Welcome to NA LCS LoL Summer Split Week 1 2016 Preview. Week one starts on June the 4th and promises to be entertaining from the get go. Below is a full preview of Week 1 where we see Apex, Team Liquid, Immortals, Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, Phoenix1, Team Envy, NRG Esports and Team Solomid in action.
Team Solo Mid vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Nothing kicks off the NA LCS better than the unprecedented rivalry between TSM and CLG. With rosters staying largely intact, this game will provide the victor with unlimited bragging rights for the rest of the season.
Top: Both Hauntzer and Darshan are very consistent and strong top laners. And a stellar performance off both team’s top laners is a backbone to any victory.
Jungle: Svenskeren was heavily criticised during his NA LCS debut last split. And by all means, his performance was indeed very underwhelming. However, his performance during playoffs was a completely different story. Both Sven and Xmithie are very similar tiered junglers, with passive aggressive aggression and an eagerness to make plays.
Mid: There is without a doubt a huge mechanical gap between Bugerking and Huhi. Huhi’s performance throughout last split and even at MSI was nothing short of a mid-lower tier mid laner. That being said, Bjerg is without a doubt going to receive a lot of attention from the enemy jungler and support, which could tilt the lane into Huhi’s favour.
ADC: Statistically speaking Stixxay does outclass Doubelift in many ways. His damage output relative to his team’s is very impressive. However, that being said, Stixxay is nonetheless a very mediocre ADC, working off the brilliance of Aphromoo.
Support: Biofrost was said to be extremely talented and mechanically superior than all the other supports that TSM tried out during their Korean boot camp. While Biofrost may be a very mechanical player, he lacks in-depth macro knowledge as well as playing at a live venue. I look forward to seeing Biofrost improve significantly during this split and into the play offs.
Prediction: Team Solo Mid 50% | Counter Logic Gaming 50%
Team Envy vs. NRG Esports
NRG have come out of the preseason with a stacked roster filled with very familiar faces. Whether that be DIG Kiwikid, Liquid Quas or TSM Santorin/HotGuy6Pack, bringing in old school veterans that had very strong performances on their respective teams is going to allow NRG to have a wealth of knowledge and confidence for this split.
GMB is without a doubt one of the best mid laners in the NA LCS and Ohq was also one of the strongest ADCs during his time NaJin Black Sword and NaJin e-mFire. This new NRG roster looks extremely strong and I look forward to them contesting the top spots in the NA LCS ladder.
In my opinion, Team Envy is going to be on of the bottom tiered teams this split. With very ordinary players such as Procxin, LOD and Hakuho along with non-English speaking Korean carries, it reiterates the idea that importing Koreans at the cost of communication and team synergy does not work (I’m not a hypocrite even though NRG has two Koreans as well )
Prediction: Team Envy 35% | NRG Esports 65%
Echo Fox vs. Phoenix1
Echo Fox showed significant improvement last split; especially considering all the roster issues that they faced (Froggen’s visa issues, and kfo joining mid split). Froggen has been a significant factor to any Echo Fox victory. Statistics wise, he represented 35.5% of his team’s damage while only holding 26% of his team’s gold. For Echo Fox to even have a chance at making it to play offs, they’re going to need to relieve the expectation that Froggen is going to carry, and evenly distribute this responsibility to Keith, Hard and kfo.
Much like Team Envy, Phoenix1 is going to be another bottom tiered team. I believe that at the end of this split, both Phoenix1 and Team Envy will be facing relegation. With a lot of rookie players that came out the challenger scene (Zig and Inori) as well as those with LCS experience (Pirean and Gate; I’m going to talk about Mash in a moment), Phoenix1 looks like a mix and match of mediocre solo queue players. Mash is without a doubt the most garbage ADC I’ve ever seen. His mechanics are very underwhelming, his laning phase is weak and his ability to make plays is non-existent. Any ADC is expected to deal around 26-32% of their team’s total damage, Mash currently sits at 22% of his team’s damage.
Overall, Phoenix1’s roster is one that got put together on a very tight budget. They lack strong players, they lack experience and by the end of this split, they’ll lack the wins to stay in the NA LCS.
Prediction: Echo Fox 65% | Phoenix1 35%
Cloud 9 vs. Immortals
Wtf? I was very certain that Impact will replace Balls, Meteos to take over Rush and Bunny FuFuu to support Sneaky during this split (so please ignore the photo above). C9 has been working extremely hard, training game after game in Korea. What I hope to see is a reformed and consistent C9, looking to take a top spot finish after very poor performances in the last two years.
While Immortals had a dominating spring split, I feel like this split will an uphill battle for the top spots. This game is going to be extremely close with C9’s new and improved roster. Impact is going to look to negate Huni’s top lane dominance while Meteos needs to ensure that he is able to control ReignOver’s aggressive early game ganks. Immortals is very much the North American ROX Tigers. They work off the back of ReignOver’s ability to secure first blood, they lane swap to open the map up and group and fight with unprecedented aggression.
