The first super week is upon us in the LCS. North America and Europe play 20 games each in this jam-packed week and the murky standings should start to take a definitive shape by next Monday. Every team plays 5 games and it is time for the contenders to start separating themselves from the pack, and the teams who are going to be relegated at the end of the season will fall by the wayside.
One thing is certain, teams can't afford to have this be their bad week. Even a team like Curse or Fnatic could find themselves dropping from first place to the middle of the pack if they don't perform well. All the heavy hitters are playing each other in what is sure to be the best week of e-Sports Season 3 has seen yet, so let's take a look at what is stake for each scene.
Europe - Anyone's Ballgame
Europe has just 3 games in the loss column separating the 1st place Fnatic (5-1) from 7th place Giants (3-4). Giants, aAa, and Dragonborns are all considered "second-tier" teams to the old heavy-hitters of the EU scene. They have had their moments in the LCS, but one of them needs a statement week if they are going to make a serious run at knocking one of the big 4 teams off their spot. Relegation is also a real possibility for any team that has a 1-4 or 0-5 week. The confidence hit of starting a week around .500 in the standings and ending 3-6 could easily start a team spiraling down to join a Copenhangen Wolves (0-8) team who can't seem to catch a break.
This week is really about who emerges as the favorites for 1 and 2 seeds in the Spring playoffs. It's hard to pick a favorite in the EU scene right now because the teams are all so evenly matches. SK had a strong first week, EG looked like the team to beat going into last week, and now Fnatic sits on top of the standings thanks in large part to a huge week from Yellowstar. Gambit has been lying in wait in the EU scene and seems poised to have a breakout week sooner or later. The Russians always seem to step their games up when it matters the most, and with games against SK, EG, and Fnatic this week they might find themselves in the familiar position of being the team to beat in EU.
So who actually does it? If Fnatic can keep their momentum from last week going, it's hard to pick against them. With Soaz and Yellowstar picking their games up to match Xpeke, that team is just plain scary to play against. They all have such a diverse champion pool and a knack for coming back against impossible odds, it's hard not to love Fnatic this week. Fnatic's schedule also appears to be one of the easiest this week. No team in Europe is a pushover, but the only big name team they play against this week is Gambit, and Fnatic could start to cement their 1st or 2nd place finish this week with a 4-1 or 5-0 week.
North America - A Tale of Two Foursomes
The North America scene, as it has for awhile, is about 4 teams. The top 4 teams in the standings have only dropped 1 game to the bottom 4 in the standings (CLG losing to Vulcun last week) and it would be a major shakeup to the status quo if Curse, Dignitas, TSM, and CLG didn't finish 1-4 in the spring season in some order. Dignitas and TSM have both rebounded from poor weeks and come in with almost as much momentum as a Curse team who remains the only unbeaten team in the LCS. CLG struggled last week, and seems to be trying to regain their mojo on the fly, and they will certainly need to rebound from last week's showing if they want a shot at one of those top two seeds.
The bottom 4 of the bracket is the fight for relegation. It's tough to see any of those teams going better than 16-12 and the relative skill levels between them are fairly close. None of these teams are particularly good at closing games out, and are gaining the experience needed to contend the hard way. Vulcun looked much better last week after starting the LCS 0-5, winning all 3 matches including an upset of a floundering CLG. They have a brutal draw this week though, with games against TSM, CLG, and Dignitas, and if they hope to stay away from the bottom of the standings they will need to find some more upset magic.
Complexity is a young team has perhaps shown the most promise of the newer teams in the LCS, but they haven't been able to close out games against better teams. GGU looks to be the only team that might already by on its way to relegation. Shiphtur's inability to compete has hurt a team that showed a lot of promise considerably, and things aren't getting any better for awhile because their normal mid-laner won't be able to join them for several more weeks.
So which team actually comes out of the week in North America smelling like a rose and getting slurped on reddit? Both TSM and Dignitas only play Curse from the top 4 and should finish the week at worst 4-1 if they want to challenge Curse for that top spot in NA.
It's hard not to like the way Dignitas has been playing lately, and if they can get a decent showing out of Kiwikid they are the team I would put my money on to be the talk of the week. Their top lane was humbled after week 1, and hasn't performed up to the level that a first-place team requires, but the rest of Dignitas has been clicking on all cylinders. Now Kiwi has the experience against his opponents and situations that he was missing going into the LCS, and if he can use that to his advantage Dignitas should be a scary foe in the coming days.
What do you think of the week RoG? What games are you most excited for this weekend? Who emerges as the favorite for both NA and EU? Let us know what you think in the comment section and be sure to stay tuned to Reign of Gaming for all your League of Legends related needs!
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