Another week of League of Legends has been and gone. The ugly ducklings of the West continue to bloom into beautiful swans, the LPL is still the gift that keeps on giving, and we’re seeing some all-new draft innovations hot off the presses of the LCK. For everything you’ve missed in the weird and wonderful world of competitive League, here’s a look back at the last week in LoL Esports.
Welcome back, gamers. It’s been another (mostly) wonderful week of League Esports, and as your resident LoL Sherpa, I am here to guide you through the thrills and spills of the LCS, LEC, LCK, and LPL.
We’re still pretty far off from the 2022 World Championship, but I’m officially starting my ‘Will CLG qualify for Worlds 2022’ countdown calendar. This will be a fun weekly segment where I keep you updated on whether CLG can qualify for the World Championship (which you could have guessed from the name). And you’ll be pleased to hear that, as of Week 2 of the LCS Summer split, CLG can, in fact, still qualify for Worlds.
With that thrilling update out of the way, here’s everything you missed in the last week of competitive League.
LEC – After a terrible Spring, the LEC is finally looking competitive
PLEASE NOTE: when I say competitive, I do not mean competitive internationally. It’s far too early to make any judgments on that just yet, and quite frankly that’s a can of worms I don’t want to touch until I absolutely have to.
The Spring split of the LEC was unimaginably boring. G2’s lower bracket playoffs run was quite literally the only interesting thing to happen for the entire split – unless you count the crashing and burning of Vitality’s superteam as ‘interesting’ rather than ‘an unmitigated disaster’.
And there wasn’t much to suggest that the Summer split would be any different. But we’re only two weeks in, and we already have Excel and Astralis in top three (depending on how you sort the four-way tie for second place) after being two of the worst teams in the entire league for the past two years. They had their romcom makeover glow up – they took their glasses off, straightened their hair, put on some lip gloss, and now they’re looking like genuine playoff contenders.
Sure, we still have SK Gaming and Team BDS sitting in the heap of wet dirt (sorry guys, but it has to be said) that is the bottom of the standings right now. But Astralis and Excel’s rises have taught us that anything is possible. The LEC actually feels competitive again, and I sincerely hope that their first two weeks aren’t just a flash in the pan for them to fall right back down the standings again.
LCS – No, really, CLG are going to win Worlds
Ah, the foolish non-believers. They laughed when I said CLG would win the 2022 World Championship. They told me I was a fool, that their 3-0 opening weekend was nothing but a fluke, that they’d slowly fall their way down to the bottom of the standings where they’d made a home for the past few splits.
Well joke’s on you, suckers. CLG are winning Worlds and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Awesome hearing the CLG fans popping off in the arena!
Feels like it has been SOO long since they've had so much to cheer about.
CLG in 1st place!#LCS
— Isaac CB (@AzaelOfficial) June 26, 2022
They don’t look like a team who are sneaking wins before the rest of the meta is ‘solved’. You don’t win team fights against Evil Geniuses with Elder Dragon as a fluke, you win them with good coordination and communication.
They’ve also had an impeccable meta read, as one of the first teams to realize quite how broken Seraphine is on 12.10/11 – and not only drafting her, but drafting her as a flex pick? Both Luger and Poome have proven they’re competent Seraphine users (although it’s not as though that’s a particularly challenging title to achieve) and having her as a back pocket flex will help CLG draw some crucial bans in weeks to come.
And sure, they dropped a game to FlyQuest, but everyone’s allowed a few slip-ups.
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LCK – I guess we’re doing Amumu support now?
Last week I scolded the LPL for weird drafts – and now it’s the LCK’s turn.
We’ve seen three games of Amumu support so far this split in the LCK. Its first two appearances were with Hanwha Life, who debuted Kalista/Amumu bot lane in their series versus DRX.
In an interview with Inven Global, Kim ‘Deft’ Hyuk-kyu (who was a victim of the Amumu support played by Hanwha Life in his matchup against the team on June 24) explained how the pick’s strength came from its strong laning phase alongside Kalista and ability to punish the enemy AD Carry for not taking Cleanse.
Amumu support isn’t just a strong laner, though. He’s also a pretty efficient Zeri counter, for reasons people much smarter than me (aka Maurits ‘Chronicler’ Jan Meeusen, LCK analyst) can explain to you pretty succinctly. Essentially, Amumu’s Tantrum (E) almost completely nullifies the damage from Zeri’s Burst Fire (Q), which is pretty useful when we’ve seen her Q obliterating health bars all across the global meta.
Tank Amumu into Zeri is actually amazing cause of the interaction with his E (flat dmg reduction per auto demolishes zeris Q), i was hoping for Seraphine but still a great choice from Beryl
— Chronicler (@ChroniclerCasts) June 29, 2022
As Zeri continues to see play, it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for Amumu support to appear elsewhere as a counter. Unlike the LPL’s top lane Anivia (which, by the way, I still haven’t forgiven TheShy for), this is a draft innovation that I actually really like, and one that I hope we see more of in Summer.
Also, it’s nice seeing champions appear in pro play that I could realistically take into my solo queue games. I’m Silver – I’m not going to be bringing the EU West server to its knees with any fiendishly complicated mid lane
LPL – Icon makes his LPL re-debut with one of the single worst Corki games I have ever seen
Oh, LPL. The best region in the world, with some of the worst gameplay.
Xie ‘Icon’ Tian Yu’s Corki performance in game 1 of their series versus TOP Esports was, and I say this with as much respect as I can muster, genuinely quite terrible. The champion has been in the game since its release, and yet somehow there are still professional players who don’t know how Corki package works.
WHAT THE FUCK IS ICON DOING WITH THESE PACKAGE TIMERS!
— Christian Rivera (@IWDominate) June 22, 2022
But I honestly think my annoyance at Icon’s Corki is masking my annoyance at BLG as a whole. They took one of the best prospective talents of the PCS, made him play second fiddle to Uzi of all people, were unable to keep Uzi in competitive play, and are now left with a roster who’ve won a single series so far in LPL Summer.
This roster should be so much better than it is. But instead, we have one of the most exciting AD Carry prospects in the world wasting away on a roster where the mid laner doesn’t even know how to pick up a Corki package.