Week 6 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series has come to a close, with only three more weeks left until the playoff teams will be determined. The standings continue to be a mix of expected and unexpected moments, and time is slowly starting to run out with how it will all play out. With that, here are the major takeaways from NA LCS Week 6.
Team EnVyUs, a story of growth
It would be remiss to ignore the steady growth of EnVyUs this split after a horrid spring. Dismissed as one of the worst teams in the LCS, EnVyUs had to fight for its spot in the relegation tournament in the spring. Now it’s fighting for a playoff spot it with a record of 7-5, good for fifth place.
What’s more impressive for EnVyUs is this summer’s record holds a bit more weight than last summer’s 5-1 start that fizzled once Envy started playing the league’s better teams. This year’s record includes wins against first place Immortals and Cloud9 (though more on them later). Envy fell at the hands of Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming but still has another shot at the stalwarts.
Envy’s early game has been of note, as it has the largest average gold lead by 15 minutes, with a staggering 1,024 gold. Immortals, the next place team, is at 344 gold. Envy’s early game isn’t surprising, as even in the spring split sparks of early game brilliance were muddled in poor decision making later in the game.
Envy has traded in the role as a spoiler for that of playoff contender contender, and it has a chance to compete with some longtime heavyweights to carry this through the rest of the season.
Cloud9 not feeling itself
Whereas for EnVyUs a record of 7-5 shows hope and promise, the same can’t be said for Cloud9’s middling 6-6 mark. It’s not the end of the world for Cloud9, still a strong team capable of making a deep playoff run. But fans have good reason to be nervous at the current state. Cloud9 lost to Immortals and EnVyUs in matches that weren’t close this week, and the Rift Rivals hangover seems real.
Jeon “Ray” Ji-won and Jeong “Impact” Eon-young look equally lost in the top lane, failing to make the large scale differences that the fans have become accustomed to seeing. Jungler Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia hasn’t appeared to be on the same level slightly as the spring split, and it’s starting to look like no one else on the team is stepping up their game to plug the holes in the ship.
On the bright side, Cloud9 no longer has to face the top three of the summer split for the next three weeks. The remaining matches will be against Phoenix1, FlyQuest, Team Liquid, EnVyUs, Echo Fox and Dignitas. Cloud9 needs to use this time wisely to shape up, do some soul searching, and win all of the remaining matches in enter the playoffs with confidence.
Identical records at the top
It’s not technically a tie because the three teams are ranked in order of game win percentages, but TSM, CLG, and Immortals are essentially deadlocked for first place. CLG’s loss to Dignitas cost it sole possession of first.
Despite the difficulties earlier on in the split, TSM has regained its form as perhaps the best team in NA, and Week 6 was demonstrative of that. Against Team Liquid, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg set up a clinic on how to play Syndra effectively, and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also put up massive numbers as Tristana, dwarfing everyone else in terms of damage dealt to enemy champions.
There is a certain allure to having multiple teams tied up in the top like this, and it creates a sense of urgency for the team and for the viewers. For the sake of everyone’s amusement, it’ll be best to see CLG exact revenge on earlier losses to Immortals and TSM and muddy up the picture even more.
CLG subs in Omar “OmarGod” Amin, and hilarity ensues
It was almost as if every NA LCS fan got momentary clairvoyance when OmarGod was subbed in as the jungler for CLG in the Game 2 of both the team’s series this week. People were going to be very happy or upset, sooner or later Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett would step in and talk about it, and lo and behold:
Not to take anything away from Dardoch, since he actually knows the reasoning behind the decision and the atmosphere of the team, unlike everyone else who immediately jumped to conclusions. He’s still one of the best junglers of the split, and back when he was winning games with CLG before OmarGod got subbed in, nobody had a bad thing to say about the dude.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games