NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8 has finally arrived, and with it, there is now a small semblance of clarity in the relative power levels of the teams in North America.
Now, only two games remain for each team, and each will seek to either bolster their places in the standings, or just go out with a bang.
Below are our thoughts for the NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8.
Akali Looks Quite Balanced
The Akali rework has arrived. We did not see the champion during the wild card round of the LCK, but we did see teams in the EU LCS show the new Akali some love. In particular, we saw players like Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm, Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, Rasmus “Caps” Winther playing the championa s a hard carry in their respective games.
Perhaps as a result, the teams from the NA LCS chose to ban Akali.
Then again, maybe this was an overreaction. The teams that did pick Akali did not exactly experience much success. Regardless, expect teams to start becoming more comfortable leaving her open as they come up with counters of their own.
CLG to Miss Yet Another Postseason
Counter Logic Gaming has failed its faithful.
This was a team that went 2-0 four weeks ago, then went 0-8 in the next weeks. The team has fallen hard since their 2-0 week, and they might have been stressing out within the Rift and caused them to net more losses.
The team had promise. The new roster had several shining moments that emphasized this potential. However, had they been more consistent, they would have made it into playoffs. In the games that they won in the earlier half of the split, Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin would garner advantages for his team with his intelligent pathing, would get Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya ahead, and would snowball the game out of control. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes would usually be dominant in lane and in general gold share, and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang eventually learned to carry the mantle of shotcaller, making plays off of excellent roam timings.
However, these moments of glory were few in number, and even in the weeks that they were winning, they exhibited problems. Later on in the split, as the games generally got longer, they found themselves making mistakes across the map in the later stages of the game. In other games, some lanes had distinct problems.
Sadly, the current iteration of Counter Logic Gaming might not be here to stay as results have not been desirable. CLG should, then, look at which parts of the roster they could rebuild around.
Golden Guardians Are Better But Not Enough
Now with Son “Mickey” Young-min in the middle lane, Golden Guardians seemed to be outperforming its previous iteration. While they did so during the first half of the split, the second round robin was more or less the same story for them.
Teams learned how to play against their Heimerdinger-Fiddlesticks bottom lane, and due to the return of marksmen in the bottom lane, the Golden Guardians have not shown much proficiency in the laning phase using more standard team compositions. In general, their laning isn’t that great. In particular, Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia finds himself in a tough spot more often than not for playing too aggressively.
Mickey is inconsistent at best. Yet, somehow, he has played even worse in the second round robin. He has been getting the worse end of trades, has overstayed in lane, and has overcommitted to an engagement.
The coaching staff changes to this team did not do them any favors either. With the departure of Tyler “Tyler” Perron, Daniel “Mango” Morisette steped in as interim head coach, with Nick “Inero” Smith as consultant. No immediate change was observed in their support staff change, and they just continued on in their loss streak.
Golden Guardians will most likely rebuild as well, and we might see more familiar faces go in the coming weeks.
TL and 100 Thieves clinch playoffs
Was there ever any doubt?
Our two spring split finalists are finally locked in for playoffs. While Team Liquid was able to secure a convincing win against OpTic Gaming in Day 1, they got obliterated by Cloud9 in Day 2. 100 Thieves was able to take sole possession of second place in Day 1, but TSM was able to take the win off of them in the second day.
Both teams are teams with a more “supportive” middle laner in Eugene “Pobelter” Park and Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook. They can always be counted upon to be consistent, and would lend a hand to their teammates in team fighting or skirmish scenarios. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho have usually been on tanks with Ssumday having more potential to pick a carry in the drafting phase. Both teams have supportive junglers in Andy “AnDa” Hoang and Jake “Xmithie” Puchero.
The threats in both teams lie in their bottom lanes: Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung are both known playmakers, and they also consistently roam to make plays in other parts of the map. Their bottom lane carries in Cody “Cody Sun” Sun and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng are the primary damage dealers of the team, and they are expected to take advantages in lane and snowball them into a win.
Both teams, while having their losses, have proven that they are heads and shoulders above the competition. Both have also addressed their weaknesses. Team Liquid, for one, have finally learned how to play from behind. Meanwhile, 100 Thieves found a way to retain their level of play despite changing junglers.
Judging by the looks of it, we might have another playoff final with these two teams.
