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LCS NA – Week 3 Preview and Power Rankings

2 weeks down and most teams have played close to every other team, so we’re starting to get a clearer picture of how things might shape out. However, the next week is crucially important, clearing up some concerns about schedules. Why is week 3 the big week? Because through week 2, teams have not played every other team yet. See an updated Power Rankings — as well as match previews for the week — after the break.

OK

Power Rankings

  1. Cloud9
  2. TSM
  3. Dignitas
  4. CLG
  5. CRS
  6. CST/EG/XDG

 

#1 – Cloud 9

Cloud 9 was off to a hot 3-0 start before they lost rather surprisingly to Dignitas, and after their loss they came out strong with a very Season 3 Cloud9 roster and a dominant victory.

They’re still the favorites after their dominating Summer split in season 3, not to mention their victories vs Fnatic. Their roster hasn’t changed since last season, and their team has only gotten better.

They face 3 games this week: two they should win vs Coast and EG, and one vs TSM.

#2 – TSM

Bjergsen has fired TSM up, with the highest KDA of any mid (6.64), and TSM looks as good as they ever have. One of TSM’s big weaknesses was Reginald’s proneness to tilt and make bad decisions, something that hasn’t affected them with Bjergsen in mid. In their one loss (to Cloud9), Bjergsen was 4-3-4 with a 100+ cs lead on Hai. I have a long-time dislike for TSM, but even I have to admit that they stand a decent chance of upsetting Cloud 9 for the #1 spot.

TSM should probably pick up a win vs XDG, and then they face off against C9 in an important show-match.

#3 – Dignitas

For those of us who never liked CLG or TSM, Dignitas has long been a favorite but disappointing team, with sparks of potential at time that they never seem to live up to. Dignitas seemed like they were destined for mediocrity as usual in week 1, until they took Cloud9 down convincingly. Since then, they’ve been on fire and are sitting at 5-2. It’s hard to imagine a more deserving player than Scarra, who boasts one of the most educational streams. But Dignitas fans are used to teasing glimpses of success followed by complete breakdowns, so let’s wait a few more weeks before getting too excited. Most importantly, Dignitas has had the easiest schedule thus far, so it’s hard to tell what of their performance is due to that.

#4 – CLG

But Gentleman Gustaf, CLG is 2-4 at the moment!

It’d be easy to write CLG off at this point due to their record. But it’s early in the season, and CLG has a lot of things going in their favor:

  1. They’ve had the hardest schedule of any team thus far, playing TSM, Dignitas (twice), C9, CRS, and EG.
  2. They’re not even on their main roster; Link should be mid instead of jungling, and HotshotGG hasn’t played competitively for over a whole season.

When Dexter gets back and they get some of those XDG and CST wins, I expect to see CLG rise up a bit. Speaking of which, they play Curse, XDG, and Coast this week!

#5 – CRS

Much like Dignitas, Curse is the haven of disappointed underdog fans. Once again, they show just enough signs of life to have their fans excited. But unlike Dignitas, they haven’t beaten any exciting teams (picking up their 3 wins vs CST and XDG), and unlike CLG, their schedule was remarkably easy. Still, being unable to take a win off of the weakened roster of CLG doesn’t bode well for them. They get a rematch vs CLG and a game vs the tepid EG. If they go 2-0 this week, it’ll be easier to consider them a contender, but they’ll still need to pick up wins vs one of TSM/DIG/C9 to go anywhere.

#6 – CST/EG/XDG

It’s hard to rank these bottom 3 teams, especially since they’ve mostly taken wins off of each other. You could put CST at the top, since they’ve beaten the other two. On the other hand, you could put EG at the top, for managing a win vs CLG. But they’ve all disappointed. CST is largely reminiscent of their Season 3 Summer split, with little different. XDG has changed too much, swapping their ADC and jungler to limited success. EG made the jump across the ocean from EU, but has failed to perform.

CST plays C9 and CLG

EG plays C9 and CRS

XDG plays CLG and TSM.

None of these is an easy schedule for a struggling team.


Match Previews

TSM vs XDG

XDG is a team led by their solo laners right now, and as good as ManCloud and Benny are, it’s hard to imagine them outclassing Bjergsen and Dyrus.

CST vs C9

C9 is the team to beat, and CST is the bottom of the barrel. CST may have blue side, but a win here would be a huge upset.

CRS vs CLG

CLG beat CRS last time, but has faced a pretty hard schedule otherwise. CRS has the blue-side edge and has shown signs of life vs the lower-record teams. This matchup seems like a tossup, and CRS is on blue side.

EG vs C9

Anybody who expects EG to win this game knows something we don’t.

XDG vs CLG

Against my better judgement, I want this to be where XDG makes their stand and whips their game into shape.

CRS vs EG

Nothing against EG, but they’ve struggled immensely to pick up wins, and CRS almost seems to have gotten into a rhythm.

CLG vs CST

LoL isn’t transitive, but CLG is 1-0 against CRS, and CRS is CRS is 2-0 against CST… Blue side advantage makes this look good for CLG.

TSM vs C9

TSM has the blue-side edge, and put up a good showing vs C9 last time. For an in-depth preview of this game, click here.

————————————————————–

Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.

You can see his other work here:

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I love to talk to friends, and you can add me at Gentleman Gustaf, but keep in mind that my friend list is very near full, so I may not reply, or I may delete you shortly thereafter (to make room for others)

Categorised in: Analysis, eSports, League of Legends, Power Rankings

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