League of Legends: LCS power rankings Week 8

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Aphromoo of 100 Thieves. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Going into the last week of regular season play League of Legends play, which LCS teams have the best chance to lock down a spot?

Last weekend’s LCS games were…well to say “madness” would be an understatement. Echo Fox won both games, including one over Cloud9, to climb out of the bottom of the barrel and keep their playoff hopes alive. Liquid lost only their second League of Legends game all split and handed FlyQuest a spot in the playoffs.

With one week left in the season, only a few things are guaranteed. Liquid has locked in a number one seed. C9, TSM, and FlyQuest will all be in the playoffs. 100 Thieves is eliminated.

Otherwise, there are still scenarios where each team can make the dance. We’ll break them all down (as well as who can get that #2 seed and a first-round bye)!

10. 100 Thieves (4-12)

Last week, we said of all the teams outside the playoffs, the Thieves had perhaps the easiest remaining schedule to make a run. Unfortunately, even games against FlyQuest (who admittedly, had a statement weekend) and Echo Fox weren’t winnable for the Thieves. They are the only LCS team who has been officially eliminated from the playoffs.

9. Clutch (5-11)

Clutch was ranked the strongest of the 5-9 teams last week, before losing their games to Liquid and Golden Guardians. They still technically have a path to playoffs if they win out and CLG, Echo Fox, and OpTic all lose out (Echo Fox and CLG play each other on Sunday, meaning one of them is guaranteed to get at least seven wins).

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Clutch would have the tiebreaker over Echo Fox if they tie in wins, since they went 2-0 in head-to-head this year, and have a 1-1 record against CLG which would force a final play-in game if they both finish 7-10. If it’s OpTic that they tie with, Clutch will be out as they went 0-2 against them in regular season play.

Of course, all of this is moot if Clutch doesn’t win out because seven wins will be the minimum needed to make the playoffs as noted above. The problem lies therein: they have to face TSM and C9 in back-to-back games this weekend. It would take two miraculous wins and a whole lot of luck for Clutch to make the playoffs.

8. CLG (6-10)

CLG is, in my estimation, the weakest of the 6-10 teams in the running for the playoffs. I also think they have the best chance to make it in. That’s because they get the luxury of getting to face 100 Thieves on Saturday in what is a must-win and a gimme-win, then play Echo Fox on the final day in a match that will likely lock down the last spot.

Should CLG beat 100 Thieves and then lose to Echo Fox, they will at least have a 1-1 record head to head, meaning they would be guaranteed a tiebreaker at worst. They’re also guaranteed that tiebreaker game if they end tied with OpTic since they split 1-1 as well, but OpTic also gets to play 100 Thieves so it’s likely they will get to seven wins like CLG.

The worst case scenario for them, though, is going 1-1 and then OpTic goes 2-0. They went 0-2 against Golden Guardians, meaning if the Guardians end up with a tie (and they already have seven wins) against CLG they make it in.

7. OpTic (6-10)

Again, these rankings are off pure team talent and win quality, but I think OpTic also has a decent shot to run the table and make it in. Not only do they play 100 Thieves, but they also face Golden Guardians, a beatable opponent.

OpTic’s one big problem, though, is that they have no scenario where they are guaranteed to make playoffs unless they win out, as they hold 1-1 splits against CLG and Echo Fox. If they beat Golden Guardians, they’ll secure a 1-1 split, but if not they’ll automatically lose in a tiebreaker, making Saturday’s game a crucial win. If they win Saturday, they’ll have an excellent chance with only 100 Thieves to face on the final day.

6. Echo Fox (6-10)

Echo Fox is the best team in this pack, but I think they’re the team most likely to be on the outside looking in come playoff time. They get to play CLG, yes, but they also play Team Liquid on Saturday. That’s a monumental task for Fox, and they’re probably looking at the best-case scenario for this weekend to be splitting 1-1 while OpTic and CLG could both realistically take both of their games.

Echo Fox also holds no outright tiebreakers against those two, or the Guardians, and they need to beat CLG on the final day to ensure a 1-1 split in the heads up games. Basically, Sunday against CLG is a must-win for Echo Fox, and they likely either need a miracle win Saturday or a lot of help to make the playoffs. If they do, though, Echo Fox is the team with the best chance to make some noise of the 6-10 teams.