With the North American LCS Spring Split now over, six teams have entered the promotion tournament—but only one can win it all and represent the region at the Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil from April 28.
After nine weeks of intense regular season action, TSM, Cloud 9, Phoenix1, CLG, FlyQuest, and Team Dignitas were able to secure playoff positions. To help you know which teams to root for and where you can watch the games, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the NA LCS Playoffs.
First Seed – TSM
Losing star AD carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng as their shotcaller affected TSM badly at the beginning of the season. The team did improve, but if they want to win the Spring Split crown, TSM needs to stop giving their opponents easy advantages if they want to come out on top.
TSM could face an uphill struggle, and will be looking to win the Spring Split this year after falling short to CLG a year ago in the grand finals of the Spring Split 2016.
Second Seed – Cloud9
After a successful display at Worlds 2016, ending as quarterfinalists, Cloud9 let go of long-time jungler William “Meteos” Hartman and brought in Juan “Contractz” Garcia from its Challenger team—a move that has helped the team stay on top this split.
Cloud9 has a particularly weak early game, one which teams can easily capitalize on. They’ll be hoping to work on this in time for the semifinals.
Third Seed – Phoenix 1
Phoenix1 made changes to their entire roster after a disappointing 2016 season, and began the Spring Split sluggishly, not performing as well as they’d likely hoped. It was only after Meteos joined the team from C9 in February that they began a turnaround, climbing the rankings over the course of the split to finish third. Their week nine performance sheds light on gaps that still need to be filled, after losing to TSM and C9 on the fly.
Fourth Seed – Counter Logic Gaming
CLG were one of the few teams to retain their entire roster and finished in a similar position in last year’s Spring Split, where they went on to win the playoff tournament. Could there be a repeat?
Fifth Seed – FlyQuest
After the team was bought by Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, Cloud9 Challenger was rebranded to FlyQuest—keeping the entire C9 Challenger team roster minus Juan “Contractz” Garcia.
FlyQuest’s strong start had them knocking heads with TSM and C9 for the top end of the table for a majority of the split, before crashing down to earth after week five.
Sixth Seed – Team Dignitas
After acquiring Kim “ssumday” Chan-ho from KT Rolster prior to the start of the split, there were high hopes for this Dignitas side. Dignitas’ return to the NA LCS didn’t start off as great as they’d hoped, for most of the season they were near the bottom of the table. They were able to revive their campaign and snatch sixth place.
Now that all the playoff spots have been filled, we know which teams will have an easy run—and who will have a hard time making it to the finals.
April 8, 4:00pm ET: Phoenix1 vs Team Dignitas
April 9, 4:00pm ET: CLG vs FlyQuest
On paper, Phoenix1 and CLG are the most likely candidates to advance to the semifinals, being the highest seeded teams. Team Dignitas and FlyQuest should not be counted out, however.
April 15, 4:00pm ET: Cloud9 vs. Highest Seed
April 16, 4:00pm ET, TSM vs. Lowest Seed=
For finishing first in the regular season, TSM is given the lowest-seeded team to advance from the quarterfinals and C9 will get the highest-seeded team. TSM scored back-to-back wins against the third to sixth seeded teams throughout the entire season and are the overall favorites to take the Spring Split crown.
April 22, 4:00pm ET: Third Placed Match
April 23, 4:00pm ET: Grand Final
The winner of the Spring Split will represent North America at MSI in Brazil on April 28.
The Spring Playoffs will boost teams’ chances of going to the World Championships at the end of the year. The higher the team finishes, the more points they secure. The more points they have, the better their chances are at getting an automatic place in Worlds as NA’s second seed if they have the highest cumulative points.
The points breakdown for the Spring Split is as follows.
1st place – 90 points
2nd place – 70 points
3rd place – 50 points
4th place – 30 points
Now all eyes are on the North America LCS. Will anyone be able to silence the TSM chants? Probably not, even when the team was eliminated at Worlds 2016, the chanting continued.