NA LCS final stretch- Everything you have to know before the games begin

As we are only two game days away from the finish of LCS Regular Split I decided to analyse the situation of all the teams and again do the most fun part- analyse the potential tiebreaker scenarios.

As we are only two game days away from the finish of LCS Regular Split  I decided to analyse the situation of all the teams and again do the most fun part- analyse the potential tiebreaker scenarios. If you want to know how DIG can end up third or what has to happen in order for a 5-way tie to occur then feel invited to read the article. 

For people that are interested only in a specific part of the article I prepared a table of contents, so that you can navigate yourself in an easier way:

1. Current situation (standings and games schedule)

2. Tiebreaker scenarios:

2.1 5-way tie

2.2 4-way ties

3. The Perfect Scenario – 11 Game Sunday

4. Presentation of the most important games

5. Fun games (games with no impact)

6. Analysis of each teams current situation and chances


Obviously feel invited to real a whole article, as I tried to make it as short and as substantive as possible!

1. Current situation:

There is no way to even try to analyse the last week without introducing the standings and getting a closer look in them:


This split in NA we have 5 teams still having chances for first place. There is also already a three way tie for second, so each of these teams have a huge chance for a seeding straight into semifinals. The situation would not be as interesting if not for the fact that Cloud 9 looks much better as a team and put up a great fight against CLG, which shows the strength of the lower placed teams. Although Team 8 cannot get to playoffs and Dignitas is sure to be at least sixth the fight for seventh might be also interesting as none of the teams wants to get relegated, but Cloud 9 need it the most, as it can keep their hopes of going to Worlds alive. With that said lets take a look at this weeks match-ups:

The matches that seem the most interesting are the ones with the biggest impact. If not for XiaoWeiXiao suspension this week would definetely look intensive, with TIPs games against TL and GV for the first two places. Apart from this the rising C9 will face TSM, which, especially for fans, is always a huge game. Team 8 is also a team to watch, as they are facing two teams who potentially can form the huge ties and any upsets might decide who gets the playoff bye. 

2. Tiebreaker scenarios

2.1 5 way tie:


There is only one 5-way tie we can get and in only one scenario will it occur. The biggest problem is that TDK will have to defeat Gravity, who will be in full “tryhard mode”.  Apart from that if Dignitas can get a win over CLG or Team 8 somehow manage to pull out a 2:0 week there i a high possibility of the tie happening. Again though: if not for XiaoWeiXiao… We have to hope that Gate and the team can also beat Gravity (so basically root for a disastrous week for them). 

2.2 4-way ties:

Unfortunately also for any 4-way tie to occur Gravity has to go 0:2, which again means TDK somehow defeating them in a serious match. Basically both of these ties can occur if one of the conditions for a 5-way tie is not completed. The TDK win would be really crucial, paired with Team 8 upsetting at least one of the contenders. If you want to see a true battle for first, small playoffs in which both the semifinalists will be determined and the winner of Regular Split you are rooting for Gravity to have their worst week in a very long time. 

There it is, the last tie in this image finally does not include TDK winning against Gravity. Moreover, for this to happen Team 8 does not even have to defeat Team Liquid. The only problems is that Team Impulse has to defeat Team Liquid, which now will be harder without XiaoWeiXiao and CLG has to lose a game to either Dignitas or Team 8, which is obviously not impossible as this is CLG and it is the end of the season.

The rest of the ties have pretty much similar conditions to the already mentioned above, so there is no need to really focus on them. Lets move to the part where Dignitas fans start getting hopes:

Both scenarios include CLG choking in the last week and losing to both Dignitas and Team 8. The first one also hopes for Team 8 going 2:0 in a week against CLG and Team Liquid. That is why the second scenario is way more possible, with Dignitas defeating CLG and putting them on tilt, Team Impulse getting destroyed due to a sub in mid lane and TSM maybe dropping a game to the improved Cloud 9. Probably the most possible scenario. This would also be a entertaining tiebreaker to watch, as it would fully determine the quarterfinal seedings in this one small tournament. 

 Knowing all the scenarios needed for huge tiebreakers lets now put them together and see how the extra games can shape out:

3. The Perfect Scenario – 11 Games Sunday


In this scenario we get 6 extra games, with 4 needed to sort out the 4-way tie for third and two games for ties for first and ninth.  We have to hope that Gate is a real god or that the rest of Team Impulse really step up their game, because they are the team that have to go 2:0 in this case. Also a tragic week for Cloud 9 and perfect ones for Dignitas and Team 8 are the crucial factors. It would be nice though as none of the seedings for playoffs and relegations would be set before the tiebreakers. Every one would be crucial for the future of the teams. 

