The weekend is almost here, and you know what means — it’s time for LCS Spring 2019 Week 2!
After several surprises and disappointments last week, teams at the top of the standings will look to keep their position in the league, while teams in the middle will look to maintain their position or find a way to shoot up, and finally, those who underwhelmed will likely want to do better this time around.
Before we talk about anything related to LCS Spring 2019 Week 2 though, let’s talk about the new patch, 9.2, first.
9.2 is quite the large patch. So much so that it’d take more than an entire article just to write down every detail. But, if we were to sum it all up, it’s that it will impact the flow of the game quite easily. Junglers will start reaching level 6 longer, and after the laning phase, they might even have a hard time making it past level 11. Because of this, expect the general pace of the early game to slow down, or at least, lean towards champions who have more reliable engages at latter levels.
Camille and Sejuani come to mind when talking about such champions, although Karthus might probably not move out of the meta much since damage numbers have stayed the same. Do expect to see more junglers who thrive on low economy — Nunu and Ivern serve as decent examples to this point.
Also, watch out for how teams play around the Barun buff in LCS Spring 2019 Week 2. The lower stats means that the buff won’t be enough to brute force into a siege, so it’ll be interesting to see how teams adjust to it.
Finally, Sylas is out, and though LCS teams tend to play on the safe side, we’re secretly hoping to see him played in LCS Spring 2019 Week 2.
LCS Spring 2019 Week 2 Schedule
Day 1, Saturday, February 2, 2019 (All times are in Pacific Standard Time)
Echo Fox vs Team SoloMid — 14:00
Cloud9 vs Golden Guardians — 15:00
100 Thieves vs Team Liquid — 16:00
FlyQuest vs Counter Logic Gaming — 17:00
Clutch Gaming vs OpTic Gaming — 18:00
Day 2, Sunday, February 3, 2019 (All times are in Pacific Standard Time)
Golden Guardians vs 100 Thieves — 12:00
OpTic Gaming vs Echo Fox — 13:00
Team Liquid vs Clutch Gaming — 14:00
Team SoloMid vs FlyQuest — 15:00
Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9 — 16:00
Team and Player to Watch in LCS Spring 2019 Week 2
Clutch Gaming surprised us all in the offseason with something that their coaching staff called a “high variance roster”. This team can surely be unpredictable with what form they will show in the matches that they play in, and the past week was a clear example of that. In their first game last weekend, they ran through Echo Fox with some flashy plays, aggressive flashes forward, and displays of great mechanical ability. This much has been evident from every team that Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon has been on. He has been known to energize every team in the beginning of the split, and have a great impact on the games.
In their second game last weekend, though, we saw more of what Huni’s recent performances have looked: he died three times to Sergen “Broken Blade” Celik during the laning phase. He was then irrelevant for most of the game, and everyone thought that it was in the bag for Team SoloMid, but then a pleasant surprise arrived: the rest of the roster stepped up. Tanner “Damonte” Damonte was able to execute in team fights properly as the Akali, Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin was able to land his skill shots rather reliably on the Ezreal, and Philippe Laflamme was able to save his teammates in the right moments with his Tahm Kench.
This team has shown great mechanical capability, the capability to take the maximum out of early leads, and the mental fortitude to come back from a deficit. They can look to become one of the top teams in the LCS.
Player to watch: 100 Bang
Bae “Bang” Junsik was 100 Thieves’ big pickup over the offseason, and heading into LCS Spring 2019 Week 2, they’ll want to make use of their prized possession.
Bang made a name for himself as a late-game insurance policy for the three-time World Champions, SK Telecom T1. He was the guy that they made space for and left alone so that he could scale so much that he’d turn entire fights around by his lonesome.
During his first two games in the LCS, he played familiar picks. However, we did not see his familiar style of play, nor dominance. The so-called “last bastion” of SK Telecom T1 struggled when giving lane priority on Lucian and didn’t have that much of an impact on a late-game champion like Kai’sa, resulting in two losses.
It’s safe to say that 100 Thieves need to learn how to handle Bang better, and it’ll be worth watching what kind of adjustments they’ll make in LCS Spring 2019 Week 2.
Must-Watch Matches of LCS Spring 2019 Week 2
100 Thieves vs Team Liquid
This is a rematch of the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split final. Much has changed since then: the 100 Thieves squad now has Andy “AnDa” Hoang as their jungler, Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun as their mid laner, and Bang as their AD Carry. Team Liquid, on the other hand, has let go of Eugene “Pobelter” Park and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung, and have been replaced by Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in. This is also a tale of opposites so far: Team Liquid has had a dominant 2-0 in the LCS, while 100 Thieves have had a rather poor 0-2 start.
With the meta being similar to the 2018 World Championship meta, it has already been observed from then that 100 Thieves’ slow and steady style of play has become a lot less effective. Team Liquid has shown that they were able to adapt to the meta well. If 100 Thieves still plays the same as they did last year and in the last two matches, they might get run through by Team Liquid.
The pivotal matchup will be seen in the bottom lane. Bang will finally go against Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Both Doublelift and Bang have shown that they are both capable of being either on a scaling pick or a lane dominant one, but for now, it will be preferred to get the pick that does well in the lane.
As they are the team that is used to playing around lane priority, I predict Team Liquid to take this match. Unless 100 Thieves learn to play around Bang.
Betting: Team Liquid to win at 1.41 odds. (10bet)
Team SoloMid vs FlyQuest
FlyQuest was able to surprise everyone last week, silencing several doubts around the roster by getting a 2-0. Team SoloMid, on the other hand, was able to get everyone’s hopes up after a dominant game 1, and then let down viewers by winning the early game against Clutch Gaming, and then losing their lead later on.
Here is a breakdown of how FlyQuest likes to play: they like pressing their R buttons. I should say here that am kidding— FlyQuest in 2019 seems to like drafting a lot of hard engage, and that they play clearly towards their win conditions. Their teleport plays and flank plays have also been top notch. Team SoloMId, on the other hand, has been banking on the aggressive play of their top laner and jungler, while Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has been mostly on facilitating duty, and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen has been put on a scaling pick, waiting for a time where he would be effective in a team fight.
I predict Team SoloMid as the winner of this match, as their laners are rather superior, and if they have learned from their mistakes against Clutch Gaming, they will have no problems about managing their leads.
Betting:Team SoloMid to win at 1.46 odds. (10bet)
As we head into the LCS Spring 2019 Week 2, all bets are off. It’s not because we’re talking about North America here, but more like, it’s because it’s a new patch and there’s really no telling how teams will react from it.
Whoever will react best to the new patch will obviously be one step ahead of the competition. Watch who can channel this turbulent time to their own advantage.