I'm not sure this applies well to the NA LCS. Cloud9 did very well, Velocity Esports did not. One is 5-0, the other is 1-4. It's hard to call this the rise of the new teams when only one is rising.
In Europe this is fair. When I look at the EU LCS Team Alternate and Meet Your Makers clearly dominate with a combined 9-1, that one loss coming from Team Alternate beating Meet Your Makers. Plus Lemondogs are 2-3 with Fnatic and EG, which ain't bad.
I was very surprised by how poorly Ninjas in Pajamas/Copenhagen Wolves did. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Gambit and EG did. Curse looks like team cohesion is breaking down. CLG and Dig had exciting games but it's harder and harder to see either of them approaching the Asians.
I thought your element of surprise section was very well written.