League of Legends: LCS Summer Split Preview

League of Legends: LCS Summer Split Preview

This article is part of our League of Legends series.

With the LCS re-starting next Friday, here is a detailed breakdown of the teams and rosters for 2020 Summer Split and what to expect in the coming months. Before we examine the roster moves and expectations for each team, let's take a look at the rankings from the Spring Split:

  1. Cloud 9 (17-1)
  2. Evil Geniuses (11-8)
  3. 100 Thieves (11-9)
  4. FlyQuest (10-9)
  5. Team Solo Mid (9-9)
  6. Golden Guardians (9-10)
  7. Dignitas (9-11)
  8. Immortals (8-11)
  9. Team Liquid (7-11)
  10. CLG (3-14)

Cloud 9 (17-1) (Spring Split Champions) 

I don't think enough can be said about Cloud'9s very impressive dominant Spring Split. They went the first half of the season without losing a turret on the rift, which is a very hard task to do in professional play. Additionally, Zven had a KDA that was insane for professional League of Legends, dying only 16 times in an 18-game season. Zven has drastically improved over his TSM days. Additionally, the coaching staff, with Reapered at the helm, hasn't been given enough credit after making the tough decisions to part ways with Sneaky and Svenskeren, which were initially not received well by fans. Some regression will set in since Cloud 9 had almost the perfect season, dropping one game to TSM, but I believe Cloud 9 will find the same success in the Summer Split and make another playoff run.  

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Licorice
  • Jungle: Blabber
  • Mid: Nisqy
  • ADC: Zven
  • Support: Vulcan

Evil Geniuses (11-8) (Third place playoffs)

Evil Geniuses had a very shaky start to the Spring Split but came up big by securing a playoff spot and making a good run until they hit the Spring Split champions of Cloud 9. To Evil Geniuses' credit, they were the only team to take a game off Cloud 9 during their playoff run. The big change that occurred after the slow start was getting Jiizuke onto Ryze for the mid lane and utilizing him as a split pushing champion. Jiizuke had great performances on Ryze to bring them into the playoffs. The rest of the team also stepped up in big games and had some bright points when Svenskeren was sticking to the Sejuani and Gragas champions. Evil Geniuses had one roster move over the break by adding the top laner Huni. Evil Geniuses has said that Kumo will still be the starter, but I could see Huni taking over if he performs well in scrims. One last thing to look out for is if Bang can get back to his past form; I can see Evil Geniuses making another run in the playoffs now that the team has a full split of experience under their belt. 

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Huni
  • Top: Kumo/Huni
  • Jungle: Svenskeren
  • Mid: Jiizuke
  • ADC: Bang
  • Support: Zeyzal

100 Thieves (11-9) (Fifth place playoffs)

100 Thieves were actually pretty surprising this year and went above my expectations. Papa Smithy was hired as the general manager and had to put together a team that would actually compete for Spring, and he accomplished just that. Getting CodySun from Dignitas was the first great move along with keeping Ssumday in the top lane, where he had another great split. However, this team needs some work to continue its success and go deeper into the playoffs. First off, Ryoma needs to be looked at in the mid lane, as his sub-par split dying isolated in the mid lane put the team down early in games. The other player who needs to be looked at is Meteos. I still believe Meteos can bring teams to victory, but the meta has to suit him with tank junglers. If the meta suits 100 Thieves, be on the lookout for them to get some upsets this year.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Ssumday
  • Jungle: Meteos
  • Mid: Ryoma
  • ADC: CodySun
  • Support: Stunt

FlyQuest (10-9) Second place playoffs

FlyQuest FlyQuest FlyQuest… WOW! What a split they had. FlyQuest was in a similar spot to Evil Geniuses where they needed a good end to the split to reach playoffs, and they were able to push themselves into fourth and the winners' bracket. The playoff run had a shaky start, losing to Evil Geniuses 3-1, and they were looking at an early exit. They went on to the losers' bracket and beat Golden Guardians 3-0 with Team Solo Mid on deck after beating 100 Thieves. TSM put up a good fight, but the series ended 3-2 in favor of FlyQuest. Next came Round 3 of the losers' bracket: FlyQuest once again met Evil Geniuses, but this time they dominated the series 3-1 to go on to the Spring Split finals. Unfortunately, this is where the run ended to Cloud 9 in a 3-0 loss. FlyQuest had such a dominant playoff run due to their team play that really started to click at the end of the split, but the talent on Cloud 9 was too much to handle. FlyQuest can upgrade from WildTurtle, but he is a consistent player to sit on and has a good name throughout the history of the league, which still brings in fans. Only one roster change comes in for FlyQuest, which is in the top lane, where they will be starting Solo and dropping Viper from the roster.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Solo
    • Out: Viper
  • Top: Solo
  • Jungle: Santorin
  • Mid: Power of Evil
  • ADC: WildTurtle
  • Support: Ignar

Team Solo Mid (9-9) Fourth place playoffs

TSM were mediocre, at best, during the Spring Split. The team had some experience playing together before they brought in Dardoch, who was seen as an upgrade over their last jungler. Dardoch and the coaching staff seemed to be on the wrong page when it came to champion selection; for example, Dardoch shines on aggressive jungle champions but was put on passive/tank jungle champions for most of the split. Dardoch is now being replaced by the TSM Academy jungler Spica, who is...fine. Hopefully for TSM, the 10th time's charm to finally make a jungler stick on the roster. One other big issue TSM had overall was closing out games and figuring out when to push their advantage. Many times, during the Spring Split, TSM would get an early lead and then just start to passively play the game and lose their lead. If they played a bit more aggressively, they would have had a better season just by being more proactive. The big news of the offseason is that DoubleLift has re-joined the team and they added support player Biofrost. These moves will help them make a better run this season, and expectations will be high with the addition of DoubleLift. If the team can avoid the drama from management, they can focus on the rift and find success. 

