With LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5 nearly underway, the first round robin of matches of the LCS is almost done. This means that we’ll see the regular season end sooner rather than later and each team will have to put in double the work going forward to break through the existing parity, as well as secure their spots near the top of the pack.
As for last week, it was pretty much the same as the previous one, as expected in our preview. Although, there were quite a few upsets that we could not have expected.
In any case, here is our power rankings for the LCS teams heading into LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5.
1. Team Liquid (Current Record: 7-1)
Team Liquid suffered its first loss at the hands of Team SoloMid on Day 2 of week 4, but are still the best team in the League. The overall talent across all positions are still arguably the best that North America has to offer. In their loss against TSM, they tried to pull off a 4-1 team composition with the Yorick for Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. However, Impact was set behind rather early in the game, and because of this was not able to pull off the split push strategy.
The team has already communicated that they are quite struggling to adapt to the new patch, especially with the return of Critical Strike Chance based AD Carries. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s performance on the Sivir has been quite good, and we might continue to see him on late game scaling AD Carries that depend on Critical Strike Chance. Will this be the return of his Caitlyn that was most notable for taking down Royal Never Give Up in last year’s Mid-Season Invitational?
Regardless, barring any surprise, Team Liquid should still be the best team in the region by the end of the LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5.
2. Cloud9 (Current Record: 6-2)
Cloud 9 has had two consecutive 2-0 weekends. Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer has been proving himself to be a superb replacement for Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, and has performed admirably on picks like the Zoe. Despite the change in mid laners, there has not been much difference from Cloud9’s former iteration. Cloud9 will still take any fight anywhere, at any time. Their team fighting is among the best in the league. Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi has been performing excellently recently, both in and out of the laning phase.
What seems to be different with this iteration of Cloud9 is their lack of willingness to experiment with some of their counter picks. They have been focusing on playing with the demands of the current meta, and do not show off-meta and relatively unknown counters such as their Hecarim and their Ekko.
They may be simply brushing up on their basics, and it might not be too long before we see them pick some champion that we are not used to seeing in the current meta.
3. Team SoloMid (Current Record: 4-4)
Team SoloMid currently hold the honor of having given Team Liquid their only loss of the season so far. They have managed to unleash their carries properly this weekend, with Sergen “Broken Blade” Celik on a carry. His mechanics are up to par, and his aggression and willingness to take damage trades with his lane counterparts has been a boon for his team this week. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen has shown a lot of flexibility in the drafting phase: he has been known to be a capable mage player in the bottom lane with the Swain and the Heimerdinger, and for this year, he has shown his capability to play the Cassiopeia.
Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has shown proficiency in mages like the Zoe, and it might be worth looking into for TSM’s future. As long as they keep up their aggression and inclination to skirmish, accompanied by the team fighting prowess to pull it off flawlessly, TSM can be a challenger for the title.
The question about TSM for now will be: will they be able to perform as well as they did against Team Liquid?
4. FlyQuest (Current Record: 5-3)
FlyQuest was able to bounce back from their 0-2 week 3 by getting a 2-0 last weekend. This is a team that plays through Lucas “Santorin” Larsen’s excellent jungle pathing. Their laners have been pushing themselves to the limit every time: the 2019 season gives a completely different look for Eugene “Pobelter” Park. He has been immensely aggressive in the lane. In addition, their bottom lane has usually gotten some assistance from Santorin, and have appeared to be able to be a little bit more flexible in the drafting phase. Jason “WildTurtle” Tran has been a good mix of aggression and calculated play— his usually positions quite well in team fights.
The highlight of this team for the last weekend, however, was Omran “V1per” Shoura. Known as a Riven one trick in North American ranked solo queue, V1per was able to showcase his mastery of the champion in both matches.
First, he locked it against a Sylas, who simply was not able to keep up with his laning prowess. In their second game, against a Sion, the pick was not as effective, but was able to not let the Sion go out of control. V1per has shown his skill on the Riven in team fights as well. Because of this, teams may start to consider banning Riven against FlyQuest.
