Finally, the weekend is here, and that means, it’s time for the 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5.
This will be the last week on patch 8.13, so we might not see a lot of differences in terms of picks and bans from Week 4. However, it’s also possible that the teams have been paying attention to the other regions, which might encourage them to introduce some new things.
In any case, with the past week giving us a four-way tie for first, a four-way tie for fith, and a tie for ninth, we’re hoping that 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5 disrupts the parity and gives us a clear frontrunner for this split.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5: Champions to Watch
The champion is a pick that has been rising in priority in the LCK and the LPL since 8.11, but has only been seen more and more recently. This is because Swain is a flex pick — he can go top, mid or bottom. He has synergy with any champion that has crowd control abilities. He has been an excellent pick for the bottom lane due to the great amount of kill pressure that he has with champions like Shen or Morgana.
In addition, Swain’s ultimate is an asset in teamfights. The amount of zone control that he has by just walking towards the enemy team is immense. The damage of the second cast of his ultimate also deals so much area-of-effect damage that standing beside a Swain in a teamfight is extremely dangerous.
We already saw Jhin being played last week. He has been rising in popularity due to the new Domination tree keystone rune, Hail of Blades. Hail of Blades gives a huge amount of attack speed to a champion, and since Jhin does not stack attack speed, it would be converted into attack damage, and into movement speed when he lands a critical hit.
A way to gain full advantage of this keystone rune choice is to pair with Celerity in the Sorcery tree. With this, Jhin is granted additional attack damage based on a percentage of his movement speed. The best first item to pair with all these rune choices is Stormrazor, which grants additional movement speed upon landing an autoattack after not doing so in a while.
The result is a ton of attack damage, and a ton of movement speed.
The champion has remained quite unchanged, but she is on this list for two very simple reasons: her lane dominance and target selection.
Syndra was seen to be a good pick to lane into a Zoe, and she can pressure her to stay in lane. The champion has also shown to be quite a good counter to the gold-funneling compositions due to the immense kill pressure when she has her ultimate.
Overall, Syndra also isn’t a bad blind pick, but if this is the case, Orianna might be preferred.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5: Teams to Watch
Counter Logic Gaming
After three weeks of going 1-1, Counter Logic Gaming has finally rewarded its faithful. They went 2-0 in the past week, demolishing Echo Fox and Cloud9.
In a meta reliant on the early stages of the game, CLG is the team to look at to be the best: after all, they are the best early game team. Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya and Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin have a 100% first blood percentage in their 8 games so far this split. They take advantage of Reignover’s brilliant pathing and he always is ahead of the enemy jungler, and puts his top laner to an advantageous position.
Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun has also shown proficiency on a lot of mid lane champions, having picked 8 different champions in all their games. Because of this, drafting to ban Huhi out of comfort picks might prove to be a difficult task.
Their bottom lane has been a powerhouse, leading in different statistics. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes has done well being an AD carry. He has not played any non-marksmen so far though, and this might be something that other teams might look at to attack. Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has grown into a capable playmaker and shotcaller: communication between the team members appears to be clean, and they all seem to be in the same page.
CLG is often unpredictable, but so far through the 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5, it’s time that we put some confidence in this squad.
Counter Logic Gaming faces Golden Guardians on Day 1 and Team Liquid on Day 2.
FlyQuest is on the rise, and at this point it is undeniable.
This is only a sign of what’s to come — if other teams fail to ban the Galio for Jang “Keane” Lae-young, they might be sure to regret it. The power of Galio is with the strong waveclear in the middle lane, and the fact that it can cover for a teammate’s mispositioning once Galio is at level 6. His ultimate allows him to either do the aforementioned covering, or to pile on an enemy if the team is engaging.
Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen has also proved to be capable on a wide array of jungler picks, having shown a proficiency on aggressive junglers such as Kha’zix, or even just setting up for teammates with a Gragas or Sejuani.
