After four weeks in the NA LCS, the standings (and Power Rankings) are closer than ever. There are four teams tied for first place at 5-3, and four teams tied for second with a 4-4 record. Almost every team looks like they can take a game off each other.
We’re also coming up on the halfway mark of the season. Does this show that North America has become stronger as a region? Or does this mean that top North American teams have a lot to work on?
Let’s take a look at our Week Four NA LCS Power Rankings.
Biggest jump: Counter Logic Gaming, Golden Guardians [⬆ 3] Biggest drop: Team Solo Mid [⬇ 3]
1. Team Liquid (5-3) [↔️]
A pretty significant setback for the supposed best team in North America this week. Although they were able to solidify their late game and win against OpTic Gaming, the early to mid game was closer than it should have been. They were able to win the game late with some great team fighting.
However, their game against FlyQuest shows that they still have plenty of work to do. They were absolutely stomped by one of the lower ranked teams in an impressive 24 minutes. Do we place the blame on Doublelift playing a champion that everyone knows he is uncomfortable with? Or do we blame Olleh, who has been underperforming all split? Maybe Impact, who hasn’t shown the same dominance as last season?
Team Liquid has been at the top of the power rankings since week two. Whatever the problems may be, they have to fix them quickly, as the wolves are closing in on the top spot in the region.
2. Echo Fox (5-3) [↔️]
This week was a black and white example of how Echo Fox is live by Huni, die by Huni. When Huni is on a carry style top laner, you can expect him and Dardoch to shoulder most of the load for this team. However, when Huni is put on a tank… well.
The rest of the team has to step it up because teams will soon realize where to focus their attention. Altec and Feng leave a lot to be desired in the bottom lane, and this just handicaps Echo Fox more when Huni and Dardoch are behind.
And remember, nothing in life is guaranteed but death, taxes, and Darshan stomping on Huni.
3. Counter Logic Gaming (5-3) [⬆ 3]
Is the faith restored? If you’re a long time CLG fan, you know not to get too excited about the team’s recent success. I place them at the third spot in our Power Rankings very tentatively. Even so, Counter Logic Gaming was looking great this past weekend, especially top laner Darshan and bottom lane carry Stixxay.
It seems like CLG has improved on their ability to bounce back once a lead has been lost or is being challenged. They have consistently had good early games throughout the split. It is great to see that they are able to close out on those games now, instead of throwing their lead away.
If CLG can keep their form, watch for a push for a great run to the NA LCS Playoffs.
4. 100 Thieves (5-3) [⬇ 1]
It is hard to judge where to put 100 Thieves in the Power Rankings for this week. Yes, they beat Team Solo Mid, but right now TSM looks like one of the weaker teams in the league. It isn’t as much of an achievement to beat a giant that is already down. Their game against Golden Guardians is much more telling. That game was a 23-6 stomping by GGS, and 100 Thieves looked outclassed in every facet of the game.
It was hard not to place them lower than Golden Guardians, but next week will show whether this was just an off week from the Thieves, or if this was the beginning of a slow decline. They are up against Echo Fox and FlyQuest next week, which will be a good test of their resolve.
The one good point to take from this week was that Ssumday was still pretty damn decent, even in defeat. He just couldn’t carry hard enough. However, this should instill into 100 Thieves that he isn’t the one to be replaced, should Levi come into the lineup in the near future.
5. Golden Guardians (4-4) [⬆ 3]
The Golden Guardians are such an unusual team to follow for the season. One week they’re getting stomped by FlyQuest, the next they’re taking down top seed 100 Thieves in 25 minutes. Beating Clutch Gaming is not a feat to scoff at either. They are on a rollercoaster for the season, but one thing is for certain: the team has improved tremendously from last split.
Now, I feel like a broken record, but the only enemy the Guardians have are themselves. They have to find some kind of consistency with their play. GGS cannot dominate one week and flounder the next. Lourlo and Contractz need to keep up their level of play. Mickey and Matt also need to keep stepping up from time to time.
If they can find a balance within their team, they could sneak into the playoffs this split, especially with how the top teams in the region are performing.
6. Clutch Gaming (4-4) [⬇ 1]
We can probably consider Clutch Gaming the gatekeepers of the NA LCS. Gatekeepers in terms of separating the top teams from the bad teams. Clutch lost against a rising Golden Guardians squad and won against the worst team in the league in OpTic.
CG is honestly the perfect example of an “okay” team in North America. They are unable to beat top-tier talent but are able to take down the teams lower in the standings. Clutch is pleasantly consistent that way, but you cannot expect to improve drastically either.
Therefore, much more needs to be seen by everyone not named Febiven. Until then, they will continue to be the region’s most average team, and will remain in the middle of our Power Rankings.
7. Team Solo Mid (4-4) [⬇ 3]
Could this be the year that TSM does not make it to the NA LCS playoffs? There are so many teams proving their worth this split, that it could be. Team Solo Mid needs to find a fix to a problem that has plagued them for a few splits now: their incredibly passive style of play is just not cutting it anymore.
Bjergsen needs to evolve as a player. As the leader of this team, he must try to stray away from his passive style of play or TSM will fail over and over against teams who are more aggressive than them. It doesn’t help that their new bottom laners Zven and Mithy play the exact same way.
I may seem harsh on TSM, but we must hold a team of their pedigree to a high standard and they are simply not reaching it. I would imagine that it is painful to be a fan of this team right now.
8. FlyQuest (4-4) [⬇ 1]
Flyquest would shock the NA LCS when they crushed Team Liquid with an almost-perfect game. Constant picks on Olleh, great rotations, and good decision making made for the perfect storm.
Although they did lose against Cloud9, their decisive victory against TL would show that they too are changing how they play. The team seems to have adopted more of a winning environment, and its showing with how confident they are in their games.
Give this lineup a little bit more time. It would not be a surprise if they were able to take a game off of either 100 Thieves or Clutch Gaming, given how both teams are playing right now.
9. Cloud9 (2-6) [⬆ 1]
Sneaky is back, and so is Cloud9 in the win column. Of course, the team will need to take some time to get back in the swing of things. However, I do think that Sneaky makes Cloud9 way better than any of their previous iterations.
A few nice points as well: Licorice and Zeyzal seem to be rather vocal when it comes to shotcalling. It’s nice to see that their time in the NA LCS has given them some assurance in their play moving forward. Of course, I think that if Smoothie would return to the lineup, Cloud9 could have a shot at a playoff run. At the same time, almost every single team in North seems to also have a shot at a playoff run.
Cloud9 is at the bottom of our power rankings for now. However, when the old squad gets the wheels turning again, expect them to jump up in spots in the next few weeks.
10. OpTic Gaming (2-6) [⬇ 1]
What more can anyone say about OpTic Gaming’s season performance so far?
Save for PowerOfEvil, the whole team has not been playing well at all. 2017 Spring Split MVP Arrow has been regressing ever since he got the award, and if the trend continues, this will end up being the worst season of his career. Dhokla is the worst top laner in the NA LCS, and Akaadian has not had a great showing this season either. Their support Big has also been one of the worst supports in the league as well.
To be completely blunt, OpTic does not have the teamwork nor the talent to make things click this season. The season may only be halfway done, but the curtain may already be fully closed on OpTic’s playoff hopes.
What do you think of our Week Three NA LCS Power Rankings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you missed the Week Three edition, check it out here!