Cody “Kingblunkers” Allison back again!
about 6 weeks ago I wrote about professional League of Legends, specifically the North American League Championship Series. NALCS.
The primary competition for US and Canada’s top talents on Summoner’s rift.
I wanted to update you all about how accurate my standings are, some meta strategies that we’ve seen develop, and my new prediction for the last couple of weeks.
The Current Standings
Five weeks of competitive league action have passed and we have to reassess my initial thoughts on how the NALCS would shape up. See below the current standings, with my original predictions in parenthesis.
- Cloud 9 (Prediction 1st) Record 8W-2L
- TSM (Prediction 2nd) Record 8W-2L
- Flyquest (Prediction 9th) Record 6W-4L
- Phoenix 1 (Prediction 7th) Record 6W-4L
- CLG (Prediction 3rd) Record 5W-5L
- Immortals (Prediction 6th) 5W-5L
- Echo Fox (Prediction 10th) 4W-6L
- Dignitas (Prediction 4th) 4W-6L
- Team Envy ( Prediction 8th) 2W-8L
- Team Liquid (Prediction 5th) 2W-8L
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my picks, but I think we need to take a deeper look at what’s happened to understand some of these outcomes.
Cloud 9 and TSM unsurprisingly are at the top of the NALCS. For the KDA stats, both TSM and C9 each have three players in the top 10 for this stat so far. (Jensen 5.6, Smoothie 4.9, Bjergsen 4.7, Biofrost 4.6, Hauntzer 4.5, Impact 4.5)
The biggest upset for my expectations, with the veteran all-stars on FLYQUEST. Again, Flyquest is almost like legacy Cloud 9. With Hai, Balls, and LemonNation, you might think you hopped in a time machine when you see them play. But I think I, and many others, forgot about these players and how effective they were through the entirety of their career. Hai, still a shot-caller for the team is often making aggressive calls that many other teams do not want to make. And based on their record its slightly working out for them more than it is hurting them.
Phoenix 1 also surprised me, a recent addition with another ex-C9 player, Meteos in the jungle has looked like a pretty good fit for the team. I think they are certainly settling into their roster better now.
Stuck in the middle
The next group of teams has certainly had some bad weeks, and some good weeks. but no one is doomed to relegation, but also, no one has secured playoff berths. CLG, Immortals, Echo Fox, Team Dignitas.
Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals are teams that are familiar with success. CLG started rough and has looked a bit better each week . And this is typical for them. I believe they have what it takes to separate themselves and stay strong. Immortals, I also believe, performs consistently enough against lower teams that I believe they have a chance for playoffs.
Dignitas and Echo Fox. Dignitas I had much better hopes for. But so far, despite the highly regarded players, they just haven’t made it click yet. And Echo Fox on the other hand… When they win.. they look amazing. When they lose, not so much.
Bad times at the Bottom
Envy and Liquid, technically speaking aren’t doomed to relegation. Statistically they can still climb upward, but I don’t see it happening. This is a point in the season where you change your goals. You stop thinking about, what does it take to win the league, you assume you aren’t making playoffs and change your mindset to, what does it take to stay in the NALCS.
The Meta picks
Bot lane-ADC’s normally settle pretty early on. This season ADC has strayed away from carry champions and more towards utility picks like Jhin, Varus, Ashe, and Sivir.
support- We’ve also seen some agreed picks that Zyra, Malzahar are probably the two most contested with other picks like Karma, Nami, and Thresh also seeing some popular contested picks.
Mid Lane- Corki, Leblanc, Syndra, Orianna, Ryze are pretty common picks for the midlaners. Mid lane does have more varience so I certainly am missing some picks that teams have settled into, but mid lane has always allowed for such diversity.
Jungle is also pretty narrowed down at this point of the season with Khazix, Rengar, Graves, and Lee Sin probably seeing the most action
Finally Top lane- Maokai and Nautilus are certainly seeing plenty of action, The other picks are usually geared to counter whatever makes it through. Commonly Poppy VS Camille has been a common trade, with Shen and Rumble being another combo that makes it through from time to time.
With just a handful of weeks left, the next time I talk about league will be at Season end for a playoff’s update.
Based on the trajectory of the correct standing, see my new updated predictions for the regular season standings.
- Cloud 9
- Phoenix 1
- Team Dignitas
- Echo Fox
- Team Liquid
- Team Envy
The Top will stay the same, but with TSM pulling out a few additional victories over C9. Like some previous seasons I think CLG will surge further towards the top. Causing P1 to stay strong but drop a spot. Immortals can shape up and snag the last playoff spot.
I do believe Liquid and Envy are likely to stay at the bottom and fight for their right to stay in the NALCS. I don’t believe I’ve seen enough consistency from Echofox or Dignitas to see any major changes in standing from them.