4. Presentation of the most important games:


Obviously the games on Saturday will be more important looking from todays perspective as mostly they will determine which games will be crucial the following day, so let us just start with the first Saturdays match.

The first game of the week can already secure Team 8 at least a tiebreaker for the safe seventh spot. For Team Liquid the win is obviously very important as it will give them more freedom the following day against Team Impulse. They also need a 2:0 as it will secure them at least a tiebreaker for second place. Also many tiebreaker scenarios need Team 8 to win this game, so we can (hopefully not) lose many of them in the first game of the week.

Team Dignitas will look to defeat CLG and keep their hopes for third place, whereas the win for CLG will mean that they will have ALMOST secured at least a tiebreaker for third. The first game between the teams was without Helios, but it was super one sided and we should at least hope that Dignitas put up a fight and show that they are still a contender for a better playoff spot

Looking just purely from the latest results this should definitely be the game of the week. The only problem about this is that Team Impulse playing with a sub mid laner might be much weaker, which can make it an easy way for Gravity. For Gravity the win will mean that they will secure at least a tiebreaker for first, but keeping in mind the fact that the next day they are playing TDK the 2:0 will be very possible. 

I did not find the TSM-Enemy game to be that important (obviously TSM has to go 2:0) to make a special graphic for it. If you are interested in the effects of this game you will obviously find it in each teams section. The same goes for Cloud 9 – TDK, as TDK will play for nothing and will most probably come out to be a free win. 

The last game, which no matter for the first day results will be very important for the standings and will have a lot of hype coming in, as it will be the last game of the Regular Split is Team Liquid versus Team Impulse:

This game will be so crucial for both of the teams. Having the same score coming into this week they both need the win badly. The Team Impulse squad with a forced roster change might not be as hard to beat as it would have been but still it is just a best of 1, still Rush can go ham and win this game on his own. What is also very important is the fact that Team Liquid currently holds a 1:0 head-to-head over TIP, which also might come into play in some scenarios. 

 5. Fun Games

Introducing the “Fun Games” term this simply means a game that has no impact on the standings and players can just have fun (ALL-MIL NEVER FORGET). 

Luckily there is a chance that we will get a game that will have absolutely no impact on the standings:

As you can see there are even no upsets needed, just the rather expected wins will mean that both Dignitas and Enemy will be set in sixth and ninth respectably. Don’t miss this game, as there is a high chance it will be very entertaining!

The other fun game that we might get to see also does not need much. We can hope that Gravity beats Team Impulse just based on the fact that TIP will lack the starter mid laner. When it comes to CLG they will play both of their games before this one, so there is just need for them to choke once or just have a worse game and we will be in for another fun game. 

 6. Analysis of each teams current situation and chances


 The teams are put in the order in which they are in the standings, in case you wanted to just check out the chances of few of them.

1. Gravity


  • Current score: 12-4
  • Highest they can get: 1st
  • Lowest they can get: 5th

Gravity has probably the most comfortable situation playing the already auto-relegated team and Team Impulse without their mid laner. If they go 2:0 they obviously will get first without any tiebreakers. The only way they get 5th is if they are forced into some tiebreaker and lose all the games in it. 

 If they go 0:2 they can still get third without a tiebreaker, but they can also get into a 4-way or 5-way tiebreaker for fifth. If we count TDK as a free win though Gravity is already sure to get a tiebreaker for first.  If they lose to TIP, but TIP loses to Liquid and CLG drops a game they will get first without any tiebreakers. 

2. Counter Logic Gaming

  • Current score: 11-5
  • Highest they can get: 1st
  • Lowest they can get: 6th

If CLG goes 2:0 they end up 3rd in the worst scenario. Losing a game will mean that they can even fall to 5th place. Remember that they are playing against Team 8 and Dignitas, so they will be definitely expected to go 2:0, but even if they somehow go 0:2 with good results of other matchups can still get to a tiebreaker for third. 

