Week 2 saw some teams getting back on track while other teams continued to struggle. We also saw some pretty surprising selections in picks and bans (Vayne, Rengar, Thresh, etc.). With week 2 of the North American LCS Summer Split in the books, let’s take a look at the Power Rankings (not standings) heading into week 3.
10.) Phoenix1 (0-4)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 9
- Week 2 Results: 1-2 C9 (L) & 0-2 NV (L)
Phoenix1 had a disappointing 0-2 weekend as they lost to Cloud9 in 3 games and to EnVyUs in 2 games. It has been said many times before that this is a team full of potential in terms of talent. But there is simply not enough experience and leadership within this team for them to be very successful. The split will continue to be a learning experience for Phoenix1 rather than a split of contention.
9.) Echo Fox (1-3)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 7
- Week 2 Results: 0-2 NRG (L) & 0-2 TL (L)
Echo Fox certainly has much to work on after going 0-2 this weekend. They could not manage a single victory as they lost in 2 games to NRG and Liquid. The team lacks good coordination in their teamfights and players keep getting caught out of position. They also seemed to get outdrafted especially in their series against Team Liquid. Liquid had a much better team composition in both games and it seemed like Liquid constructed their compositions to counter Froggen’s Viktor. Echo Fox should keep their heads up though as they have the talent and potential to contend for a playoff spot.
8.) NRG eSports (1-3)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 10
- Week 2 Results: 1-2 IMT (L) & 2-0 FOX (W)
It seems like NRG has been putting in work as they looked much better in their games this week. They took a game off of Immortals right off the back and they defeated Echo Fox in two games. They seemed to have worked out the kinks as all five players had some shining moments throughout the weekend. Perhaps the brightest spot is their AD Carry ohq. He seemed very strong on Sivir and Twitch. Ohq is certainly a player on this team that is worth looking out for throughout the split. It will be interesting to see if NRG continues and upward trend of improvement in the coming weeks.
7.) Liquid (1-3)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 8
- Week 2 Results: 1-2 CLG (L) & 2-0 FOX (W)
Team Liquid looked extremely dominant in game 1 against CLG. Dardoch was a huge factor in that game and the other four members played solidly. But games 2 & 3 saw CLG throwing some haymakers with no recovery from Team Liquid. But their game 1 dominance was so significant because it showed the potential that this roster has. Fenix and Lourlo need to step it up and need to stop getting caught out which was the biggest reason Liquid lost to CLG in game 3. They looked much better in their 2-0 series victory against Echo Fox. There were still areas of improvement seen in their games but the victories for Liquid were very systematic and textbook.
6.) Apex Gaming (2-2)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 5
- Week 2 Results: 1-2 NV (L) & 0-2 TSM (L)
Apex Gaming could not find a series win this weekend as they were defeated by Team EnVyUs and Team SoloMid. Apex played formidable opponents in TSM this week, and TSM showed them that they still have a lot of work to do. EnVyUs proved to be the better “new” team this week as well and Apex will certainly look to improve in the coming week. Apex seemed to have significant disparities in team cohesion and vision as top-laner Ray was eviscerated by endless ganks and roams from the enemy team. It will be interesting to see if they bounce back in week 3 or continue to fall.
5.) Counter Logic Gaming (1-3)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 3
- Week 2 Results: 2-1 TL (W) & 0-2 C9 (L)
The defending champions Counter Logic Gaming finally earned their first series victory this split against Liquid while being defeated in 2 games at the hands of Cloud 9. After being dominated by Liquid in game 1, CLG looked even more dominant in games 2 & 3. After the series, it seemed like CLG had finally found their footing and were making a return to form. But judging by their series against Cloud 9, it seems like CLG still has some rust to shake off. Their teamfights seemed to be uncoordinated as many engages by Xmithie or Darshan had very little follow-up. Coordination seems to be a significant issue for CLG and they should look to clear this up by next week.
4.) Team EnVyUs (4-0)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 6
- Week 2 Results: 2-1 APX (W) & 2-0 P1 (W)
Two weeks into the split, and only two teams remain undefeated: TSM and… Team EnVy. EnVyUs defeated lower-tier teams in Apex and Phoenix1. Now before you criticize me for not moving them up further in the standings let’s take a look at the teams they have beaten: NRG, Liquid, Apex, and Phoenix1. They have beaten below-average teams. Yes, Seraph and company are playing exceptionally well. But these are power rankings, not standings, and one of the criteria that goes into power rankings is opponent strength; EnVyUs have not faced any formidable opponents. As such, I cannot yet say with any confidence that EnVyUs is better than the likes of Cloud 9 or Immortals. They do play Immortals next week, so we will have to wait and see what this team is truly made of before I can move them up further.
3.) Cloud 9 (3-1)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 4
- Week 2 Results: 2-1 P1 (W) & 2-0 CLG (W)
Cloud9 had an impressive 2-0 weekend after defeating Phoenix1 in 3 games and defending champions Counter Logic Gaming in 2 games. C9 continued to swap their supports throughout their series and it seems to be working out quite well for them. Many were skeptical of this strategy and feared a negative impact on Sneaky’s play. But it seems like an alternation between Bunny FuFuu and Smoothie allows more flexibility in team-wide playstyle. I am very impressed by Sneaky’s versatility as he can play both aggressively with Bunny FuFuu or controlled with Smoothie. Jensen continued his strong play this weekend on champions like Viktor and Azir. C9 seems like they are improving and will look to continue this going into week 3.
2.) Immortals (3-1)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 2
- Week 2 Results: 2-1 NRG (W) & 1-2 TSM (L)
Immortals had a not-so-impressive match victory against NRG eSports and a nail-biting defeat at the hands of Team SoloMid. Immortals showed a glimpse of dominance in their game 2 victory against TSM but the team is certainly lacking the consistent dominance that they showcased in the Spring Split as they have gone the full 3 games in all of their series so far this split. This could be due to the fact that the rest of the teams have improved their play so much that Immortals are not too far ahead in terms of strategy. It could also be the Immortals still shaking off the early-split rust. Nevertheless, Immortals should have defeated NRG in a swift fashion but they did not. Something seems to be off within the team and they should look to fix it before playoffs.
1.) Team SoloMid (4-0)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 1
- Week 2 Results: 2-0 APX (W) & 2-1 IMT (W)
In week 2, Team SoloMid dominated Apex Gaming 2-0 and edged out Immortals in a nail-biting 3 game series. TSM continued their strong play as all five members seemed to be on the same page throughout their games. Doublelift has been proving so far that he is still a top-tier AD Carry and Svenskeren has been playing out of his mind. The team continued to be proactive, a trait that was not at all apparent in the TSM of old. They seemed dominant and confident throughout the weekend with some crisp mid-game play. Not too much can be said of TSM’s late game but they seemed pretty decisive in the late-game of game 3 against Immortals. A spectacular Bard ultimate by rookie Biofrost sealed the victory for TSM as they remain undefeated. There is no doubt that TSM is the strongest team in North America so far.
Photos courtesy of Riot Games