With the end of the regular season just two weeks away, the line is going to be officially drawn in the sand on who will and won’t be in the LCS playoffs.
Where will the dominos fall? Read on to find out.
Cloud9: Locked in
Sitting at a 13-1 total record over the season so far, Cloud9 (C9) is officially locked in LCS playoffs and likely to be the first seed. They look incredibly dominant. With their explosive playstyle, it will be exciting to see what they can do in the playoffs and they seem a likely finals participant.
Team SoloMid: In
Tied for second place at 8-6, Team SoloMid (TSM) is a team on the ups. TSM is finally finding their playstyle. They defeated C9, but by their own admission that was a game where they found their perfect composition and isn’t necessarily the norm yet. If TSM can continue to build on their strengths and diversify their playstyle they will be a force to be reckoned with. Heck, maybe even a finals contender. They are a shoo-in for playoffs.
In the same position as TSM, FlyQuest also has an 8-6 record in the LCS are tied for second. Over the course of the whole season, FlyQuest have been a contender. Prior to this week, they have held the best record and looked like one of the strongest teams standing against Cloud9 the whole season. While they did have an 0-2 week last week, their experimentation in those losses exudes confidence. Expect to see this team in playoffs and be much stronger than their current form implies when they return to comfort picks.
Evil Geniuses: In
Evil Geniuses (EG) is a team that seems to be finally finding their form in a big way. From the beginning, this team has looked more than solid in the early game, but now they finally all look to be on the same page in their macro play. While they do have some individual weaknesses, overall they have some star power on their team when they are up to the task. This is the team that one can have the most faith in making it into the playoffs in this pack.
100 Thieves: In
Very similar to EG, the Thieves are finally starting to find their end of season form. They have shored up a lot of their early game mistakes (no more solo-kills in the mid-lane or failed tower dives) however they do have an incredibly tough schedule these last few weeks. It seems likely they go 1-3 in these last few weeks to finish with an 8-10 record, but that should be enough to get them in by a very narrow margin. They should be able to take a tiebreaker against almost every team around them if need be.
From here on out things get really tight.
This is definitely going to draw some weird looks, but the last team making playoffs on this list is Immortals (IMT). This squad does not deserve to be in this position, and it seems very likely they also finish with an 8-10 record. They have been on a downward spiral over the previous weeks while their competition is improving quite rapidly. But, IMT benefits greatly from the wins they acquired in the early part of the season, and from the difficult schedules the more well-prepared teams around them have. It may be a losing record, and there may be more deserving teams, but IMT are in a good position to make playoffs.
Golden Guardians: Out
Golden Guardians will be the first team out of the playoffs. In contrast to Immortals, this is a team that deserves to be in. Their team has been improving dramatically, and over the course of the season have been generally solid. With Choi “Huhi” Jae-Hyun subbed into the roster in support, they look even stronger. However, with a schedule that includes FlyQuest and TSM, they seem likely to miss the playoffs. It’s really a toss-up on their match with Team Liquid (TL) depending on which version of TL shows up that day, good or bad. If they take that match they honestly have a solid shot of making playoffs at 8-10, but if they lose, a 7-11 record waits for them.
Team Liquid: Out
Likely the most controversial placing on this list, TL has set themselves up for a big failure. Team Liquid’s supporters will look to their 2-0 week two weeks ago as a reason for them to make it in, but they haven’t been convincing since. TL is too inconsistent, and as their record suggests, they are more often down than up.
They do not seem strong enough to take down FlyQuest and C9, who are two of their last four matches. The other two matches are against Golden Guardians and EG, who both seem to be stronger according to the eye test compared to Liquid. It is very possible they could beat Golden Guardians, but that only leaves them with a 7-11 record which won’t make the playoff cut, and it is very possible they finish a low 6-12. A defending champ has never failed to make LCS playoffs, TL may just be the first.
Counter-Logic Gaming: Locked out
While Counter-Logic Gaming (CLG) doesn’t seem to be the worst team in the league, having made drastic improvements with their recent acquisition of Eugene “Pobelter” Park, they are already locked out of playoffs contention. It is very possible there can be some big upsets from this team as they look to play spoiler and improve for the summer split, but they, unfortunately, won’t be seen in the playoffs.
Team Dignitas: Out
Dignitas, tsk, tsk, tsk. They started out so strong and early on they were pegged to be the real deal. Dignitas have star power on their squad, but they are the worst team in the league. It will be interesting to see what changes they look to make over the course of the break before summer, if any. They will have a lot of time to fix their problems as they look to be out of LCS playoffs contention.
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Nicholas Kanan is a student, writer, gamer, and human being. In that order. Nick has been an avid follower of esports for the better part of a decade, beginning with Starcraft II in 2011 and switching focus to League of Legends since 2013. He is a regular viewer of the LCS and makes it social, introducing friends and family into the world LoL Esports. Check out my Twitter for more of my thoughts.