| Tags: Esports Tournaments, LCS, League of Legends
| Author Rohat Dicle Kılınç
LCS Summer 2022 Playoffs Preview and Power Rankings
LCS Summer 2022 regular split is behind us as we go into the Playoffs to crown our champions.
Summer Split Playoffs for LCS is essentially an eight team tournament that not only produces a Summer Split Champion, but also the two other Worlds representatives for the region. The Playoffs will start in this Saturday, August 20, and the Finals will be played in Chicago’s United Center, on September 11.
So before the games start let’s see how the teams stack up each other and what should be our expectations from them. Lucky for me, the final standings of the regular split seems to mimic the current Power Rankings for the teams perfectly.
The road to Chicago begins next Saturday. #LCS pic.twitter.com/wYKx59Qwmv
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) August 15, 2022
Regular Split Recaps
LCS Week One Recaps – Day One, Two, Three
LCS Week Two Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Three Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Four Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Five Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Six Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Seven Recaps – Day One, Two
LCS Week Eight Recaps – Day One, Two, Three
8. Golden Guardians
- Eric ‘Licorice' Ritchie
- Kim ‘River' Dong-woo
- Nicholas ‘Ablazeolive' Antonio Abbott
- Trevor ‘Stixxay' Hayes
- Kim ‘Olleh' Joo-sung
GG finished the split with five wins and they almost ended up in a three-way tie for the last playoff spot. After a 4-5 finish in the first half of the split, it has been nothing but a disaster for them. At this point, there is not much to talk about them. They will play the loser of the CLG/C9 matchup and I don’t think there is a chance they can beat either of the two. For them, the playoffs only means their season was lengthened by one more series. Better luck next split.
Mid-Season Prediction: 7th Place
I don’t think GG moved from seventh place even once since I started this power ranking. They are currently tied for sixth with C9 and their only wins came against the three bottom teams of the league, except the first-week victory against C9, which is not that good if you are looking to break into the top-middle of the LCS. Individually all five members of the team are above average to good players for NA, but specifically, their top side are having big problems staying consistent even in a game start to finish, let alone week by week.
I don’t see any scenarios where GG doesn’t make playoffs in an eight-team spot, but there doesn’t seem to be room for much more success after that.
Pre-Season Prediction: 8th Place
- Colin ‘Solo' Earnest
- Mingyi ‘Spica' Lu
- Huang ‘Maple' Yi-Tang
- Tony ‘Instinct' Ng
- Jonathan ‘Chime' Pomponio
TSM is another team that benefitted from an eight-team playoff format, but unlike GG they have some chance of actually winning a series. They’ve been able to stay competitive in their games against top-half teams ever since they’ve brought in Chime and Solo, who both are performing at a good level. Still, they lack some firepower to actually be a Worlds spot contender. Their goal for the playoffs should be to give experience to Chime/Instinct duo, if they are looking to keep them around for the next split, and hope to be competitive in their series so they can keep Spica around as his contract runs out after the split.
Mid-Season Prediction: 8th Place
TSM did really blow it all up, huh? If you’ve missed the news, TSM replaced their entire bot lane last week and Huni suddenly retired due to some issues with his wrists. The first two games for this new squad was at the two ends of a spectrum. They got completely stomped by C9, and then they dominated FLY, which is a pretty good team. I think the roster changes were needed as the previous roster did not look like they were handling things well, but I’m just not sure how good the new roster will be. Sure, the potential is there. S0ul was already a fast-rising prospect and Instinct silenced the doubters for a while with his Pentakill, but how good can they get when there is already four weeks left in the split?
Pre-Season Prediction: 7th Place
Check out our League of Legends betting tips
- Philip ‘Philip' Zeng
- Brandon ‘Josedeodo' Villegas
- Loïc ‘toucouille' Dubois
- Johnson ‘Johnsun' Nguyen
- Zaqueri ‘aphromoo' Black
Taking an overall look at their Summer, we can call it a success for FLY. With aphromoo coming in, Johnsun is looking much better than he did in 2021, toucouille/Jose duo showed a lot of upside and their rookie top laner performed miles ahead of what was expected. They already showed during the split they can challenge everyone, even though they couldn’t close it out consistently. The problem is, they’ve had a lot of ups and downs and that doesn’t bode well when it comes to Bo5s. They are already starting with a game against TL, which will be a hard match-up for them. Making Worlds isn’t too realistic of a goal for them this split, but every step they take forwards will help them for next year.