Lee “Flame” Ho-jong is, in my opinion, the best top laner in the NA LCS. Give him a carry, and he will flat out take over the game. He’s also an excellent frontliner if you put him on a tank. There is not anything yet that Flame appears to be uncomfortable with, and his veteran voice in the team is definitely something that can further empower them.
Juan “JayJ” Guilbert is a rookie that has been showing some promise in the support position. While this is his rookie season, he has displayed some prowess, especially on Braum. He will continue to grow, especially while laning with a veteran player like Jason “WildTurtle” Tran.
FlyQuest took a while, but, as of the 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5, they’re now ready to be a top contender.
TSM has gone back and forth between getting a 2-0 and 0-2 all split so far. It is rather regrettable that a team with that high of a caliber of players are not getting the results that align with their reputation.
However, I do not believe that TSM is out for good.
Following last week’s experimentation on the gold-funneling strategy which ended with a loss, I expect TSM to go back to their standard way of playing.
Jesper “Zven” Zvenningsen appeared to have some understanding of how to play Heimerdinger, but it would be preferred if he would play marksmen, like a Kai’sa or a Varus. Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez has not been playing to the level people expected him to be in, and it is in the team’s top priority to put him on a comfort pick.
Soren “Bjerg” Bjergsen and Jonathan “Grig” Armao seem to be working quite together as a mid-jungle duo, but playing well is not the issue. Team SoloMid’s issue is proactivity.
This is especially the case in their game against Echo Fox. They lacked the willingness to take risks and make plays that they could snowball into great leads. Instead, they chose to wait for the enemy to make mistakes, and what happened was they ended up making the mistakes and losing because of it.
TSM is still a team to watch because of the raw talent in the roster. In my opinion, they just need to find the right groove in order for them to get going.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5 will see them facing off against OpTic Gaming on Day 1 and Clutch Gaming on Day 2, respectively.
2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5: Must-Watch Matches
FlyQuest vs Clutch Gaming — Day 1 Day 1
Clutch Gaming is a team known for outdrafting their opponents, and while they might be in a slump, they remain formidable nevertheless. Even so, I predict that FlyQuest will win this match.
FlyQuest will employ a strategy wherein they would be priming Flame to carry while taking advantage of Colin “Solo” Earnest’s lack of experience. Santorin should also starve Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo out of his own jungle, preferably with a pick like Xin Zhao or Kindred.
Without LirA, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten would not be able to get ahead, as historically he is one to not dominate his lane. His forward percentage is usually the lowest among mid laners. If LirA does not find the opportunity to make a play for Febiven, and if he is not on a pick that he is comfortable with, like Swain, then Febiven could possibly not impact the match at all.
The main problem standing in the way of a FlyQuest victory is the bottom lane. If Apollo “Apollo” Price and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent are able to net advantages in the laning phase, the game will surely be in their favor. Expect Clutch to exploit WildTurtle’s lackluster positioning. A Tahm Kench pick can help JayJ keep WildTurtle alive, but it would lessen his playmaking potential.
If FlyQuest can keep Hakuho out of a playmaking champion, it would greatly help them play the way they want.
Betting: FlyQuest to win against Clutch Gaming at 1.98 odds (GGbet)
Liquid vs CLG — Day 2
This is a matchup between two teams that see the game the same way, and to be honest, it could go either way, but if CLG get ride side, they’re likely going to win this.
Predictably, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong will be on tank duty yet again. If that happens, being on the Red side will allow Darshan to get a counterpick, like Gnar or Kennen. Of course, he can also go the scaling option as well and just farm. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero is a well-renowned Kindred player, which means that they will most likely get it for him. If not, expect him to fall back to Sejuani. Reignover should then get either a Gragas or a Trundle.
I imagine Team Liquid will get Galio or Zoe for Pobelter. Huhi will come up with a counter of his own. Kai’sa will be the contested pick for this match, and whichever side does not get it will try to get Xayah and Rakan.
Betting: CLG to win against Team Liquid at 2.25 odds (GGbet)
Which team do you thin will be dominant in the 2018 NA LCS Summer Week 5? Do you agree with our predictions? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!