NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5 is now over, and with it, comes the conclusion of the first round robin and the beginning of the second.
NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5 was the last series of games on Patch 8.13. This also means that next week, we will probably be seeing some new stuff and less of 8.13’s shenanigans.
Below is a recap of NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5.
Clutch Gaming Are In a Slump
Clutch Gaming went 0-2 in NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5. While sometimes teams may still go 0-2, the past weekend, Clutch lost to two teams that they normally win against: FlyQuest, and more notably, Team SoloMid.
With a team whose fans have high expectations of them, NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5 was kind of a downer. They would surely ask: what is going on with my team? Is this truly the same team that took down TSM in the playoff quarterfinal?
This is indeed the same team, however, there have been a few problems that have been cropping up. First, the early game focus of the game in general has affected Clutch Gaming the most. As a team that turns on in the later stages of the game, they would not have the chance to do so if the late game would never arrive.
In terms of champion picks, things have changed as well. Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten’s trusty Azir has not been a power pick in this meta. This week, he played Galio and Orianna, with lacklustre results. In addition to this, their bottom lane has been underperforming too. Together, their bottom laners have a combined KDA of 5/16/8.
Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent has not been on playmaking champions, which means his capability to impact the team’s success has been a bit muted. Meanwhile, Apollo “Apollo” Price played Jhin both games this weekend, with his carry performance leaving a lot to be desired.
But, perhaps the biggest letdown for this team has been Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo, who has lost every 50-50 smite battle against enemy jungles in the Baron pit.
FlyQuest Are Now a Top Competitor
After a bad start to the split, FlyQuest has been delivering impressive performances against the perceived top teams in the league.
Now, after NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5, FlyQuest are among the teams tied for first place.
Jang “Keane” Lae-young has been getting more and more recognition, by being able to be either on the side of innovation or by being a stable mid laner. Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen has been very creative with his pathing— and having played Trundle in both matches, being in the right place at the right time is vital in having an impact in the overall state of the game.
Lee “Flame” Ho-jong has always been a reliable top laner, save for his performance with Gangplank against Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho’s Dr. Mundo. Despite this, Flame has been perfectly capable of absorbing pressure on a scaling champion like Gangplank and is able to find a way to help his team even when he is set behind.
What deserves acclaim, however, is their bottom lane.
Combined, their bottom lane carry and support have a KDA of 15/9/29. If there was any doubt to Jason “WildTurtle” Tran’s capability as a carry before, his performances in the past weeks should be enough to put them to rest. Meanwhile, Juan “JayJ” Guilbert has shown a proficiency in finding small advantages for his team in every team fight.
FlyQuest also seems to have benefitted from the “better” team’s lacklustre performance lately, thanks mostly to their strong grasp of the fundamentals.
The only question now is how FlyQuest will fare against the other teams once they start stepping up their play.
Counter Logic Gaming Stay True to their Name
Counter Logic Gaming strikes again.
After getting rave reviews from everybody including me after their 2-0 week, there seemed to be no other thing for CLG to do but to defy expectations and go 0-2. Fans’ hearts might be broken once again, but, on the other hand, they might surge and have better results from here onward.
But first, they may want to stay away from the gold-funnelling strategy. There will be substantial nerfs to it in 8.14, so Riot might have helped CLG to avoid doing it in the future. I am saying that CLG should avoid it because gold-funnelling is a very non-interactive way of playing the game, which just allows the opponent’s side lanes to take advantage of where they are. Their short experiment with Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun picking a funnelled Kled should no longer be seen if they want to continue to be a team that excels in the early game.
Their drafting recently seems to move away from the strengths of the team. For example, in their game against Golden Guardians, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has been drafted to pilot the Tahm Kench. This means that he will not be able to be a playmaker but will be rather reactive in trying to save his teammates and escort them to safety. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes, who has been having a great split on marksmen, was given a Vladimir in their game against Team Liquid.
His performance on the pick has been great but he was not paired with a support that will help him farm and keep their first turret for as long as possible.
Hopefully, Counter Logic Gaming turns this around in the following weeks.
Cloud9 Has Not Yet Found the Solution
Cloud has undergone a roster change yet again.
They swapped out LCS veteran Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen for rookie jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang. Blaber seems to be your regular solo queue jungler: very aggressive and willing to make plays in order to put his laners ahead. One thing special about Blaber is that he seems to be able to assess how the game is going based on the minimap alone and is able to make intelligent pathing decisions in a flash with the information available to him. With the right training, Blaber can become a jungler with the right tempered aggression that has a knack for appearing in the right place at the right time, with the right play in mind.
Not everything is going according to plan for them, though.
Cloud9’s game plan seems to be just to enable Eric “Licorice” Ritchie to carry. Even in the draft phase, this is what Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu’s plan is to last pick for him whenever the team is on the red side. However, this plan is a little easy to see through.
The mage picks for Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi also seems to be a bit cause for concern. Why put Sneaky back into the roster if he is only going to play half of his games on marksmen? His Swain play, for example, has not been of great impact. Why not play marksmen in the bottom lane, which have been seeing more and more play as time passes?
It seems that Cloud9 still have a lot of problems to sort out in order for their aspirations for this season to come to fruition.
TSM Continue to Struggle
Team SoloMid went 1-1 after NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5. After a devastating loss against OpTic Gaming, TSM found themselves on the butt of criticism. A lot of NA LCS followers even went as far as to claim that TSM might not make it to the playoffs, and in extension, the Worlds.
However, in their game against Clutch Gaming, TSM displayed a very impressive performance. They stomped Clutch Gaming with a middle lane Talon with Smite for Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. While he was kept in the lane in the beginning, he soon began to snowball beyond control, ending with a 9/0/5 scoreline.
Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell seemed to find comfort on champions with reliable engage like the Gragas. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen was also decent in his performances on mages, and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez seems to have found his groove on Morgana. It also helped a lot, it seems, that most of their champions in that game have reliable crowd control.
Jonathan “Grig” Armao has been reliable in hitting smites all split long, taking drakes and Barons that TSM had no business of even getting close to. Because of his capability to smite objectives in high-pressure situations, he has been able to turn the tables and acquire wins for TSM when the situation looks particularly dire.
What TSM has to do now is to double down on their strengths and always draft towards that.
After NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5, the difference between the last place team and the first place team is now just three wins only. The standings are so close, and this is quite a cause for concern: is it because the bottom teams from the last split have improved, or is it because the top teams haven’t been performing to expectations?
Another point why this is alarming is because if North American teams are looking towards going to Worlds, the teams need to clear up communication issues between them. A lot of plays look questionable every week, and making mistakes in the highest level of play is very costly especially against teams that are decisive about punishing these.
Hopefully, a team rises up and dominates the competition to convince us that North America will have a worthy representative at the end of the season.
What did you think of all the action that happened during NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 5? Will there be a clearly dominant team? Let us know in the comment section below!