The marathon of a season that the LCS has put on this year will soon come to a close. Teams are slated to play just six more contests on their 45-game schedules to close out the regular season. And as we approach the finish line, the landscape of the league is more closely knit than it has been at any point this year.
Mathematically speaking, any of the top five teams in the LCS can still finish in first place, while none of the bottom five are necessarily eliminated from the playoff race just yet. With eight teams all set to reach the postseason and the top three gearing up to move onto the League of Legends World Championship later this year, it’s evident that the LCS is getting fiercely competitive as it enters its final stretch.
With that in mind, here are our LCS power rankings going into the last two weeks of the LCS season.
Rebuilds on the horizon: FlyQuest, CLG
There’s not much left to say about CLG. Another winless weekend has left the team with five consecutive losses. All the team can do is wait until the slow, painful march to the finish line finally comes to an anticlimactic close. The team tried reinvigorating their playoff chances by adding former 100 Thieves mid laner Damonte to the starting lineup after picking him up in free agency, but the three-year veteran posted a KDA of 0.7 in his first three games with CLG. Maybe this week he’ll prove worthy of a roster spot on next year’s core roster, but so far, the ground is shaky and the team’s rebuilding process went from bad to worse.
FlyQuest, on the other hand, is rebuilding at breakneck speeds while still playing relatively well considering the fact that the team played its Academy roster on the LCS stage for the second consecutive week. The minor leaguers have won four of their last six games—and honestly, there’s no reason to pull them. If the season ended today, FlyQuest would barely squeak into the playoffs while fielding a team of relatively unproven variables. If those young guns can get major region playoff experience right off the bat, it will work wonders for their development. They play against Liquid, Cloud9, and Dignitas this weekend—three teams who have already clinched playoff berths.
A hodgepodge of mediocrity: Dignitas, Golden Guardians, Immortals
Dignitas were humming along in sixth place until they surprised everyone with their biggest win of the split over a first-place 100 Thieves squad that’s been experimenting lately. But not in this game. Sure, Ssumday played Dr. Mundo and huhi picked Tahm Kench as a support (Ablazeolive, eat your heart out), but Dignitas outright slaughtered the best team in North America and picked Kayn while doing it. Neo deserves a shoutout as well for a guy who made his name earlier in 2021 on Kalista. He’s finding a ton of success in a different role on Ziggs, despite how busted that champion is right now. Fun fact about Dignitas: They’re the only team with a winning head-to-head record against Evil Geniuses over the course of 2021 (3-2).
Golden Guardians are playing really good League right now, and in their current form, they just barely edge out Immortals for seventh in our power rankings. They have tripled their win total from the spring this summer and Licorice is playing like a man possessed. Mid laner Ablazeolive stole the show with a solid performance on Tahm Kench (you read that correctly) and if not for Danny, he’d be the runaway rookie of the split. He still deserves serious consideration, especially because he doesn’t have the benefit of being elevated by a better team and a veteran support. But that’s a whole other conversation.
Immortals might be the poster children for this subheading. The hottest team to start out the split then had a 0-3 week to follow it up—a feat they repeated two weeks ago before bouncing back with a 2-1 showing in week seven. Their team cohesion is clearly one of their stronger suits in the sense that in any given game, a different player can carry. Based on experience, depth, cohesion, and all those other things that don’t make highlight reels but push you over the edge when it counts, Immortals look better poised to crash the party come playoff time than Golden Guardians. But right now, the lack of consistency in best-of-ones leaves them a firm tier below sixth place.
Treading water: Cloud9, Team Liquid
It’s practically stunning that C9 and Liquid—last split’s two finalists—are both locked out of the top three of our power rankings (in addition to the actual LCS standings). The two teams have been playing well enough to keep themselves in the LCS playoff race but not nearly up to the standards that they each set back in the spring. To be surpassed so emphatically by teams like 100 Thieves and EG—teams that they had separated themselves from during the Spring Split—is a bad sign.
These next two weeks could make or break C9’s season, in particular, since they’ll play host to 100 Thieves, TSM, EG, and Liquid over the span of the final two weeks of the regular season. Winning or losing even a handful of those games could be the difference between a fifth-place finish and a climb back to the top of the league.
Keep in mind that the LCS only gets three seeds at Worlds this year, with one of those teams having to most likely participate in the tournament’s preliminary play-in stage. Not earning a top-three seed in the LCS playoff bracket would be a bad first step for either of these organizations. There’s no room for C9 or Liquid to continue sliding so far out of the top three that they eventually miss Worlds, lest the 2021 season be deemed a dramatic failure on all fronts.
Holding on at the top: 100 Thieves, TSM, Evil Geniuses
Last weekend was a shock for fans and teams alike. On just the first day of week seven, every top LCS team (other than Liquid) was defeated by their underdog opponents in almost completely one-sided fashion. For both 100 Thieves and TSM, however, they bounced back. But upon regaining their footing, they were met again by a ready-to-strike EG.
We can’t talk about EG’s success without mentioning Danny. This rookie ADC has outperformed some of the best ADCs in the LCS, including FBI and Zven—and he makes this look incredibly easy. In all 21 games this split, Danny has secured 91 kills—the most of any player this split, according to Oracle’s Elixir. When Danny isn’t busy being the carry on his team and almost allowing EG to amass an 11-game win streak, he’s working alongside a squad of veteran talent that’s consistently shown up and shown out.
Last weekend alone, EG made victories over Dignitas and the new FlyQuest roster look easy. Yet the weekend wasn’t perfect for the roster since a loss to Golden Guardians looked out of place for the team—though Danny on Syndra instead of a typical ADC might not have been the best move. EG remain in third place in our power rankings this week, though this time they’re sitting in that spot much more comfortably.
When it comes to 100T and TSM at the top of the ladder, they’re continuing to look as dominant as ever. The individual members of each team continue to improve their performances and showcase the synergy they bring to the table that’s allowed them to get this far. Their losses on the first day of week seven can’t be narrowed down to any single player in particular, but coming back from those games strong showcases how confident both teams are in their skills.
There isn’t much new to say about these two teams this week, other than that vying for the first and second spot in the Summer Split finals will likely continue to be a brutal battle between them—unless another team breaks through. Both 100T and TSM are still performing to the best of their abilities and proving why they have consistently been the best teams in the LCS right now, thus they remain in first and second place respectively in this week’s power rankings.
Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.