I posted this on Reddit after the first few games of LCS NA Week 1 and the link can be found here:
This is the post in text form.
- I’d thought I just write some of the few thoughts I had about this season and where the league scene will be in 12 weeks coming to end of the first half of LCS. I’m not the best at the game but I do like watching lots of games, even more so than playing and hopefully i have given some insight to how this first 12 weeks will turn out for the NA scene.
- First off, the NA scene is just plainly getting better. At a faster rate than any scene. Granted, they are farther behind to start with but in the last month games have been decided more from strategy than from straight mechanics. I for one think that is a good thing. The mechanics across the board have seen much improvement in the last 2/3 months and with addition of season 3 items and new build lines have limited the difference between perfect mechanics and really good mechanics; Meaning that if you’re first build is not viable due to deaths and zoning early, changing builds to more cost effective items does not hurt your later game chances as much as it used to in season 2.
- Last week in the CLG premier series we saw many of the LCS academy teams go up against each other. Looking back on it now, many of those games showed very similair strategies, player mechanics as we saw yesterday and today in LCS. With the addition of these very good “2nd tier teams” I think, we will see the first tier teams improve much faster. With LCS organization and the organization within the teams themselves players will be more focused and perform better. I call the academy teams “2nd tier” but I think a few of them CRS A, DiG, along with Azure Cats, Dirtnap gaming and my up and comer pick Cloud 9 are good enough right now to take on the lower 3 of the LCS standing.
- One of the major differences I see between NA, EU and Asia, is the consistency of team dynamics. Yes NA players remain good but I find that the team varies a lot. For many of EU / Asia teams there play seems more consistent. After a loss many of the teams seem to be able to regroup emotionally and still come up with a formidable team in the match (exclude frost at OGN winter). With the addition of more time between games in LCS the NA scene gets to scoot around this issue and more than likely not have to deal with this issue as they have a couple days before next match. Another reason why I think that NA is showing signs of life is that for the first time, EU / Asia are looking at NA for possible ideas on how to counter the Asian meta or EU meta. This quite different than the past year where nothing from NA has been picked up elsewhere.
- Now for my picks this season in NA we do see a split in team abilities with CRS, CLG, DiG at the top. TSM has done well for themselves the first two days but I don’t think they quite at the level of the first three even though TSM did beat DiG. Even after starting with two losses I think GGU is here to stay and continue with unconventional team-comps will be able to really do well in these one game series. For a long time now I’ve thought that Team Vulcan (FeaR) needs to improve a lot. I would pick this team as the team that is in the most need of improving team dynamics. I’ve watched too many games where strategy just beats them. The lanes make it through the lane phases alright and 15/20 minutes in everything changes and they’re on the defensive from there on out. Sometimes good counter-calls are made but most of the time teams systematically beat them between the 20 minute mark and 35 minute mark. Also, Mancloud is out of position too much. Lastly, we have CompLexity (The Brunch Club) and MRN. CompLexity has a good team setup but I don’t think they’re on the same level as some of the teams listed above. However, I do think they’re maybe the one team to improve the most and really be able to take the first few weeks of LCS and make a large improvement in their play for the last 6 weeks or so. I don’t know enough about MRN to give good insights but they have a few good players. I think that they’re in the same boat as Team Vulcan and need to get their team working together first, playing safely in laning phase and being able to out strategize late.
Predictions for the upcoming 12 weeks of LCS NA
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Good Game University
- Team Solo MID (Snapdragon)
Thoughts on each teams’ main focus and strategy and how they can improve
- Curse: continues to feed off of early saint ganks and Voyboy. Cop/Jacky continue to do well laning and support them late game.
- CLG: This is where I think they will end up but I think CLG will fare better through the season if they can pull some of the pressure off Double lift and expand Chauster’s and hotshot’s champ pool into some more damaging rolls rather than supportive.
- Dignitas: DiG Plays off kiwi top, and use the consistent Imaqtpie to get into the mid game and have scarra out strategize the other team.
- GGU uses the 1 game series to their full advantage and tries to put opposing teams on their guard in champ select. They need to win early to win late. Just like CLG, hopefully we see some help for their AD Dontmashme late game; Shiptur looks up to the challenge. Zionspartan and nintendudeX need to work the games early.
- TSM: They have been playing hidden the last few months but Chaox is there along with theOddone. I think they will start off well this first 6 weeks and fall off late.
- CpL: Good teamwork but lower tier mechanics will keep this team in the hunt and out of the bottom two.
- Team Vulcun needs to change their ways to get out of the bottom two. Improving on calls midgame will help them out the best.
- MRN is just a new team. They’ll start off slow and I think they’ll pick up a few wins nearing the end of the 12 week season. Along with GGU, look for some different team comps as they try to get some surprise tactic wins between weeks 6-12 as there mechanics will keep them from winning in the first 6 weeks.