Na Lcs  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Na Lcs  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network NA LCS Teams Have a Promising Performance at IEM Gyeonggi Sun, 18 Dec 2016 08:30:02 -0500 Ted Racicot

From Dec. 16 through Dec. 18, eight League of Legends teams from around the world faced off at the Intel Extreme Masters in Gyeonggi, Korea. This small tournament was the first time fans got to see many of these teams compete with their new lineups following off-season roster changes. As was expected, the Korean teams dominated the tournament. Both Kongdoo Monsters and Samsung Galaxy went undefeated through the group stage and made it to the finals, where Samsung Galaxy won 3-1, which came as little surprise to anyone. 

The bigger surprise from the tournament was the performance of the North American LCS teams. Immortals and Team Liquid have both undergone some pretty significant roster changes and their first tournament with their new lineups, though far from perfect, showed quite a bit of promise. 

Both Immortals and Team Liquid were able to advance from the group stage of the tournament. While the non-Korean teams in these groups were not exactly the toughest competition, both NA LCS squads showed that they could win decisively against teams that they are favored against.

Even against the Korean teams in the semi-finals, both Immortals and Team Liquid showed that they could at least compete with these teams. Immortals were able to take one game off of Kongdoo Monsters and were close to taking a second had it not been for a few mistakes in the late game. And while Team Liquid lost 2-0 to Samsung Galaxy, they were also able to gain a significant lead in the early game (their downfall was their inability to capitalize on their early lead in the late game).

If both teams can continue to polish their play during the remainder of their respective off-seasons, they will both definitely be serious contenders in the 2017 NA LCS Season.

This pattern of winning in the early game and losing in the late game shows that these North American teams have the individual skill to compete with Korean teams. What they lack is late game decision making, something that will become easier once their new rosters engage more in competitive play. 

As for individual play, each team had players with impressive performances. For Immortals, their new Jungler, Dardoch, was a big reason for their success. His early pressure was a big reason that his team was able to get the early game leads that they had.  

As for Team Liquid, their Top Laner, Lourlo, had quite the performance. Lourlo was able to get multiple solo-kills in the early game, something that is incredibly unexpected with the top-lane being so focused on tanks.  

While both Immortals and Team Liquid would have no doubt liked to walk away from IEM Gyeonggi with a first place finish, each team can be satisfied with their performance. If both teams can continue to polish their play during the remainder of their respective off-seasons, they will both definitely be serious contenders in the 2017 NA LCS Season.

Team SoloMid Parts Ways with Sports Psychologist Weldon Green Sun, 27 Nov 2016 04:57:25 -0500 KonradGamez

Today, Team SoloMid decided to mutually part ways with their in-house sports psychologist, Weldon Green. 

Weldon worked very closely with TSM's League of Legends' roster, helping "develop our players as competitors and manage internal relations within the team."

But Why Did TSM Let Green Go?

The reasons for the separation were officially mentioned by TSM as follows:

We found that working with him in short periods of time proved to be more effective and will instead continue to consult and work with him for bootcamps.


The announcement on also took time to explain a few things surrounding controversial Reddit comments that Weldon posted just after TSM's disappointing exit of the 2016 World Championships.

We would also like to take this opportunity to clarify some statements that arose during this year’s Worlds. Team SoloMid as an organization has always valued our bootcamps leading up to worlds in Korea, and we have always been extremely grateful to the top Korean teams that choose to scrim with us. These scrims have traditionally been some of the best practice our team gets in the competitive season, and we always learn a great deal during these bootcamps. To shed further light on this topic, Samsung White in Season 4 was our primary scrim partner throughout Worlds, and they played a huge factor in our tournament run that year.

Consequently, the controversial comments (seen below) that Weldon made on the r/leagueoflegends subreddit could have had a massive impact on him leaving the TSM team.

A New Recruit

Despite committing to having Weldon consult with them on special projects, TSM has announced that they are looking to hire a new sports psychologist that would take over Weldon's former position.

Putting all of the drama aside, Weldon Green had a large impact during his time with TSM, going 18-1 during the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split.

I'm sure that he'll get picked up by another pro esports team and find success elsewhere.

Team Liquid Releases Dardoch From League of Legends Roster Thu, 24 Nov 2016 09:26:19 -0500 KonradGamez

It's official.

Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett has been released by Team Liquid. The team sent out the following tweet yesterday, November 23rd, on their official Twitter account:

During the 2016 NA LCS summer split, there were rumors and eventually public statements made about Dardoch and his alleged toxic behavior within the team and specifically toward team coach Choi "locodoco" Yoon-sup.

Many questions and reactions were posted to the r/leagueoflegends subreddit. Ultimately his reputation was affected. He lost many fans, but those who continued to show him support seemed to become even more hardcore.

When League of Legends was just starting out, many pro players were known for trash-talking. Some of the most infamous being Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, Carlos "ocelote" Rodriguez Santiago and Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou. Trash-talking eventually died off as pros became victims of online harassment and verbal abuse.

Dardoch has pioneered the re-emergence of what could potentially be a new wave of "banter" LCS pros.

We have yet to confirm with which team Dardoch will be signing.

Reignover Leaving League of Legends Esport Team - Be Water My Friend Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:13:53 -0500 KonradGamez

Yesterday, Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin announced that he would be leaving the Immortals League of Legends roster.

The Korean jungler had joined Immortals for Season 6 after making it to the Season 5 Worlds semi-finals with former team Fnatic.

This announcement came just one day after Immortals teammate Adrian "Adrian" Ma announced that he had signed with Phoenix1 for the 2017 season.

After their 3rd place finish in the Season 6 Summer Split Playoffs , Immortals failed to secure their spot to represent the NA LCS at the World Championships due to a lack of championship points.

During the off season, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston announced that he would allow his LoL roster to seek other opportunities after their disappointing results. So far, Reignover and Adrian are only the players that have committed to playing for different organizations.

According to an ESPN source, Reignover has signed a contract with Team Liquid, who have coincidentally just released former jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett.

Nothing official has since been confirmed.

This week in League of Legends eSports: Summaries and Highlights from the LCK, EU LCS, and NA LCS Regional Qualifiers Tue, 06 Sep 2016 08:42:25 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you’re behind on the LCS standings, be sure to check out the article covering the EU and NA LCS and the LCK Summer Split Playoffs.

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran!  This week on the Rift, some of the top teams in the LCK, EU LCS, and NA LCS went head-to-head to secure their position in the upcoming 2016 World Championship. Read on to see which teams took Regions for their place at Worlds.


In the three-round Best of Five, the LCK’s Regionals started Monday, August 29th with Afreeca Freecs going up against Jin Air Green Wings. JAG took Games 1 and 2 in a bid to end the set quickly, but AFS came pushed back to claim Game 3 and then forced the tie-breaker by winning Game 4. Spurred on by their momentum, AFS continued their streak by winning Game 5 and moving on to challenge Samsung Galaxy.

On Thursday, September 1st, Afreeca Freecs continued their streak by winning Game 1 against Samsung Galaxy. That was the only victory SSG allowed, however, taking Games 2, 3, and 4 to claim their right to challenge KT Rolster.

September 3rd brought the climactic set between KT Rolster and Samsung Galaxy. Like AFS, SSG’s previous victories seemed to spur them on towards claiming Game 1. Also like AFS, SSG had Games 2 and 3 taken away from them by KT. KT’s momentum did not last, however, as SSG claimed Game 4 to force the tie-breaker. Ultimately, the LCK 2016 Regional Qualifier went to Samsung Galaxy.

This week’s highlight comes from Game 3 in the Best of Five between KT Rolster and Samsung Galaxy.  Unlike most highlights I have presented this season, the play here was more chosen for the entertainment factor. While KT’s Ssumday enjoyed a Double Kill as Gnar, the casters were distracted by the plight of SSG Crown’s Lissandra. The saga begins with KT Fly’s Zilian near the KT Blue Nexus, but spans a large area of the map before its dramatic conclusion. Follow this link or skip to 2:31:52 in the video below to watch the play.


The EU LCS Regionals were also in a Best of Five format, with Round 1 between Unicorns of Love and Giants taking place September 3rd. UOL firmly swept GIA, taking three victories in a row and advancing to face Fnatic. On September 4th, UOL carried on their momentum to sweep FNC before moving on to face Splyce in the final round. SPY put UOL’s streak to an end by winning Game 1. The two team’s s engaged in a back-and-forth victory pattern that forced a Game 5 tie-breaker. Only one team could be crowned the 2016 Regional Qualifier Champion—Splyce.

