After the upsets, uprising and team alterations throughout the spring split we were met with some upsetting news during the small break between splits. During the MSI break a lot of teams made more alterations, some of which were extremely surprising. For the NA LCS Summer Split we will be following 10 teams who will be battling it out in a round robin style to take a position on the ladder, each match will be a best of 3 series for North America so we’ll have a better idea of teams true strengths.
LCS 2016 – Overview
The 10 Competing NA LCS Summer Split Teams:
- Team SoloMid
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Team Envy
- NRG Esports
- Team Liquid
- Echo Fox
- Phoenix1 (Formerly Team Impulse)
- Apex Gaming
Notable Achievements: 2nd Place NA LCS Spring Playoffs 2016, 2nd Place NA LCS Summer Playoffs 2015, 1st Place NA LCS Spring Split 2015, 1st Place IEM IX Katowice
Team Solo Mid ran into some trouble during the spring split, ending the round-robin phase in 6th place. This came as no surprise because their performances were not exactly a breathtaking; unless it was when they were throwing. They managed to make their way up the ladder into a good enough position to make the playoffs and then they really started to shine, their team cohesion and synergy increased drastically and they performed on a phenomenal level. There has only been a minor change to the TSM roster, their world class EU support player YellowStar has made a change and gone back to Europe whilst Biofrost has taken his place on the starting roster for TSM.
- Top Lane: Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
- Jungle: Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
- Mid Lane: Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
- Marksman: Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
- Support: Vincent “Biofrost” Wang
Notable Achievements: 2nd Place Mid-Season Invitational 2016, 1st place NA LCS Summer Playoffs 2015, 1st Place NA LCS Spring Playoffs 2016
For a long time CLG tried to make their roster work by changing their seemingly weakest link, this often lead to synergy issues and they’ve regularly had to rebuild. This is a drastic change for them as they’ve not changed a single part of their roster. They should be hitting hard and coming into the summer split stronger than ever, they had a fantastic showing during the MSI tournament and I expect them to bring that same strength to North America to take a place at the top of the standings.
- Top Lane: Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya
- Jungle: Jake “Xmithie” Puchero
- Mid Lane: Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun
- Marksman: Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes
- Support: Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
Notable Achievements: 1st Place NA LCS Spring Split, 3rd Place NA LCS Spring playoffs
It was true that Immortals were living up to their name for an extremely large portion of the NA LCS Spring Split but that began to crumble as the matches had more meaning. They climbed to the top of the standings during the spring split and made it look easy, giving unnecessary advantages to their opponents and proving that they can overcome them, dominating the previously dominant teams and making themselves truly look immortal. This began to crumble when the Playoffs were in sight and their weakest points became known to the world, I expect them to be covering these points and making their champion pools deeper so they can come into the summer split with a bang; reclaiming their throne.
- Top Lane: Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon
- Jungle: Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin
- Mid Lane: Eugene “Pobelter” Park
- Marksman: Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
- Support: Adrian “Adrian” Ma
Notable Achievements: 1st Place NA LCS Summer Split 2015, 3rd Place NA LCS Spring Split 2015, 3rd Place NA LCS Summer Playoffs 2015.
Team Liquid looked fairly well managed during the NA LCS 2016 Spring Split; they had a few rough times but ultimately climbed their way up the ladder and into the playoffs where they really made a stand and managed to take 2nd place. This was fairly surprising at the time as they were having quite a bit of trouble against high standing teams in the region. I think Team Liquid are going to come into this split with fresh ideas, good adaptions and break their way into a good place on the ladder fairly quickly. Unfortunately due to recent events they’ve lost their new jungler Dardoch and they’re left with very little time to look for a replacement, there are rumours of the ban duration being decided by Team Liquid however so there are still hopes that he will be on the starting roster when the split kicks off. Matt was moved into the starting roster quite some time ago and has really brought a lot to the team already, I expect him to bring even more during the summer split.
- Top Lane: Samson “Lourlo” Jackson
- Jungle: Galen “Moon” Holgate (Dardoch was suspended of the team, Moon will replace him)
- Mid Lane: Kim “FeniX” Jae-hun
- Marksman: Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin
- Support: Matthew “Matt” Elento
A fairly unknown team popped up recently and they’ve finally got their roster pieced together; they’ve got a large team with a lot of interchangeable players so keep an eye on them! With them diving into the Summer Split during the final moments before it kicks off they had their hands tied as to who was possible to recruit but they’ve picked up some fantastic and recognisable players who I think are going to have a great showing during the NA LCS Summer Split. The biggest issue I think they’re going to run into is a lack of practice and G2 from Europe have shown us how important practice can be, with the changeable players they might be able to throw off a few teams but adapting is going to be a challenge.
