North American LCS: summer split preview

With the start of the summer split of the North American LCS today, it is time to take a look forward at what is to come. The games have already started, and if I hadn’t been on the road from Florida to home in Iowa I would’ve had this up sooner. Some new teams are in as well as some new faces on the old teams, so let’s analyze what will happen this summer.

Here are where I think the teams will fall at the end of the split.

Cloud 9 HyperX

Hai, Cloud 9 HyperX

1. Cloud 9 HyperX

This is Cloud 9′s split to lose, again. They have won the last two splits, and did pretty well at All-Stars without having their captain, Hai, in the mid lane. They got off to a good start today, beating Team SoloMid pretty handily (9 KDA as a team, TSM had a 1).

 

 

Team SoloMid

Bjergsen, Team SoloMid

2. Team SoloMid

TSM already had unanswered questions from last split, and now they are facing a roster change on top of that. I considered predicting them third, but LMQ still has a little more to prove to get bumped up. TSM’s support is now Gleebglarbu, replacing Xspecial (arguably one of the strongest supports in NA). If TSM struggles with the change and can’t work more as a team with Bjergsen, they could be looking at another disappointing summer split (like last year’s 8-8 finish).

3. LMQ

LMQ dominated the Challenger Series in the spring, and this Chinese transfer squad is off to a hot 2-0 start in the summer. If they keep this up, they could easily finish in the top two teams. We’ll see how they do against TSM or Cloud 9, as their wins were against a weak EG team and CLG, who is also replacing a key player. I already had high hopes for LMQ, and so far they are not disappointing.

4. Counter Logic Gaming

CLG was stuck in the middle in the spring, clearly better than the teams that finished below them but not good enough to perform consistently against the top of the league. Now, with Nien no longer in the top lane, they find themselves battling tougher competition while filling the holes. I think they will pull it together by the end of the split but it’s going to be a rocky start.

5. Team Dignitas

Dignitas will be interesting this split. I could see them finally coming together and being more of a threat with adding Shiphtur in the mid lane and Zion Spartan in the top (both from Team Coast), but the issue last split was still inconsistent play from KiWiKiD and Imaqtpie in the bottom lane. If they can click and come together as a unit, they could also rise in the standings. Until I see more, expect them in fifth.

6. Curse

I didn’t have a lot of faith in Curse in the spring, which inevitably led to me missing picks I made against them. Alas, I apparently haven’t learned my lesson predicting them in sixth. My reasoning is simple, though, as the competition is stronger as is Dignitas who I usually picked above them. Maybe more experience will help them as the other teams battle those roster moves.

7. compLexity

I was surprised that out of the three challenger teams for promotion, Complexity made it but Cloud 9 Tempest didn’t. I didn’t see anything too convincing from either them (formerly Complexity.black) or their sister team Complexity.red, but they managed to take out Coast to rejoined the NA LCS. I still don’t expect much from them, but more of them than of EG. So seventh it is.

8. Evil Geniuses

They were dysfunctional at best last split, with not all of their starters being able to play every week and even then it wouldn’t work out their way. They did manage to take out Cloud 9 Tempest in promotions, though so they’ve got that going for them. Hopefully they shock me and do better this split, but they need to stay healthy first.