The Spring Split of the 2018 League of Legends Champion Series (LCS) Season is only approaching the halfway point but the standings are already becoming stratified in both North America and Europe. Week four was another action packed week that begun to cement many of the teams in their place in the standings, while delivering a few surprises as well.
Sitting at records of 7-1 Echo Fox and Cloud9 currently share the North American throne with two wins at hand over the third place Team Liquid. Both Cloud9 and Echo Fox beat Team Liquid in their matches this week breaking what was a three way tie and demonstrating that they are both currently a step above the rest of their competition.
The week was a major set back for Team Liquid. Going winless against the other top teams not only dropped them out of first, but gives them only a three game cushion over ninth place. With there still being half the season left to go Liquid can’t afford to have any other weeks where they fail to get victories. With a struggling CLG and the 1-7 Golden Guardians on their schedule this week they will hopefully be able to turn things around and get both victories.
While both Echo Fox and Cloud9 face middle of the pack opponents in their first match this week, the two will finally face off with each other on Sunday at 5PM EST. With sole possession of first place on the line, this will certainly be the match to watch this week in North America. These rosters already faced off in Week 2, and that time Echo Fox was able to emerge victorious handing Cloud9 their sole loss on the season. For Cloud9 this series won’t only be about taking first place, it will be about redemption.
Week 4 appeared to get off to an excellent start for a TSM roster that has had a hard time finding its footing so far this season. Getting a few early kills in their match against Clutch Gaming gave TSM an early gold lead that made both fans an experts think TSM had the game won. Unfortunately TSM were not able to utilize this advantage to close the game out, and lost in heartbreaking fashion to a Clutch Gaming squad that has looked mediocre at best throughout the season.
Fortunately for TSM fans their second match against Counter Logic Gaming went better, and they were able to secure a victory putting their record at 4-4. TSM has never been a team to compete for the middle of the pack in North America, but if they want to make their way to the top of the standings they will need to start by getting victories this week. The second half of the season offers them the perfect place to start, as they will face off against Clutch once again in Sunday’s opening match at 3PM EST.
This split had been a total disaster for the Golden Guardians entering Week 4 but finally the group was able to earn their first victory. Their match against 100 Thieves wasn’t predicted to go any better, but an impressive performance gave them a 15K gold lead which they used to obtain a 37 minute victory. The game shows the roster is capable of competing with LCS caliber teams and will hopefully give the roster some confidence heading into the second part of the season.
Despite their horrific start they are only two games out of a playoff position entering the latter half of the season. A match against OpTic this week presents them with an opportunity to extend that momentum and further build their confidence before what is sure to be a challenging encounter with a motivated Team Liquid.
Team Vitality was able to put together another perfect 2-0 in Week 4, giving them a 7-1 record on the season. Dispensing of both ROCCAT and Splyce with relative ease, Vitality appears to be in a tier of their own so far this season in Europe with two games at hand over second place. They will have to continue to prove that this week in their opening match against G2 Esports at 3PM EST today, who are sitting in second with a 5-3 record. Their second match will be with a teetering H2K who they have already defeated once on the season, allowing them to place all of their efforts in practice this week on the G2 series.
Although they have started off strong they are only three games ahead of eighth place, so they will need to continue this pace throughout the back half of the season if they want to maintain their spot on top of the standings.
The Unicorns of Love and H2K both lost all of their series again last week, giving the two squads identical 1-7 records. This is particularly worrying for both teams as every other team in Europe has at least four victories on the season already, putting them a full three games out of the playoffs. If either team hopes to turn their Split around they will need to begin doing so this week, as they cannot afford to fall any further behind than they already are. Having nothing to play for the last few weeks of the split doesn’t provide a very compelling story line for fans or motivation for players, so now is the time for these teams to play their hearts out.
Action returns today from Europe at Noon EST while North American games resume tomorrow (Saturday February 17th) at 5PM EST. You can watch all of the games live on the official Riot Games Broadcast.