This week’s highlight comes from the epic Game 5 conclusion between Splyce and Unicorns of Love. It’s a bit longer than most highlights, but the plays are worth the watch. It all starts when UOL Vizicsacsi’s Shen goes too deep under a tower and falls to Splyce. SPY proceeds to chase UOL across the map, cleaning up the remaining team members, earning a Double Kill for SPY Mikyx’s Bard, and claiming the final victory. Follow this link or skip to 46:51 in the video below to watch the conclusion unfold.


Aligning with the EU LCS schedule, the NA LCS Regional Qualifier started off when Team Envy swept Liquid and earned the right to take on Cloud9. The second round of Regionals saw another sweep, but this time it was C9 who took the victory and advanced to face Immortals.

This week’s highlight comes from Round 2, Game 2. Team Envy attempts to stop Cloud9 from defeating their third Ocean Drake, but C9 dominates the fight and scores an Ace before moving on to defeat both Drake and Baron Nashor. Follow this link or skip to 34:16 in the video below to watch the play.

On Monday, C9 snapped up Games 1 and 2, but IMT put up a fight and ended the streaks by claiming Game 3. C9 would not be denied, however, and earned their place in the World Championship by winning Game 4 and the NA LCS 2016 Regional Qualifier.

What’s to Come

Now that Regional Qualifiers are through, it’s time to get ready for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship! Each of the above regions will send three teams to Worlds, where they will be joined by the top three teams from the Chinese league and the top two teams from the Master League and the two International Wild Cards.

See you on the Rift!

This Week in League of Legends eSports: Summaries and Highlights from the EU and NA LCS Summer Split Finals Mon, 29 Aug 2016 05:02:15 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you’re behind on the LCS standings, be sure to check out the article from last week covering the EU and NA LCS Semifinals and the LCK Finals.

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran!  This week on the Rift, we saw the end of the League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split. Last week we crowned the LCK champions, this week the EU and NA LCS; we also saw Third Place decided with a Best of Five match in each region.


The EU LCS Finals kicked off the weekend by settling Third Place. Unicorns of Love and H2K squared off in a Best of Five series. While H2K claimed Game 1, UOL refused to give up easily and took Game 2. H2K came back in Game 3 and maintained their momentum to win Game 4 and the official standing of Third in the EU LCS.

Then came the final showdown. A Best of Five series between Splyce and G2 Esports would determine the 2016 Summer Champions—only four games were needed to determine a winner. Much like with UOL, who only managed one victory against their opponent, SPY was overwhelmed by G2’s ferocity for the title—Game 2 belonged to Second Place, but Games 1, 3, and 4 belonged to the 2016 EU LCS Summer Split Champions: G2 Esports.

This week’s highlight comes from the final Game of the Finals. In this excerpt, G2 exemplifies the peel and kite teamfight techniques to both claim a Base Tower and clean up the competition. Follow this link or skip to 33:55 in the video below to watch the play.


Like the EU, NA LCS began their weekend determining Third Place. Unlike the other three sets played this weekend, the NA match for Third took all five games in the Best of set. Counter Logic Gaming took Game 1, but Immortals came up from behind to win Game 2 and maintained momentum for victory in Game 3. Refusing to have victory snatched away, CLG came back to take Game 4. It all came down to Game 5. The match was close for the first sixteen minutes, but IMT had the gold advantage from the beginning and proceeded to snowball.

The final showdown for the NA LCS wasn’t quite so climactic as the vie for Third, but the drama was there. Cloud9 took an early lead by winning Game 1, but NA fans have come to learn that TSM does not easily accept defeat. Game 1 was the only victory allowed to C9; TSM steamrolled Games 2, 3, and 4 to claim their spot as 2016 NA LCS Summer Split Champions.

This week’s highlight comes from Game 4 between Cloud9 and TSM. C9 had been making a strong vie for the win, building a large advantage for five minutes before TSM’s doublelift on Lucian and Hauntzer on Shen made a game-turning play and wiped the field, paving the way for TSM to claim C9’s Nexus. Follow this link or skip to 50:50 in the video below to watch the play.

And there you have it, LCS fans. This year’s Summer Split has come to its epic conclusion. Next up, Regionals. See you on the Rift!

This Week in League of Legends eSports: Summaries and Highlights from the EU and NA LCS Playoffs and the LCK Playoffs Mon, 22 Aug 2016 04:41:44 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you’re behind on the LCS standings, be sure to check out the article from last week covering the EU and NA LCS Quarterfinals and the LCK Rounds 1-3.

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran! This week, Summoner’s Rift bore witness to the ultimate victor of the 2016 LCK summer season. Additionally, the EU bounced back from technical difficulties, and the NA gave viewers another exciting round. Read on for a breakdown of this week’s matches and standings.


This week saw the conclusion to the LCK Summer Season, and fans were not disappointed. KT Rolster challenged defending first place team ROX Tigers. The set lasted all five games in the Best of Five format -- a constant back and forth.

The epic finale led to one crucial vie for Baron and this week’s LCK highlight. Two hit points on Baron Nashor were all that stood between the teams and victory. Follow this link or skip to 5:20:58 in the video below to watch the play.

Ultimately, the victor and 2016 LCK Summer Split Champion is ROX Tigers.


Last weekend saw a delay in the EU Quarterfinals. H2K and Fnatic’s game was postponed due to technical difficulties in order to best maintain an equal chance between the teams. The set wound up being no contest, as H2K swept Fnatic to earn their place in the Semifinals against Splyce.

H2K vs. SPY kicked off the EU Semifinals, leading to a constant back and forth as H2K sought to keep their momentum from Tuesday and won Game 1. SPY refused to go down without a fight, snatching away Game 2. The set went back and forth, with H2K winning Game 3 and SPY taking Game 4. It came down to the final round, Game 5, where SPY claimed victory and a spot in next weekend’s Final.

This week’s highlight comes from Game 5 between Splyce and H2K.  H2K’s Ryu intervenes on a Baron and gets a Triple Kill, only to be taken down by SPY’s Wonder on Gnar. With minimal health remaining, Gnar was rescued by teammate MikeyX on Tahm Kench. Follow this link or skip to 35:28 in the video below to watch the play.

The second match of the Semis was Unicorns of Love against G2 Esports. G2 took the early lead with Game 1, but UOL snatched Game 2. G2 refused to be denied, however, and won Games 3 and 4 to claim their place in the finals.

Next week, League of Legends fans will watch G2 Esports take on Splyce for the Summer Split Championship. Unicorns of Love and H2K will battle it out for third.


Immortals versus Cloud9 started off the NA LCS Semifinals, and had fans on the edge of their seats. IMT took the first win, but C9 refused to back down and quickly snatched both Games 2 and 3. IMT would not let them run away with the win, however, and snagged Game 4 to force the tie. Game 5 saw a contest of wills, but ultimately, C9 claimed their crown and a spot in the Final.

This week’s highlight comes from Game 5 between IMT and C9. Immortals siege C9 under a turret, starting with an ult from Talia. However, C9 regain their momentum for the ultimate win. Follow this link or skip to 50:52 in the video below to watch the play.

The Semifinals ended with TSM against Counter Logic Gaming. Reigning first place TSM swept the match, sealing their position in the Final.

Next week, the NA LCS will crown a Summer Split Champion—TSM and Cloud9 will contest for the title, while Immortals will take on Counter Logic Gaming for third.

It all comes down to this, Summoners. I’ll see you on the Rift!

This week in LoL eSports: the 2016 Summer Split Playoffs Begin Mon, 15 Aug 2016 04:27:19 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you’re behind on the LCS standings, be sure to check out the past two articles covering the EU and NA LCS regular season finals and the LCK regular season finals.

Greetings, Summoners, from the fields of Valoran! This week saw the EU and NA LCS Playoff Quarterfinals and the LCK Rounds 1 through 3. While technical difficulties led to a delay in the Quarterfinals for the EU, this week’s games in all three regions gave viewers plenty to discuss in the meantime.


The LCK has marched to the beat of its own drum with Summer Split scheduling, and the Playoffs are no different. Rather than going over three weekends, the region’s champions flew through their bracket this week and will be having finals next week.