Clutch Gaming Are Left Hoping for Others to Mess Up
While not yet technically out of the playoff race after NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8, a chance for a postseason is currently out of their hands. They not only have to win their remaining matches, but they also have to hope that other teams start losing as well for a shot at a tiebreaker.
As it is, however, Clutch Gaming don’t look like it has what it takes to make it.
The team currently looks like they are not in the same page in their communication. Only Colin “Solo” Earnest has been consistently performing well. Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo has underperformed for most of the split, even on an overpowered pick like Taliyah.
Fabian “Febiven” has failed to live up to expectations. He has been playing passively and has been giving up advantages to the enemy team again and again over the course of this split.
The biggest letdown, however, is the team’s bottom lane. Apollo “Apollo” Price and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent were among the top bottom lanes in the start of the summer split. Since then, they have fallen off the radar. Hakuho was almost never put into playmaking duty, and Apollo was often caught out alone. They ended most games with negative score lines.
Despite the current metagame allowing for some room for scaling team compositions to be viable, Clutch Gaming has never made it to a point where they have safely scaled and could take on the enemies in a teamfight. Because of this, the team just loses the game without getting to do much.
Clutch Gaming might have a chance, but fans should not keep their hopes up too much.
C9 with Sven and GoldenGlue
After another 2-0 week in the NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8, Cloud9 have finally won 9 games. That kind of record pretty much guarantees a playoff spot.
The first day we saw Robert “Blaber” Huang and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen pull out their Kindred-Zilean combo once again against Golden Guardians. Again, they found a way to make it work. The win also means that Jensen remains undefeated on Zilean, extending his win-streak to 8 wins.
In the next day, Cloud9 raised eyebrows after head coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu announced that they were starting Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer against Team Liquid, which was also on a winning streak. They soon silenced the doubters with Svenskeren hard carrying the team on his signature Lee Sin pick, and Goldenglue obliterating enemies on his Syndra. Following this, Reapered has said on interviews that he has been training Jensen and Blaber and Goldenglue and Svenskeren as duos and had specific strategies prepared for either duo.
It appears that the Jensen-Blaber duo has a more aggressive mindset with Jensen on a pick that would back Blaber up in skirmishes and in objective contestation. This would focus on getting Blaber ahead and then the rest of the team would have to play around his aggression. On the other hand, the Svenskeren-Goldenglue duo appears to be a duo that is more focused in getting Goldenglue ahead with Svenskeren setting up plays around him and placing protective vision around the middle lane.
Cloud9 has successfully pulled of a rotation of seven members in its roster and are looking to be a legitimate threat in the coming playoffs.
Echo Fox and Growing Pains
Echo Fox had a 0-2 week in the NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8. This is after putting up a rather disrespectful draft in their game against 100 Thieves in the first day. They ran a team composition with a Yasuo, a Lee Sin, and an Alistar against a team with a Poppy. The Poppy took away most of their capability to teamfight and to make plays, and effectively shut down Lawrence “Lost” Hui’s potential to take over the game with the Swain.
The second day saw them perform better against OpTic Gaming, but in the end they lost a crucial team fight in the Elder Drake pit, which eventually cost them the entire game.
The roster on paper seems like it could reach great heights, but this is a relatively new team. It does not seem like it could find its groove with carry jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, who has been underperforming in recent history. In addition, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon seems to be regaining most of his old form but is not quite there yet. Meanwhile, Andy “Smoothie” Ta must learn how to keep the team in a less agitated state so that unforced mistakes would happen less. Tanner “Damonte” Damonte’s consistency in the mid lane could also be a rock through which the team could build advantages off of.
While a 0-2 performance in NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8 is bad, this team is still a legitimate threat to take the NA LCS trophy for the summer if they can get its act together in time.
After the end of NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8, most teams are now playing for better playoff seeding.
It’s been a long and winding season witha ll the crazy stuff that has happened to the metagame. And, while previous strategies may still be viable, we can be sure that marksmen are here to stay. Because of that, some teams may perform better in the next week and in the playoffs.
With only one week left, NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8 should look relatively tame compared to this weekend’s matches.
What did you think of all the action that happened during NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8? Who do you think will emerge at first place at the end of the split? Let us know in the comment section below!