5. Golden Guardians (Current Record: 3-5)
Golden Guardians have gone from the last place team to a team that looks like it could make playoffs. Despite their loss against Team Liquid, the Golden Guardians seem to be hitting their stride, and their win against Counter Logic Gaming was rather solid proof that there is only one way for Golden Guardians to go and that is up.
The strength of this team lies within giving Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell on a laner that can enable him to net advantages on his own. On picks that can be more aggressive like the Urgot, Hauntzer is able to get solo kills, and become a force to be reckoned with in team fights later on. Henrik “Froggen” Hansen has been on scaling control mages so far, and this has been what has been successful for him and the squad. Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia’s aggression has been great for the team. His mechanical prowess and inclination to start fights that he believes they will win has been able to get his team several advantages in the earlier stages of the game.
If there’s one thing we can take away heading into LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5, it’s that Golden Guardians can only get better, and there’s a huge we’re going to see them playing deep into the playoffs.
6. Echo Fox (Current Record: 4-4)
Echo Fox has consistently gotten 1-1 weekends, and it is because of some rather questionable decisions from them overall. Without a clear carry threat in the team, they rely on stable gameplay and careful transitions in the mid to later stages of the game. Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae’s signature aggression and creative play style has not quite paid off for them. Colin “Solo” Earnest still performs more or less the same way he used to in Clutch Gaming, Apollo “Apollo” Price and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent have been one of the better bottom lane duos in the league.
The real catalyst so far for the team’s victories, however, has been Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun. He has been performing above expectations in their wins, but is quite incapable of clawing his way back into the game whenever he is behind. Rush could look to prioritize his mid laner in terms of ganking, who in turn may spread his lead towards the other parts of the map.
In the end, if they keep up their 1-1 streak in LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5, they might be able to make playoffs, but there remains serious doubt about how well they can perform if they ever make it there.
7. 100 Thieves (Current Record: 3-5)
100 Thieves keep on getting our hopes up and then letting them crash down for no apparent reason. After they have seemingly sorted their issues out, things appeared to take a turn for the worse. They lost to both FlyQuest and Echo Fox this weekend, and they are now sitting on a dangerous record going into the end of their first round robin.
Their bottom lane of Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black has been performing rather well in lane. Of course, Bang has been able to be a late game carry if given the time and the space to accomplish that. Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho seems to have recovered from his slump somewhat, performing well in lane as well. The problem, however, appears to lie within their mid and jungle. Both Andy “AnDa” Hoang and Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun have not been executing on their champions well enough to be able to pull off the win.
It’s clear that 100 Thieves could still do so much more to fully unlock their carries, and if they don’t shape up starting in the LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5, they’re in real danger of missing out on the playoffs — a huge shame given the amount of talent on the roster.
8. Counter Logic Gaming (Current Record: 4-4)
Counter Logic Gaming is a team that knows its players strengths and knows what champions best suit those strengths. The problem, however, is that they still pick these champions despite them not being too good in the current meta. CLG seems to rely too much on scaling, and they believe that they can make it to the late game anyway and overpower their opponents then.
However, this does not always happen. Without tanks like Sion, Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya seems rather susceptible to losing his lane and getting ganked. Not much attention is being given to their bottom lane by jungler Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin, despite it looking like their best lane so far. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes has been doing quite well in the laning phase, and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang’s engages have been top notch. If more attention were paid to the bottom lane, they could possibly be more consistent with their victories. Another way for them is to focus on Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage in the early game, and then rely on him to transfer his leads to the rest of the map.
As we head into LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5, we can’t help but feel disappointed in how much CLG have underachieved with their current roster.