In Round 1, we watched Samsung Galaxy sweep Afreeca Freecs in a Best of Three. Round 2 saw SSG take on their next challenge with KT Rolster in a Best of Five. KT took a page out of SSG’s playbook by sweeping the set and moving on to Round 3 against SKTelecom T1.

LCK fans were treated to a full five rounds, with KT and SKT exchanging game victories. In the end, KT took three victories to win the set; they will face ROX Tigers in next week’s finals.

This week's highlight comes from SSG vs KT. During a bid for Dragon, KT gets a clean ace against SSG before going for Baron and simultaneously taking a tower. Follow this link or skip to 57:53 in the video below to watch the play.


The EU LCS Quarterfinals are only half over, with technical difficulties causing the match between H2K and Fnatic to be delayed until Tuesday. The set between Giants and Unicorns of Love, however, proceeded as planned and gave fans something to talk about while we wait for the next match.

UOL took off with an early lead by clinching Game 1, but GIA didn’t want to go down without a fight and took the Game 2 victory. Not willing to back down, UOL proceeded to win the next two games, claiming their right to the first slot in the semifinals. UOL will face Splyce next weekend in the Semifinals; G2 Esports will challenge the winner of Tuesday’s match between H2K and Fnatic.

With the delay in Quarterfinals, it comes as no surprise that this week's highlight is from UOL vs. GIA. In Game 3, UOL made a bid for Baron, and GIA tried to snatch it away. UOL slayed Baron before GIA took down a few of their members. It looked like it could be a clean sweep for GIA, but UOL Exilah's Vlad came out on top with a double kill. Follow this link or skip to 35:51 in the video below to watch the play.


The NA LCS Quarterfinals started off with Cloud9 versus Team Envy. C9 claimed victory in Game 1, but NV came from behind to snatch the Game 2 victory. C9 was not deterred, however, and won the next two Games for a 3-1 set victory.

Next up was Counter Logic Gaming versus Team Liquid. CLG also took their first Game win, with TL coming back in Game 2. Like C9, CLG would not be defeated as they swept the next two games for a 3-1 ultimate victory. Next weekend’s Semifinals will see Cloud9 take on the Immortals while Counter Logic Gaming faces TSM.

This week's highlight focuses on C9 vs NV in Game 3. In a hint at what was to come, C9's Sneaky and Smoothie overcame a level disadvantage in the bottom lane to grab a double kill for First Blood. Follow this link or skip to 11:04 in the video below to watch the play.

Be sure to check in next week for the LCK Finals and the EU LCS and NA LCS Semifinals! See you on the Rift.

This Week in LoL eSports: Summaries and Highlights from EU and NA LCS Week 9 and LCK Week 10 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 09:16:33 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you're behind on current LCS standings, don't forget to read last week's article summarizing NA and EU LCS Week 8 and LCK Week 9.

And so, the end has come for the EU LCS and NA LCS Summer Split — but not without making some memories! Reaching the end of a season is always enjoyable in the LCS world. When the points are assured, most of the teams like to have fun with remaining games. Unusual team comps, riskier plays, and all around good fun entertained audiences this week as both the EU and NA LCS reached the end of their Summer Split. But fear not, fellow Summoners! It is not yet time for us to say good-bye until next season; the LCK still has one more week to go!

If you missed a match of the League of Legends Championship Series this week or didn't have time to watch them all, check below for summaries and highlights from the NA and EU LCS's Week 9 and the LCK's Week 10.


Week 10 for the LCK kicked off with CJ Entus vs. SKTelecom 1. SKT took the early lead by winning Game 1, but not wanting to go out without a fight, CJ took Game 2. Final victory for the set went to SKT in Game 3.

On Tuesday, Afreeca Freecs won Game 1 against Jin Air Green Wings, but JAG came back in Game 2 before claiming final victory in Game 3.

Wednesday saw two sets, KT Rolster against Longzhu Gaming and ESC Ever against SKTelecom 1. KT took the sweep, as did SKT.

This Week's highlight comes from ESC vs. SKT. SKT Bang's Ashe leapt in to steal a Baron and get a Triple Kill. Follow this link or skip to 3:53:23 in the video below to watch the play.

Continuing the pattern from Wednesday, Thursday saw MVP sweep Jin Air Green Wings.

Friday and Saturday once more had two sets a piece, with Longhzu Gaming vs. Afreeca Freecs, KT Rolster vs. ESC Ever, MVP vs. Samsung Galaxy, and CJ Entus vs. ROX Tigers. LZ took the first win, but AFS was not about to go down without a fight and took Game 2. Final victory went to LZ with the Game 3 win. The back and forth pattern also saw KT walk away with the set against ESC. MVP took the win in Game 1, but SSG took over and momentum brought them both the Games 2 and 3 win. The final set of the week saw ROX sweep CJ.

Heading into the Final Week, LCK standings are as follows:

    1. ROX Tigers 13W-3L 
    2. SKTelecom T1 12W-4L 
    3. KT Rolster 11W-5L 
    4. Samsung Galaxy 11W-5L 
    5. Afreeca Freecs 8W-8L 
    6. MVP 7W-10L 
    7. Jin Air Green Wings 6W-10L 
    8. Longzhu Gaming 6W-11L 
    9. ESC Ever 5W-11L 
    10. CJ ENTUS 2W-14L 


Week 9 kicked off bright and early Saturday morning with ties for G2 Esports vs. Team Vitality and Fnatic vs. ROCCAT. Then Splyce swept Origen while FC Schalke 04 tied Giants. Day 1 ended with a sweep for H2K against the Unicorns of Love.

Sunday also demanded several cups of coffee as Giants swept ROCCAT and FC Shalke 04 tied Team Vitality. Unicorns of Love swept Splyce, H2K swept Origen, G2 Esports swept Fnatic, and in the last set of the season, Team Vitality swept FC Shalke 04.

SPY vs. UOL Game 2 is a perfect example of the teams sitting back and having fun, with SPY Mkyx playing Support Sion -- and getting his ADC First Blood. Follow this link or skip to 10:31 in the video below to watch the play...and enjoy the casters' reactions.

And now for the final standings: I present to you the 2016 EU LCS Summer champions— G2 Esports with 38 points! The rest of the bracket stands as follows:

2. Splyce 33 points
3. H2K 27 points
4. Giants 27 points
5. Fnatic 27 points
6. Unicorns of Love 23 points
7. Team Vitality 18 points
8. FC Schalke 04 18 points
9. Origen 14 points
10. ROCCAT 12 points


Unlike the shift in the EU LCS schedule, the Final Week for NA LCS followed the standard times from the season. Friday evening saw TSM sweep Immortals. Team Envy took the Game 1 lead against Phoenix1, but P1 came back for Game 2 and walked away with the Game 3 victory.

This Week's highlight comes from the TSM sweep. All-time competitive Pentakill leader TSM DoubleLift adds another Pentakill to his collection to end the game and claims his 1000th career regular season kill. Follow this link or skip to 39:24 in the video below to watch both plays. If you only want to see the 1000th kill (and let me tell you now, it involves a Base Dive!), then check out the Tweet below.

Saturday kicked off with a back-and-forth set between Counter Logic Gaming and NRG Esports. CLG took Game 1, NRG Game 2, and then CLG Game 3. The same came of Apex vs. Liquid, with APX walking away victorious. Cloud 9 swept Echo Fox, and Phoenix1 got an early Game 1 lead but ultimately lost to Immortals.

Sunday saw NRG Esports give TSM a run for their money, but TSM walked away with the Games 1 and 3 win for ultimate victory. Counter Logic Gaming took a Game 1 lead against Apex only to lose in Games 2 and 3. Cloud9’s momentum continued as they swept Liquid, and the last game of the season saw Team Envy sweep Echo Fox.

The NA LCS 2016 Summer Split champions are TSM with 17 wins and 1 loss. The rest of the bracket stands as follows:

2. Immortals 16W-2L 
3. Cloud9 12W-6L 
4. Counter Logic Gaming 10W-8L 
5. Liquid 9W-9L 
6. Team Envy 8W-10L 
7. Apex 8W-10L 
8. Phoenix1 5W-13L 
9. NRG Esports 4W-14L 
10. Echo Fox 1W-17L  


The Week to Come

This coming Week will see the end of the Summer Split. Before we get ready for Worlds, we need to buckle in for LCK Week 11.

