Last Week in League - NA Summer 2016 Week 5

1st Place: (↕0 from last week) Team SoloMid 10W-0L

2nd Place: (↕0 from last week)Immortals 9W-1L

3rd Place:
(↕0 from last week) Cloud 9 6W-4L

(↑1 from last week) Envy 6W-4L

(↑2 from last week) Team Liquid 6W-4L

6th Place:
(↓1 from last week) Apex 4W-6L

(↑1 from last week) Counter Logic Gaming 4W-6L

8th Place: (↕0 from last week) NRG Esports 3W-7L

9th Place:
(↕0 from last week) Echo Fox 1W-9L

(↑1 from last week) Phoenix 1 1W-9L

In Week 5 of the North American Summer Split, Team SoloMid and Immortals once again demonstrated their dominance, Cloud 9 managed to keep their place in the standings despite back-to-back losses at the hands of Immortals and Team Liquid, and Phoenix 1 finally secured a win. At this point, every team has already played against each other at least once and with only a few weeks left before the end of the split, the top and bottom halves of the standings have been effectively split between those going to the playoffs and those fighting amongst themselves for the last spot. Echo Fox and Phoenix1 are both pretty much out of contention, while NRG Esports may still have a chance to clench the 6th spot if they can manage to tie or best the records of Apex or Counter Logic Gaming in the coming weeks.

The big winners this week, each going 2-0, were Team SoloMid, Immortals, and Team Liquid. After the scare of last week where they dropped a game against Echo Fox (their 3rd loss of the split), Team SoloMid redeemed themselves and once again gave a solid performance. The reigning kings uneventfully steamrolled the competition in both of their matches, thoroughly eviscerating their longtime rivals, Counter Logic Gaming, for the second time this split. Much like their previous matches, Team SoloMid followed their polished style to the letter: give little ground on losses, converge and kill anyone remotely out of place, and take as much as possible from any advantage gained. Team SoloMid’s rookie support also dazzled once again, dying only once throughout all four matches, and comfortably maintained his records of Most Assists, Highest KDA (kills+assists / deaths), and Highest Kill Participation in the entirety of North America.

Immortals enjoyed the same success, and had all but shaken off the lackluster play that had been plaguing them since the beginning of the split. So much so was their dominance that in their second match against Cloud 9, (IMT top laner) Huni even had the audacity to dive onto (C9 top laner) Impact’s Maokai near Cloud 9’s bottom inner turret as Irelia without any form of support, successfully dispatched the tanky treant, and still walked away from the exchange with health to spare. This play was merely one of many daring, aggressive moves Immortals made that game that had been the trademark of their glory in Spring Split.

Team Liquid, by contrast, did not boast such powerful margins in their two wins this week. However, they gave an impressive showing against Cloud 9, growing progressively stronger from a crippling defeat in their first of three games. In their second game, they constantly applied pressure on (C9 mid laner) Jensen’s Twisted Fate, preying on his inherent lack of escape options, and survived a shaky midgame against (C9 jungler) Meteos’ Graves, to come back and take the game later. (TL mid laner) Fenix fearsomely Viktor in both of their wins against Cloud 9, with an impressive combined KDA of 15/4/10 and not one to be outdone by their star mid laner, (TL jungler) Dardoch played beautifully as Rek’sai, even going deathless on the last game, to end the match with a combined KDA of 9/1/19 as the Void Burrower.

While there are winners, there must also losers this week. Three teams lost both of their matches this week: Cloud 9, Apex, and Echo Fox. On multiple occasions, Cloud 9 fielded the ranged champion Graves in jungle, whose lack of crowd-control abilities and high burst damage makes him suited for a shorter match, and emerged unsuccessfully in every attempt. They also handicapped themselves further by giving Jensen Twisted Fate, in hopes that with his passive ability to generate gold faster than other mid lane champions he would become stronger faster and provide global pressure with his ultimate, only to have him constantly crippled early to midgame with never ending gank pressure from opposing teams. While they are by no means a bad team, Team Liquid’s tenacity eventually overpowered Cloud 9 as their composition in their second game did not favor the late game and they failed to gain any meaningful lead.

Apex on the other hand gave Phoenix 1 their first win, something near inexcusable considering that Keane, Apollo, and Xpecial (mid laner, AD carry, and support respectively) have all been on teams that have been in the playoffs or even won them. While they are neither good nor bad, Apex made things harder for themselves in several matches this past week and before by going off-meta. Time and time again, they attempted mid-game compositions with heavy damage and low survivability and brought in unorthodox picks like Riven as well as relying heavily on Xpecial and his Alistar play. And while Xpecial has proven to be mechanically solid from his time playing for TSM and Team Liquid, his positioning this split on the Minotaur has been rather uninspiring with constant sacrificial plays and misread engages. Meanwhile, (APX top laner) Ray and (APX jungler) ShrimP are not quite on par for their respective roles. In their second game against Phoenix 1, they sacrificed players in exchange for map objectives but only accrued small leads. Meanwhile, the gold Phoenix 1 gained from these kills went onto their damage dealers while the rest of the team was full of less gold reliant crowd-control champions gifted at distracting and protecting. This skewed who truly was in the lead when Apex unsuccessfully tried to steal Baron Nashor and even gave up two deaths for only one kill in the ensuing skirmish. With this incredible advantage, Phoenix 1 rallied and punished Apex’s poorly chosen engagement that followed, leading to Phoenix 1’s victory.

Echo Fox suffered from many of the same problems as Apex, but they kept their differentials a lot closer without letting their games get out of hand. Mid laner Froggen, a veteran of the EU circuit, is the main force that keeps his team in contention. But as the only real voice of experience, he bears much of the pressure in order to carry his team to victory. Keith, Echo Fox’s AD Carry, may not be new like the rest of the team, but he had/has trouble making any sizable impact at all, which only compounds the problem further when the other members, a band of rookies, is forced to build a composition around protecting him and Froggen. Their predictable playstyle combined with their lack of experience to execute has given Echo Fox another tough week.

Beyond Phoenix 1’s first win, nothing truly out of the ordinary took place this week, though next week should be fairly interesting as many of the matches feature teams of similar skill level rather than the top versus the bottom. As it stands now though, TSM and Immortals should have no problems maintaining their spots in the rankings, which should secure their buys in the playoffs. These two teams alone create a veritable gauntlet for the lucky (or unlucky) contenders in third through sixth. But that’s not to say that anything is set in stone. After all, there are still three weeks left.

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I'm an avid spectator of League of Legends. If I'm not doing that, then I'm either working out, in school, and/or playing Quidditch (yes, that Quidditch) in Long Beach, CA.
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