LCS: The Playoff Race

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LCS: The Playoff Race

Andy Lim, Entertainment Writer

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After week 6 of the LCS, the standings were shaken with how close everyone is. Aside from TL, C9, and TSM, the last 3 playoffs spots could go to any team. The teams below third place are only separated by 1 game with either a (5-7) record or a (4-8) record. This leaves the last 3 spots open for anyone who steps up their game in the last 3 weeks. The teams that are racing for that last spot are Flyquest, CLG, Golden Guardians, Optic, Echo Fox, 100 Thieves, and Clutch Gaming. Each team has their distinct strengths and weaknesses but some stand out more than the other. It comes down to strength in schedule and play to determine what the final 3 teams will be.

CLG (5-7)

CLG is a team that you seem to never count out of the playoffs. With their history in the LCS being one of the original teams, they are always in the back of your head to at least make it into playoffs. This season is no different, with their roster finally coming together, they are looking like a really strong team that could contend for a playoff spot. They are consistently beating lower tier teams and contesting games with higher tier teams. Currently CLG’s remaining schedule consist of teams lower than them in the standings with only TSM being challenge. In terms of strenght of schedule and play, CLG looks like a strong favorite to secure a spot going into playoffs.

FLY (5-7)

It seems that the honey moon phase is over for this team. After starting the season out really strong, they began to crumble. Currently they are on a 4 game losing streak with games that are really close but it just slips away from them. FLY went from a playoff contender to fighting for the last spots. FLY’s remaining schedule is up in the air, they play a lot of lower tier teams but also play C9 and TL, the 2 super teams that rarely drop a game. If FLY wants to secure a spot in playoffs they need to at least beat one top team in C9 and TL and also beat the teams lower than them. If this team can go back to their form in the beginning of the split they can definitely contest for a spot in playoffs and maybe go even further.

GGS (5-7)

GGS on paper sounds like they should be a playoff team. This team is made up of championship players that just seemed to have an unlucky outcome. GGS started off the season really slow, they were regarded as one of the worst teams in LCS. After a sad start to the season they managed to turn it around just in time for playoffs. They are scraping by, picking up wins when they need to. The only problem for this team is the inconsistency. One day they can beat CLG but then the next they lose to Clutch. They really need to play to their strengths, in terms of mechanics all their players are really good and they should use that to their advantage. Their schedule for the last 3 weeks are not too bad. If they can beat they are expected to beat and no upsets happen, they can  make it into the off season.

OPT (5-7)

It seemed this team came out of no where, but actually they have been always lurking in the standings waiting for the opportunity to take that playoff spot. Off of the back of their imported world champion Lee “Crown” Min-ho, they have managed to stay in the middle of the pack. Optic’s wins are always on the back of Crown and they lose if he isn’t playing at his best. They have actually managed to consistently beat most of the teams lower in the standing. Their schedule isn’t too hard for them, the big match-up is against CLG. With both of those teams tied and in the race for playoffs, that will be a huge match-up to determine seeding into the playoffs or if they will get in.

FOX (4-8)

This team is in shambles after their star player Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae started performing well under expectations. Rush came into the league with a legacy that he can’t live up too, this team started the season off fine by managing to at least get 1 win every week even if was a hard schedule.  After they suffered their first week with no wins they decided something needed to change. They started their rookie jungler Panda in the LCS and it didn’t change anything. Although Panda seemed to play well, FOX still lost both of their matches. FOX really needs Rush to get back into form. Currently FOX has one of the hardest schedules going into the end of the season versing the two super teams in TL and C9 as well as other teams who have been having a resurgence towards the end of the season. If they want to make playoffs they really need to play to their strengths and make the enemy play their game.

100 (4-8)

100 Thieves had one of the most hyped rosters in the off-season. Bringing in Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun, this roster was thought to take the league by storm. Many analyst and social media had them at the top being able to contest Liquid for the title, but it didn’t go as planned, not even close. This team constantly struggles every game, they just cant seem to gel together as a team. They are constantly giving up objectives and not trading or getting anything out of them. Most of their plays fails and even when they do get a lead they still cant close a game out. This team only wins by the enemy team throwing their lead. Even with their star top-laner Ssumday constantly getting leads and winning match-ups, they cant use that pressure properly to translate into a win. This team has team has a really hard schedule next week going up against TSM and C9. Although the future for even a playoff appearance for this team may seem grim, there may be hope. If 100 can manage to beat TSM and C9 they can use that momentum to win out the last weeks. In order to do so they have decided to bench huhi and bring in their rookie Soligo. This team really needs to end the season with a bang if they want to get into playoffs.