- Top Lane: Derek “zig” Shao
- Jungle: Rami “Inori” Charagh / Kevin “Zentinel” Pires
- Mid Lane: Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik
- Marksman: Brandon “Mash” Phan
- Support: Austin “Gate” Yu
With multiple players being let go by their organisations, along with relieving the issues they were in, there are a lot of players currently open to join rosters. NV has managed to get a hold of 1 player, as of this time, who was an ex-Renegades player before they ran into issues. Hakuho is the 1st person on the team but it’s certainly a good foundation to start building from. I have high hopes for this organisation and with many players being available, unless bound by contract, they should be able to build an extremely strong roster to rule their way through the ladder during the Summer Split.
- Top Lane: Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong
- Jungle: Kim “Procxin” Se-Young
- Mid Lane: Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo
- Marksman: Zachary “Nien” Malhas / Benjamin “LOD” deMunck
- Support: Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent
Notable Achievements: 5th place NA LCS Spring Split 2016, 5/6th Place NA LCS Spring Playoffs 2016
NRG had a formidable roster but it’s fallen apart, 3 players concurrently left the team and it looked like it was in shambles. That was until 3 new replacements were found and now we’re looking at a pretty good team. I wouldn’t consider the replacements found as good as the originals but with how team oriented this game has become they might just synergize well enough to pull off an Immortals-esque style of play. They don’t look like the strongest team on paper but they’re certainly strong and full of talent.
- Top Lane: Diego “Quas” Ruiz
- Jungle: Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen
- Mid Lane: Lee “GBM” Chang-seok
- Marksman: Oh “Ohq” Gyu-min
- Support: Alan “KiWiKiD” Nguyen
Notable Achievements: NA LCS Summer Promotion 2016 Victory, 1st Place NACS Spring Playoffs, 1st Place NACS Spring Split.
Team Apex certainly has a lot going for them. They’re built from the foundations from Team Liquid of old, with a passionate and amazing group of staff behind them. A lot of their roster has proven time and time again that they have talent and can master the meta to bring fantastic performances and I expect no less from them now. With Saintvicious as head coach they’re going to have insight and experience on their side, along with a few of their veteran players that want to take another stand during the NA LCS. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on this team as they’ve got a good package for impacting the ladder.
- Top Lane: Cristian “Cris” Rosales
- Jungle: Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon
- Mid Lane: Jang “Keane” Lae-young
- Marksman: Apollo “Apollo” Price
- Support: Alex “Xpecial” Chu
Notable Achievements: 7th Place NA LCS Spring Split 2016
Echo Fox ran into a lot of trouble at the start of the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split so a large portion of their starting roster was unable to play. This set them behind right from the start but Echo Fox put up one hell of a battle in an attempt to climb the ladder. It didn’t come as a great success but falling just behind TSM isn’t all that bad, they took 7th place after a horrendous start which is respectable. I’m expecting to see more from them this split as all of their players are primed and prepared to play together and bring down who ever may stand in their way. Their roster hasn’t been impacted since the initial issues faced during the Spring Split so they should be ready to put on a hell of a show.
- Top Lane: Park “kfo” Jeong-hun
- Jungle: Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev
- Mid Lane: Henrik “Froggen” Hansen
- Marksman: Yuri “KEITH” Jew
- Support: Terry “Big” Chuong
Notable Achievements: 1st Place NA Regional Finals 2015, 2nd Place NA LCS Spring Playoffs 2015, 2nd Place NA LCS Spring Split 2015, 3rd Place NA LCS Spring Split2016
A lot of changes have been made to the Cloud9 roster, surprisingly. Their starting roster is full of familiar names still and I don’t expect the atmosphere of the team to be impacted in the slightest but the changes are impossible to ignore. Their top lane and jungle players have been moved to substitute positions and Meteos now roams through the jungle and Impact, a world champion and ex-NRG player, covers the top lane. This leaves a lot of room open for Cloud9 to make changes throughout matches regarding their team and the added experience and mechanical skill of the fresh players will certainly help them step up their game. I think Cloud 9 is going to appear stronger than they ever have before with this roster.
- Top Lane: Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong
- Jungle: William “Meteos” Hartman
- Mid Lane: Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen
- Marksman: Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi
- Support: Michael “Bunny FuFuu” Kurylo
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