The Week will begin with Samsung Galaxy challenging Afreeca Freecs. Next up is another single set on Tuesday with ESC Ever against CJ Entus. Wednesday brings us two sets, SKTelecom T1 vs. Jin Air Green Wings and MVP vs. ROX Tigers.

One set on Thursday has KT Rolster taking on CJ Entus before Friday brings us both Afreeca Freecs vs. ROX Tigers and SKTelecom T1 vs. Longzhu Gaming. The Season will close with Jin Air Green Wings vs. ESC Ever and KT Rolster vs. Samsung Galaxy.

See you on the Rift! (Or YouTube. Because, you know, mornings.)

This Week in LoL eSports: Summaries and Highlights from NA and EU LCS Week 8 and LCK Week 9 Sun, 31 Jul 2016 17:12:14 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you're behind on current LCS standings, don't forget to read last week's article summarizing NA and EU LCS Week 7 and LCK Week 8.

It was a week of surprises for LCS fans-- from the pattern of sweeps in the LCK to the decisive victories in the EU LCS and the underdog win of the NA LCS season. If you missed a match of the League of Legends Championship Series this week or didn't have time to watch them all, check below for summaries and highlights from the NA and EU LCS's Week 8 and the LCK's Week 9.


Week 9 began with three straight sweeps. With Longzhu Gaming vs. ROX Tigers, KT Rolster vs. MVP, and Samsung Galaxy vs.  SKTelecom 1, each set saw a clear-cut victory. Monday’s matches went to ROX, Tuesday’s to KT, and the first of Wednesday’s to SKT.

LCK Week 9's highlight comes from ROX vs LZ. In a mighty display of the prowess they showed to claim the sweep, ROX kept  LZ from using a two-man advantage to claim Baron. Follow this link to watch the play, or skip to 52:19 in the video below.

Afreeca Freecs against CJ Entus broke the pattern when CJ took Game 1 only to fall in both Games 2 and 3 to give AFS the 2-1 set victory. Thursday saw ROX Tigers take on ESC Ever, and ROX kept up their undefeated streak for the Week. Friday and Saturday boasted two sets each, starting off with Longzhu Gaming vs. Jin Air Green Wings; this set led to the Week’s first back and forth, with LZ taking Game 1 but losing Game 2 to JAG. LZ came back in Game 3, claiming the set victory. The next two sets continued to give us sweeps, with Samsung Galaxy overpowering CJ Entus and Afreeca Freecs taking down SKTelecom 1. For the last set of Week 9, MVP took an early lead with the Game 1 victory, but ESC Ever took Games 2 and 3 for the overall win.

With Week 9’s Wins and Losses added into the count, the standings sit with ROX Tigers in the lead at 12W-3L. Bringing up second is SKTelecom 1 with 10W-4L, and just behind in third is Samsung Galaxy with 10W-5L. KT Rolster holds fourth at 9W-5L, while Afreeca Freecs has fifth with 8W-6L. MVP sits in sixth place with 6W-9L while seventh is a tie between Jin Air Green Wings and ESC Ever both sitting at 5W-9L. Ninth goes to 5W-10L Longzhu Gaming, while CJ Entus remains in tenth with 2W-12L.


In a surprising twist Week 8 for the EU LCS only boasted one tie. The Best of Two format typically wields several draws while adding to the point-based standings, but this week saw definitive sets starting with Splyce’s victory over Fnatic. H2K bested Team Vitality, Giants took the set against Origen. G2 Esports vs. Unicorns of Love ended in G2’s favor while FC Shalke 04 lost to ROCCAT  in the day’s last match.

Friday morning started off with another win to SPY against H2K while GIA bested VIT. The lunch hour saw G2 defeat SO4 and UOL best ROC.

This week's EU highlight comes from Game 1 between UOL and ROC. A solid flank from UOL Vizicsacsi's Irelia during a team fight led to a clean Ace and a Baron. Follow this link to watch the play, or skip to 35:59 in the video below.

Week 8 ended with its only tie between OG and FNC.

With the points tallied, the bracket shows G2 Esports in the lead with 34 points while Splyce sits in second with 30. Fnatic holds third with 26 points, and Giants defend fourth with 23. Fifth currently belongs to H2K with 21 points, but Unicorns are just behind in sixth with 20. Seventh is a tie between Team Vitality and FC Shalke 04 since both hold 16 points. Origen holds ninth place with 14 points, and ROCCAT brings out the bottom of the bracket in tenth with 11 points.


NA LCS Week 8 launched Friday evening with Immortals vs. NRG Esports and Echo Fox vs. Apex. While IMT swept NRG, FOX took an early lead with Game 1 only to lose Games 2 and 3 to APX. Saturday afternoon saw Counter Logic Gaming go against Team Liquid while Team Envy battled Cloud9. TL took Game 1, but CLG came back for Games 2 and 3 for the ultimate win.  Meanwhile, C9 swept NV. The big upset this week came when the undefeated TSM lost to underdog Phoenix1. TSM took the Game 1 win, but P1 refused to give up and managed to steal the set; this brings us to our highlight for the week.

P1's Game 2 upset was full of exciting plays from the underdog's, but none so much as this game-ending play by P1 Inori's Rengar. While most of the players faced off in-lane, Rengar took advantage of the situation to go after TSM's base on his own. Follow this link to watch the play, or skip to 36:39 in the video below.

Apex against Immortals saw IMT claim a sweep to finish off Saturday’s sets. Sunday began with NRG Esports vs Liquid, with a sweep for TL. TSM went up against Team Envy; TSM recovered well from their unexpected loss to P1, sweeping the set against NV. Cloud9 then swept Phoenix1, and Echo Fox vs. Counter Logic Gaming ended the Week with a sweep for CLG.

With their first loss of the season, TSM find themselves in a fight for first against Immortals at 15W-1L. Cloud9 holds third with 10W-6L. Fourth is another tie, this time between Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming at 9W-7L. Team Envy currently sits in sixth with 7W-9L while Apex holds seventh with 6W-10L. Phoenix1’s unexpected victory brings them into a tie for eighth against NRG Esports at W-12L. Tenth place Echo Fox brings up the end of the bracket with 1W-15L.

The Week to Come

Week 10 for the LCK will start off Monday with CJ Entus vs. SKTelecom 1. Tuesday gives us Afreeca Freecs vs. Jin Air Green Wings. Wednesday has two sets, the first pitting KT Rolster against Longzhu Gaming and the second ESC Ever against SKTelecom 1. Back to one set, Thursday is set for MVP against Jin Air Green Wings. Friday and Saturday will once again have two sets a piece, with Longhzu Gaming vs. Afreeca Freecs, KT Rolster vs. ESC Ever, MVP vs. Samsung Galaxy, and CJ Entus vs. ROX Tigers.

While the LCK will still have Week 11, next week sees the end of this season in the EU and NA LCS. In addition, the schedule for EU LCS will deviate from its typical schedule.

The EU LCS’s Week 9 starts bright and early Saturday morning, though all times are currently listed as approximate. The first simulcast set will be G2 Esports vs. Team Vitality and Fnatic vs. ROCCAT. Next will be Origen against Splyce, and FC Schalke 04 will take on Giants. The Saturday games will finish with Unicorns of Love against H2K. Sunday follows a similar pattern of scheduling, once more starting in the wee hours of the morning. The first set pair goes to Giants vs. ROCCAT and FC Shalke 04 vs. Team Vitality. Next, Unicorns of Love will challenge Splyce while Origen goes up against H2K. The last set of the season will go to G2 Esports and Fnatic.

Week 9 for the NA LCS will follow the standard schedule starting Friday evening. Immortals will be up against TSM while Phoenix1 challenges Team Envy. Saturday brings Counter Logic Gaming vs. NRG Esports while Apex battles Liquid. Cloud9 will take on Echo Fox, and Phoenix1 will go up against Immortals for the last match of the day. Sunday brings us TSM vs. NRG Esports and Counter Logic Gaming vs. Apex. The season will end with Liquid vs. Cloud9 and Team Envy vs. Echo Fox.

This Week in LoL eSports: Summaries and highlights from NA and EU LCS Week 7 and LCK Week 8 Mon, 18 Jul 2016 06:19:27 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you're behind on current LCS standings, don't forget to read last week's article summarizing NA and EU LCS Week 6 and LCK Week 7.

If you missed a match of the League of Legends Championship Series this week or didn't have time to watch them all, check below for summaries and highlights from the NA and EU LCS's Week 7 and the LCK's Week 8.


