Week 10 has come and gone, and like my March Madness bracket in college basketball, my upsets picked were not the ones that happened. I put some faith in Evil Geniuses to show some life to stay in the playoff hunt, but they let me down in both games. Dignitas put forth some effort to see my upset pick over Cloud 9, but in the end Cloud 9 shot it down. And just when Team SoloMid looked unbeatable, Counter Logic Gaming did in fact counter logic and beat TSM. I went 4-4 with my picks, but a .500 record would be good enough for 4th place in this spring split of the North American LCS. Here are some highlights to take into the final week of the season. Week 11 is a “super-week” as all teams will play four games between Friday and Sunday.
Team SoloMid can be beaten
I said in my preview I said the Bjergsen would remain hot, and CLG made sure that didn’t happen. I was sure after he got LeBlanc they would win, as he is 4-0 when playing her and has had some of his best games then. CLG made sure that he was out of the picture during key fights. Bjergsen only participated in 6 of TSM’s 14 kills, which is the first time in a long time he was in on under half of the team’s kills. It was close to the end, but CLG finally got over the hump against TSM and stole the win. Look for teams to focus even more on Bjergsen from now on after this showing.
North America is on Cloud 9
After another solid week, Cloud 9 has switched places with TSM in the standings to claim number one in the standings (they have the same record, but Cloud 9 has the tiebreaker). I thought that they might slip up and drop the game against Dignitas on Sunday, but with a solid team game. They out rotated DIG and knew how to handle them in team fights. It was a sloppy game still, though, as DIG hung around a lot longer than they should have. None the less, Cloud 9 showed that they deserved to be at the stop by winning handily on Saturday and coming through to win a game where they weren’t their best Sunday. This also means that, with three games remaining, Cloud 9 and TSM cannot finish in a tie after week 11 (due to the tiebreaker).
goldenglue was a good addition
Team Dignitas had a major roster change this week, as Scarra (mid lane, team captain) stepped down from playing and took over as team coach. This came as somewhat of a surprise, as he has long been one of the best mid laners in North America and has one of the biggest fan bases. The decision came as DIG tries to make a push for a solid post season, as they have been consistently middle of the pack over the years. It also comes as Scarra has by far had one of his worst seasons (he was the 7th best mid lane player this season). To replace him, they brought in Texas high schooler goldenglue. Greyson “goldenglue” Gilmer had a solid debut week and was a major aspect of them going 1-1. He went 8/3/8 (kills/deaths/assists) in the win over Evil Geniuses as Zed, and even though they lost to Cloud 9 he still went a respectable 5/5/8 as Lux. Expect goldenglue to be a key factor in Dignitas’s performance heading into the super-week and the playoffs.
The bottom sinks lower
The two teams that most needed wins, XDG and Evil Geniuses, were in 7th and 8th place and needed wins to move up. I thought EG might show some life in week 10, but I was wrong. Both teams went 0-2 this week, and even worse for them they both lost to Team Coast. Coast came into the week in 6th place and only one game ahead of them, but with the two wins they are now three games up and almost certainly going to the playoffs. XDG and EG are essentially playing for last place, as it would take a perfect super-week and Coast losing three games to ascend to 6th. All they can do now is prepare to play in the Promotion Tournament and hopefully avoid relegation.
Here are the current standings going into week 11. Four games left for each team, as now they are just playing for seeding and to solidify their play.
- Cloud 9 HyperX (20-4)
- Team SoloMid (20-4)
- Counter Logic Gaming (16-8)
- Team Dignitas (10-14)
- Curse (9-15)
- Team Coast (9-15)
- Evil Geniuses (6-18)
- XDG (6-18)
Playoffs are Easter weekend, April 18-20. Week 11 starts Friday at 3 pm Eastern.