While the last few weeks of NA LCS have caused concern for fans, week five’s storylines have ushered in a new hope for the region as 100 Thieves and Team Liquid continue gaining momentum. Since the roster swaps for Contractz and Poome, 100 Thieves have a renewed lease on life with Ssumday returning to carry champions and both of the Academy swap-ins providing adequate support to the team. Their Herculean efforts were rewarded in a back-and-forth game with C9 that ended in a victory, shutting down the hopes for an undefeated split yet again for the reigning LCS champions.
On the bottom half the table, Immortals, and Dignitas started to make gains as they picked up wins over formidable opponents. Immortals decimated TSM for the final game of the week after a contentious loss to Dignitas on Day One. And Dignitas made their first win of the season a back-to-back after beating FlyQuest in emphatic fashion. With four weeks left in the regular season, the middle of the table is in complete limbo as playoff spots are up for grabs.
Ssumday over the rainbow
100 Thieves possess a 3-1 record since their roster changes were made in Week Four of the Summer Split. After shaking off a loss to Golden Guardians in his debut, Poome has made a big leap for his team going from Academy stand-in to a full-fledged LCS starter in the span of a year.
In a recent interview with Inven Global, Poome was quoted as being the ‘most vocal’ on the team alongside Contractz and Ryoma, and that communication plays out on the Rift as Contractz and Ryoma regularly bullied the enemy Jungler in Week 5 in order to sneak advantages in the mid-game. Ssumday returning to carry champions was the main factor in 100 Thieves securing wins before, and if they can continue that formula for the rest of the Summer Split, their aspirations for a return to the World Championship may be possible.
Much of what works for 100 Thieves right now remains around a shared identity between players. Contractz, Ryoma and Poome all have a will to get ahead and do not not hesitate to throw their champion into the line of fire if it means their team will get an advantage. Because of that, ruthless but calculated players like Cody Sun and Ssumday are enabled to go all-in once they see the conditions are right, and their win against Cloud9 was an example of that philosophy playing out to victory. With Contractz back in the jungle, 100T have an enabler in the bushes who will always be ready to engage, and with Poome continuing to be a vocal leader for the rest of their team, 100 Thieves possess all the tools to rally back and finish the split strong.
Immortals turn back the clock; Dignitas on the rise?
While Dignitas and Team Liquid going 2-0 should be the second biggest story of the week, watching TSM get smacked around by a struggling Immortals roster to close out the weekend was undoubtedly the bigger spectacle. Immortals beat TSM in every facet of the game, out drafting their opponents and having winning matchups in virtually every lane. As the game progressed, IMT fought better and smarter for every single objective, possessing a 5k gold lead in less than 20 minutes. In the end, it was Xmithie who led a struggling Immortals roster to victory as they now sit tied for 9th place given Dignitas’ resurgence.
While things haven’t been good AT ALL for Dignitas this split, this weekend was a much needed silver lining as Aphromoo, Fenix and Johnsun looked impressive in their wins. Aphromoo returned to his favorite champion Thresh as he made important offensive and defensive plays to help his team stay afloat. The jungling situation for Dignitas continues to be a dilemma, but Dardoch was able to put together some promising performances together on Graves and Lee Sin this week that may just tip him over Akaadian going forward.
The recipe for success with Dignitas seems to be relying on past synergy to get ahead. The combination of Lourlo, Dardoch and Fenix from the old 2016 Team Liquid roster is showing signs of life and as they continue to gel with the existing partnership of Aphromoo and Johnsun. This Dignitas team could very well climb out of that 10th place hole before the season is over, the only question is which team will have to make the fall in order for Dignitas and Immortals to climb?
Image Credits: LoL Esports