Week 8 in the LCK started off early Monday with MVP vs. SKTelecom T1 and a clean sweep for SKT. Tuesday gave us another sweep with Samsung Galaxy taking the win against Jin Air Green Wings. The string of complete victories continued with the first set on Wednesday, when ROX Tigers vs. KT Rolster ended in ROX’s favor.

ESC Ever vs. Afreeca Freecs ended with a bit more tension -- ESC took the beginning lead, but AFS came up to grab Game 2. Unfortunately for AFS, their momentum didn’t last, and ESC walked away with the 2-1 victory.

Longhzu Gaming came in for this week’s fourth LCK sweep by dominating CJ Entus. In the first Friday matchup, Jin Air Green Wings vs. KT Rolster started off with a victory for KT, but JAG came from behind to win Game 2. Once again, however, victory in the 2-1 set went to the early winner as KT walked away with the Game 3 win. The day’s second set saw MVP vs. Afreeca Freecs, and AFS added another sweep to the list.

LCK Week 8’s highlight comes from Day 5, with MVP vs. AFS Game 1.

MVP made a run for the enemy nexus in an attempt to claim victory. They took down an inhibitor and both nexus turrets and got the nexus itself down to 300 hp, but AFS swept in with an Ace and stole their chance. Follow this link or skip to 4:40:07 in the video below to catch this impressive play.

The week rounded off with two sets: Samsung Galaxy vs. ROX Tigers and Longzhu Gaming vs. ESC Ever. ROX walked away with a sweep, but ESC wouldn’t go down to LZ without a fight. LZ took the early lead with a Game 1 win, but ESC claimed Game 2. Ultimately, LZ reclaimed victory with a Game 3 win.

With the victories and losses added to the rankings, LCK’s Team Standings bracket is currently a close race.

First is claimed by ROX Tigers at 10W-3L, but SKTelecom 1 is just behind at 9W-3L for second. Right on their heels are both Samsung Galaxy with 9W-4L at third and KT Rolster in fourth with 8W-5L. The gap starts to widen in the bottom half of the rankings, starting with Afreeca Freecs in fifth holding an even 6W-6L. Sixth is currently held by MVP with 6W-7L, and seventh goes to Jin Air Green Wings with 5W-8L. Eight belongs to ESC Ever at 4W-8L, and Longzhu Gaming is just behind them at ninth with 4W-9L. CJ Entus remains in tenth with 2W and 10L.


Heading west, we catch up with the EU LCS in Week 7, which ran Thursday and Friday. Switching to the Best of Two and point scoring, we’ll start off with Unicorns of Love vs. Giants and a clean sweep for UOL. G2 Esports vs. Splyce, however, gives us our first tie of the week before Team Vitality claims a sweep against ROCCAT. The week’s second tie was between Origen and FC Schalke 04, while Fnatic swept H2K to finish off the day’s matches.

With the match claiming attentions as Week 7’s first tie, it might not come as a surprise that SPY vs. G2 gave us this week’s highlight.

Game 2 was steadily working in G2’s favor, but the big turn came during a vie for Infernal Dragon. G2 started to take on the dragon before finding SPY hiding in the bushes. G2 took matters in hand, with Expect getting a Quadra Kill and G2 claiming an Ace. Follow this link or skip to 39:41 in the video below to witness G2’s dominating play.

The next morning gave us Unicorns of Love vs. Team Vitality and Giants vs. Splyce. UOL and VIT walked away with a win each and thus another tie, while SPY swept GIA. The lunch hour saw G2 Esports sweep H2K, while FC Schalke 04 tied Fnatic. The last match of the week saw Origen sweep ROCCAT.

With the week’s points tallied, the rankings going into Week 8 are settled.

G2 Esports holds the lead with 28 points. Fnatic claims second with 25 pts, and Splyce is right behind them in third with 24 pts. H2K has fourth with a total of 18 pts, while Giants is just behind in fifth with 17 pts. Unicorns of Love also have 17 pts, but they are showing in sixth place with one less win than Giants. Seventh is held in a tie, as both Team Vitality and FC Schalke 04 have 16 pts and three wins. Origen holds ninth with 13 pts, and Roccat sits in tenth at single digits with 8 pts.


Across the pond and back into Best of Three, we join the NA LCS in Week 7. We started off Friday evening with Immortals vs. Counter Logic Gaming and Phoenix1 vs. NRG Esports. CLG took the first victory in Game 1, but IMT took the ultimate win with Games 2 and 3. P1 started off their set with a win before NRG took Game 2. P1 took back their victory in the tie-breaker, claiming Game 3 and thus the set.

Saturday morning brought us Echo Fox vs. TSM and NRG Esports vs. Team Envy, with TSM and NRG claiming clean sweeps. The second half of Saturday gave us Cloud9 vs. Apex and Phoenix1 vs. Liquid. APX took an early lead in their set by claiming Game 1, but C9 came from behind to snatch Games 2 and 3 and win the set. Meanwhile, TL swept P1.

Sunday started with Cloud9 vs. Counter Logic Gaming. CLG took the first win, but C9 refused to go down undefeated and claimed Game 2. Ultimately, CLG got back their momentum to secure Game 3 and the win.

This week's highlight comes from C9 vs. CLG Game 2.

It takes place right as C9 is starting to gain momentum in the latter half of the game. The highlight is split between two lanes, but C9 has some very clean plays against CLG that push them further into the lead until they claim the game. Follow this link or skip to 19:40 in the video below to view.

In Immortals vs. Echo Fox, IMT took both Games 1 and 2 for a sweep. Sunday -- and, thus, Week 7 -- wound down with Liquid vs. TSM and Team Envy vs. Apex. TSM kept up the Sunday sweeps, but APX’s Game 1 victory was the only one NV allowed before snatching Games 2 and 3 for the win.

With the wins and losses for the week added to the bracket, the standings going into Week 8 have TSM still undefeated in first with 14W.

Immortals is just behind in second with 13W-1L. The gap widens to third, where Liquid and Cloud9 both hold 8W-6L. Fifth gives us another tie with Team Envy and Counter Logic Gaming both boasting an even 7W-7L, Seventh goes to Apex with 5W-9L, and NRG Esports holds eighth with 4W-10L. Phoenix1 is trying to work their way up from ninth with 3W-11L while Echo Fox still sits in tenth with 1W-13L.

The Week to Come

LCK Week 9 starts off with Longzhu Gaming vs. ROX Tigers on Monday. Tuesday gives us KT Rolster vs. MVP, and Wednesday we’ll see Samsung Galaxy face off with SKTelecom 1 before Afreeca Freecs challenge CJ Entus.

Thursday gives us one set when ROX Tigers vs. ESC Ever, but Friday and Saturday will once more both boast two. Friday starts off with Longzhu Gaming vs. Jin Air Green Wings; once their set concludes, Samsung Galaxy will take on CJ Entus. Rounding off Week 9, we’ll see Afreeca Freecs up against SKTelecom 1 and ESC Ever taking on MVP.

Week 8 for the EU LCS will once more run Thursday and Friday, starting off with Fnatic vs. Splyce and H2K vs. Team Vitality. Thursday’s lunch hour will bring Origen vs. Giants and G2 Esports vs. Unicorns of Love, while FC Shakle 04 will take on ROCCAT in the day’s last match.

Friday morning brings us Origen against Fnatic and H2K versus Splyce. G2 Esports will challenge FC Shalke 04 in the midday while Unicorns of Love goes against ROCCAT. The week will round off with Giants versus Team Vitality.

NA LCS Week 8 will start off Friday evening with Immortals vs. NRG Esports and Echo Fox vs. Apex Friday evening. Saturday afternoon will see Counter Logic Gaming take on Team Liquid while Team Envy challenges Cloud9. Shortly after, TSM will challenge Phoenix1 and Apex will go up against Immortals. Sunday gives us the last for sets of the week with NRG Esports vs Liquid, TSM vs. Team Envy, Cloud9 vs. Phoenix1, and Echo Fox vs. CLG.

Did any of this week's great plays catch your interest? Are you rooting for a specific team in any of the three leagues? Did someone play your favorite champion? Let us know in the comments!

This Week in League of Legends eSports: Summaries and Highlights from the NA LCS, EU LCS, and LCK Mon, 04 Jul 2016 13:22:53 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you missed a match of the League of Legends Championship Series this week or didn't have time to watch them all, check below for summaries and highlights from the NA and EU LCS's Week 5 and the LCK's Week 6.


