North American League of Legends fans were treated to some thrilling matches over the weekend. Dignitas fell behind, CLG caught up, and Cloud9 stayed on track in week four of the 2021 LCS Spring Split.
Here are five key takeaways from this weekend’s action and what they could mean for the teams, players, and champions going forward.
1) Dignitas lose momentum
Dignitas had the opportunity to gain a foothold on the LCS leaderboard this weekend but failed to capitalize. Wins against Immortals, 100 Thieves, and CLG would have seen the team get bumped up to second place in the league, just one game behind leaders C9.
The all-American team (the only roster without an import this season) had a remarkable start to the year, toppling over TSM, Evil Geniuses, and FlyQuest. This weekend, though, was more reminiscent of last year’s roster. Yesterday’s loss to bottom-of-the-table CLG was a devastating blow for the team. With momentum quickly shifting out of Dignitas’ favor, the team risk falling to sixth place next weekend. For now, they remain in fourth place with a 7-5 record.
2) CLG aren’t down and out just yet
Pobelter’s return to CLG’s starting lineup could spark a resurgence for the team. With a 2-10 record, CLG aren’t out of the woods just yet but there’s still hope for the roster. A decisive win against Dignitas last night may prove to be valuable in the weeks and months that follow. Pobelter, a player with over nine years of experience in competitive League, is exactly what the team needs during these trying times.
Ongoing visa issues with top laner Finn Wiestål and jungler Broxah took a toll on the team in the opening stages of the split. Broxah, though, sees the positive side of the situation.
“In a way, I think our team needs a hard reset because things are not looking good in terms of the standings,” Broxah told Dot Esports on Feb. 22. “It’s not going to be easy to come back, so I think we just need to act like the start of the split, just go for a hard reset, start fresh, and go into every game with that kind of mindset.”
3) Every game counts this season
There’s almost no room for error this season. With the newly adopted LCS format, the standings from the Spring Split will combine with the Summer Split to create one LCS season that concludes with the championship in August. There, the top three teams will qualify for Worlds 2021.
In previous seasons, the Spring Split was often used as a training ground for new rosters to build synergy and adapt to the meta, but some players didn’t take it seriously. In 2020, former TSM ADC Doublelift even went as far as saying he “pretty much didn’t care” about the Spring Split and wasn’t motivated to play because of it. This year, things are different—and week four put that into perspective.
After this weekend’s action, one win separates TSM, 100 Thieves, Dignitas, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid in the top half of the standings. If Immortals, FlyQuest, CLG, and Golden Guardians don’t shape up soon, they can kiss their shot at qualifying for Worlds goodbye.
4) C9 are the most complete team in the league
C9 have stayed true to form and taken a firm grasp of the 2021 LCS Spring Split. The team, with 10 wins and two losses to their name, are now at the top of the table after beating 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, and Golden Guardians this weekend. Even 18-year-old rookie top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami, who was promoted from C9’s academy team in October, has impressed this season, showcasing top-rated mechanics on champions like Gragas, Renekton, and Jax.
C9 have been consistent in their approach to the game, finding early leads in the laning phase, dictating the mid game with objective control, and finishing with clean and concise teamfighting. From the top lane to the bottom, C9 have the tools they need to produce results this season.
5) Olaf, Rell, and Kai’Sa dominate the pick and ban phase
Three champions towered above and beyond the rest this weekend. Olaf, Rell, and Kai’Sa were each picked or banned almost 100 percent of the time. Jungle champion Olaf, despite being banned 40 percent of the time, won 88 percent of the eight games he played. Support Rell, in a similar fashion, won 75 percent of her eight games with a 100-percent pick and ban rate. ADC Kai’Sa, with a total of 50 kills and 47 assists, won 70 percent of her 10 games played and was banned just 20 percent of the time.
The LCS meta next weekend, though, could deviate off course. Rell is set to receive nerfs to her base armor and knock up (W) in Patch 11.5, which is expected to hit the live servers on Thursday, March 4. Olaf and Kai’Sa have been untouched but nerfs to the champions in Patch 11.4 could be about to take effect. Sejuani, Samira, and Qiyana—champions that are also on the buff list in Patch 11.5—may jump back into contention.
The 2021 LCS Spring Split will resume on Friday, March 5 at 5pm CT.
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