xpecial continues to show that he is the best support in North America at this time.