The week started early for LCK fans with the first set taking place in the wee hours of the morning on Monday. The three-game set between MVP and Longzhu Gaming saw an ultimate victory as MVP swept the set. Game 1 saw a particularly great play when MVP Max's Braum used Glacial Fissure as the perfect interrupt for LZ Fury's Curtain Call from Jhin. Better team plays and more Barons ultimately won the set for MVP. Follow this link to watch the epic Braum interruption. Or simply skip to 31:34 in the below video.


The next Best of Three saw Jin Air Green Wings against KT Rolster, with KTR coming out on top 2-1. Wednesday saw two sets, the first being Afreeca Freecs vs MVP and the second SKTelecom T1 vs ESC Ever. AFS took the win 2-1 over MVP while ESC beat out SKT 2-1 as well. 

With the results in, standings currently place KT Rolster in a tie with ROX Tigers for first. SKTelecom sits comfortably at third while Jin Air Green Wings hold fifth. Afreeca Freecs victory over MVP moves them up to tie with that same team for sixth, while ESC sits at eighth and Longhzu just barely misses last place with ninth. 


Right on the tail of the LCK, EU LCS started off Thursday and went through Friday. The Best of Two format saw quite a few ties over these two days, starting off with the first set between Splyce and Unicorns of Love. Next up was a two-game sweep for Giants as they came up against ROCCAT. The lunch hour saw two more set ties as Team Vitality went against FC Schalke 04 and H2K battled Origen. The day's matches rounded off with a victory for G2 Esports over Fnatic.

Of particular note from Thursday's matches was during Game 2 of Team Vitality vs. FC Schalke 04. S04's Steve popped a great ult as Gnar that resulted in a 4-man stun on VIT and a quick cleanup. Either follow the link to 39:57 or press play and skip to it in the video below to watch the epic fight unfold.


Now we jump straight into Friday with two more ties, this time for ROCCAT vs. H2K and Unicorns of Love versus FC Schalke 04. Midday saw Splyce take a victory over Team Vitality and G2 Esports tie their set against Origen. Finally, the week rounded off for Europe with a Giants victory over Fnatic.

Points for standings place G2 Esports at the top with 20. Three points below in second is Team Fnatic, while third belongs to H2K at 15pt. Fourth is a tie at 14 pt between FC Schalke 04 and Splyce. Bringing up the lower half of the rankings, we have Giants sitting in sixth with 13 pts while Unicorns of Love hold seventh with 9. Eighth is another tie, with Team Vitality and Origen coming in at 9 pts a piece. Rounding off the list ROCCAT with only 8 pts to their name.


Back across the Pacific and into the Best of Three format, we join the NA LCS for a three-day round from Friday to Sunday. We start off the weekend with both an evening and late-night set: Cloud9 vs. Liquid and Echo Fox vs. Team Envy. Liquid and Team Envy both earned their set victories 2-1 over their opponents.

Saturday was a day of sweeps, starting off with victory for Counter Logic Gaming in their bout against NRG Esports. Shortly thereafter, TSM swept their set versus Phoenix1. For the evening rounds, Immortals came out on top against Apex while Liquid triumphed over Team Envy.

Last but not least comes Sunday. To start the afternoon, TSM dominated CLG. CLG tried to come back several times in Game 2, but, in the end, TSM overwhelmed CLG for the sweep. NRG Esports took on Echo Fox.

NRG took Game 1 while in Game 2 they used a strategy of Baron-bait-- i.e., they pretended to go for Baron to lure in the enemy players before Kiwikid's Karma cast Inspire with Mantra and the whole team drove in for kills. FOX started to push back, but the game came down to a base race between the two teams and this section's highlight. FOX attempted to recall, but NRG GBM's last stand at his base interrupted the recalls so that NRG could take the sweep. Either follow the link to 48:57 or press play and skip to it in the video below to watch the epic fight unfold. 


The last sets of this weekend saw Immortals take on Cloud9 while Apex went against Phoenix 1. IMT obliterated C9 for a solid sweep, while APX and P1 went to game three to break a tie. For the first time this season, P1 pulled ahead for their first set win. Needless to say, the casters had some fun with that victory:

The rankings for the NA LCS thus far stand with TSM at first and Immortals second. There is a three-way tie for third: Cloud9, Liquid, and Team Envy. Then we have Counter Logic Gaming and Apex tied for sixth while NRG brings up seventh. A tie for ninth has Echo Fox and Phoenix 1 vying to rise from last place.

The Week to Come

The LCK has a big upcoming week with nine sets. They start off early in the morning Monday before scattering through the week to end on Saturday. Sets are Afreeca Freecs vs KT Rolster, Longzhu Gaming vs MVP yet again, Samsung Galaxy vs ESC Ever, Jin Air Green Wings vs CJ Entus, SKTelecom 1 vs ROX Tigers, Longzhu Gaming vs Samsung Galaxy, CJ Entus vs MVP, SKTelecom 1 vs KT Rolster, and finally ROX Tigers vs Jin Air Green Wings. For times, streams, and breakdowns, check out LoL eSports' LCK page.

The EU LCS will run once more Friday through Saturday, taking up mornings and midday. This round starts off with Fnatic vs. Team Vitality while Origen takes on Unicorns of Love. The rest of the sets are as follows: ROCCAT vs. Splyce, G2 Esports vs. Giants, FC Schalke 04 vs. H2K, Origen vs. Team Vitality, Unicorns of Love vs. Fnatic, G2 Esports vs. ROCCAT, Giants vs. H2K, and FC Schalke 04 vs. Splyce to bring up the end. For times, streams, and breakdowns, check out LoL eSports' EU LCS page.

The NA LCS will run once more Friday through Sunday, with several matches running afternoons and evenings. The sets are as follows: TSM vs. Cloud9, Team Envy vs. Immortals, NRG Esports vs. Apex, Phoenix 1 vs. Echo Fox, Liquid vs. Immortals, Team Envy vs. Counter Logic Gaming, Apex vs. TSM, NRG Esports vs. Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming vs. Phoenix 1, and Liquid vs. Echo Fox. For times, streams, and breakdowns, check out LoL eSports' NA LCS page.

Were you watching the matches this past week? Have a favorite highlight? Rooting for a certain team? Let us know in the comments!

The 5 Biggest Surprises of the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split Tue, 22 Mar 2016 07:46:02 -0400 SnoopRyan

1) Team Solo Mid's Mediocre Split

TSM acquired a team during the offseason that, on paper, had the star power to be the premier superteam in North America. Instead, Immortals easily took that title and TSM has gone from bad to worse. TSM has individual talent that has a history of smashing their lanes and carrying games but their ability to play as a team is the real issue.


Once the mid and late game hits, Team Solo Mid has shown little ability to snowball their lead and often loses due to a lack of shotcalling and sloppy mistakes. As a result, a "superteam" touted by analysts to finish first in NA finished sixth and roster changes may be needed for a team that began with so much promise.


Overall, this is not the end for TSM. Six teams, including TSM, will have a chance to fight for a first place finish during the playoffs and gain much needed championship points to qualify for the Season Six World Championship. Be sure to tune in on April 2nd to catch the beginning of the playoff action.


Image Sources





2) Dardoch's Rise to Prominence 

If you had told me that the starting jungler with the highest kill participation and second highest KDA would be Dardoch in January, I would've said you're crazy. Dardoch is the likely candidate for rookie of the split and has carried Team Liquid to victory time and time again with aggressive jungling and a keen map sense on champions like Lee Sin. Playoffs will be interesting to watch if Dardoch can conquer MVP-caliber junglers like Rush and Reinover in a best of five series.

3) GBM's Average Performance

GBM is a player who is originally from Korea, or the mecca of high-level League of Legends play. For a player who was one Zed outplay away from competing at the Season 3 World Championship, GBM has left much to be desired sporting the 9th best KDA of all NA mid laners at 3.9 with average CS numbers. Imports typically take time to rise to prominence, think C9 Jensen, so time will tell if GBM can return to form next split.

4) Team Liquid is 4th Once Again

For the fourth biggest surprise, I had no choice but to mention Team Liquid's 4th place finish. Team Liquid began the season with an unprecedented 10 man roster in hopes of motivating the players and developing new talent. Over time, the roster was scaled down drastically, and the team improved gradually over the course of split. Strong play from their Korean imports and a breakout performance from their rookie jungler Dardoch have led Team Liquid to the 4th place finish they are so used to taking.

