The LCS roller-coaster returns on February 17! It’s getting harder and harder to separate the favorites from the underdogs, as North American teams keep going blow for blow on the Rift. With that, we’re doing a complete overhaul of our LCS power rankings 2019 for week 4 of the competition!
10. Clutch Gaming (2W, 4L, -4 spots)
Clutch Gaming were always going to be a highly volatile lineup, so their fall from grace isn’t too surprising. They had a strong start in their game against 100 Thieves, and while they lost in the end, they still showcased enough skill and creativity to navigate a complex poke comp. Unfortunately, everything went out the window in their match against Cloud9.
Their biggest problem comes from not being able to rely on their jungle and top lane positions. LirA is struggling to regain his dominance. His pathing is still decent, but his decision-making leaves a lot to be desired, and he consistently finds himself on the wrong side of an outplay. Huni also fell into a slump, and his laning and teamfighting are a shadow of what they used to be. Of course, Clutch still have enough talent to stabilize, but considering how important Huni and LirA are to their roster, it’s going to take them a while to gain the necessary momentum.
9. OpTic Gaming (2W, 4L, -4 spots)
We finally got to see OpTic’s starting lineup in action and… well, let’s just say we’re not impressed. Sure, Arrow is doing well on skill shot champions, and Big is exerting surprising amounts of pressure in the early stages of the game. But the coordination and teamfighting prowess that made OpTic so fearsome during the first two weeks are no longer there.
To make matters worse, Meteos is a clear-cut downgrade to Dardoch, and his measured playstyle is an ill fit for this lineup. Granted, this might be due to the lack of coordination with his laners, but at this point, OpTic don’t have a lot of time to build up synergy. And if they don’t start picking up wins within the next week or two, they might spend the rest of the split at the bottom of our LCS power rankings 2019.
8. Echo Fox (3W,3L, no change)
It’s hard to evaluate Echo Fox. On one hand, they had a terrible showing against Counter Logic Gaming, as Rush and Fenix couldn’t execute a single noteworthy Nocturne/Orianna combo. On the other, they blindsided North American viewers by mounting a spectacular comeback in their match against FlyQuest.
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Rush doesn’t seem to be on the same page with his teammates, so his playmaking talents don’t shine as bright as they could in the early game. On top of that, Echo Fox experience constant communication breakdowns in teamfights, so their 5v5s look very scattered compared to those of their competitors. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Echo Fox have great carries at their disposal, and Fenix and Apollo have shown time and time again that they can go toe-to-toe with the best players in the region. Combine that with strong Dragon control, and Echo Fox might very well be the sleeper OP of the season.
7. Counter Logic Gaming (3W, 3L, no change)
Counter Logic Gaming are a wildcard. They usually have a good sense of direction on the Rift, but their execution is lacking. Whether it’s 1v1s, jungle skirmishes, or full-blown teamfights, one CLG member will always overstep his limits by making a brash positioning mistake or missing a crucial skill shot. With that, they frequently fall behind early on, so they have no other choice but to stall and scale in an effort to claw their way back into the game.
Another thing to note about CLG is their drafts. Sometimes they slaughter their opponents in the pick/ban phase to the point where the entire match is won before they even step onto the Rift. But there are other times when they end up with three losing lanes and incredibly narrow win conditions. In the end, CLG lack is stability. They need to get more consistent at not giving up any ground in lane and sticking to their game plans, but that’s definitely something easier said than done for a team as scattered as CLG.
6. TSM (2W, 4L, -2 spots)
Speaking of teams that don’t have a lot of consistency, meet TSM. They start their games strong by drafting multiple power picks and overwhelming their opponents in the laning phase. However, they inevitably throw their leads by getting involved in hectic skirmishes and speculative jungle invades.
Most of it comes from their clash of playstyles. Zven and Bjergsen are playing a very different style of LoL compared to Akaadian and Broken Blade, so they have a hard time syncing up on the Rift. With that, navigating the late game is a constant struggle for this lineup, and TSM need early leads to close out their matches. Of course, they’re still a new team, so they might figure out their playstyle in the future. But until that happens, TSM will stay in the bottom half of our LCS power rankings 2019.
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5. Golden Guardians (2W, 4L, +5 spots)
It’s official: Golden Guardians won a game! Moreover, they instantly capitalized on this success by stealing another win from none other than TSM. Their early game is still riddled with holes, but they are much better at staunching the bleeding and keeping up with their opponents in the laning phase. Throw in potent 5v5 teamfighting and decisive initiations from Contractz, and it’s easy to see the reasons behind their newfound momentum.
That being said, their success might be fleeting. GGS strategies seem to revolve around mid lane Karthus, and they’ve would’ve had a much harder time if they didn’t have Froggen’s Requiem to clean up their teamfights. Hence, we need to see how this team performs without the Karthus crutch before jumping on the Golden Guardians hype train.
4. FlyQuest (3W, 3L, -1 spot)
Wait, didn’t FlyQuest just suffer two back-to-back losses in week 3? If that’s the case, why the hell are they so high up our LCS power rankings 2019? Well, one of their losses happened against the juggernaut that is Team Liquid, and the other was the result of a narrow comeback by Echo Fox.
In both cases, FlyQuest showed up in the early game and put the heat on in lanes and jungle skirmishes. They also displayed a great understanding of how to move around the map, pressure neutral objectives, and navigate late game teamfights. Granted, their Baron calls are very shaky, which is a huge reason behind their lacking week 3 results. But when you look at every other aspect of the game, FlyQuest give and impression of an incredibly solid lineup.
3. 100 Thieves (3W, 3L, +6 spots)
Right as we wrote 100 Thieves off, they had a resurgence! Huhi stepped up his game in the mid lane, as he’s once again roaming around the map and providing massive amounts of pressure to his side lanes. It also helps that AnDa consistently finds himself in the right place at the right time to pull off game-changing plays and cover his teammates from enemy ganks.
But the biggest stars of the show are Bang and Ssumday. The former put on an absolute clinic in 5v5s, and his Vayne and Ezreal became the focal points of 100T’s teamfighting. As for the latter, he completely eviscerated the likes of Huni and Darshan in the top lane, providing a potent splitpushing threat to his teammates. The only worrying point is Aphromoo, but considering the overall direction of this team, a slightly underperforming support won’t drag them down to the bottom of the standings.
2. Cloud9 (4W, 2L, no change)
Cloud9 are the clear-cut second-best team in the league. Their drafts are smart, and they always seem to know exactly what and when they need to do to take the W. They’re also great at setting up cross-map plays and luring their opponents into losing teamfights. Combine that with their pre-existing synergy, and it’s not exactly surprising that C9 frequently outmaneuver their foes around the map.
Their only issue stems from the lack of star power. When push comes to shove, none of their players are world-class talents that can solo carry competitive games. They’re still good, sure. But they’re not great. And until they get a strong carry to play around, Cloud9 will keep playing catch-up with the #1 team in our LCS power rankings 2019.
1. Team Liquid (6W, 0L, no change)
The throne still belongs to Team Liquid. Whether it’s synergy, individual strength, or macro prowess, this squad ticks off all the boxes that make a top League of Legends lineup. Doublelift and CoreJJ are downright oppressive in the bot lane, and they routinely push their foes into a corner with their combination of playmaking and mechanical skill. The same applies to Jensen, who towers above every other mid laner in the competition, and ven TL’s token tank player—Impact—can show up with dominant carry performances.
Of course, Team Liquid aren’t perfect. Their playstyle is formulaic, making it easy to tell how they’re going to approach their games and what they’re going to do on the map. But does it even matter if no one has the brains or the brawn to stop them?