It’s now the second week of LCS and things are already getting crazy. TSM and Team Liquid both seem to be having the most trouble with their new rosters, as TL still without a single win. Immortals are off to the best start, being the only team in NA to play three games and win each one. Echo Fox received an automatic loss, so NRG also has three wins, but we are going to have to wait until later in the split to see which actually the better team is. The biggest surprise of the day though had to be Team Impulse vs Cloud 9, the “automatic losers” vs the “Cinderella story.”
Nobody expects anything out of TIP. Their current roster is stuck in visa purgatory, so they are playing with four subs. Even our own LCS standings rank them at the absolute lowest spot. Cloud 9 on the other hand, is the team that blows away expectations. Last split, they finished 7th with little hope of getting through playoffs. Hai, who at the point had stepped down from the team, came back as C9’s new jungler and propelled them through the regional gauntlet, earning them a place at Worlds.
This split, C9 has Hai on their main roster as their support. Wanting to try new things and let
Hai finally retire, Bunny Fufuu has been subbed in. He is an LCS veteran who previously played for Gravity, showing great promise on champions like Thresh. Today Cloud 9 played their second game without Hai, which they lost. It’s impossible to tell what’s going on behind the scenes, but it seems to the casual observer that Hai is C9’s best shot caller, and without him they suffer. If C9 wants a chance to do well this split, they are really going to have figure some things out.
This isn’t to knock TIP though, they played extremely well. Last week TIP suffered, losing a game in 18 minutes to Echo Fox in an absolute stomp. Today, TIP seemed like a different team. They demolished C9 in team fights, playing as a collective unit instead of a bunch of high ranking solo queue players. Seraph, who is actually on Team Dragon Knights (but is subbing in), dominated on Lissandra, using her Glacial Tomb to either separate C9 in team fights or eliminate Sneaky. Mash, on Lucian was an absolute monster, ending the game 7/1/3.
Bebei on Lee Sin, who had just joined TIP last week, lost most of his jungle early to Rush, who has always been known for his strong early game presence and Nidalee play. Even being down over 50 farm to Rush, Bebei on Lee Sin still became relevant, helping turn the tides of a few critical team fights. Rush has a tendency to over step his boundaries, and this time was caught twice early game around TIP’s red buff.
A team that analysts were expecting to go 0-18 just beat last split’s regional qualifiers triumphantly. Here’s to TIP showing up this split, reminding everyone that this team did come from LMQ.