The 2022 LCS Spring Split is winding down, and before long, the conversation surrounding the league will shift from the domestic playoff race to the road to the Mid-Season Invitational. With just five games left on the schedule for each team in the league, the next two weeks—and this week in particular—should give League of Legends fans a clearer look at how the race might shape up.
We received a bit of clarity last week in regard to the top of our rankings. Cloud9 definitively secured their spot at the top of our table with a win over direct competitor Team Liquid. We had C9 ranked at the top even before their victory over Liquid, but it was reassuring to receive some confirmation.
Still, even beyond the top two teams in the league, no one has yet to be eliminated from the playoff race. With five games left, it’s important to keep in the back of your mind that only four games separate third place from second-to-last place. So, while the teams toward the bottom of the standings begin to focus on salvaging the split and getting some playoff experience before the slate is wiped clean in the summer, those at the top can start to worry about the MSI push. Regardless, everyone’s still a contender.
With that in mind, here are our LCS power rankings heading into the second-to-last week of the 2022 Spring Split.
Moving backward: Golden Guardians, Immortals, TSM
Only six teams are eligible to advance out of the 2022 LCS Spring Split into the Mid-Season Showdown, meaning four teams will have to sit on the sidelines and watch the action unfold. The bottom three teams in the LCS have been well-established over the past six weeks, leaving Golden Guardians, Immortals, and TSM holding on to the last bits of hope for their immediate future.
Of the three teams fighting to break out from the bottom of the standings, Golden Guardians have shown the most promise over the past few weeks. But, as seen most clearly in their game against 100 Thieves this past weekend, any lead they attain appears to shock them into being completely unable to close out a victory. Though they share seventh place with CLG, the CLG squad has accumulated a small win streak after seeming to find their second wind.
Each of these teams has struggled immensely to stabilize themselves over the past six weeks, and there isn’t much time left for them to figure things out. Unless Immortals, Golden Guardians, or TSM completely rearrange their approach to the final two weekends of the Spring Split, they will likely sit on the sidelines waiting for the Summer Split to begin, where they’ll be forced to reevaluate if they don’t want to have a repeat split.
On the back end: Dignitas, CLG
In the bottom end of the “soup,” we find Dignitas and CLG. A week ago, we would not have expected to find CLG just one game out of an LCS playoff spot, but here they are. In and of itself, the fact that, in all likelihood, only two of FlyQuest, Dignitas, CLG, Golden Guardians, and Immortals will make the playoffs is a bummer for fans of all of these deserving teams but a joy for the strength of the LCS as a whole.
The biggest difference for CLG has been Contractz. His performance in the first few games of the split had been, in a word, lacking. But his willingness to pull out Rek’Sai and facilitate well on the champ in a must-win game against Golden Guardians is a huge sign of progress. But as far as things that have stayed the same for CLG, Luger’s consistency in the bottom lane can now go from being what has been keeping his team afloat to what can take them over the top.
Dignitas keep on winning just enough games to stay in contention and then some. Biofrost has been the team’s MVP this split, if for no other reason than the unfairly low expectations placed on him coming into this year. Yes, he took a year off, but he’s a four-time LCS champion and had been to Worlds as recently as 2020. He has continued to build on the foundation that former Dignitas support aphromoo laid down for now-second-year ADC Neo, and the duo has flourished as a result.
Still in the mix: Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest
With the last two weeks of the regular season coming up, every match matters for teams on the fringe of the playoff picture. For both Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest, however, they must tighten their grip even harder since they’re only a couple of games ahead of the pack and are at risk of losing their spot in the postseason entirely.
North America’s favorite green team FlyQuest, for example, hasn’t been looking too lively lately, having dropped five of their last seven games with their latest losses coming at the hands of 100 Thieves and CLG. Their team performance isn’t up to snuff at all over the past three weeks, with the squad sitting at a measly 0.6 KDA and the third-lowest average gold difference at 15 minutes, according to Oracle’s Elixir. All of FlyQuest’s players are under a 3.0 KDA, which doesn’t look too bad at first glance, but the majority of the other players with KDAs under 3.0 are on non-playoff teams.
EG, on the other hand, have continued to maintain their course as a mid-tier team trying to keep up with the top three organizations in the league. The team has failed to win against 100 Thieves, C9, and Liquid this season, but it’s understandable since they have young players still trying to adjust to the LCS and its competition. Their inconsistency will be a big focus, however, for the roster and coaching staff to figure out for the postseason and beyond.
Ultimately, it does feel like by next week, there will have been a shift in the standings in this part of the bracket. FlyQuest and EG seem to be on opposite tracks, but they still have a little bit of time left to correct their course for the better.
On the doorstep: Team Liquid, 100 Thieves
With C9 occupying the top-most echelon of our rankings by themselves this week, Liquid and 100 Thieves find themselves vying for the second overall seed heading into the final two weeks of the split. Liquid missed their chance to strike at C9 directly this past weekend, but 100 Thieves will still have a shot against the LCS’ top dog in their penultimate game of the split. 100 Thieves have a golden opportunity to catapult themselves into the top two this weekend. Games with Immortals and EG should provide chances for the team to create space between themselves and the rest of the league, firmly cementing their spot in the top three.
But don’t count out Liquid as a serious title contender, either. Although they’re ranked alongside 100 Thieves this week, they’re probably closer to C9’s end of the “skill level spectrum” right now. Even despite faltering to C9 this past weekend, they’ve still won five of their last six and should rebound this week against two relatively weaker teams in FlyQuest and CLG.
Prior to C9’s hot streak, Liquid were running rampant through the LCS, making their wins look effortless. Even though just two games separate them from 100 Thieves, their ability to secure games with ease make them a clear No. 2 right now. Recency bias also might play a bit of a factor in our rankings considering Liquid took 100 Thieves to the cleaners just two weeks ago.
C9 have become the first team to clinch a spot in the 2022 LCS Spring Split playoffs after acing another 2-0 week. After defeating their perennial rivals in Liquid, C9 now have an undisputed claim on first place with only two weeks left to defend their top spot. Following an impressive week six, it’s becoming all the more likely that C9 will enter the postseason as the LCS’ first seed.
C9’s week six success was defined by early-game proactivity and nearly complete map control. Against both Liquid and Immortals, C9 monopolized early objectives by posting the highest control rates for dragons (88 percent), Herald (75 percent), and Baron (100 percent), according to Oracle’s Elixir. With massive advantages stemming from their lanes and jungle, C9 were able to perfectly transition into the teamfighting phase, posting an impressive 2.00 combined KD.
While C9’s teamplay has seen gradual improvements throughout the year, the individual excellence on the squad shined in this recent week. C9’s side lanes, in Summit as well as Berserker, both led their respective positions across the past week. Summit particularly dismantled his lane opponents, leading many of C9’s winning efforts.
C9 certainly do not have an easy path to the top seed, though. Three out of the team’s remaining five games will be against top six squads. But C9 have shown an unreplicated ability to take control of games. Should C9 continue to execute their team play and maintain their individual prowess, this squad may be one step closer to another LCS championship.
This article includes affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to Dot Esports.