Articles:LCS Week Five NA Power Rankings
North America LCS Week Five Power Rankings
After four days, 20 matches, and more than 200 kills: week four, AKA: “Super Week”, of the Season 3 LCS is over. The battle lines drawn in week three have shifted. The immortal Curse Gaming have fallen from power. Counter Logic Gaming bent the Season 3 meta to their will. Somewhere Dignitas fans clap with glee. Welcome to the NA week five power rankings from Leaguepedia Fantasy.
1. Dignitas (Previously #2)
Current Record: 10W-2L
Somebody call the Dignitas of Season 2 and tell them that everything is going to be OK. The trials and tribulations of the past year have all been swept away. The leaked strategies, the under-performing mustaches, and the loss of key players all made way for a Season 3 Dignitas squad that is on fire--burning hotter than the announcer of NBA Jam for Sega Genesis. Their impressive performance thus far lands them in the penthouse of these power rankings for the first time.
Dignitas sped into week four on a series of wins that date back to the second week of LCS competition. Five matches later, Dignitas’ win streak continues, and it appears they have no intention of slowing down. Dignitas' 5W-0L record in week four also boosted them to number one spot in the official NA standings. On their way to the top, Dignitas established that they truly deserved first place by rocking the former leaders Curse Gaming. Dignitas dominated the formerly untouchable Curse in a 33 minute matchup that ended in a 14-2 kill count in Dignitas’ favor, including a perfect 6/0/3 performance from scarra. Their team-wide KDA for the week was an incredible 76/21/167. With three more matches to look forward to in week five, Dignitas are poised to strengthen their hold as the top dogs in North America.
2. Curse (Previously #1)
Current Record: 9W-2L
Curse dropped one spot into the number two ranking, despite starting week four in their typical fashion. Curse rampaged MRN and compLexity, accumulating 34 kills to their opponents' 9. Then the giant, perhaps in a moment of vainglorious excitement, stumbled. Caught off-guard by the explosive early game aggression of Dignitas, Curse lost a huge early gold lead. Voyboy was punished especially hard, ending the match 0/3/0. Curse never recovered, and 33 minutes later Curse’s perfect record was marred by a loss that saw Curse hand over their largest gold deficit of the season: 16k gold. It was as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Unfortunately for Curse, there was more pain yet to come. Their next match against Counter Logic Gaming closed in a second defeat. Doublelift found his AD Carry mojo and then unleashed it in impressive fashion; his Vayne play confounded Curse in engagement after engagement. Although Curse were able to pull back a victory against TSM Snapdragon in their final match of week four, the game was a close one that could have gone either way. Curse need to use the upcoming bye week to practice, practice, practice if they hope to recover their first place berth. If they don’t move quickly, Dignitas might run away with the lead without a second glance at Curse.
3. Counter Logic Gaming (Previously #4)
Current Record: 7W-4L
CLG jump up one spot in the rankings after finding a solution to the Season 3 meta shifts: Vaynelift. The recent changes to AD Carry itemization have been difficult for most competitive teams, but CLG were hit particularly hard because of their reliance on Doublelift to close out games. Counter Logic Gaming came into week four with an even record, 3W-3L, but they exited the week with an impressive makeover at 7W-4L. The difference: Doublelift’s Vayne, who logged a sweet weeklong KDA of 25/10/22.
Doublelift uncorked week four in style, going 10/1/5 against Vulcun. He toasted compLexity with a rousing 8/2/3. Then, suddenly, the wine ran out. MRN stepped into the Fields of Justice to remind CLG that the LCS is not all cheeseburgers in paradise. MRN’s plan to shut down CLG by punishing bot laners Doublelift and Aphromoo with repeated ganks and heavy pressure was a huge success. MRN walked out of the match with their first victory of the LCS after resigning Doublelift to a 2/5/4 KDA.
Counter Logic’s victory over old rivals, Curse, rounded out a fantastic week for LiNk and company. However, worries persist. MRN proved that the combination of Chauster and HotshotGG’s utmost protection and Doublelift’s remarkable mechanical skill is not enough to protect the Aphrolift combo from harassment. The duo can be denied hard enough to negate their threat in team fights. It remains to be seen whether CLG can pick up alternative strategies going into week five to ensure their spot in the top three.
4. Team SoloMid Snapdragon (Previously #3)
Current Record: 7W-4L
Week four saw TSM ricochet from third place down to the number four spot after they failed to take advantage of an excellent chance to legitimize their Season 3 title contention. Instead, it seems like they proved that they are...just OK? Almost every TSM Snapdragon performance in week four could have been announced by Rammus with nary a play missed. TSM found three wins and two losses in week four with inconsistent play that made interpreting the results nearly impossible. Victories against compLexity, Good Game University, and Vulcun, are appreciated. Then MRN’s Heartbeattt made TSM Snapdragon look like intermediate bots in a MRN training session. That is right, MRN, a team that had only one victory from the first three weeks of LCS competition, shut down TSM Snapdragon. How do you like them apples?