2. Team Impulse

  • Current score: 11-5
  • Highest they can get: 1st
  • Lowest they can get: 6th

Probably the most boring thing about this article was how many times the absence of XiaoWeiXiao was mention, but this is the main problem for the team. They are coming into the hardest week with a sub, which will always be sub-optimal. If they lose their first game to Gravity there is no way they can get first. In real life (where TDK loses to GV) they can get second without any tiebreakers if they defeat Liquid, CLG has to go 0:2, TL lose to T8 and TSM drops a game. 

There is obviously a big chance that they go 0:2, which will surely drop them from the top 2 and they can get 4th at best without playing any tiebreakers (we assume that they might lose it with the sub)

2. Team Liquid

  • Current score: 11-5
  • Highest they can get: 1st
  • Lowest they can get: 6th

If Team Liquid somehow lose to Team Impulse they will surely not get to 1st place. On a positive note they can get first without a tiebreaker, but this includes Gravity losing to TDK. In the realistic world they need to go 2:0 and hope for CLG to go 2:0, because without CLG having a perfect week Gravity will take first as they own the head-to-head record against their former sister team.  

5. TSM

  • Current score: 10-6
  • Highest they can get: 1st
  • Lowest they can get: 6th

Just from looking at the standings TSM seems to be not in a perfect spot, but there is hope for all the TSM fans out there! If they go 2:0 they will at least fight for fourth place in a possible tiebreaker. If in this scenario TL go 2:0, Gravity defeat TIP and CLG drop a game TSM will take third without any tiebreaker as they hold head-to-head record. Obviously with the crazy tiebreaker scenarios they can even get to first, but I would not really look up to that. They have much better chances at, at least, getting the tiebreaker for second and maybe fighting out the bye into semifinals. TSM can even get to third if they drop a game, but if they lose any of the planned games I doubt they can have a good shot at defeating the likes of Team Liquid in a potential tiebreaker match up.

6. Team Dignitas:

  • Current score: 9-7
  • Highest they can get: 3rd
  • Lowest they can get: 6th

Unfortunately for Dignitas fans Team Liquid plays Team Impulse, which means that one of these teams will get a win and make it impossible for Dignitas to even think about playoff bye. Dignitas will be aiming to get an easier opponent in the quarterfinals and if TSM does not manage to get third, I’m not sure if they want to even get out of their sixth place, as we know how good TSM can be in best of fives. On the other hand there is quite a big chance to face CLG if they make it to third place and we all know how CLG players in the playoffs. 

7. Team 8:

  • Current score: 6-10
  • Highest they can get: 7th
  • Lowest they can get: 9th

 For Team 8 it will be all about avoiding relegations. If Cloud 9 go 0:2 they don’t have to even win a game to do it as they hold a head-to-head against Enemy. They have to keep in mind that Cloud 9 is playing TDK though, which might mean that they will also need to win a game to secure the 7th place without being forced to play a tiebreaker against the strong Cloud 9 team. From the bottom teams they have the hardest schedule though as they face Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming.

8. Cloud 9:

  • Current score: 5-11
  • Highest they can get: 7th
  • Lowest they can get: 9th

For Cloud 9 it will be not only not getting relegated, but at the same time still keeping their Worlds hopes. They are playing TDK, so they have by far the easiest schedule, as they also face TSM, who are not in their prime right now. Going 1:1 will mean that they will have to hope for Team 8 to go 0:2, which is also quite possible, so there is still a huge chance for at least a tiebreaker. Just as a reminder: They need to get 7th, not to get relegated to keep the points they earned in the Spring Split and this way still be able to fight in the Gauntlet for Worlds if the points they got are enough.

9. Enemy Esports:

  • Current score: 4-12
  • Highest they can get: 7th
  • Lowest they can get: 9th

Not only Enemy have to go 2:0 but also hope for Team 8 to go 0:2 AND for Cloud 9 to go 1:1 (which should not be that hard as mentioned above). This is the only way they can at least force a tiebreaker to avoid relegations. They would have to go 2:0 also (if we assume C9 defeating TDK) to fight for the 8th spot and at least the comfort of choosing your opponent in relegation. 

10. Team Dragon Knights:

  • Current score: 1-15
  • Highest they can get: 10th
  • Lowest they can get: 10th

If we hope for any tiebreaker for first we are all TDK fans. Unfortunately they can do nothing more than some upsets and helping out some teams, but it seriously looks almost impossible.


Thank you for reading and lets hope for more tiebreakers than in EU LCS!