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: DoubleLift, Spica
    • Out: Kobbe, Dardoch
  • Top: Broken Blade
  • Jungle: Spica
  • Mid: Bjergsen
  • ADC: DoubleLift
  • Support: Biofrost

Golden Guardians (9-10) Sixth place playoffs

Golden Guardians was surprising in playoffs with a roster compiled of members who have been around the league for a long time except for Closer, who came into the scene as a rookie. Even more surprising, Closer had the best performance of the Spring Split. This team will likely stick with its original members because they made playoffs, but that was the ceiling for Golden Guardians. Some problem areas on the current roster would be Golden Glue and Keith. I'm still waiting to see if Golden Glue can have that breakout split, and maybe the meta will favor him in Summer. GoldenGlue is another example of a consistent player who never really has outstanding games. The talk around the league is that GoldenGlue is very good in the practice environment, but he struggles when it comes to big games. Other teams in the league may start looking at acquiring Closer if he continues to improve in pro play, but Golden Guardians would be smart to build a team around him. I expect them to try and make another run at playoffs but fall short of that this year with TSM on their heels.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Hauntzer
  • Jungle: Closer
  • Mid: Damonte
  • ADC: FBI 
  • Support: Keith/Huhi
  • Positional Coach: Olleh

Dignitas (9-11)

The first thing to talk about for Dignitas' season is that the $2 million contract Huni signed after worlds last year didn't pan out. Dignitas gave him a giant contract to be the face of the team, but after a disappointing split where they failed to make playoffs, he is out. I am out on this team as it currently stands for a couple of reasons. The first is Aphromoo at support. Aphromoo has been disappointing for a couple splits but is still on the team because of his big name and is loved by the community, which is a draw for keeping fans. Newer and younger supports with more skill have come into the scene, and it would be wise of Dignitas to find a new one. The second concern, which isn't as big as Aphromoo, would be Froggen, a well-known name who has been on the scene for a very long time but might be past his prime. Those are the two roles that should be improved to bring Dignitas back into playoffs. The addition of Viper will bring a skilled and disciplined player to the top lane, which will be a breath of fresh air over the very-aggressive-to-a-fault Huni. The other big news is getting rid of Grig from the Jungle and adding Dardoch, who will hopefully light a fire under this team while succeeding on carry junglers to bring playoff hopes to Dignitas. 

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Viper, Dardoch
    • Out: Huni, Grig
  • Top: Viper 
  • Jungle: Dardoch 
  • Mid: Froggen  
  • ADC: Johnsun 
  • Support: Aphromoo  

Immortals (8-11)

Immortals' first split back in the LCS was a respectable one. They were two games out from securing a playoff spot and one tiebreaker game to clinch the sixth seed. The current players are fine for their roles, but none are top tier in North America. I either see this team making it into playoffs or being in the bottom three for the split. Some bright spots for this team would be Xmithie, who has six LCS split championships under his belt, and Altec and Hakuho, who have been playing together for a long time so there is synergy in the bot lane. Soaz could be replaced with some rookies in the scene, but he is another staple name who I assume Immortals will keep on unless he has a very bad split. Eika also has a lot of upside to be a breakout mid laner in the league.

Current Roster 

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Soaz 
  • Jungle: Xmithie  
  • Mid: Eika 
  • ADC: Altec/Apollo
  • Support: Hakuho 

Team Liquid (7-11)

Team Liquid sure did put on a disappointing performance last split compared to everyone's expectations. Team Liquid had four LCS championship split wins in a row and were a dominant team in the league. The change for Spring was bringing in Broxah from Fnatic, which was an upgrade over Svenskeren in the public eye, but when put into practice it was clear this team needed some time to work out a new game plan. Visa issues and overall bad stints of gameplay from DoubleLift and Impact early in the season led to losses that made a chance at playoffs very tough. DoubleLift sat out some games when Tactical stepped in and was serviceable. With Tactical starting Summer, this team has a chance of making playoffs if things align. Team Liquid would need improvement from Impact and Broxah while also having Tactical being a reliable and consistent damage threat without getting too flashy. CoreJJ and Jensen had a fine split and weren't the reason the team lost games. Hopefully they stay consistent while Tactical and Joshua "Jatt" Leishman, the new coach, find a way to make this team work.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Tactical, Coach Joshua "Jatt" Leishman
    • Out: DoubleLift, Shernfire
  • Top: Impact 
  • Jungle: Broxah 
  • Mid: Jensen 
  • ADC: Tactical 
  • Support: CoreJJ 

Counter Logic Gaming (3-14)

CLG not only ended up last in the Spring, but they were four games away from ninth-place Team Liquid. Pobelter came back into the mid lane at the end of the split to replace the surprisingly awful Crown, who had a good showing in the LCS up until that point. CLG must have thought that Crown wouldn't get back to form because the notorious P.O.B is back. CLG did improve when they brought back Pobelter and looked better when playing from home. I would like to see some changes to the roster, but there isn't a lot of time to bring someone in, which will prove challenging for all teams to bring in new players for Summer unless they are located in California. I would like to see Wiggly and Smoothie improve drastically for Summer. Smoothie used the be the support player for Cloud 9 and the main shot caller a few years ago and was successful on Cloud 9. I think CLG win a couple more games compared to the Spring Split but will most likely miss playoffs and be a bottom-three team.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Pobelter
    • Out: Crown
  • Top: Ruin 
  • Jungle: Wiggly 
  • Mid: Pobelter 
  • ADC: Stixxay 
  • Support: Smoothie 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allen Moser
Allen Moser writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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