Mid-Season Prediction: 5th Place
FlyQuest could’ve been tied for second right now if they did not lose to TSM last week, which is surprising as no one expected this from them. But after thinking about it some more, is it really that surprising? I don’t remember too many teams aphromoo played on that did not perform well at least during the regular season. While no one will delusion themselves into thinking this roster is going to challenge for the title, they are one of the better teams to watch in the LCS so far into the Summer.
Pre-Season Prediction: 6th Place
- Ibrahim ‘Fudge' Allami
- Robert ‘Blaber' Huang
- Nicolaj ‘Jensen' Jensen
- Kim ‘Berserker' Min-cheol
- Jesper ‘Zven' Svenningsen
Cloud9 is the team where we can start talking about making Worlds with a decent chance. Although they have a long way to achieve it, not to mention their championship aspirations. It will be interesting to see how they will perform in a Bo5 setting as they looked like they didn’t know what consistency meant during the regular split. They also aren’t performing to a level they’ve shown before. Both Fudge and Blaber had some pretty bad games, especially in the latter half of the split.
It’s not all negatives, of course. Any team with Jensen on it will always have a chance during playoffs and he has a streak to protect as he has never missed a Worlds ever since he joined C9 the first time in 2015.
Mid-Season Prediction: 4th Place
Ups and downs of C9 continued last week with a quick dominant victory over TSM, followed by an abysmal performance and loss against Immortals. While they are tied for sixth, they are 4-2 when we consider their problems in the early season, but it should be noted they played EG and TL in that first week. Seeing their lows this split I would not be surprised if they lost that games anyway, but in the end the past does not matter too much.
From what I’ve seen from them with their full roster, I’m already impressed with Fudge, if he isn’t playing Gragas, and Berserker but so far Jensen has been pretty poor. Add to that some inexplicable games from Blaber, and there is some worry, but I still have a lot of faith in C9 to get much more consistent as playoffs near closer.
Pre-Season Prediction: 4th Place
4. Counter Logic Gaming
- Niship ‘Dhokla' Doshi
- Juan ‘Contractz' Garcia
- Cristian ‘Palafox' Palafox
- Fatih ‘Luger' Güven
- Philippe ‘poome' Lavoie-Giguere
The last Worlds in NA was in 2016, just after a Summer Split where CLG was the champions. Is it a coincidence, or is it destiny? Whatever it is, CLG has definitely become a fan favorite over the Summer Split. The team is not just full of colorful personalities but they’ve also been playing some of the most exciting League on the Rift.
Sure, their performance fluctuated a little bit throughout the split, but they’ve always pulled it together at the right time. I also think Bo5s will give them more advantages than some of their opponents. CLG has been the best team when it comes to their drafts, be it the mid/top flexes or Luger playing anything from Seraphine to Draven, they’ve been doing a lot of different experiments. They are favorites against C9 and they showed they can beat EG, in a Bo1 at least, so there is no reason to stop being faithful at this point.
Mid-Season Prediction: 6th Place
Okay, I am starting to get worried for CLG a little bit. After a great start to the season with creative drafts and good individual performances, they lost all their games in the last two weeks, except the one against IMT. Now their sixth place is still good, especially considering I predicted them to be 10th before the season started, but they had a chance to be really ahead of the curve with the start they had. The problem is the individual performances seem to stumble. Palafox and Contractz haven’t been as proactive as they were in their 4-1 start. We saw this get punished against 100T, who decided to camp top and CLG could not take advantage of Dhokla’s pressure on the map.
Of course, it is not just doom and gloom. In just half of the Summer, they nearly tied their win in the Spring Split (6) and this is acceptable for what is still supposed to be a young developmental roster.
Pre-Season Prediction: 10th Place
3. Team Liquid
- Gabriël ‘Bwipo' Rau
- Lucas ‘Santorin' Larsen
- Søren ‘Bjergsen' Bjerg
- Steven ‘Hans sama' Liv
- Jo ‘CoreJJ' Yong-in
Team Liquid is the team with the most to lose if they miss Worlds. With how big the expectations are, it is hard to paint anything less than being at Worlds a real success. They had a lot of problems with their play in the regular split, mostly around their mid and late game, which was in full showing against their loss to 100T. I am still not happy with the Hans/Core duo’s performance, as I look back to the whole 18 games and I cannot remember any games where I was impressed with them. This can be a big problem for TL as the bot lane is a very stacked position for the top-six playoff teams. On a more positive note, they still have a very reliable top side and we know they can carry a series against teams like CLG and C9, who are the biggest competition for the third Worlds spot.
