League of Legends LCS power rankings Week 4: a titan falls

Jax. League of Legends.
Jax. League of Legends. /
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OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Impact of Team Liquid competes against Cloud9 during the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals at ORACLE Arena on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Impact of Team Liquid competes against Cloud9 during the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals at ORACLE Arena on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

5. Echo Fox (4-4)

It’s surprising that Echo Fox is cracking the top half of our LCS power rankings given the earlier uncertainty about their team’s talent. This weekend, they went 1-1 last weekend as well, losing to C9 but beating 100 Thieves. They’re carried, largely, but their incredible bot lane of Hakuho and Apollo, who are maybe the best bot lane duo in NA who isn’t Doublelift and CoreJJ.

Outside of those two, Echo Fox really struggles. Solo is performing decently well in top lane, while Fenix is one of the worst mid laners in the league at present and Rush has been a “kind boy” feeding more kills to his enemies than anyone else in the league. They have the second-best early game ranking, so there is potential for them to fix some of their over-aggressive tendencies and continue to surge forward in the back half of the split.

4. FlyQuest (5-3)

I already hear the cries of outrage and accusations of fanboyism for putting TSM with an inferior record ahead of FlyQuest. Well, as I pointed out in my previous article about the woes of TSM, they’re a team that is plagued by losing games they should win, and that game against FlyQuest was one of them.

For their part, FlyQuest took down both their opponents this weekend – 100 Thieves and Clutch – as was expected. But other than TSM, FlyQuest has yet to secure a quality win on the year.

FlyQuest is a team that will certainly be a challenge in the playoffs, and are playing far better than their individual members have done so far. They’re a solid early game team and one of the best in the mid/late game, the question is whether they can keep out-macroing the LCS teams.

3. TSM (4-4)

I wanna get off Mr. TSM’s wild ride. Just a week ago, we were bemoaning their poor play and asking what was wrong with them. Then they had to go and beat Liquid and throw everything into chaos.

Make no mistake, going 2-0 on the week isn’t nearly as big as the fact that the second win came against Liquid. TSM now has the strongest win quality – other than Clutch – of any LCS team having taken down Liquid, Echo Fox, and 100 Thieves.

That’s curious because TSM also has the worst loss quality rankings, which is what you’d expect when you drop games to FlyQuest, Golden Guardians, and Clutch. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, talent-wise TSM stacks up against anyone at the top of the table (Smoothie being the exception this season), but they lose games they absolutely should win. Now, it appears they’ve gone full bizarro world and started winning games they should absolutely lose.

2. Cloud9 (6-2)

Wins over Echo Fox and Clutch were expected, and C9 took the two games without much issue. There’s not much to be said about this team that hasn’t already been said. Their three carries – Licorice, Nisqy, and Sneaky – are all #1 or #2 in terms of impact in their position by our metrics, and Svenskeren and Zeyzal are playing around average effectiveness.

With their statistical prowess at those key positions, they would be ranked ahead of Liquid had they not dropped that random game to CLG earlier in the split. Make no mistake, if there is a team that can challenge the kings at the top of the pack, C9 has the talent to do it.

1. Liquid (7-1)

Speaking of the kings, Liquid proved mortal last weekend dropping a game to TSM. After polishing off Golden Guardians on Saturday, TL was certainly not going to overlook a game against their rival. For the record, had TSM lost this game as expected, we’d have them ranked below Echo Fox in these LCS power rankings, that’s how big a swing this was for TSM in terms of their season prospects.

Instead, Liquid did something incredibly ridiculous that just about lost them the game in draft phase: they first-picked Yorick for top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. Now, many have dissected the issues with this pick (leaving counter-picks like Jax and Riven up) but many have really missed a huge point as to why this pick was so problematic, which is that for some reason Liquid opted into a strategy where they would have to focus on Impact.

Let me be completely clear as I say this: Impact is the worst player on Team Liquid this year. In fact, he is the worst top laner in the LCS this split. You might shout and complain and call me a heretic, but Impact ranks dead last among tops in gold difference at 15, damage share, and kill share. He’s also bottom of the table when it comes to kills, gold per minute, kill participation, and vision score.

Statistical breakdown of LCS top laners as of 2/18/2019..
Statistical breakdown of LCS top laners as of 2/18/2019.. /

You may be saying “well that’s because he’s always on tank duty so he gets fewer resources,” which is partially true (he’s played three games of Sion, but two games of Urgot along with a game on Aatrox, Akali, and now Yorick) but confirms my point. Liquid had so much success with Impact on tank duty, why would they now opt into a strategy of running their weakest position into one of TSM’s strongest?

Liquid could have fully committed to playing to their dominant bot lane (which is also TSM’s weakest lane) and made life easy. But instead, Liquid decided to flex and let Impact have his turn to carry and Broken Blade styled on him.

Liquid is the best team in the LCS power rankings, for sure, as long as they don’t make life too hard on themselves. Play through bot and mid, keep Impact on low econ champs (even carries with a lot of “outs” like Aatrox and Urgot work) rather than champions that need to snowball and outplay, and they’ll have a great chance at going 18-0 17-1.

Next. LEC Week 5 recap - opposite day!?. dark

What do you think about our LCS power rankings after Week 4? Let us know who we think is ranked too high or too low in the comments below!