2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6 is almost upon us, and with it comes a new patch.
We’re now on patch 8.14 folks, in case you missed it. The new patch puts forward direct nerfs to the infamous gold-funneling strategy, the Summer Spell Teleport, and the Keystone Rune Conqueror, among other things. This patch also put forward some buffs to critical strike chance-based marksmen, some champions for the middle lane, and some slight nerfs to the current mainstays in competitive League of Legends.
With that said, below are our expectations for 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6: Champions to Watch
Similar to Kindred, Ahri has been receiving buffs for quite some time. Now we’ve been seeing more and more of Kindred across different regions, and it has been picked up by some of our NA LCS junglers. The same happening to Ahri is not quite far off.
Ahri has a little bit of everything built into her kit. She has a movement speed boost coming from her passive and she has sustain coming from her Q, as well as true damage. She also has quite a lot of burst damage from her usual spell rotation starting with her charm, and several bits of damage from her W and her ultimate.
The thing that appears to push her towards viability is the buff towards her charm, which now has a 1.4 second duration on the first rank and causes her other abilities to deal 20% bonus damage. The way her abilities work also ensure that the keystone rune Electrocute is put into effect. If one desires more consistent damage over time instead of a huge burst of magic damage, one can opt into Summon Aery.
Like most assassins, if given a lead, she can snowball effectively. It seems pretty much to be a feast-or-famine situation, but if played with a jungler with a decent crowd control ability like Sejuani, Ahri can be a dependable mid laner.
Jinx is a hyperscaling critical strike chance-based marksman. People might usually think that they are out of the metagame, but we are actually on the cusp of seeing them make a resurgence. Due to the nerfs done to marksmen and the changes in their itemization in Patch 8.11, the kind that Jinx belongs to has not been seen in professional play.
Riot Games’ balance team, however, has been giving compensation buffs to these champions to open up the choice between marksmen and non-marksmen. Jinx has, in particular, received better attack damage ratios on her abilities. In addition, she also has more health at level 1, and the 10% damage from her Fishbones Q can strike critically.
If protected properly, Jinx can become a champion that can take over teamfights due to the splash damage of her Fishbones autoattacks, especially with a Runaan’s Hurricane. Her additional health at level 1 also means that she can take trades better without having to go back to base early.
Rek’sai has been out of the metagame for quite a while. Rek’sai has been known to be a tanky, vision-control focused jungler. This is because of one of the passive abilities she gains when burrowed. Tremor sense allows her to have some vision of nearby enemy and neutral monsters in fog of war when they are moving. This way, Rek’sai can track the opposing jungler, or can catch any other members of the enemy team under rotation.
The buffs put her in quite a different direction. Her attack damage ratios have been raised. This might enable more carry-oriented builds on her, and the current metagame is kind to carry junglers.
How it could work is that she could use the Tremor Sense passive to track whether an opponent is taking the Rift Scuttler from quite afar without wards. She can also skirmish well, now with more damage, and with proper setup for other champions because of her crowd control. A great Rek’sai player could possibly have creative pathing with the Burrow, and could also gank from unexpected directions because of the same ability.
Corki received huge buffs to his E at patch 8.14. The total damage and resistance reduction dealt by the ability has been increased at all ranks. With this, Corki becomes a better threat to tankier mid laners like Galio. In addition, Corki now has better teamfight potential now because the E damage and resistance reduction is now dealt in a cone in front of him. If he has the proper setup from a frontliner, Corki could obliterate the enemy team in a few seconds.
With the resistance shred, Corki could do a combo with other champions with area-of-effect damage, so even though he does not get most of his damage in, a champion like Swain or Jinx could clean up opponents in teamfights.
We have also been seeing some Azir this split so far, and Corki is a viable counter into it. This means that if the Azir priority rises in drafts starting in 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6, we could see even more of Corki.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6: Teams to Watch
Echo Fox has been quite the coinflip team— you never know if they show up to be geniuses or madmen. With off-meta picks, unconventional strategies, and role swaps, the risk that comes with their style of play sometimes does serve as their downfall.
Before NA LCS weekend, in the trade deadline and the day of the roster lock, Echo Fox is bringing us yet another shocker— the team has dropped mid laner Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, bottom laner Johnny “Altec” Ru, and support Wang “Feng” Xiao-Feng. Academy mid laner Tanner “Damonte” Damonte has replaced Fenix, Academy bottom laner and OCE import Lawrence “Lost” Hui has been promoted to the main roster, and the team has acquired Andy “Smoothie” Ta from Cloud9.