Mid-Season Prediction: 2nd Place
For a roster of this caliber, anything below a championship in LCS has to be considered a failure, and right now TL looks like they will be failing. When watching this team on the Rift during the last couple of weeks, the only constant positive was their mid/jungle duo who have been creating early leads or carrying late game fights. Without them, neither their top side nor bot lane looks like they are contributing what is expected from them. Specifically, the Hans/Core lane hasn’t worked out so far and they were supposed to dominate the league. It feels wrong to only speak negatively about a team that is 6-3 and ranked second in a power ranking, but there is no denying they are underperforming.
Pre-Season Prediction: 1st Place
2. 100 Thieves
- Kim ‘Ssumday' Chan-ho
- Can ‘Closer' Çelik
- Felix ‘Abbedagge' Braun
- Victor ‘FBI' Huang
- Choi ‘huhi' Jae-hyun
With every passing week, 100 Thieves cast more doubt on the notion that EG are the best team in the league. While some fans still doubt this roster, it would be foolish to look at them and say they aren’t a real threat. They’ve finished the second half of the split 8-1, and while watching them it is very hard to spot a weak link in the team. Sure, their early games haven’t been great as a whole, but all three lanes are great at mitigating loss while Closer makes sure they aren’t too behind objective-wise. And once the time comes to fighting 5v5, their opponent's chances of winning are very miniscule.
I cannot comfortably say they can or will beat EG in a Bo5, but when looking at the bigger picture, I find it very hard for them to miss Worlds. There simply aren’t two teams stronger than them at the moment.
Mid-Season Prediction: 3rd Place
100T is second in the league and they keep winning games, so why is the hype around them continue to decrease among the fanbase. If I need to give one reason, I would wager it is because they are straying far away from what made them the most exciting team to watch in LCS, and they are turning into a classic NA team that waits till late game and wins fights. Aggression once was their signature with early game dives, Closer being the most active jungler and their bot lane keep killing opponents 2v2, but we did not see these things much this Summer.
But despite mine and fans’ disappointment about their playstyle, the Thieves are still winning games and even Abbadagge, who was having problems early in the split, is looking much better lately. If the trajectory continues like this they soon will pass TL as the closest contender to EG, but I still miss the old 100 Thieves.
Pre-Season Prediction: 3rd Place
1. Evil Geniuses
- Jung ‘Impact' Eon-yeong
- Kacper ‘Inspired' Słoma
- Joseph ‘Jojopyun' Pyun
- Kyle ‘Danny' Sakamaki
- Philippe ‘Vulcan' Laflamme
Not much to say about EG that hasn’t been said already. They are very similar to 100T, great individual players, good but not great early game but they always go 0-100 once the mid game starts. They didn’t show too many weaknesses during the regular split. Their two losses against 100T and TL came after they got snowballed on after losing a crucial fight early, which is one of the only weaknesses they have. They sometimes keep forcing even when they are behind.
We also saw some shaky performances from Impact, but we all know Playoffs Impact is a different beast. Against any team they face, they will have the better players on the Rift. Making Worlds at their current form looks like a given, and I would not bet against them when it comes to the trophy as well.
Mid-Season Prediction: 1st Place
After a clean win against TL there is no doubt EG are the best team in the league, even if there was any before it. So far their early games had the most varying look as they had some games where they were getting pressured a lot. But after the game time hits a certain point, they’ve consistently been the best team in the league when it comes to map movement, objective control and teamfighting. Not only that it can be easily argued that every player in this roster is the top player in their roles. From this point on it is almost certain they will represent NA at Worlds so there are only two questions in my mind. Can they finish the split 17-1, and can they repeat their championship?
Pre-Season Prediction: 2nd Place
LCS Summer 2022 Playoffs Schedule
- August 20, 1PM PDT
- Team Liquid vs FlyQuest
- August 21, 1PM PDT
- Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9
- August 27, 1PM PDT
- 100 Thieves vs TL/FLY Winner
- August 28, 1PM PDT
- Evil Geniuses vs CLG/C9 Winner
- August 25, 1PM PDT
- TL/FLY Loser vs TSM
- August 26, 1PM PDT
- CLG/C9 Loser vs Golden Guardians