LCS power rankings: 2022 Spring Split week 4

The Spring Split is already halfway in the books and the LCS is looking as volatile as ever.

Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

We’re halfway through the 2022 LCS Spring Split and it’s harder than it ever has been this season to get a read on the league. Teams are subverting expectations across the board, playing above and below their expected pay grades four weeks into the season. 

Technically speaking, the halfway point of the Spring Split also marks the end of the first quarter of the LCS season. And if the competition is this unpredictable and volatile for the next 75 percent of regular season games this year, it’ll be hard to pinpoint exactly where the 10 North American League of Legends squads will finish in the standings (and our power rankings, just as it was this week). 

Nine of the 10 teams in the LCS moved up or down our power rankings table this week. A wild three-game weekend for each team played a heavy role in shifting our overall view of the league. If there’s any solace to be found, though, it’s in the race for the finals. Team Liquid and Cloud9 appear to be the most put-together teams in the LCS and they’re tied for first place heading into the second half of the split.

Beyond them, though, the next eight teams in the league are all practically deadlocked with little room to move up or down the board without drastically shifting their place in the standings. Just two games separate third place from eighth in the LCS, and it’s likely that the current outlook of the standings will be much different from their current iteration this time next week. But for now, here are our LCS power rankings at the halfway point of the 2022 Spring Split.

RankTeamRank change
1)Team Liquid
2)Cloud9+3
3)100 Thieves -1 
4)Evil Geniuses+2
5)FlyQuest-2
6)Golden Guardians+1
7)Dignitas-3
8)Immortals+1
9)CLG+1
10)TSM-2

Let’s reassess: TSM

Photo via Riot Games

With only one win this season, TSM fans are frantically pressing the panic button in the hopes that some kind of answer will magically appear to fix their problems. This organization’s fall from grace is baffling. It’s been transformed from one of the best and most recognized teams in the League space into the worst team in the league in the span of a few years.

Right now, TSM must figure out the direction that it’s willing to commit to with this roster. In a Reddit post, Reginald said he and the staff took a risk by signing two young prospects from the LDL, but “went with rookies to rebuild over three years.” Two weeks in, however, the team has already benched its new support, Shenyi.

The team has talked about dedicating itself to the long haul, but public scrutiny has risen dramatically over the past week alone. Will the org be willing to stay patient and allow its young stars to grow or will it bend under the pressure of expectations and revamp its roster with its wallets again? And even if TSM is willing to commit, the veterans on the lineup might not be willing to stay during a rebuilding period. There are too many questions around TSM—so much so that the Spring Split is the least of their worries.

Laying the foundation: Immortals, CLG

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games via ESPAT

If there’s anything that Immortals and CLG fans can hold on to, it’s that there is quite a bit of time left in the 2022 LCS Spring Split and that both teams are steadily gaining momentum. While both teams have definitely had their shaky moments thus far, they end the first half of the Spring Split on a brighter note than where they began, potentially foreshadowing better things to come.

What looked to be a competitive weekend for CLG started off on the wrong foot when latency issues plagued their match against Immortals, resulting in three separate pauses raised by the CLG bot lane that the LCS deemed “did not have a material impact on the match.” Luger and Poome powered through this loss heading into the rest of their weekend against TSM and Evil Geniuses, boasting a collective 23/6/43 KDA over the final two days of week four and continuing to be the source of overlooked potential on CLG’s roster.

Between WildTurtle and Arrow, Immortals have very capable ADCs in their hands—yet issues continue to arise in the team’s inability to capitalize on this bot lane win condition. A major lack of vision coupled with their tendency to overextend spelled nothing but disaster for Immortals against Golden Guardians, dropping their sizable lead that would have secured them a 3-0 weekend. Otherwise, like CLG, they end the first LCS super week at 2-1, looking a bit more confident than they’ve appeared over the first half of the split.

As TSM plummets to the bottom of our power rankings, both CLG and Immortals bump up one spot. While many questions regarding these teams’ true potential remain unanswered, one thing holds true: They won’t go down without a fight.