5) CLG's Consistency

During the offseason, Counter Logic Gaming replaced their veteran mid laner and AD carry in order to bring in rookies Huhi and Stixxay. Analysts and fans alike were wary that removing touted players like Doublelift and Pobelter would cause the team's performance to suffer as a result. While the team hasn't looked as dominant as last split, CLG finished second in the regular season thanks to strong macro play and shotcalling from the likes of Aphromoo. 


The 2016 Spring split of the League of Legend's Championship Series has come to a close. Teams like Immortals rose, while other teams crashed and burned. Before playoffs begin, let's check out the five biggest surprises of the spring split. 

Shaquille O'Neal invests in NRG eSports Sat, 19 Mar 2016 05:54:32 -0400 Teevell_6844

NRG may be new to the eSports scene, but they have attracted some serious attention this week. The organization has three new investors whose names you’re probably familiar with: Shaq, A-Rod and Jimmy Rollins.

It might seem odd that traditional sports players are investing in eSports, but fostering connections between the two worlds can only be good for the continued growth of eSports. And it’s not like these players don’t have any connections to the eSports world. Rollins is a League of Legends player, and Shaquille O’Neal is involved with the ELEAGUE competition hosted by Turner Sports.

NRG was formed in 2015, and currently has two teams: one for League of Legends and one for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Their League team is competing in the North American LCS for the Spring 2016 Split. The players are both LCS veterans and Challenger players, and are currently standing at 8W-8L. Their CS:GO team is doing pretty good too, ranking 5th in America according to GosuGamers.

Acquiring solid teams for two of the biggest eSports around, and getting Shaq to invest in your organization? Not too shabby for the new kid on the block.

League of Legends NA Challenger Series Final: Recap & Analysis Thu, 17 Mar 2016 14:42:51 -0400 Kevin Cobban

Apex dominated Team Dragon Knights last night and took first in the final round of the League of Legends NA Challenger Series. Apex took the first win of the match, then ended up losing game two. But they regained their confidence and won the last two matches. Their final record was 3-1. All the matches are recorded over at LoL eSports just in case you missed them last night. 

But there is still so much to talk about, so stick around for some post-game analysis.

There were many reason why TDK lost, but one of the biggest problems the team had was bad picking and banning phases.

Lets start with TDK's picks. Most of their team compositions revolved around poke champions like Nidalee and Ezreal. Nidalee was picked up every single match -- except game one -- and was even prioritized over other power picks like Nautilus, Poppy, and Kalista. The result was a sloppy poke comp that failed to do enough damage and had weak wave clear. TDK's picks only worked out well if Kez (jungle) managed to shut down Apex's jungler, Shrimp

As for bans, TDK had problems prioritizing power picks and target bans. Since they wanted to run poke comps, Nautilus should have been picked or banned every single game. Nautlius provides fantastic peel, engage, and can soak up enormous damage with his shield. Giving Cris (APX's top) Nautilius almost every game was a huge mistake, because he could soak up all of TDK's poke and then dive whenever he wanted. 

Another problem TDK faced was poor performances in bot lane

It was shocking to see Ohq, who was one of the strongest ADCs in the NACS, do so poorly against Police (APX's ADC). I predicted in my pre-game coverage that TDK's bot lane would win every lane match-up, but Police and Xpecial beat Qhq and Trance every single game. APX took Police off popular ADCs like Lucian and Ezreal, and gave him Sivir several games. Also, Police was able to play Kalista, which is a strong comfort pick. APX's bot lane could constantly shove the lane and farm, while TDK slowly lost pressure. 

Top lane was also a huge issue for TDK

There were several moments during the tournament where Flarez (TDK's top) put his team in bad spots. One of the worst moments was a failed Teleport in game four. A fight broke out bot lane, which quickly turned in TDK's favor, but Flarez cancelled his TP for no reason and gave up the opportunity to get Ohq kills.

Furthermore, Flarez brought out champions that he seemed uncomfortable playing. He played Maokai in game three, but he couldn't do anything against Cris' Nautilus, even with the help of Kez and Alex Ich (mid). Maokai is an outdated tank who loses many lane match-ups and can't keep up with other tanks like Shen, Poppy, or Nautilus.

Similar problems arose when Flarez picked Rammus top. Rammus is a fantastic top, but Flarez didn't seem confident enough to make plays. There were several attempts to engage, but Flarez seemed afraid to commit. The times that he did commit, he was picked apart by CC and magic damage. It also didn't help that Nautilus and Elise could disengage whenever they wanted. 

One last point to mention is APX's mid laner, Keane.

Although Keane had a bad game on Zed, his Azir performance in Games 1 and 3 were incredible. He demonstrated great mechanical skill, and picking Azir was a nice counter to Nidalee in Game Three. There was one team fight where Keane landed some crucial ults, which completely shut down TDK's engages. 

Moreover, Keane played Graves during Game 4 and showed TDK why that champion was always banned against him. By building Death's Dance, and Phantom Dancer, Keane was almost impossible to kill. The clip below isn't from last night, but it still shows how incredible Keane is on Graves.

Even though the Challenger Series is over, the top five teams still get a chance to enter the NA LCS. There will be a promotion tournament starting March 25th. All those details can be found here.


Get ready for the League of Legends NA Challenger Series Finals Wed, 16 Mar 2016 04:08:03 -0400 Kevin Cobban

After an intense series of League of Legends matches, Team Dragon Knights and Apex will face off this week for a guaranteed spot in the NA LCS. Matches will start tomorrow, March 16th, at 8:00 pm CST. The format remains best out of 5, single-round elimination. Head over to LoL eSports to watch the matches, and listen to pre-game analysis.

Although Apex has a better record throughout the tournament, TDK could take first

TDK demonstrated that they know how to pick great team compositions during their games versus Ember. They always prioritized power picks like Nautilus and Poppy, and counter-picked enemy teams. For example, when Ember repeatedly picked Kindred, they countered with Gragas and Poppy.

Furthermore, Ohq's (ADC) performance was excellent. He earned an unofficial pentakill in game three as Ezreal, and carried game four as Vayne by getting several kills early on. Police is going to have a hard time competing against Ohq. Apex will most likely lose bot lane, unless they get serious help.

Another weakness on Apex is their reliant on solo lanes to carry. Cris (top) and Keane (mid) are excellent players and carried several games against Team Liquid Academy. They are always the players to look out for and often make game-winning plays. In fact, Apex almost lost game four, but Cris and Keane made some great catches on TLA's ADC during multiple team fights. 

However, When Apex's solo lanes do poorly, the rest of the team suffers. During game two versus TLA, Keane couldn't get the kills he needed on Quinn, and Cris wasn't tanky enough to survive team fights. The rest of Apex failed to win their lanes so they ended up losing.

With that being said, both teams have the potential to take first so make sure to watch and support your favorite team.
League of Legends NA Challenger Series starts TODAY Mon, 07 Mar 2016 17:30:26 -0500 Kevin Cobban

Get ready for some intense matches this week because LoL eSports is hosting the NA Challenger Series Semifinals. The 2-day event will show 4 teams fighting for a chance to compete in the NA LCS. Matches start March 8th at 8:00pm, and will pick up again at the same time on March 9th. Scheduled for day 1 is Team Dragon Knight vs Ember, while day 2 you can watch Apex vs Team Liquid Academy. The matches will be single elimination, best of 5, so teams only get one chance to make it the Finals. 

Instead of battling over a prize pool, teams will be competing for a spot in the NA LCS. 

The Challenger Series (CS) is the birthplace of future eSports champions in North America and Europe. As the only path for players to join the premier LCS, competition in the CS is fierce

LCS is the one of the most important events in LoL eSports. All the professional LoL teams from NA and EU compete in LCS for money, prestige, and a chance to go to Worlds. Only two teams from the the Challenger Series can earn a spot at LCS, so expect heated competition.

You can watch the matches over at LoL Esports' live steam

As for match predictions, I think Apex and Ember will be the teams most likely to advance to the Finals. Apex has shown an incredible performance so far by having a 80% win rate, and topping the tournament's score board. Plus the team has ex-TSM member, Xpecial, on support. Having an LCS veteran with professional experience on the team is incredibly valuable. Here is quick highlight video that shows both teams in action

Want to show some support for your favorite team?

