Just seven games remain on the LCS schedule for each team in the 2022 Spring Split and the final push toward the Mid-Season Invitational is well underway. With just three weeks separating the teams of the LCS from the spring playoff bracket, every game from here on out will play a major factor in determining the way teams are seeded heading into the playoffs.
And even though the two teams at the top of the league—Cloud9 and Team Liquid—are running away with the split, there’s still plenty of room for development as the schedule winds down. Apart from them, FlyQuest and 100 Thieves are the only other teams in the LCS to hold a winning record through 11 games. With half of the league under the 0.500 mark, the competitive nature of the LCS is lacking substantially.
Still, don’t count out any contenders across the North American ladder. The league’s standings could look very different three weeks from now. As far as our power rankings go, just four teams—all in the top half of the league—shifted positions on our table this week.
Here are our LCS power rankings after five weeks of play.
Too far gone: TSM
TSM fans have been inconsolable after the past five weeks of play, but at least they had something to smile about with a victory over Golden Guardians in week five. This roster still has a ton of soul searching to do before the end of the season, however, especially with the multiple iterations of player combos they’ve experimented with so far.
Speaking of which, TSM’s Academy mid laner Takeover looked good on Sylas in the team’s match against Golden Guardians, ending with three kills, 10 assists, and no deaths. He found great engages, looked comfortable on the champion, and had plenty of impact across the map. There could be a world where Takeover slots into the main lineup moving forward, especially if he can perform well in the time he has. But Keaiduo will most likely find his way back into the starting roster soon.
Fading out: CLG, Immortals
Both Immortals and CLG had a devastating week five, remaining stagnant near the bottom of the power rankings with 0-2 finishes. As the regular season enters its final leg, Immortals and CLG risk fading into the background as playoff contention falls further out of reach. These teams have no more room for error if they wish to extend their seasons any further.
Immortals’ midseason roster shuffle in the bottom lane, bringing back LCS veteran Arrow, has failed to bring about the resurgence the team may have initially expected. Last week, all of Immortals’ players except Revenge averaged negative KDs and the team was ninth in overall KDA (0.46), according to Oracle’s Elixir. Though Immortals have taken shots at teams far ahead of them in the standings before, they’ve regularly fallen into slumps after close losses.
Adversely, CLG are a team that never quite got off the ground. CLG have firmly been the worst early-game team in the LCS, falling last in gold difference at 15 minutes (-1,145), Herald control (29 percent), and overall dragon control (36 percent), according to Oracle’s Elixir. Though they’re one win ahead of TSM, CLG are only one misstep away from an all too familiar last-place finish.
A few wins away: Evil Geniuses, Golden Guardians, Dignitas
The teams in this tier of our power rankings are all trying to convince us that they’re worthy of a playoff spot. They all might be, but only two of them will make it, and that’s assuming that CLG or Immortals don’t make a run—and the latter are assuredly capable of doing so despite an 0-2 week.
For Evil Geniuses, a 1-1 week against Immortals and C9 was as expected. Indeed, a similar win-loss record against Liquid and TSM next week might come to pass. But apart from a potential lack of buy-in around drafting and playstyle referenced by Danny’s tweet after their loss to C9, expect this team to continue growing and evolving. Every single individual piece on this team is immensely talented. If they ride out the ups and downs, the ceiling for EG is as high as any team in the region.
Golden Guardians should not have lost that game against TSM. Even if Ablazeolive knew exactly what could have happened when he dropped that Corki package on three members of TSM after Licorice’s perfect Gnar ultimate, that’s a risk that any pro player is taking. But alas, this one stings for fans of the team. If the middle of the LCS standings stays as crowded as it is right now, that loss could easily be what keeps Golden Guardians out of a playoff spot. Despite that, they have fantastic bounce-back opportunities against an inconsistent 100 Thieves and lowly CLG. With a fire under their behinds from the TSM loss, expect at least a 1-1 performance from Golden Guardians this week.
Dignitas are the weakest of the bunch, but on their day, they can put up a fight against any team in the league. Aside from River in the jungle, Biofrost has been a revelation given how low the bar was (probably unfairly) set for him coming into this split. As a result, he and the most underrated AD carry in the region in Neo have been an anchor for a team that hasn’t found consistency in the top lane. That’s not a recipe for a contender, but Dignitas is hoping that it can be one for a playoff team. With nerfs coming to Aphelios and Jinx, maybe the bottom lane meta is shaken up to the point where Dignitas have to adapt. But that might be a task that’s too difficult for them.
Striking distance: 100 Thieves, FlyQuest
FlyQuest and 100 Thieves are chasing those coveted top two positions in the LCS. They’re two teams that have demonstrated the potential for great success but whose missteps see them chasing Liquid and C9 for those top spots.
For both FlyQuest and 100T, the major issue the teams face is their ability to take down the top teams in the LCS, building their steady track of victories over squads that trail them in the standings. Should the two teams create a substantial lead over their opponents, much like they did against CLG, TSM, and Dignitas this weekend, they maintain it to grab hold of dominant victories.
But in games like 100T’s rerun against Liquid, it seems that the momentum to keep going simply falls off when they’re behind, resulting in questionable plays unsuited for teams this high in the standings. FlyQuest showcased similar issues last weekend when they went 0-3 but managed to refocus their efforts in an attempt to rediscover the team that, just a few weeks ago, held that No. 1 spot.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, FlyQuest and 100T are looking to enter the Mid-Season Showdown in the third and fourth-place positions they have held onto strongly, raising questions as to whether they can find the tools to take down Liquid and C9 when the time comes.
A shift in strength: Cloud9, Team Liquid
For the first time this season, Liquid have relinquished their hold on the top spot in our LCS power rankings. Although Liquid and C9 are still tied in the LCS standings, and Liquid hold the head-to-head over C9, our rankings shifted this week because C9 have simply torn through the league over the last few weeks in a way that Liquid haven’t.
Over their last five games, comparatively, C9 have posted a record of 5-0, while Liquid have gone 4-1. Beyond that glaring disparity in the loss column, C9 have bolstered their case for the top spot in our rankings by rolling through those five games with an average victory time of just 29 minutes. And mainly, that quick game time can be traced back to C9’s dominance of the early game. Over their last five games, C9 have averaged a lead of 2,665 gold at the 15-minute mark (first in the league), while Liquid have only been ahead by just over 600 gold at 15 minutes over their last five, according to League stats site Oracle’s Elixir.
There’s an argument to be made that no team in North America—or perhaps the West—is on a hotter streak than C9 right now. And even despite their previous matchup against Liquid, it would be unjust to keep them in the No. 2 spot after their strong week five showing. The two teams are scheduled to face off against each other on Sunday, March 13.