With the conclusion of week 3, the potential playoff picture is becoming more clear as teams battle it out for the top six spots.
The Immortals continue to look like a team that has the potential to go undefeated all year, holding two wins over the rest of the field. Meanwhile, six other teams remain within one game of each other (and Dignitas is only 2 games back from second place). Week 4 is guaranteed to have some upset potential as well as defining games for League of Legends teams vying for playoff positions.
But first, let’s recap where we currently stand three weeks into the season.
Can anyone stop the Immortals?
It’s no surprise that the Immortals are playing at a high level, but not many people could have predicted the level of domination they would start the season with. In the first week of play, we saw them set the record for quickest game won in NA LCS history against Team Impulse. Their team communication and synergy has been on point each match, more akin to that of a veteran team that has been together for years instead of a team that formed a month before the season started.
Meanwhile, teams that have undergone the same sort of roster transition, such as Team SoloMid and Fnatic, have struggled in the early season. TSM had issues early against Cloud 9 last week, largely being out-rotated and outplayed in their early game objective control. If not for an epic team fight 24 minutes in the game that resulted in a C9 ace, TSM would most likely have lost that game.
In their second game against NRG, TSM was completely embarrassed, going 0-19 and looking completely lost.
The issues that TSM has faced so far this year are what one would expect from a team of newly-formed members and something Immortals has escaped so far. Now the question that begins to creep up is whether anyone can make the Immortals, well, mortal this year.
Adrian (22.7 KDA ratio), Reignover (21.3 KDA ratio), and WildTurtle (14.8 KDA ratio) hold the top three spots for KDA, averaging an astonishingly low 0.5 deaths per game. In fact, they are the only three players to currently have a 10.0 or higher KDA ratio. Combined they are a ridiculous 55-10-136 through their first six games.
Reignover and Huni know what it takes to go perfect all season (they did it last year for Fnatic, a team that clearly does not look the same without them), and that edge you need to play with has spilled over to the rest of their team. WildTurtle and Pobelter have gone from essentially castoffs of their former teams to superstar status this year. Adrian has consistently outperformed TSM’s support, YellowStar, another Fnatic import.
The key will be how this team responds to adversity, if and when it strikes. So far though, it’s been smooth sailing.
Renegades and Echo Fox have roster issues
Both Renegades and Echo Fox are currently tied for last place at 1-5. Part of the reason is their inability to field their intended starters. Renegades’ ADC, Freeze, has missed two weeks of games.
Freeze is a huge step up in skill to any of the Renegade substitutes at that position. He averages the most CS per minutes at 10.1 and is second in kill participation at 89.3 percent. His absence has messed with the continuity that a young team like Renegades needs early in the season. Team fights have been difficult to navigate, with both RF Legendary and Crumbzz ranking in the bottom three for KDA and kill participation for their given positions.
The vision for Echo Fox going into this season was to build around Froggen in the mid lane and Keith at ADC. What happens when one of those players misses two weeks, in this case Froggen?
A 1-5 start and a team that looks more like a Challenger series team then an LCS squad. Keith has the lowest CS per minute among ADC’s currently (he’s been benched this week). Froggen’s replacement, Goldenglue, hasn’t played very well either. He has the lowest KDA among mid laners at 1.4 and has the second lowest CS per minute.
When both of your carries are ranking near the bottom in terms of farm per minute, it’s hard to win the game when you can’t win the laning phase.
The good news for Renegades and Echo Fox is there’s still time to recuperate, get their starters back (Freeze did play last Sunday), and finish the Spring Split strong. This will be a defining week for both teams though, as they both face tough competition in almost must win situations.
NA LCS eSports wagering predictions – Week 4 / Day 1
Team Liquid (1.51) vs. Team Dignitas (2.59)
After a rocky start that saw the team go 1-3 in the first two weeks, Team Liquid bounced back nicely in week 3. They beat a really good NRG squad 20-7, securing an almost 20,000 gold lead near the end. They then showed they could come from behind on day 2, erasing a 5,000 gold lead in the last 10 minutes of the game against Team Impulse.
After week 3, Team Liquid has staked their claim as a middle of the pack team in contention for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Dignitas comes into week 4 with three straight losses. They do have a quality win against CLG in week 1, but it seems their play had become stagnated. Shiphtur has played phenomenally, posting the second highest KPA ratio among mid laners (6.5) and the second highest kill participation at 75.4 percent.
Unfortunately, that matchup will largely be negated by Team Liquid’s mid laner, Fenix, who has 16 more assists to go along with his leading 82.5 percent kill participation among mid laners.
