The LCS is nearing its end for 2021, with only the Championship sitting between the top eight teams and a spot at Worlds. With only three seats (or 15) on that flight to China, we’ve ranked the teams most likely to get there.
In 2021, Dexerto is proud to present power rankings for League of Legends in the LCS. We will be tracking the performance of all the teams right here, considering their form, how they’ve performed with their strength of schedule, and more.
With the road to Worlds 2021 nearing its conclusion, NA’s best are looking to show their good sides to save themselves from another disappointing international campaign.
The LCS Championship will determine the top three teams booking their flight to China in October. Here’s how everyone is stacking up heading into the playoffs.
10. Counter Logic Gaming
Should they be kicked out of the LCS?
The overarching narrative around CLG this year — outside of one surprising week — has been overwhelmingly negative. Damonte couldn’t turn their fortunes around, and now they are just one poor split away from potentially losing their LCS spot due to franchising rules around competitiveness.
While that’s drastic action, it’s hard to argue against it after the shambolic last month — not on a player level, but on an organizational. If there’s some hope, the Knicks are starting to build a solid roster in the NBA for 2022 (hello Kemba Walker). Hopefully some of that MSG money makes it over to CLG, because lord knows they’ll need it.
So close, yet so far…
FlyQuest have extra reason to kick CLG out of the LCS: They damn well knocked them out of the playoffs. All Fly needed to do on Sunday was beat CLG, and they just… crumbled. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but all that roster swapping can’t have been healthy for the squad.
If anything though, FlyQuest has proven there’s a strong base for success in 2022. They are better without Licorice, and while Kumo wasn’t solid, rookies like Palafox, Tomo, and Josedeodo showed their worth by the year’s end. Development is a win in itself, and while missing out on post-season sucks, there’s some good talent to build around.
Running out of gas
Immortals started Summer strong, but ended up limping over the line. Three losses in Week 9 isn’t helping them build any momentum either.
Xerxe and Destiny have been standouts for Immortals, but now it’s time for the rest of the team to show up. Even if just one of their carries has a good game, Immortals can win. However, they’ve been noticeably absent the last couple of weeks, and that doesn’t bode well for playoffs.
7. Golden Guardians
Ablolive is so swole
Let’s start talking LCS awards. Ablazeolive has, after years of grinding in Academy, broken out and proven to be an top-quality mid laner in yet another stunning rookie split from an NA talent (hello LCS teams, please invest in younger players instead of washed veterans).
However, it’d be remiss to talk about the wider improvement of this squad generally. Licorice has reinvigorated himself. Iconic went from a meme to a future prospect across 2021. Stixxay added another year on his career. They are flexible and dynamic, and they are underdogs. It’s a long way to Worlds, but honestly, can we just believe in fairy tales and miracles for once?
Finally finding their feet again
When Dardoch left Dignitas, their season looked like a write-off. However, Akaadian managed to turn things around on his LCS return, and now Dignitas are finally finding their feet again. Yusui looks comfortable on stage again, and Aphromoo, the ultimate leader of men, is pushing this team closer to the top.
While they don’t look like Worlds contenders (unlike at the end of Spring), there’s hope for this squad in 2022. Neo is one to watch out for as NA keeps producing great ADC talent. They could cause an upset in the post-season too, but really, the best of five experience will be the biggest boon.
5. Team Liquid
Back to full strength, but is it enough?
This is where the race to Worlds gets interesting. Five teams, but only three squads. Not only that, but there’s a bracket of death with one of Cloud9, Liquid, and TSM destined to miss out on a trip to China.
Liquid certainly made good on their mid-season woes in Week 9 with some big wins. It helps that Santorin is back in the lineup, and Alphari is once again living up to his reputation. Liquid have a hard run ahead of them though, and while they’re on-form (somewhat, there’s some questions around Jensen and Tactical), it might be too little, too late.
Are you ready for post-season Cloud9?
Cloud9 made it to the playoffs. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if they were first seed or eighth seed — we all know what’s coming. Plus, with Zven finally warmed up and raring to go, and Blaber refinding his previous brilliance, they could hardly be better prepared.
There is one weak link though, and that’s surprisingly Perkz. The import mid laner hasn’t been outstanding in the last few weeks. While he hasn’t been horrible, he’s had a lot less influence on the squad since Zven’s return (outside of that abysmal Zoe game against TSM). He is a big game player though, so he won’t crumble in playoffs, right?
3. 100 Thieves
Can they hold on to Worlds?
If championships were won in Week 6, 100 Thieves would have a trophy in the cabinet. Alas, they aren’t (and for good reason). The once-clear favorites for the LCS Championship have fallen off the pace a bit.
Is it a problem with their meta read? Unlikely. It just feels like the team is in a bit of a rut, with FBI and Huhi struggling to live up to their early season form. The semi-finals bye is a huge positive though, giving them a much-needed break to potentially hold onto Worlds (especially with their favorable bracket).
2. Evil Geniuses
A dark horse becomes a real contender
The first power rankings this season, we put Evil Geniuses in seventh, only slightly above the three-way calamity of Golden Guardians, FlyQuest, and CLG. What a glow-up they’ve had though. Hats off has to be given to Peter Dun, their coach, for adopting an aggressive and adaptive playstyle that works, and could be the key for NA success at Worlds (yes, I’m that confident).
They have the most LPL-esque gameplay out of any team, and if history is anything to go by, that’s a good thing. Their focal point in Jiizuke has turned things around. However, questions should be rightfully raised about their bot lane. It’s the least experienced out of the top five, and it could ultimately expose them at the final hurdle.
Spica for MVP, surely
For years now, Spica has lived in the shadow of Blaber. Now though, the TSM deserves all the spotlight, because his scintillating season has secured them first place. His 4.54 KDA is the second best (for a starting jungler), but it’s his impact across the map and enabling of solo laners that makes him the most deserving MVP winner.
It’s not just Huni and POE playing well though. Lost has really ramped up into this post-season, and SwordArt has finally clicked with the rest of the squad. As long as they don’t lose their head, TSM should be the favorites to put an eighth title in their cabinet.
The LCS Championship kicks off on August 7.