The Mid-Season Invitational in the books. This means the Summer Split is just around the corner. Here is a preview of the upcoming LCS Summer Split 2019 preview.
LCS Summer Split 2019
Will Team Liquid’s Dominance Continue?
The biggest question heading into the Summer Split is whether or not Team Liquid will continue their dominance in over North America. After winning three LCS titles in a row, it is hard to bet against Team Liquid. They have assembled a roster that many consider the best that North America has ever seen. Team Liquid cemented their representation by doing something most North American teams fail to do. By upsetting Invictus Gaming and finishing second place at MSI, Team Liquid proved they can perform internationally as well as domestically.
The North American LCS is divided into two groups. Those who can challenge Team Liquid and those who cannot. For the most part, only two teams pose any threat to Team Liquid. First comes Team Solo Mid. After all, TSM was only one game away from defeating Team Liquid in last split’s finals. The only other team that poses a threat to Team Liquid is Cloud 9. Alongside TSM, Cloud 9 represents the “old guard” of teams with both the talent and the coaching staff that can really do anything to challenge Liquid.
While TSM and C9 might be Liquid’s biggest threats, they did not make any major changes over the off-season. However, this lack of changes is not necessarily surprising. After all, the current rosters that both organizations have put together have proved to be rather consistent domestically. The number one goal of both these organizations is making it to the world, and neither wants to make a roster change that could drop them out of the top three domestic teams. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if either TSM or C9 can topple the defending champions, or if Liquid will win their fourth title in a row.
The Biggest Changes
Most teams did not make many roster swaps during the off-season. However, that was not the case for two teams. The team that was in the direst need for a change was 100 Thieves. After a last-place finish and a dismal 4-14 record, new blood was clearly needed on their roster. This new blood came from a familiar face for North American fans when it was announced that Amazing would return from Europe to replace AnDa as Liquid’s Jungler. At first, this may seem like an odd pick-up. After all, Amazing was a coach, not a player, last split in Europe. However, 100 Thieves is not lacking in mechanical ability. With two Korean imports, Ssumday and Bang, on their roster, they clearly have the raw skill to perform. What they lack is an experienced in-game leader, a role that Amazing should be able to fill.
The second noteworthy change comes from Counter Logic Gaming. Once considered one of the “old guard” with TSM and C9, CLG has since dropped out of the top tier of teams. They have failed to make it to the playoffs in the past three splits. As such, it was clear change was needed. This change came when the team replaced longtime Top Laner Darshan with Ruin. While Darshan has long been a fan favorite, Ruin, who is coming off a dominant split in Turkey, is considered a clear upgrade. Over the past splits, CLG has lacked a consistent carry threat from the top side of the map. Ruin might just be the solution to their problems.
Same Rosters, Same Problems
Although a couple of teams have made major roster changes, most have decided to keep more or less the same rosters heading into the Summer Split. Some of these teams, like Optic and Clutch, are relying on their Korean superstars to carry them. However, this was their strategy last split and it kept both teams out of the playoffs. Other teams like Golden Guardians took the opposite approach, creating rosters filled with the “rejects” from other rosters. While the Golden Guardians had a surprisingly good performance last split, it is unclear if their roster of misfits will continue to perform in the long run.
Overall, it has been a pretty quiet off-season. With a few roster changes, one might think that the Summer Split will play out more or less the same way that the Spring did. However, if we know anything about the North American League of Legends, its that nothing is a certainty. We won’t truly know who made the correct calls over the off-season until the action begins this weekend.