NA LCS Power Rankings: What We Learned After Week 2

Alex MagdalenoTeam Stream StaffJune 16, 2017

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Welcome back to the North American League of Legends Championship Series power rankings for the 2017 Summer Split.

As expected, the dust is beginning to settle in the league after the opening week.

While there isn't too much surprise with the teams occupying the coveted top two spots, the teams bouncing around the middle of the table are still completely up in the air.

New Split, Old Rivals 

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Despite losing a close series to Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming has taken control of the power rankings.

Though, for both teams’ parts, the North American El Clasico showed how far apart the longstanding organizations are in this split compared to the rest of the league.

Historically, CLG has been a team that would accelerate into the playoffs; regular season dominance isn’t something the org is known for. But after only two weeks, CLG looks like the cleanest team in the league. They know it, they believe it and the combination of both is pretty frightening for the rest of the league facing an unexpectedly dominant CLG this early in the season.

On the other hand, the same can’t be totally said of Team SoloMid. With sloppy losses to immortals and Dignitas and cleaner wins against North America’s giants Cloud9 and CLG, TSM finds itself searching for CLG’s consistency. They have the tools and presence of mind to take out the big squads—the probable and likely threats in a playoff run—but need to refine and rebuild the team cohesion in order to also comfortably take wins off the middle of the pack.

1 CLG (+1)

2. TSM (-1)

Bridging the Gap

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Although it’s not as hotly contested as last week, we still find ourselves having to sort through a new murky middle ground in the league.

Probably most surprising move after Week 2 is Team Envy’s huge climb from Week 1. Going from a bottom-tier squad in relegation last split to an early top-4 side is certainly some incredible movement.

But the pieces were there. If you look back at Team Envy’s Spring Split, you’ll see a team that had their star jungler create early game leads which would crumble into the late game. Now, with new mid laner Pirean who enables said jungler Lira whilst consistently making proactive, clutch plays for the team, it’s easy to see the growth. 

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As for Cloud9, let it be said that this team is far from being the functional unit that rattled opponents at the start of Spring Split. It’s clear enough if you watched their series vs. Echo Fox. The 2-0 scoreline completely betrays what actually happened: C9 only winning off of Echo Fox’s inability to close out games with huge early game leads.

Still, there were moments and certain late-game team fights in the series that showed Cloud9 wins; being down 8 kills early only to win in 23 minutes shows the signs of the team who will certainly be back in the fight for Top 2 because, well, they always are. 

Dignitas looks like they’ve been able to maintain their Week 1 power level, but uncertainty around how far Ssumday can take this team remains to be seen. After Week 2, it’s becoming more clear that the team truly lives and dies by their top lane carry. Right now, that’s fine. With Fiora, Renekton and Jarvan IV all being contested picks in the top lane, Ssumday is living his best life. But Patch 7.1.2 is on the horizon, and any potential meta change should be concerning for Dignitas’ more one-dimensional approach to the game.

3. Cloud9 (+1)

4. Team Envy (+3)

5. Dignitas (no change)

Unpredictable Hopes

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It’s hard to tell what to do with these teams. 

First things first: Immortals may be the first victim of the beginning-of-the-season knee-jerk reaction. The dominance exhibited on the first week just wasn’t totally there. Controlled play and tighter team fights were plagued by mistiming and miscommunication as they ended their 1-1 week.

The potential with this roster seems certainly higher than Spring Split and their first-week performance might not be their skill ceiling, so there’s a lot to be hopeful for as the season continues. And that’s largely the concern with Immortals. They’re a shifty team. It’s hard to ever know where they’ll be in any given week. 

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With Echo Fox and FlyQuest, the hope is more flighty.

Both are true wild cards, for better or for worse. You couldn’t say a team like CLG—far away at the top—easily rolls over these two teams given current form. Remember, Echo Fox made it interesting last week. In the same breath, you’d imagine that they’d be able to close out games they’re decidedly winning.

And that’s the root of the problem. Echo Fox and FlyQuest just feel like tossups at this point. If we’ve learned anything about North American League of Legends, it is to not totally count FlyQuest and Echo Fox out on any given day. It’s just counting on them that can be the disappointment.

6. Immortals (-3)

7. Echo Fox (-1)

8. FlyQuest (no change)

What’s Going On?

Admittedly, we went on a bit of rant last week over the current state of Team Liquid. While they’re certainly not off the hook, it’s Phoenix1’s turn to take the hot seat. 

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Put simply, if we gave Team Liquid the bottom spot last week because of the general unease surrounding the organization, we have to do the same for Phoenix1 now. Yes, Team Liquid picked up their first win this week which should be enough for them to jump a bit, but—after Week 2—the bump is more about Phoenix1’s capitulation.

There’s a lot of periphery noise around Phoenix1’s fall. Arrow and Ryu aren’t looking great at the start of the season, but Phoenix1’s greatest problem is pretty clear cut: do we start Inori or Meteos in the jungle?

It just appears to be a lose-lose situation. 

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Phoenix1 looks better with Meteos and it’s fair to say bringing him in last split was crucial to the team’s turnaround, despite having less interest in competitive play. But for some reason, they still decided to start the current split with Inori, after favoring him for playoffs. 

The entire dilemma breeds a lot of assumption, but essentially distills into a crossroads P1 didn’t think they’d have to confront so early in the season.

Do they choose the player that gives them a better chance to win despite not being completely motivated to play professional League of Legends? Or do they learn to work with the jungler that does?

9. Team Liquid (+1)

10. Phoenix1 (-1)