In Disney’s 2019 sequel movie Frozen 2, Idina Menzel plays Elsa, a girl who quite literally is at the top of her kingdom. With power and grace, she ruled as queen before a strange voice led her into the unknown.
After seven weeks of the LCS Spring Split, it looks like North America is repeating that plot in more ways than one. In terms of gameplay, we saw some shocking upsets last week, including unbeaten Cloud9 losing to a 6-6 TSM team and Liquid losing two straight. And now we have news that the whole rest of the split is suspended as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
All that continues to make it difficult for our voters to rank the LCS teams. When we asked them to rate each squad from one point (worst) to 10 points (best), this is how it turned out:
The good news is, if we follow the standard Disney plot, the queen returns triumphantly and order is restored all within a manner of minutes. We can only hope that happens to the LCS and everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lost in the woods: Dignitas, Golden Guardians, CLG
CLG started off week seven with a win over Liquid that looked almost comically bad for both sides. But a win is a win, especially with new ADC Oh “Wind” Myeong-jin filling in for Stixxay.
But then they turned around and got blown out by Evil Geniuses. It’s frustrating to see Wiggily calling the shots against Broxah and Liquid and then just fall to pieces against Svenskeren and EG, especially since his team had a scaling advantage.
Golden Guardians had a better week and their gain was Dignitas’ loss. We have no idea what happened to the proactive Dignitas team that rode top laner Huni’s aggressive streak to some wins early in the split. They just sat around, losing in map control and CS, until GGS felt comfortable ending.
Golden Guardians are now just a game out of the last playoff spot and have recovered a bit from a mid-split swoon. But we still aren’t confident they’re good enough to get into the postseason, whenever it begins.
Some things change: Liquid, EG, 100 Thieves
Even at this tier, not much make sense. A week after some creative early plays earned Liquid their first clean 2-0 week, they dropped two straight to go 0-2 for the second time. They couldn’t even beat Immortals after bringing Doublelift back in the bot lane after a brief benching.
The Immortals game highlighted the non-Doublelift issues the team has struggled with. River control has been a problem all split despite Jensen’s gaudy stats in the mid lane. Liquid consistently overestimated how much control they have there, which influences their ability to play the rest of the map.
EG and 100T, on the other hand, both went 2-0 to push themselves into playoff positions. EG have been the more consistent of the two over the last few weeks, while 100 Thieves have swung from despair to elation. The consensus among our staff is that they’ll miss the playoffs, with Liquid just sneaking in, though it’s possible we’re still being deceived by our pre-split expectations for Liquid.
The next wrong thing: FlyQuest, Immortals
These two teams had golden opportunities to pull ahead with winnable matchups in week seven. FlyQuest lost both of their games, and while Immortals salvaged a win over Liquid, they still lost ground in playoff positioning.
Both teams have issues in the solo lanes. FlyQuest top laner V1per has been inconsistent in his second year as a full-time starter. Losing to players like TSM’s Broken Blade is probably expected, but if he can’t control his waves against the better players in the LCS, he’ll never become one.
Immortals mid laner Eika is struggling in a variety of matchups against even lower-tier competition and is getting propped up hard by his teammates. He’s been a concern of ours for a while and seeing him lose to 100T Ryoma didn’t help.
FlyQuest are still in shape to make the playoffs at 8-6, though that’s not as comfortable a lead as it should be with a couple of weeks left. Immortals are in trouble at 7-7, just a game above Golden Guardians and Liquid. There are six teams within two games of the last playoff spot and only three of them will make it.
Show yourself: Cloud9, TSM
TSM finally had a statement win, becoming the first team this year to knock off C9. They traded drake priority for an emphasis on Broken Blade’s top lane Sett vs. C9 Licorice’s Shen. That advantage helped them turn the tide when it mattered, blowing out C9 in a drake fight after Broken Blade got there first. By the time Licorice’s Shen ult came through, the rest of his team was already dead, pulled in by Sett’s ultimate and Facebreaker combo.
TSM have looked inconsistent all split, but they finally showed what they can do when they follow the game plan and the carries get the kills. It was almost better that C9 didn’t just roll over, that they attempted to take advantages of their own, because it showed that TSM can come back from getting hit a few times.
It’s looking like these will be our finalists, whenever the finals happen, and their last game gave us hope that this potential final would be a good one.
All photos via Riot Games.