Quite some time has already come and gone, and now, we’re already in the LCS Spring 2019 Week 4.
Nearly four weeks in, and surprisingly enough, North America is pretty much the same as in other regions — one team stands at the top over the others. For the LCS, that team is Team Liquid. Meanwhile, the rest, as a whole, are looking quite a mess, as no team has really emerged as second or even third-best.
Whether or not this will be broken soon remains to be seen, but the relatively slower style of play makes matches depend more on late game fighting than actual lane performance.
Either way, here is our power rankings heading into LCS Spring 2019 Week 4.
1. Team Liquid (6-0)
Heading into LCS Spring 2019 Week 4, Team Liquid rest atop of the league, and no team is even close. The reason? They have a good read on the current meta and know their players’strengths. It has also helped that Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong has stepped up and has improved his laning prowess. Meanwhile, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen continues to be the strong mid laner that he has always been, with Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has proving that he’s versatile enough tto play carry-oriented junglers. Finally, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in has been the perfect complement for Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, who has been his usual excellent self as he continues to prove that he is a world-class marksman.
2. Cloud9 (4-2)
Cloud9 have always been near the top of North America, but have not been able to lift the trophy since 2014. They make up for the lack of domestic success by going the farthest out of North American teams at almost every World Championship.
This season, however, is quite different for Cloud9. Jensen has left the team for top competitor Team Liquid, and has since been replaced by Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer. Nisqy’s strengths are quite different from Jensen’s, but we have seen that he integrates himself well with the team. He has been able to show some proficiency in being a carry player and a rather supportive mid laner for the team. Eric “Licorice” Ritchie is continuing to show his skills in the top lane, now a more well-rounded player than when he debuted for the team in the spring of the last season. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen’s trademark aggression has been worthy of praise, as he appears to pick the right moments to strike. Stability has always been what has been expected of the bottom lane of Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam, and they have usually been delivering.
Nevertheless, some growing pains must be expected from this team, but even so, they find themselves only a little bit behind Team Liquid.
3. 100 Thieves (3-3)
100 Thieves started slowly, but now they are back up.
They have recently had their first 2-0 week, and are looking to rectify the mistakes that they have made earlier on in the split. The team looks at Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and Bae “Bang” Jun-sik as the primary carries, relying on Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun’s stability and roaming prowess. Huhi stuck out like a sore thumb earlier in the split with his rather sub-par play, but he seems to have resolved some issues with his play and has vastly improved. Because of this, jungler Andy “AnDa” Hoang has been greatly assisted by his mid laner’s more robust performance. With most of their early issues resolved, in the later stages of the game, all it requires is Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black’s shot calling.
4. FlyQuest (3-3)
FlyQuest started out surprising everybody with their strong performances and their impressive record in the first couple of weeks. In the last one, however, they stumbled and they encountered their first 0-2 week.
FlyQuest excels in their team fighting, and their preference to draft team compositions that are quite easy to execute. Having clear intentions in draft is something that most teams lack, and this is FlyQuest’s edge. Their macro and rotational play have been top notch. The team likes to play around Lucas “Santorin” Larsen’s excellent jungle pathing, and Eugene “Pobelter” Park has been allowed to be a carry oriented player, as opposed to his rather supportive style of play during his tenure on Team Liquid. The bottom lane synergy between Jason “WildTurtle” Tran has been impressive, and Omran “V1per” Shoura can only grow to become a better top laner over time.
5. Team SoloMid (2-4)
Team SoloMid has the talent, but it cannot seem to be able to translate this into anything meaningful in Summoner’s Rift.
The team usually has drafts that are rather quite good in the current meta, but the problem for Team SoloMid now is execution. The team seems to have very little synergy and coordination. Some players go in and initiate, but are not met with the appropriate follow-up. The team likes to draft a lot of initiation and engage, but they seem to be rather incapable of utilizing the tools that they have. In addition, they seem to be unable to expand leads that they are able to take in the early game. They currently look lost in their mid to late game transitions.
If TSM find some consistency, they can go to a relatively higher positions in the standings. As of the moment, since it has not been achieved, they need to be placed in the middle.
6. Clutch Gaming (2-4)
Clutch Gaming exploded into the League of Legends Championship series, and it was expected. With players with high carry potential in Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo, and Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin, no one really knows how Clutch Gaming will play in the matches that they are in.
In the past week, we saw them utilize the Frostmancy strategy, that is, taking a mage with the Kleptomancy keystone rune and the Spellthief’s Edge. This shows just what kind of lengths Clutch gaming are willing to go through just to surprise their opponent and hopefully, net themselves some wins. Unfortunately, despite successfully surprising their opponents, their cleverness didn’t really pay off.
Maybe, just maybe, Clutch Gaming would do better if they stopped experimenting and instead enabled each player to play to their potential.
