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Taking the Pulse of the LCS - Week 3 - Summer Split

I am Adel Chouadria, aka: Hype Algerian - a passionate Frenchman who is on a mission. My passion is for anything connected with League of Legends: the game, the tournament scene, the name it. My mission, and I choose to accept it, is to elevate the heart rates of my fellow LoL fans by dishing out the skinny, the dirt, and the hype on last week’s fait accompli and this week’s fates in the balance of the North American and European LCS.

The chase is on in the European LCS!

Three weeks of League of Legends action has passed. Each team had their share of wins and losses and many storylines unfolded; Ninjas in Pyjamas changed their roster after a disappointing start. SK Gaming was on the verge of a crisis. LemonDogs stuck together without making any noise. Then, Fnatic stumbled in Week 3.

The end result is the actual European rankings. Team Alternate is the only team that has stayed afloat the murky ranking waters below them, as a pack of five teams (all 4W – 6L) are on the hunt for a very close second place, which is currently occupied by two teams at 6W – 4L.

There is no Big Four like the last split (Fnatic, Gambit Gaming, SK Gaming and Evil Geniuses). Week 3 is a glaring display of how close the LCS competition has gotten over this summer.

And it is just as dicey on NA!

The only difference between the EU LCS and the NA one is the clearly designated eighth place, Velocity eSports. Cloud 9 is to NA what Team Alternate is to Europe. For the rest of the teams, it's just as messy, if not even more tense. The second-to-seventh place all form a solid pack ranging from 6W-4L to 4W-6L. Two teams from NA have very similar paths to their EU counterparts.

The parallels are stupefying when you look at Team SoloMid and Fnatic (Spring Split Champions), as both apparently suffered the same fate. They lost all of their games this week, putting themselves in very awkward positions in the process.

On the other end, Curse Gaming is finally living up to their potential; with Edward actively mentoring Cop, much pressure has been relieved from the other lanes. This is allowing Curse to recover from a very rough start. Here again, the parallels with EU are strong as SK Gaming went through a similar scenario. It sure does help to know that they both finished fourth in the last split.

Teams of the Week

  • SK Gaming (2-0): Some teams would swap their rosters to get (or regain) the competitive edge. None of these would be SK Gaming, who decided to stand firm and work as hard as they could. The result was a scorching 3-0 overall since their owner’s tweet. They defeated LemonDogs in Week 2, then Evil Geniuses and Fnatic during Week 3.
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (2-0): This is a team which underwent roster changes and had only four days to get ready. It only took them one scrimmage to know where their strength lies. Deficio was not spared from fan backlash and stood in a position that TSM Reginald is familiar with (post Chaox ouster).
  • Cloud 9 (2-1): They have managed to pull even farther ahead of the massive pack that is chasing behind them. They're making a solid case for themselves to finish first during for the Summer Split and securing the bye to the semi-finals.

Casualties of the Week

  • Gambit Gaming (0-2): Darien's absence was heavily felt; the Spontexx gambit ultimately did not work out. The language barrier was very difficult to deal with for both parties, and neither could coordinate well in their gameplay. One of the glaring displays of this was Diamondprox's failed gank (and subsequent blue buff loss) against Ninjas in Pyjamas.
  • Velocity eSports (1-2): Vileroze and cohorts now stand in an undesirable position. They are seemingly slipping out of the chase for a playoff spot. The question that lingers is: Can they sorted out all of their issues?
  • Team SoloMid (0-3): TSM is now in a very awkward position despite still being part of the pack contending for second place. Last week's mishaps may cost them heavily in the long run, as they are tied for sixth place. It may be too early to ring the alarm, but if the split were to end today, their job security would have been at risk.
  • MeetYourMakers (0-2): One could wonder whether the LCS teams have gotten used to the team's playstyle, a style focused around Czaru's teleport-enhanced mid. The absence of an aggressive summoner spell leaves him vulnerable for trades or 2v2 scenarios (with jungle and mid on each side), and other teams have been abusing it. MYM has yet to adapt to the competition's fast understanding to their style, and that may cost them in the long term.

I’m feeling

  • Rivington's way to announce RiotKobe's birthday involved a strong crowd response. Not an everyday happening.
  • Such an amazing game between Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming. In the end, CLG Nien was TSM's kryptonite. This is a potential LoL Game of the Year right here.
  • When, despite fan backlash, your support does not only have your back but helps you through a rough patch, it can only make you better. CRS Cop’s performance this week was a clear sign of that.
  • TSM Dyrus’ no-nonsense look back at MLG should allow him to improve his play while preventing himself from forcing anything.

I’m not feeling

  • The same can't be said on on TSM Xpecial.. This week definitely left a mark on him.
  • This is not LCS-related news, but it still affects the League of Legends scene as a whole. Farewell, Toyz and Stanley. You will be dearly missed.

Comedy gold

Closing statements

Week 3 is in our rear view mirrors as we drive onward to a very promising Week 4. The action starts this Thursday for the North American LCS and may change the outlook of that scene in a snap of a finger. European action follows up on Saturday and Sunday and will take more time to shape up the future outlook of the region.

Be sure to tune in on, or @leaguepedialive if you cannot watch the stream.

Written by Adel Chouadria
Edited by Darin Kwilinski

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