It is finally time to resume the nationwide phenomenon known as the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). With the wild ride that 2020 has been in so many ways, it can only mean that we are in store for the summer split of our lives, right? Right!
With more mid-season roster changes than has been seen in some time, many teams are pushing the reset button, and those that did not will be looking to build upon their strong performances here in the summer. Not to mention, there have been some of the most surprising roster shake-ups imaginable.
So what does this mean for all the week one excitement? A whole lot of action, and a whole lot of uncertainty. Be sure to clear your schedule for these games!
TSM Vs. Team Liquid: Double the lift, double the fall
Bad puns aside this should be undoubtedly one of the most interesting games in the first week of play.
The two winningest-teams square off as each other’s first opponents this split and both rosters have a lot of hype behind them. Liquid will be without their star ADC Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng, as he moved to TSM, and will be starting rookie Edward “Tactical” Ra in his place. It will be interesting to see how this switches their dynamic and playstyle, as it seems likely they won’t be committing to their signature ‘win through bot’ style. It will also be Joshua “Jatt” Leesman’s on-stage coaching debut!
On the other side of the rift is TSM, who replaced both their jungler and their ADC, with Doublelift slatting in from TL at the latter spot. No doubt, Doublelift will smell the blood in the water on his quest for vengeance but will it be enough? The biggest question mark for TSM comes in the jungle, as he is a rookie. Will he be able to meet the demands of his strong top-side and renowned bot-lane? The formula is there for TSM, it will be a matter of if they can solve it or not.
Which of the two giants will come out on top in this grudge match? Find out Saturday at 5 p.m. EST.
100 Thieves Vs. Evil Geniuses: Improvement or death
This may seem like a strange one but hear me out. Both of these teams were far from the best last split, and also far from the worst. They continuously improved over the course of the spring split. Although neither of them made finals, they did both show that they have what it takes to be in the mix.
Neither team made roster moves, though EG did pick up Heo “Huni” Seung-Hoon as a sub, so obviously they both believe their rosters are good enough and will continue on their upward trajectory. This game is important because it is a check-in on whether or not their opinions of themselves are actually reality. Will they continue their upward trends? Will they establish themselves as top contenders or will they have to press the reset button by the offseason. The first game of the split, not only for the teams but in general, could also be a telling on with regard to their status.
Who is your money on? Find out if you are right on Friday Night League at 9 p.m. EST.
Cloud9 Vs. FlyQuest: Spring finals rematch
Last but certainly not least we have the rematch of last split’s finals.
C9 dominated not only the spring finals, where they beat FlyQuest 3-0, but the spring split as a whole. They went a combined 20-2 to have the highest win percentage in LCS history. To believe they were anything but indomitable is false. It is an absolute shame for the region that they were not able to test their mettle against international competition, as it appears they would have been a contender. With everything on the line with regard to World Championship qualification now happening in the summer, will C9 perform just as well as they did in spring? Can they adapt to the changing meta to ensure themselves not only a World’s slot but put themselves as an international contender? The road starts here.
Oh, and FlyQuest is in this game too, right? In seriousness, it is easy to overlook this team with the excitement around C9 and several other teams in the league. But, they were second place in Spring, seemed to be on a non-stop upward trajectory, and made no roster changes. Even though they were smashed in spring finals, they are a team to watch here in summer.
Will the kings keep their crown? Tune in on Friday Night League at 10 p.m. EST.
For more coverage of the LCS and LEC check out our League of Legends section here!
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.