The 2021 LCS Summer Split is nearly over and each team in the league will see each other one final time before the playoff field is set. While a good portion of the top-tier teams are locked into the postseason, there’s still a fierce race that’ll be going on from now until the end of the season between the squads in the midsection of the LCS.
Keep in mind that the top-eight NA League of Legends teams will all make the playoffs, so even some of the region’s weaker squads have something to play for over the course of the next three weeks. Even last-place teams like CLG are still making roster moves in hopes of reaching the playoffs, so don’t count any team out just yet.
Here are our LCS power rankings after six weeks of play in the 2021 Summer Split.
What an absolutely brutal week for these guys: CLG
Not many people believed that it could get worse for CLG. But things managed to spiral even deeper down the rabbit hole after the team was heavily criticized for releasing a video from a private team meeting where the org’s general manager told the players that “this might be the last time that we have this roster of five playing.”
Nothing seems to be going right for CLG on and off Summoner’s Rift. Whether it’s the organization releasing ill-advised behind-the-scenes videos or the roster struggling to click, it’s clear that some changes are needed, possibly within the lineup and beyond. The team did acquire Damonte to take over in the mid lane for Pobelter, but it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be able to right a ship that’s almost completely sunk.
There’s only three weeks left in the season and only a true miracle will be able to save this team from another bottom-of-the-barrel finish in the LCS.
We got ourselves a playoff race: FlyQuest, Golden Guardians
Only in the LCS does a roster full of pro talent go on a 10-game losing streak only to be replaced by five Academy level players who subsequently sweep a full slate of games in a single weekend.
FlyQuest are in an interesting position right now, where they’re technically part of a playoff race because of their recent turnaround but also are being outpaced by the rest of the league. As a result, the team doesn’t have a whole lot to play for when it comes to title aspirations. They’re in a good spot to secure the eighth and final playoff spot, but it’s imaginable that when FlyQuest plays direct contender Golden Guardians during the season’s final weekend of play, we’ll have a better idea which of those teams will advance to the playoffs (where they’ll be an undoubtable first round exit) and which will have a headstart on the offseason.
Speaking of the offseason’s rebuilding process, FlyQuest has the strongest young core in the region. Players like Josedeodo, Triple, Nxi, Diamond, Palafox, and so many more pieces of FlyQuest’s 10-man roster can fit into any hole on the team’s jigsaw puzzle. And over the course of the next few months, the organization is going to have to come to a definitive decision on which of those pieces are going to be a part of the team’s core moving forward.
This fall, GM Nick Phan and the rest of FlyQuest’s front office need to come to an agreement as to which five players from the organization’s current talent pool—as well as the scene’s impending free agents—will take up the mantle and try to help FlyQuest return to the World Championship. But know this, the framework is being laid and this past weekend proved that FlyQuest’s foundation is stronger than any rebuilding team in the world.
Struggling to succeed: Team Liquid, Cloud9, Dignitas
Liquid’s results still have to be asterisked by Santorin’s absence, so measuring this team’s potential remains difficult. But since these are power rankings focused on current form, the Armao comparison is a little easier to put into perspective. They were the last team to beat Evil Geniuses before the latter went nuclear and rattled off eight straight wins to shoot up the standings. But they also dropped three straight against 100 Thieves, TSM, and Cloud9. Liquid have a chance at redemption this week against 100 Thieves and TSM. The bottom line, though, is it doesn’t feel like Liquid, in their current state, can hang with the big boys. On raw talent alone, however, they’ll likely be just fine in the end.
Based purely on wins and losses, C9 (and Dignitas) had expected results—if you count losing to FlyQuest Academy’s team of destiny as “expected.” Fudge continues to show his incredibly high ceiling as the meta has opened up, performing up to par and then some on a few different champions. And his Akali performance in the team’s loss to FlyQuest was a good example of that. The bottom lane, however, just hasn’t quite been what it was in the spring. That’s not to say Zven and Vulcan are playing poorly, but by the standards that they’ve set for themselves, they’re underperforming.
Dignitas are the latest team to come out the other side of a sudden roster swap and start to regain their footing. Akaadian is rediscovering his LCS form and Yusui is slowly but surely proving the doubters wrong. There are things to like about Dignitas, especially considering how big of a part of the team Dardoch, for any of his faults he does or doesn’t have, was. But what’s also increasingly evident despite them righting the ship after it almost tipped over right after their former jungler’s dismissal is that this team has a ceiling. And with EG and 100 Thieves raising their stocks significantly since the spring, as far as results are concerned, that ceiling still looks like a first-round exit and being a footnote in this chapter of the LCS.
A new challenger approaches: 100 Thieves, TSM, Evil Geniuses
EG saw 100 Thieves string together an eight-game winning streak and said to themselves: “Well we can do that.” Now, EG sit just two games out of first place with a chance to usurp 100 Thieves this weekend.
Largely, that success has stemmed from the team’s surging upstart AD carry, Danny. A standout contender for rookie of the Yyar, Danny became the first player in LCS history to completely surpass the Academy scene and make the jump from amateur level play straight to the LCS. The move was a gamble on EG’s part, but the recent success that Danny has found turned EG from a middling 0.500 team to a Worlds contender practically overnight. Across EG’s eight-game streak, Danny has posted a KDA of 8.8, racking up 97 kills and assists in contrast to just 11 deaths. Additionally, with a mark of 576, Danny ranks second among all qualified LCS players in damage per minute, according to League stats site Games of Legends.
Don’t be stunned in the slightest if Danny and EG manage to stretch their current winning streak into the double digits, either. The team is slated to face off against Golden Guardians, FlyQuest, and Dignitas this weekend—three teams who have all posted negative records this summer and are fading from serious postseason relevancy at a brisk rate.
Thankfully for TSM and 100 Thieves, though, holding onto their top two spots in the league might not be so difficult this weekend. TSM will face off against FlyQuest, Immortals, and Liquid—teams they hold a collective 9-3 record against this year, with all three of those losses coming to FlyQuest, surprisingly enough. 100 Thieves—who, despite a recent slip up, have still won nine of their last 11 games—will face off against Dignitas, FlyQuest, and Liquid this weekend. 100 Thieves have dominated all three of those squads this season, posting a combined record of 11-1 against them, dropping one game against Liquid back on March 14.
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