7. Echo Fox (3-3)
Echo Fox has been the consistent middle of the pack team, getting a 1-1 record in each weak of the LCS. This may be because of the lack of clear carry threat from this team. The bottom lane of Apollo “Apollo” Price and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent has been very reliable at best, but have not had rather stellar carry performances. Kim “Fenix” Jae-hyun has already shown quite a more flexible style of play than previous seasons, and Colin “Solo” Earnest has been put in champion picks that emphasize engage options. Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae’s creative pathing and playstyle has made the difference between a win and a loss.
There are several things that Echo Fox might need to reconsider in their play in general.
8. Golden Guardians (2-4)
I rated Golden Guardians quite high before the start of the season, but I will not regret that decision just yet. The team has been suffering from problems of identity and execution. With no clear role to play around in the first few weeks, they suffered a 0-4 start to the split.
In the last week, however, someone flipped the switch for Golden Guardians. With Henrik “Froggen” Hansen on a slightly off-meta Karthus mid pick on both games, they were able to secure a 2-0 week. In addition, their other players have been stepping up for the most part since the start of the last week. While their games have not looked particularly flawless, wins are wins, and the Golden Guardians should only look to improve.
With their discovery of the relative strength of their team, they must look to focus more towards it. The question is, though, since Karthus will now most likely be banned against them, what will they look to use?
9. Counter Logic Gaming (3-3)
It is still quite difficult to place where Counter Logic Gaming’s strengths lie. With Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage in the mid lane, they certainly have a point of power, but most players around him have been looking rather inconsistent. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang have not had their usual dominating performances in lane.
After their 0-2 start to their season, CLG has gotten a 2-0 week, and then a 1-1.
With further direction and emphasis on their drafting, CLG may look to reward their faithful in LCS Spring 2019 Week 4.
10. OpTic Gaming (2-4)
OpTic has had one of the weirder starts to their season. Because of Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon’s visa issues earlier on in the split, they were forced to field most of their Academy team, with only Lee “Crown” Min-ho coming over from the main squad. This setup has netted the team two wins, and upon the return of their main squad, they have gotten two losses. It most likely is indicative of some growing pains for the organization as they have had to swap players around, and will take time to settle into the optimal set of five players.
Crown has been standing out and is most deserving of praise in the team, as he has been performing well so far heading into LCS Spring 2019 Week 4. His lane pressure and his roam timings are top notch in the league.
Hopefully the rest of the squad can rally behind his excellent play.
Predictions for LCS Spring 2019 Week 4
100 Thieves vs FlyQuest
FlyQuest’s strengths lie within their team fighting and easy to execute drafts. In their wins, FlyQuest has consistently drafted high amounts of engage. They are the only team known to take the Ornn in the support role. However, due to the inexperience of their younger players, it appears as if they are not quite able to experiment with different sets of champions and team compositions. They may be banned out of their usual champions if they do not show more prepared champions and strategies over the next weekend.
100 Thieves’ tried and true slow and steady style of play has been retained into this season. The players rely on stable laning phases, and flawless middle to late game transitions. They used to put Ssumday on tanks, but due to the shifts in the meta, they have now been readjusting their style of play, and have now been giving him more attention in the map. Bang has been stable in the laning phase, and he has been reliable in team fights and objective contestations.
With their reliance on Ssumday and Bang may just be the difference maker in this match. Judging 100 Thieves’ drafting prowess as well, it might be possible that the Thieves will take this match.
Betting: 100 Thieves to win against FlyQuest at 1.55 odds. (10bet)
Team Liquid vs Team SoloMid
Team SoloMid has a plethora of problems they need to address as of now, but if they are capable of unleashing their potential, they may be able to give us a rather competitive match. The main points of power for the team are Broken Blade in the early game, and Zven in the late game. While the individual performances are rather on the top of the table, the general team play is rather sloppy. Their mid to late game transitions have been shaky, and they sit on leads to end up losing a little too often.
Team Liquid seems to have gotten everything right so far: they are able to net advantages in the laning phase, and they are able to convert those advantages into objectives. Their vision and rotational play have been some of the best in the region, and their team fighting has been superb. It is no wonder that this team keeps on running through the competition. Even with the changes to the meta, it is quite difficult to see how they will falter.
However, actual form is preferred over potential form, which indicates that Team Liquid will win.
Betting: Team Liquid to win against Team SoloMid at 1.29 odds. (10bet)
Patch 9.3 brings about several changes into the game, and it is always worth watching how the different teams adapt to the shifts in the meta. Whoever has the better read on the meta emerges victorious, of course. Hopefully the relative parity between the teams finally gets broken as well.
Until then, we’ll be doing a lot of guessing regarding the relative strength of each team.
How do you think LCS Spring 2019 Week 4 is going to turn out? Are we going to see many changes to the current hierarchy? Will underwhelming teams finally find a way to get back on their feet? Will Team Liquid finally lose? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.