I won’t be doing any formal power rankings articles ahead of the Summer split, but here’s how I see the NA LCS stacking up on paper at the moment.
Clearly the weakest team on paper.
Don’t take the ninth-place rank to mean this is a “bad” team; take it to mean that I think eight other LCS teams are better than them.
NV have talent in the upper half of the map, sure, but I’ve got some question marks about their players’ play styles and the strength of their bot lane. (More to come on this topic next week.)
7. Echo Fox
I’m a fan of Hard and kfo, and Froggen is Froggen, which means this team has lots of room, and potential, to grow, but the rest of the league is growing around them, too.
6. NRG Esports
Huge Korean talent, and decent veterans around them–they could easily climb the standings if they mesh well–but something about this team makes me think they may end up being less than the sum of their parts.
35. Team Liquid
Assuming their young talent doesn’t regress, this team is poised for very good things.
Edit May 27: With Dardoch suspended from the team for behavioural issues, I’m revising expectations down from 3rd to 5th.
I’m tentatively optimistic, because the talent in their new lineup is pretty strong, but I need to see whether they can work as a unit.
43. Team SoloMid
Until Biofrost proves himself (I’ll be watching closely), I’m not comfortable saying TSM is a top three team, but I’m also not comfortable rating last split’s finalists lower than fourth.
IMT learned a pretty valuable lesson about playing to the meta, and I suspect that best-of-threes will force them to play a wider variety of compositions, which may produce a few more losses in the regular season, but should set them up better for the summer playoffs.
1. Counter Logic Gaming
I’m done underestimating Zikz and his team.
Overall, I think the middle of the LCS pack is the strongest it’s ever been. Anyone from EnVyUs to Team Liquid has the potential to compete for playoff sports 3 to 6, I think.
CLG are a shaky first, but they’ve earned top spot. I still think multiple other teams on this list have more talent than CLG, and theoretically higher ceilings, but CLG is so mentally strong, and so creative and versatile. They deserve the right to have first place pried away from them.
I’ll try to update my sense of the power rankings every week or two as the split goes on.