Week 1 of the League of Legends Championship Series Summer split has culminated with each team playing three games. Team SoloMid, along with Immortals, is leading the table after the first three games, while Spring split champions Cloud9 had a shaky start.
Tournament favorites crumbling in the early stage
Both Team Liquid and Cloud9 faltered in the first week of the LCS Summer Split, winning only one game out of three. The two finalists from the spring looked shabby and uncoordinated in their respective games. Team Liquid lost to Team SoloMid in the opening match of the season, followed by a mediocre performance against Counter Logic Gaming to register a win. The four-time champions then got rolled over by Cloud9, leaving their opening week in dismay.
On the other hand, this was C9’s only victory as they dropped games against 100 Thieves and Golden Guardians. Although this was only the first week of the split, there are some glaring issues with both teams. There was a lack of communication, and most of the players from either team seemed rusty.
Team SoloMid’s resurgence
While both Team Liquid and Cloud9 struggled in the first week, TSM had a strong start to the split. They cruised through all their opponents defeating Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians. Every player on the roster had a solid performance, and the team in general committed minimal errors.
TSM is the most decorated franchise in LCS but they’ve struggled in recent years. However, the team is slowly getting in its groove and is one of the prime candidates to qualify for Worlds 2021.
A surprise hot start for Immortals
Apart from TSM, Immortals were the only squad that won all of their games. This came as a surprise to fans and analysts alike as Immortals finished in the bottom half of the table in the Spring split. The team played like a well-oiled machine and mainly focused on objectives in all three games. Veteran jungler Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir was impeccable in particular as he carried them in the early game, which allowed the rest of the squad to perform smoothly.
Immortals won their games against 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians and CLG. They will go against Evil Geniuses next and will look to continue their purple patch.
Dardoch’s redemption arc continues
Once touted as a prodigy, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett’s career has been a rollercoaster. Controversies have always surrounded him, and as a result, he has never managed to keep a steady place in any roster so far. He played on six teams in the past five years, which has damaged his reputation as a professional player.
When Dignitas signed him last year, many were skeptical of the move and believed Dardoch is towards the twilight of his career. However, he has made significant strides since then and is now a prominent member of the team. He was a major catalyst in Dignitas’ successful campaign last season and is now pushing for a Worlds 2021 spot with his team. Dignitas dropped only one game in the opening week, and Dardoch was a shining star in all their matches.
Gwen and Viego are busted
Viego and Gwen are the latest champions that have joined the League of Legends roster. Neither were playable at Mid-Season Invitational 2021. It’s always difficult to gauge the power level of a newly released champion, but the first week of LCS has shown that both Viego and Gwen reside in the top tier.
The two champions had a high pick/ban rate and were rarely left open. It’s clear that teams have a high priority on them, and it would be interesting how players utilize the two champions moving forward.