Better than expected: Golden Guardians, Dignitas

Photo by Tina Jo via ESPAT/Riot Games

No one expected a lot out of Golden Guardians coming into this year—at least, not with any sort of certainty. Maybe the org’s history of finishing near the bottom of the standings sets the bar low for the community’s perception of them, but conversely, those expectations are all the easier to surpass. Golden Guardians are the LCS’ biggest sleepers. They might end up being playoff gatekeepers, but in all likelihood, that would translate to a victory for the org and its rigorous coaching structure. Mid laner Ablazeolive keeps slowly leveling up from “the guy who played Tahm Kench mid last split” to a legitimate top-half mid laner in the LCS. At a historically shallow position for domestic talent, he, Palafox, and jojopyun can be the harbingers of a new era for NA mids.

Dignitas came crashing down to Earth a bit last week but saved themselves from disaster with a win over defending champions 100 Thieves. The worries for Dignitas fans are that their team has lost five of its last six games, and even in their wins, it seems to be the River show. With a one-dimensional playstyle anchored by a jungler who (so far) has shown a one-dimensional, high-risk-high-reward, gank-heavy flavor, the ceiling gets lower and lower for Dignitas. But Biofrost clearly isn’t washed up, Neo is still the most underrated ADC in the region, and Blue has had his moments in the mid lane as well. Against CLG and FlyQuest this coming week, Dignitas need to show more variance in their ideas, but a 2-0 performance against those middle-of-the-pack teams won’t hurt either.

The soup: 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest

Photo by Tina Jo via ESPAT/Riot Games

Although C9 and Liquid dominated the first round robin of the Spring Split, these three teams still make up the biggest heap of the playoff race heading into the second half of the split. With just two games separating FlyQuest and 100T from first place, and three games separating EG, we’re comfortable in claiming that they’re all still within striking distance of Liquid and C9, even despite the fact that they post a combined record of 1-5 against the top two teams between them. 

100T’s opening day win against Liquid marked one of the few occasions in which a top team in the LCS was briefly struck down by an outside threat. And if C9 and Liquid are going to be yanked down the table in the second round robin and replaced by any of these three teams, more of those occasions will need to take place. If teams like CLG and Golden Guardians, who rank lower in our power rankings, can take games off of C9 and Liquid, there’s no excuse for the three teams in this section—who have looked marginally stronger at times—to do so as well.

Locked on top: Team Liquid, Cloud9

Photo by Tina Jo via ESPAT/Riot Games

C9 have rejoined the top of the standings alongside the team’s ever-present rival, Liquid. Though competition in the middle of the LCS standings only continues to tighten, these two behemoths used the recent super week to pull ahead of the pack even further. 

Despite a tumultuous week three, C9 rebounded with an impressive 3-0 performance this past weekend. They were the only team to go undefeated throughout the super week. Though the team may have seen a sudden shift in coaching leadership, C9’s steadily increasing team cohesion and individual talent are still prevalent. 

C9 were firmly one of the strongest early game teams in week four. The squad posted the second-highest gold difference at 15 minutes (+2,484), as well as the highest first tower rate (100 percent) and Baron control rate (100 percent), according to Oracle’s Elixir. C9 also proved to be the most proficient teamfighters of week four, posting the highest combined KDA (2.75) out of any team. In all three games, C9 were able to take leads early and balloon their win conditions through further objective control or teamfights. 

Fans caught only a glimpse of Liquid at its potential full strength since CoreJJ was once again absent from the starting lineup during the super week after playing in just two games. With their seemingly ever-present sixth man, Eyla, Liquid were able to put together a respectable week despite an early stumble against Golden Guardians.

Liquid are no strangers to playing through the bottom lane and Hans sama has provided a consistent win condition for the team since his addition. In week four, the Eyla and Hans bottom lane made up a combined 5.4 KDA while both averaged 66.7-percent kill participation, according to Oracle’s Elixir. Hans specifically has been a designated carry for Liquid, accumulating the most early-game resources and paying it off with high-value performances. 

The ADC averaged the highest gold (+289) and CS (+3.7) differences at 10 minutes and later substantially led the team’s damage share at 15 minutes (33.8 percent) and overall (31.2 percent). Liquid is lined with talent, but the team’s ability to put faith into a single player and for that player to execute is what has made them a near-constant in the top spot.