Get Ready for Week 9 - All You Need to Know About NA LCS Part 1

A brief summary of the NA LCS format, top teams, who to watch and the current standings.

If you play League of Legends, then you must have heard of the LCS. And if you've never watched a LCS game before, here is what you need to know to catch up.

The Format

10 teams battle in a double round robin tournament. At the end of the regular season, the top 2 teams takes a bye to the semi-finals

It's Week 9 already, the last week of the regular season of the NA LCS spring split. And boy, that was one hell of a season. It started with the releasing of the new map, and a new LCS format as well. 10 teams battle in a double round robin tournament. At the end of the regular season, the top 2 teams take a bye to the semi-finals of the playoffs. The 3rd through 6th seeded teams play in the wildcard round, where the winners advance to play the top 2 teams in the semi-finals while the losers play on to determine 5th place. The loser of the 5th place match drops to relegation matches along with the two teams that failed to make the playoffs, where they defend their LCS seat against the top 3 challenger teams.

Top Teams:

Let's take a look on the current standings. At the top of the pack there is Team SoloMid.

R1.Team Solomid 12W - 4L

Strengths: Strong laning phase, Good vision, And good overall team synergy and team-fights.
Weaknesses: their aggressive early play style is easily punished by better teams.

Team Solomid (TSM)  is one of the oldest League Of Legends teams on NA, and the one with the biggest fan base. TSM's strength is in their laning phase. They will always look to dominate the early game, and bully their enemy in lane. Meanwhile Santoren (Jungler) tries to snowball the mid and bot lane. And ever since they added coach Locodoco to the team, they improved a lot in pick/ban phase. He helped them improve third team strategy.

Last split, TSM ran "protect the carry" strategy, where the whole team tries to protect Wildturtle (ADS) and Bjergsen (mid). This split they showed diversity in their team strategy: they ran hard engage comps and disengage comps. TSM showed that they can split-push or that they can even get back to their "protect the carry" strategy.

Star players:

Bjergsen (Mid)

The star mid laner, arguably the best mid laner in NA, Bjergsen has been known to hard carry TSM in the last split.With his excellent mechanics, Bjergsen applies a huge pressure on the enemy teams. With a wide champion pool, Bjergsen can fit in any team composition TSM decides to run.

Lustboy (support)

Lustboy is the most successful Korean player in the West. When Lustboy  joined TSM, that improved the team a lot. His early roaming and the vision control that he provides to the team is amazing. He works with Santoren (Jungler) on the overall team vision.

R2. Counter Logic Gaming 11W - 5L

Strengths:Best early game in NA, Good map rotations.
Weaknesses:Sometimes rush team-fights,sub-bar Mid laner,and relying only on Doublelift (adc) to carry.

Every season, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) comes to the LCS with a new roster. They give everyone a run for their money, but always end up failing/choking at the end of the season. This time, it's different.Their fans believe that this is the golden age of CLG.

By adding Zionspartan (top) and Xmithie (jungler) to the team, CLG has managed to reach rank 2. However, the 2nd seed is not secured yet. With both Cloud9 and Team Impulse on their back, they still have to battle their way to secure the 2nd place. Will they choke like they always do? Or prove everyone wrong this time?

Star players

Doublelift & Aphromoo (adc & supp)

Aphrolift, or "rush-hour bot lane," is the best bot lane in NA in terms of synergy. When CLG puts Aphromoo on a play-making support champion, and gives Doublelift the space to farm, this duo comes to carry hard in the late game. Now that they've added a strong top laner to the team, that has released some of the pressure on bot lane (the only carry for the team.)

 R3. Cloud 9 10W - 6L

Strengths: Good objective control, good map movements.
Weaknesses: easily banned out.

Without any roster changes, Cloud 9 (C9) started this split on shaky ground. losing 3 out of 4 games on weeks 1-2. But then they stepped up their game, slowly climbing the ladder until they tied for the 3rd place with Team Impulse. The problem with Cloud 9 is they can easily banned out. Their team captain and mid laner Hai only has a positive score on 1 champion (Zed) and by taking Zed away, he will most likely end up losing lane.

Star players:

Meteos (Jungler)

Meteos is probably the major factor of winning or losing the game for C9. Meteos can snowball C9's lanes and secure objectives for the team. But if he is having a bad game, that will mostly likely mean a loss for C9.

Sneaky (ADC)

Arguably the best and the most consistent ADC in NA, Sneaky's strengths lay in his good positioning and the ability to deal the most damage to the enemies.

R3. Team Impulse 10W - 6L

Strengths: individually skilled players, strong team-fight's
Weaknesses:Team Synergy, inconsistency, lacks experience.

After LMQ disbanded, Team Impulse formed around the star mid laner XiaoWeiXiao. Wwith strong Korean solo queue players, and the former world champion Impcat (Top), Team Impulse showed that they have the tools to dominate the NA scene. However, they still are a new team. Team Impulse tied for 3rd place with Cloud 9. but they still have the chance to secure 2nd place in week 9.

Star players:

XiaoWeiXiao (Mid)

XiaoWeiXiao is a master of the late game farming champions. There are only a few mid laners on NA who can keep up with him in CS. With great mechanics, XiaoWeiXiao is back with a new roster to achieve what he didn't with LMQ. 

So that's it for Part 1. Wait for Part 2 tomorrow to know all about the upcoming Week 9 matches, players to keep an eye on, and small pre-matche analysis.

You can find the current NA LCS standings here, and you can check out the schedule for Week 9 matches here. For more detailed information about the players, the teams, and the last split you can check Leaguepedia


I started playing video games when i was 7 years old. when i first got my hand on the old Sega Atari. then switched over to PC when i was 11 years old. i started playing games like Red Alert, Stronghold, and Empire Earth. then one of my friends introduced me to the world of online games. so i started playing Silkroad online but i dropped it once i found World Of Warcraft. I played WOW for 3 years. mainly on privet servers cause i couldn't afford to buy the game and pay for a subscription.but then right after Cataclysm I stopped. and switched to another game, which is League Of Legends. LoL introduced me to the world of esports. and i completely fell in love with it. i remember watching the NA LCS for the first time. it was 2 AM in the night here in...more »

Published Mar. 26th 2015

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