NA LCS 2017 Summer Split Preview

Here we are folks, a few hours away from NA LCS 2017 Summer Split! With the EU LCS Summer Split group phase already under way, North America is about to add some more heat to the beat. And boy oh boy we are in for a treat! Here is Esportsranks’ NA LCS 2017 Summer Split preview.

NA LCS 2017 Summer Split Preview – The teams

Cloud9

cloud9 logo

Coach: Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu
Lineup: Impact, Contractz, Nikolaj Jensen, Sneaky, Smoothie
Substitutes: Ray, Westrice, Bunny Fufuu, Winter

As the 2nd best NA LCS team at the moment, ever so slightly behind TSM, Cloud9 is going into the second half of the season with the same roster. Their strong emphasis on teamplay has been their main forte for years. However, it was apparent during the last split they don’t adapt well and quickly enough once their initial approach fails. If they can adjust for these shortcomings during the course of the upcoming split, they can still be a legitimate threat to an ever-improving TSM.

Counter Logic Gaming

CLG logo

Coach: Tony “Zikz” Gray
Lineup: Darshan Upadhyaya, Dardoch, Huhi, Stixxay, aphromoo
Substitutes: fallenbandit, OmarGod, Zag, Joey

CLG in the context of Summer Split means one thing and one thing only – Dardoch. Having a history of controversy, Dardoch brings much needed talent to CLG’s roster. With that enormous talent however, comes a troubled personality, enormous ego, and tense character traits. These caused a rift between him and the rest of the Immortals team at the end of the Spring Split. This time around, his jungler-carry style might potentially provide that little extra improvement in CLG’s game, and he also may finally find the stable and consistent team he’s been looking for since he first appeared at the NA LCS.

Echo Fox

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Coach: Nick “Inero” Smith
Lineup: Looper, Akaadian, Froggen, KEITH, Gate
Substitutes: Brandini, Grigne, Tanner Damonte, Mash, Feng

Without a clear No. 1 playmaker, the question mark above Echo Fox’s heads still remains – who will carry? 2 players come to mind – Froggen and Akaadian. Froggen’s farm-till-late-game playstyle certainly helps the team progress to later stages of the match. On the other hand, Akaadian as a rookie NA LCS jungler, may have had enough practice during the Spring Split to really push the team into the playoffs this time around. One thing thats clear in our NA LCS 2017 Summer Split preview, is that Echo Fox needs to step up their game or they will never break into the top 4.

FlyQuest

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Coach: Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin
Lineup: Balls, Moon, Hai Lam, WildTurtle, LemonNation
Substitutes: bigfatlp, Altec, Remilia

Narrowly losing to Phoenix1 in a third-place match, FlyQuest’s NA LCS Spring Split debut certainly exceeded expectations. Nevertheless, they decided to sign the TSM substitute Jason “WildTurtle” Tran as their starter AD Carry. Stat-wise, Altec, a cautious, patient player with a deep champion pool, performed better than hyper-aggressive WildTurtle in the Spring Split. On the other hand, WildTurtle’s vastly different playstyle might be a better complementary fit for the rest of the team, enabling other players to come out stronger than ever. Our NA LCS 2017 Summer Split preview verdict – One to watch.

Immortals

immortals logo

Coach: Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo
Lineup: Flame, Xmithie, Pobelter, Cody Sun, Olleh
Substitutes: AnDa, Stunt

As much as Dardoch with his carry-jungler playstyle and somewhat troubled personality may find his home in CLG, so can Xmithie potentially be a better fit for Immortals with his support-oriented jungler approach. His consistency and dependability during the Spring Split helped the rest of CLG’s roster shine throughout the series. The big question in our NA LCS 2017 Summer Split preview is if he Can repeat his great performances this summer as well. More importantly, can his teammates adapt to his unique talent?

Phoenix1

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Coach: Kim “Fly” Sang-chul
Lineup: Zig, Inori, Ryu, Arrow, Shady
Substitutes: Meteos, MikeYeung, Pirean, Fixer

Phoenix1 is one of those teams counting on longevity and familiarity of player roster for this Summer Split. While they were certainly shown who’s the boss is against Cloud9 in the Spring Split semifinals (0-3), they entered the playoffs convincingly by sweeping Team Dignitas 3-0 themselves. Narrowly winning the third-place match against FlyQuest cemented their spot at the top 4. Now entering into the summer half, the changing meta can only play into their strengths, so we expect a lot of exciting matches from them. Can they stage an upset against the top 2?

Team Dignitas

team dignitas logo

Coach: David “Cop” Roberson
Lineup: Ssumday, Chaser, Keane, LOD, Big
Substitutes: Cristian Rosales, Shrimp, Xpecial

Team Dignitas is a prime example of a team that has a lot of individual talent, but somehow fails to turn it into something more than a sum of its parts. Dignitas is known to have particularly disastrous looking early games, but regularly manage to grind their way back into late game through superior individual skills of its roster. If they can finally pull together this summer, they’re primed to surprise anyone any time.

Team EnVyUs

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Coach: Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan
Lineup: Seraph, LirA, Nisqy/Pirean, Apollo Price, Hakuho
Substitutes: Alex Ich, Nientonsoh

A team built around one of the league’s best junglers, LirA, Team EnVyUs was forced to survive through the promotion tournament after finishing last during the Spring Split. Obviously, no team can get far by heavily relying on just one player. Two new additions to the team were brought in for the Summer Split, the mid lane duo Pirean and Nisqy. This very well could be enough to relieve the pressure from LirA, as well as Apollo and Seraph, and provide more paths to victory to an otherwise 1-dimensional team.

Team Liquid

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Coach: Jang “Cain” Nu-ri
Lineup: Lourlo, Reignover, Goldenglue, Piglet, Matt Elento
Substitutes: Viper, Arcsecond, Slooshi, Jung Young-bin, KonKwon

Despite an abysmal performance in the first half of the season, Team Liquid is surprisingly (or maybe not?) lining up the exact same roster for the Summer Split. With a history of prioritising player development, Team Liquid put faith in continued improvement of its roster, rather than swapping, mixing and matching their players around. Problem is, most of the players are already veterans, so it’s questionable whether they can improve much more. Our NA LCS 2017 Summer Split preview verdict – If they don’t do something drastically different this time, they’ll have to earn their LCS spot through the promotion tournament once again.

Team SoloMid

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Coach: Parth Naidu
Lineup: Hauntzer, Svenskeren, Bjergsen, Doublelift, Biofrost
Substitutes: N/A

And here we are – the best at last! With Doublelift as their AD Carry once again, TSM is set to surpass their most dominant run since Summer Split in 2016. The absence of Doublelift during the time highlighted Hauntzer’s ability to lead through early and midgame, as well as Bjergsen’s ability to play as a carry instead of his usual mid lane utility role. Beyond NA LCS, which everybody expects them to win again, TSM obviously has ambitions on the international stage as well, despite a disappointing performance at recent MSI. Can they finally break through their mold and become more than regular regional champions?