9. Clutch Gaming (Current Record: 2-6)
Clutch Gaming has been going on a downward spiral after their explosive start to the League of Legends Championship Series. While they are usually fairly competitive in their games, their aggression is, at times, misplaced. They have been known to make ill advised team plays: taking skirmishes without the appropriate vision setups and expending valuable resources such as summoner spells. What appears to be the case for this team is that while they have been looking good in the laning phase, that seems to be all that they do. Their laning prowess is good but in terms of map sense and map coordination, they appear to be quite lacking.
Clutch Gaming needs to figure out how to craft success for themselves with a team orientation. It is quite rare that Clutch is able to come together as a cohesive unit. Aside from that, they should be able to properly play towards their win conditions. How they look at their champions and how to execute their early games might need to be reassessed.
If Clutch Gaming does not fix these issues fast, they most likely will not make playoffs.
10. OpTic Gaming (Current Record: 2-6)
OpTic is in a state of confusion.
After subbing in the members of their main team, after Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon has gotten his visa, the team has been in a losing streak. While they have been able to get a robust early performance because of Lee “Crown” Min-ho and William “Meteos” Hartman. However, in their mid to late game transitions, most seems to fall apart as the side laners have not been doing as well. Niship “Dhokla” Doshi has not been the capable split pusher that he was last year, and Arrow and Terry “Big” Chuong have been quite passive in the laning phase.
While it was not completely clear that they were able to net the two wins because of their academy team members, perhaps it is time to reconsider some more substitutions, especially as LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5 draws near.
Match Predictions for LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5
FlyQuest vs Cloud9
This is a match between teams that are rather scrappy and are willing to fight as a team at all times. We see that both teams like to play off of their jungler’s pathing, while the laners try to accrue some advantages on their own. Nisqy against Pobelter will be a great matchup to follow, as they have shown the capacity to be the carry and to be a more supportive mid laner. Zoe might be highly contested, as both are good Zoe players. The top lane will be a match between the young blood top laners of the LCS. While V1per may have his trusty Riven pick, Licorice is capable of playing a lot of champions that can serve as counters to whatever FlyQuest may bring out.
Both teams usually depend on their bottom lanes to be quite stable. Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and Sneaky are a duo that can do well on their own, usually on picks like Ezreal and Braum, and WildTurtle and Juan “JayJ” Guibert have shown a more lane oriented style. The difference maker in this match will be the jungle matchup, however.
How will the European junglers in Svenskeren and Santorin play their maps and how will they capitalize on their laners’ strengths and weaknesses?
Either way, Cloud9’s form heading into the LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5 suggests that they’re much more likely to walk away as the victors in this particular matchup.
Betting: Cloud9 to win vs FlyQuest at 1.55 odds. (10bet)
Team Liquid vs 100 Thieves
This match was supposed to be the showdown to determine who the best AD Carry in North America is. Unfortunately, in the first round robin, 100 Thieves ruined it and locked in Viktor for Bang.
While Bang is one of the better non traditional bottom lane players, it does not seem to be quite optimal to make him play mages or bruisers when traditional AD Carries such as Ezreal, which is arguably his best champion in the entirety of his career, is available. In addition, some difficulties face the team in terms of execution. The team seems to be lacking in terms of pressure coming from the mid lane, even on champions that are supposed to shove the waves and roam such as Aurelion Sol for Huhi. The result, of course, is that the team loses out on river control, and is prone to jungle invades.
Team Liquid has been doing immensely well, and have shown a capability to play through any lane. They had a rather rough loss against Team SoloMid last weekend, but they’re not, by any means, in any danger of losing their spot at the top.
This is a no brainer.
Betting: Team Liquid to win vs 100 Thieves at 1.31 odds. (10bet)
The first round robin is almost over, and we are yet to see how patch 9.3 truly affects professional play. The meta has not yet fully developed, and more teams may be willing to take their chances with relatively unknown champion picks as we go into the next week.
We expect to see the meta develop even further in LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5.
Which team do you think will rise up in the standings in LCS Spring Split 2019 Week 5? Wiull Team Liquid continue their dominant streak? Or will another team rise to the occasion? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.