C9 is going to need adequate research and come in with a strong game plan. The first 10 minutes is going to be key before Reign-over makes it game-over #puns.
Prediction: Cloud 9 45% | Immortals 55%
Apex vs. NRG Esports
Apex secured their spot in the NA LCS after knocking out Team Dragon Knights in the summer promotion tournament. They then proceeded to pick up some new player such as ex Dignitas ADC Apollo, ex NRG Shrimp and Edward Gaming’s sub Ray.
Top: Ray rocks a 16.5 KDA in the two games he played during the 2015 LPL summer split. That aside, his champion pool, play style and ability to speak English remains largely unknown. But what I can tell, is that both Ray and Quas are very carry orientated top laners, they make stray away from tank meta picks and opt for stronger skirmishing fighters.
Jungle: Santorin is a solo queue monster and a very experienced LCS player. In a match up against Shrimp, Santorin greatly outclasses Shrimp in all aspects of jungling.
Mid: Keane was very well known for being Gravity’s mid laner, with a large champion pool of cheesy champions. In a match up against GBM, GBM is without a doubt a better and strong mid laner.
ADC: Apollo is a very mediocre ADC. Nothing special, but not that great either. I have a lot of faith that Ohq is going to be a superstar this split; bringing a wealth of OGN experience and beastly mechanics.
Support: Xpecial finally makes his LCS debut after getting kicked out of both TSM and Liquid. Looking forward to see how this veterans performance and play style pans out this split.
Team Envy vs. Liquid
News was out that Dardoch has been suspended for insubordinate behaviour (https://www.teamliquidpro.com/news/2016/05/27/dardoch-suspension). I’m not too sure who is going to replace this superstar.
I expect to see Liquid winning this match-up, regardless of replaced Dardoch. Liquid is still going to remain as a very sold mid-tiered team, who is cursed to coming 4th place. Every. Single. Time.
I expect to see the Top and Jungle match ups to be very even while Liquid’s mid and bot lane will try to push for an advantage. Piglet and Matt have without a doubt improved significantly since they started working together at the start of the spring split, while Fenix is one of the most consistent mid laners in North America.
Prediction: Team Envy 40% | Liquid 60%
Team Solo Mid vs. Liquid
The odds are without a doubt in Solo Mid’s favour. And it is without a doubt very justified and obvious why TSM is the crowd favourite to win this match up.
Hauntzer outclasses Lourlo in many ways, with a stronger laning phase and a more carry orientated play style.
Svenskeren is going to look forward to crushing Liquid’s new jungler. Sven has been extremely consistent in his play off matches, and meshing very well with the TSM crew.
While Bjerg is crowned for being the best mid laner in NA, Fenix is going to look to negate Bjerg’s mid lane dominance. I predict that Bjerg is gong to have a sizeable CS lead and even a kill or two on Fenix at the 15 minute mark.
Doublefrost and Biolift are going to look to continue improving especially against formidable opponents such as Piglet and Matt. The bot lane match up is going to be extremely close, especially if both supports get their preferred champions Matt’s Bard and Bio’s Thresh.
Prediction: Team Solo Mid 55% | Liquid 45%
Apex vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Here are my predictions:
If Apex beat NRG then:
Prediction: Apex 40% | Counter Logic Gaming 60%
If Apex lose to NRG then:
Prediction: Apex 30% | Counter Logic Gaming 70%
Apex are without a doubt vsing one of the worst teams that they could hope to face in their NA LCS debut. CLG are consistent, with carry threats in every single position.
At the same time, I don’t want to completely rule them out, especially if they beat NRG.
Echo Fox vs. Cloud 9
Again, another difficult match up for Echo Fox. Cloud 9 is going to look to push their advantage by through Meteos’ aggressive jungling and looking for first blood’s through overextended lanes and potential dives should lane swaps occur.
With C9 members coming out of a month or so of hard core Korean solo queue, their mechanics are going to be as sharp as ever. And Echo Fox is going to be nothing compared to their opponents that they face in solo queue or the Korean LCK teams that they have been scrimming
Predictions: Echo Fox 35% | Cloud 9 65%
Immortals vs. Phoenix1
Phoenx1 is going to get absolutely crushed in this match up.
Huni is going to look to get as many solo kills as he can get against the in-experienced Zig. While pushing his advantage, he is going to call his Fnatic buddy Reignover to gank his lane to push his advantage and tilt his opponent into infinity.
Pobelter is the unsung hero of mid laner’s in North America. He is one of the most defensive, passive aggressive mid laners, with some of the most impressive stats.
I’m calling a Reignover or a bot lane out play first blood for Immortals. With the game ending at the 25 minute mark.
Prediction: Immortals 75% | Phoenix1 25%