You can vote over at LoL Esports on who you think will win, or by tweeting #TDKWIN or #MBRWIN.

Get Ready for Week 9 - Upcoming Matches. Part 2 Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:00:23 -0400 AsbanyLOL

Its week 9 of the NA LCS, the last week of the regular season. In one of the most action-packed splits of all time, Team Solomid is trying to secure the first place. And Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, and Team Impulse are fighting over the 2nd place. If you're not familiar with the LCS format, or with the teams, You can check it out here.

Important Matches: 

  • Gravity vs C9
  • Team 8 vs CLG
  • C9 vs TSM
  • CLG vs TIP

With the current standings. These four matches will impact the ladder the most. So lets take a quick look at these matches and how the results could affect the teams:

Gravity vs Cloud 9

Cloud 9 will play against TSM in Day 2. So they need this win to compete for the 2nd place spot. But Gravity will not give up the win easily. They are on a 3-win streak after beating TSM last week.

Player Match-up:

Hai vs Keane (Mid)

C9 Hai: Played 6 games with Zed through this season with 83% win rate and 5.4 KDA
GV Keane: 3.25 KDA with Urgot vs TSM.participating in 81% of the kills .

While Hai has struggled throughout this season, Keane improved a lot. With a lot of unorthodox picks, he tends to catch his enemy off-guard. And since Hai has been performing well only on Zed, maybe Keane can counter that with another Urgot pick like he did against TSM.

Team 8 vs CLG


This match is not only important for CLG to secure the 2nd place, but for Team 8 as well. With only 1 more win than Team Liquid, Team 8 try to stay on the 6th place. So they can play in the playoffs. and despite showing inconsistency in their performance, Team 8 can step up when it matters - they beat Cloud 9 last week to finish week 8 with 2-0 score. So can Team 8 build on their momentum and beat CLG to secure a playoff seat?!

Player Match-up:

CLG Doublelift vs T8 maplestreet8 (ADC)

CLG Doublelift: Avg. KDA of 5.2 and 428 GBM
T8 maplestreet8: 6.2 KDA and 75% win rate with Graves in 8 games.

Maplestreet8 has been showing some inconsistency in his performance. But lately he's been doing great, especially on Graves.  We'll see if CLG will allow maplestreet8 to get his hands on the champion that he's found success on. Or if they have another plan in mind.

C9 vs TSM

Probably one of the strongest matches this week. When these two teams meet on the rift, it's always a great game to watch. TSM wants to prove that they are the best in NA. And the struggling C9 team is fighting their way to the 2nd place. But who will come out on top at the end?

Player Match-up:

C9 Sneaky vs TSM Wildturtle (ADC)

C9 Sneaky: 6.4 avg. KDA and 66% win rate in 6 games played with Corki
TSM Wildturtle: 100% win rate with Sivir in 6 games with avg. KDA of 5.4

It's no secret that TSM prioritizes the Sivir pick for Wildturtle. He has preformed so well with her that he forced CLG to ban her last week. On the other hand, Sneaky is one of the few players who still plays Corki, a good pick against Sivir. Both players are considered top 3 ADC in NA (along with Doublelift). This match is another chance to prove who is the best.



This match will really show if Team Impulse deserve 2nd place or not. They have struggled with communication issues between the players, which led to a disappointing start in the beginning of the season. But lately they've on a winning streak, eventually tieing for 3rd place with Cloud 9. The question is, can they beat CLG and lock that 2nd-place spot?

Player Match-up:

CLG Link vs TIP XiaoWeiXiao (Mid)

ClG Link: Perfect KDA with Cassiopeia aginst Team Impulse on week 2
TIP XiaoWeiXiao: 100% win rate and 26 KDA with Karthus in 2 games

Here's the thing about this match up: XiaoWeiXiao has been performing really well lately. And the problem with Link is he tends to play extra cautiously and defensively against better mid-laners, which tends to make him fall behind. So far, only a few mid-landers in NA have been able to keep up with XiaoWeiXiao in CS, He loves to play heavy farm, late-game mages and destroy the enemy team in late game. So this match is Link's chance to step up his game and prove people wrong. And to show that he have what it takes to be top 3 Mid NA.

Make sure to check the live stream here. Week 9 matches start on Saturday, Mar 28. You can check the schedule with match times in your local time zone here.

Also wait for the week 9 recap, including post-match analysis, big plays, and highlights.

Get Ready for Week 9 - All You Need to Know About NA LCS Part 1 Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:53:37 -0400 AsbanyLOL

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

Preview of NA LCS Spring Split Week 9 Day 1 Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:00:30 -0400 Vesthis_lol

Game 1: Team SoloMid (17-3) vs. XDG (5-15)

This matchup, on paper, could easily be written off as another win amassed for TSM in their resurgent ascension back to the top of the NA LCS standings this split. However, the previously floundering and struggling XDG have finally come to their senses, bringing back the old structure that earned them the number two spot in the final standings of the 2013 Summer Split; with Zuna returning to AD Carry and Xmithie, previously regarded as possibly the best jungler in North America, reclaiming his natural role as well.

On top of that, they've had some much-needed time to practice with their new (perhaps old would be appropriate) lineup structure during the bye week during the IEM World Championship. Bjergsen has not played competitively with TSM for several weeks now while sorting out issues with his work visa. 

If there was ever a time to predict a 5-15 League of Legends team would be primed to upset the number one seeded team, it would be in these circumstances after XDG seemingly regained some of their composure since the last time we saw them in action. 

Game 2: Curse Gaming (8-12) vs. Team Dignitas (8-11)

These two LCS squads have had, to say the least, a troubling go during this split. Dignitas, after putting forth a surprisingly dominant winning streak over two weeks in the early stages of the season, has seemingly dropped off a cliff since, clinging onto fourth place at the moment. Right behind them is Curse, a team that prides itself on bringing an unorthodox style of play to the professional scene. That style, though, has seen them through three different supports, including fan favorite SaintVicious, who when in play drastically altered the team's shot calling situation, before recently switching to new Curse player BunnyFufuu. 

While Curse has gone through a hectic phase with their roster changes, they can still take confidence in the fact that they are already 2-0 in the series versus Dignitas this year, and had a season high team KDA of 5.6 in week 8. Meanwhile, after having an insane 8.8 team KDA all the way back in week 2, Dignitas has failed to reach the 3.0 mark since. With all this in mind, Curse has to feel pretty good going into their match on Saturday. 

Game 3: Team Coast (7-13) vs. Cloud 9 (16-4) 

Team Coast's method to winning games in the LCS is no secret to any who watches regularly: Follow the lead of Shiphtur and Zionspartan to victory. Unfortunately, there's really no plan B that can save them. While they've certainly shown they can occasionally hang with the big dogs (their signature win being the thriller versus TSM), they've struggled to develop their gameplay beyond getting Zion and Shiphtur fed enough that they either of them can singlehandedly take over a game.

On the other side, though, Balls has demonstrated sheer dominance in the top lane all split long, a fact that Coast surely will have to consider. In a meta that the top lane is largely considered the least relevant role to the outcome of a game, Coast vs. Cloud 9 will place a huge priority on getting their top laners ahead, something that teams are beginning to do less of as the season has progressed. 

Game 4: Evil Geniuses (6-13) vs. Counter Logic Gaming (12-8) 

Team EG is, like Curse, a team that prides itself on being different. They are not afraid to pull something seemingly random out of a hat, their Soraka/Urgot bot lane (in a winning debut!) and Snoopeh's vast champion pool that he's not scared to employ. For the most part, EG's tricks have not worked out, especially of late, as noted by their abysmal 0.4 team KDA in week 7 followed by a lowly 1.8 performance in week 8.

The season series is at 1-1 right now, but CLG has looked destructive in recent weeks highlighted by an unbelievable 16.8 team KDA in week 6. This is, in large part, thanks to the gelling with EU jungle product Dexter. After finally making his way over to the US mid-split due to visa issues, the team is starting to gel with each other. Along with coach Montecristo's rotational impressions, the team has looked like a legitimate challenger to both Cloud 9 and TSM for the rights to be called North America's top team. After a Summer Split where Cloud 9 absolutely demolished the entirety of the NA LCS, we're two months into the Spring Split with potentially three world-class teams on our hands, along with fan favorite LMQ waiting in the wings in the challenger scene.