This comes as a change with huge significance for the League. First, of course, whatever tendencies the team used to have may change because of this roster shakeup. There is no doubt that the team would still play around Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, this team now has more options open to them. Lost has been heralded as a strong carry in the bottom lane, and Smoothie is a good laning support and is a capable shotcaller and playmaker.
However, we only have data from individual performances for some of these players, but we have no idea as to how they’ll work as a team of five.
Echo Fox is a team to watch because we have to see how a roster like this with certifiable individual talent could come together starting at 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6, where every game is now extremely valuable.
This new iteration of Echo Fox faces FlyQuest on day 1 and Cloud9 on day 2.
If I had to point to a team that clearly benefitted from a more open metagame with a lot of strategies that may be called cheese, I would point at OpTic Gaming.
Their dependence on Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage is something that I have been pointing out consistently, and it has not changed over time. First, when the funnel strategy was prevalent, they have attempted to funnel most resources into him alone, to the point that they subbed out their jungler for their academy support.
With the arrival of 8.14 comes strong nerfs to the funnel strategy and the Smite mid laner strategy. OpTic had a 2-0 week last week mostly on PowerOfEvil’s back, and they were able to secure a win in their game against Cloud9 by making his Talon be insanely fed due to him taking jungle camps in addition to minions.
The following week is OpTic’s chance to prove that they are a team that can do well playing standard as well.
OpTic Gaming goes against Counter Logic Gaming on the first day and Golden Guardians the next day.
I have already talked about how FlyQuest has risen to the top of the standings. While there is no doubt that FlyQuest is good, the question on everyone’s minds is the following: just how good is this team? In addition, we are not certain as to how long this team would stay good.
You could say that FlyQuest did not benefit from the more diverse metagame, but from how other teams simply misunderstood it. Because of this, the top teams seem to have faltered quite a bit, and a team like FlyQuest has been able to come forward.
This week, the focus lies on the bottom lane for FlyQuest: will this lane continue to produce good results for them? Will they still get priority in the drafting phase? FlyQuest seems to prioritize easy to execute team compositions, and other teams might have already taken notice of this. They could struggle a lot as blue side is still favored in terms of drafting.
FlyQuest looks to continue rising as they go against Echo Fox on the first day and Team SoloMid on the second day of 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6: Must-Watch Matches
FlyQuest vs Echo Fox (Day 1)
The key part to the outcome of the game would be the bottom lane. How will the duo lane of Lost and Smoothie fare against veteran bottom lane carry Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and brilliant rookie Juan “JayJ” Guibert? JayJ and WildTurtle seem to be going well together, and this is already such a great test for the new Echo Fox bottom lane.
Echo Fox should ban Braum or take it away from JayJ. If that happens, Echo Fox should reach for the Alistar. On the other hand, FlyQuest should do their best to take Smoothie away from a playmaking champion.
For the jungle pool for this matchup, expect to see either one or two of Kindred, Trundle, and Graves. We should see one of these banned outright, and the other two picked. But, if two gets banned, we should see Sejuani come into play. Dardoch should not, by all means, get the Sejuani. She is a slower jungler, and while her playmaking potential is high, the carry potential for Dardoch is lower.
This also means that Galio will be a prized pick. The capability to immediately back up a teammate in a skirmish or influence side lanes through the Galio pick is immense. Another factor to consider is Huni and his Gangplank comfort pick. However, if Lee “Flame” Ho-jong picks a tank, we might end up seeing more of Huni’s Gnar.
I would predict Echo Fox to take this win, as Dardoch has been delivering stellar performances lately, and he might win them the entire game.
Betting: Echo Fox to win vs FlyQuest at 1.7 odds (GGbet)
Team Liquid vs Clutch Gaming (Day 2)
I predict Team Liquid to win this game. This is because, despite how they’ve been playing so far this split, they have the more proven talent. Also, because Clutch Gaming needs to find a place in the map where they should be looking to prime to carry from.
Team Liquid needs to find comfort still, but should explore more options. Case in point, they should try urging Eugene “Pobelter” Park to start making more plays. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero is the most reliable member of the team, and when the team falters, he does not get to accomplish much. I imagine they would try to reach for Kindred for Xmithie, and something like a Zoe for Pobelter. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong should be on a tank, but he has also displayed good performances on the Gnar before. If the opponent picks a tank, which Clutch usually does for Solo, he could pick the Gnar into it.
If Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng gets Kai’sa, then Team Liquid will almost surely win this game and end 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6 on a good note.
Betting: Team Liquid to win vs Clutch Gaming at 1.52 odds (GGbet)
Which team do you think will be dominant in the 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 6? Do you agree with our predictions? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!