The bright star in TSM Snapdragon's galaxy right now is Reginald. After barely scraping together a positive K/D ratio in weeks one through three, Reginald nailed an impressive 21/12/41 KDA in week four. Reginald’s particularly strong Xerath landed repeated max range Arcane Barrages on entire enemy teams to devastating effect. Week five will pit TSM Snapdragon against Good Game University, Curse, and compLexity. Judging from their past performances, they could go 3W-0L just as easily as 0W-3L.
5. MRN (Previously #7)
Current Record: 4W-5L
MRN stride into week five the NA LCS with their heads held high. After three weeks of dismal performances and half-chances, they earned a victory lap in week four through some stellar teamwork and individual skill. Or, more accurately, they merited a victory circuit given their 3W-2L weekly results and their climb into 5th place in the NA LCS. After losing to Curse in the first match of the week, the indefatigable MRN picked themselves up and grabbed three consecutive victories. First they snatched scalps off of NA behemoths CLG and TSM Snapdragon. Then they MRNified Good Game University with an 18-9 kill count in MRN’s favor. These triumphs were followed by a thrashing at the hands of Dignitas. MRN’s loss to NA’s leading men in their final match of week four did not dampen the spirits of their supporters, despite MRN being on the losing end of a 17/5 kill count.
The key for MRN in week four was their AD Carry, Heartbeattt. In multiple MVP-winning performances, Heartbeatt found kills and made plays that would have made even Doublelift jealous. (In fact, they probably did, because some of those plays were against CLG.) With a weekly KDA of 22/5/16, Heartbeattt has emerged as one of the top AD Carries in North America. Whether or not he can continue to find quadra kills on Tristana may be a huge factor in MRN’s future success in week five and beyond.
6. Team Vulcun (Previously #5)
Current Record: 4W-9L
After a breathtaking series of victories in week three, Vulcun tumbled out of the stratosphere and headed back down to earth in week four. A seemingly promising schedule (other than a pesky Curse match) proved too daunting for the Vulcun squad to overcome. Vulcun ended week four with 1W-4L which sent them back to sixth place in the league standings.
While Vulcun’s results in week four left much to be desired, the team can take some solace in their individual performances. Zuna breathed new life into his AD Carry mechanics as shown by his respectable weekly 26/17/35 KDA, and only their jungler, Xmithie, ended the week with a negative K/D ratio (14/28). Vulcun need to find a way to translate their individual skills into team fight advantages. Poor communication is, at times, a roadblock for Vulcun: Xmithie’s attempted ganks or position changes were not always mirrored by the rest of the Vulcun squad. This resulted in a dead Xmithie, and left Vulcun one player short in any skirmishes for the next 20-50 seconds. In week five, Vulcun will need to find victories against MRN and compLexity in order to stay competitive at the middle of the table, because their final match against Dignitas could be painful.
7. compLexity Gaming (Previously #6)
Current Record: 1W-8L
Team compLexity face-planted into a hard wall of losses in the NA LCS, and they just can’t seem to find a way over, under, or around it to victory. Lautemortis and crew's slide down to the penultimate spot in the rankings means that they need to ask some tough questions, such as “where can we find results?” With only one triumph out of their nine matches played, compLexity are starting to look like they are out of their league. Even the mid-tier LCS competition subjugated compLexity: in week four compLexity faced Vulcun and lost after notching less than half of Vulcun’s kills (28-12). They need to retool their efforts and focus on positive results against the mid/bottom-tier competition in order to stay afloat.
Week three promised a revitalized Nickwu whose Shen performances turned team fights in coL’s favor and landed him a 15/7/20 KDA for the week. Unfortunately, in week four, Nickwu relied largely on other champions, such as Rumble and Zed. He ended the week with a 12/15/12 KDA. His lone positive game came when he finally played--you guessed it--Shen. It is unlikely that coL’s opponents in week five will ignore Nickwu’s strongest champion, and it is clear that their team suffers drastically without Shen. A match against Dignitas, TSM, or Vulcun, could prove a big ask at this point.
8. Good Game University (Previously #8)
Current Record: 2W-10L
There’s big trouble in the little University, and it increasingly looks like the only cure is Shiphtur--if a panacea exists at all. GGU have had the misfortune to idle in the last place berth of these power rankings for two weeks in a row. GGU will need to do better in week five if they want to make sure they are not left standing when the music stops for a third week in a row.
Without Shiphtur, Good Game University look to their AD Carry DontMashMe for the majority of their damage and carry potential. He has been playing valiantly in the bot lane and somehow managed a 17/12/19 K/D/A record in week four. However, GGU is too heavy for DontMashMe to carry on his own; he needs backup. CLG proved in week four that AD Carries can still win games - if you babysit them during the laning phase and smother them with protection during team fights. "Protect DontMashMe" is probably not a strategy that GGU have practiced, but ZionSpartan, NintendudeX, and Fat might need to give it a try. Teams win games by playing to their strengths and GGU may be fooling themselves if they continue to think that everyone on GGU can carry them to victory.
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