The biggest discrepancy in this game will possibly be in the top lane. Lourlo is 10-17-48 top lane for TL, while Billyboss for Dignitas is 7-14-16. I think it’ll be a pretty closely fought match, but TL’s advantage in the top lane gives them the win.
Cloud 9 (1.32) vs. Renegades (3.44)
Renegades is reeling right now, having dropped five straight games. Many prognosticators at the beginning of the season thought this would be a top six team with Alex Ich mid and Crumbzz in the jungle. Unfortunately, bottom lane has been a mess all season.
Remi hasn’t performed on the big stage and Freeze has been in and out of games. Remi has publicly voiced she doesn’t want to play professionally anymore, and the team synergy just seems nonexistent at this point in the season.
Meanwhile, C9 has played really well in the games that Hai has started. They could easily be 4-0 with Hai shot calling but fell just short against TSM. Rush is a much better jungler then Crumbzz is as well. With Hai starting this game, take C9.
Immortals (1.43) vs. CLG (2.85)
Immortals will be the clear favorite in every game they play the rest of the Spring Split. CLG isn’t terrible at 4-2, but the way they want to play, split pushing with Darshan and constantly lane swapping, will be punished by Immortals.
CLG has a slim shot here because of their player talent and the teams great coaching staff. On the flip side, the Immortals coaching staff doesn’t get a lot of credit for the work they’ve done this season. I’d be surprised if this team is not ready for the lane swapping that CLG has perfected. Take Immortals here.
Team SoloMid (1.30) vs. Echo Fox (3.52)
TSM has been competitive in every match they’ve played except for their last game against NRG. Echo Fox will be starting their subs again. Until Echo Fox can field their intended starting roster, they’re going to be hard pressed to find a win.
Take TSM all the way here.
NRG (1.39) vs. Team Impulse (3.01)
Which NRG team shows up will determine how close this match will be. If the NRG team that lost to Team Liquid last week comes to play, then Team Impulse has another shot at an upset. If the NRG team that dominated TSM on day 2 of last week instead shows up, which I think they will, this will be an easy win for NRG.
It’s true that many have underestimated Team Impulse, and they’ve been playing great LoL over the past two weeks. Without any true superstar, this is a team that has come together and played as one unit. This game should be a blood bath, but NRG has skill advantages as every position.
Take NRG here.
eSprots betting predictions – Week 4 / Day 2
Immortals (1.31) vs. Team Liquid (3.51)
TL’s Fenix and Piglet against Immortal’s Pobelter and WildTurtle will be really fun to watch. TL’s Lourlo and Dardoch will also be heavily challenged in this matchup. With that said, Immortals is just on another level compared to every other team in the NA LCS.
Take Immortals here if you’re going to be paying a visit to the eSports bookmakers this weekend.
Cloud 9 (2.31) vs. NRG (1.62)
This will be the closest match of the week and will help determine how far along both teams are. C9’s Incarnati0n and Sneaky will be challenged by NRG’s GBM and Altec.
Moon has played pretty well in the jungle this year for NRG but he’ll be facing Rush, arguably the top jungler in North America. However, NRG will have a clear advantage in the top lane. Balls has played better this year, but he’s not on Impact’s level.
In my upset pick of the week, I’m taking Hai’s shot calling, Cloud 9’s 3-0 record on Sundays, and Rush’s advantage in the jungle in a close Cloud 9 victory.
Team SoloMid (1.28) vs. Renegades (3.72)
It doesn’t get any easier for Renegades. They need to pick up a win this week against either Cloud 9 or here against TSM. I just don’t see it happening, though.
Doublelift and YellowStar will dominate bottom lane. This could get ugly for Renegades, especially if they lose to Cloud 9 on Saturday.
CLG (1.35) vs. Team Impulse (3.22)
This will be a great test for how far along Team Impulse’s communication has evolved as a team. There will need to be clear and concise shot calling in this game for Team Impulse to have a chance against CLG’s frantic lane swapping antics.
Seraph has played well this season in the top lane, but he’ll have his hands full against Darshan. CLG should win this matchup, but if they don’t come fully engaged, TIP has shown the propensity for pulling off the upset.
I like CLG here.
Team Dignitas (1.62) vs Echo Fox (2.31)
A battle of bottom three teams. Both of these teams really need a win to stay relevant, so expect a scrappy, hard-fought match. Echo Fox will essentially be starting three substitutes this week, which normally doesn’t bode well when you’re a 1-5 team.
I believe in hail marys, but not here. Take Team Dignitas.
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