League of Legends LCS preview Summer 2019

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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LCS. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

As the LCS returns tomorrow, we take a look at which NA League of Legends teams are poised to improve or regress in the summer split.

The LCS resumes play on Saturday, with the 10 top League of Legends teams in North America vying for the Summer Split title. While Team Liquid comes back to NA feeling good about making the finals at MSI just a few weeks ago, teams like TSM and C9 are both going to be looking to take down the reigning kings.

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On the other hand, we have the middle-of-the-pack teams like FlyQuest, Golden Guardians, and Echo Fox who will be looking to improve on a solid Spring Split performance to make a deep playoff run. Then there are the teams like CLG, Clutch Gaming, OpTic, and 100 Thieves, trying to make it out of the basement of the LCS. Which teams are poised to improve, regress, and which players should we be on the lookout for this summer?

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

10. 100 Thieves

New players: Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, Max “Soligo” Soong

100 Thieves finished at the bottom of the standings in the Spring Split, and uprooted ⅖ of their active roster going into summer. The problem, though, is they might not have upgraded enough.

Amazing is returning to NA for the first time since his days on TSM back in Season 4, but since returning to Europe he has been a below-average jungler in pro play. He’s replacing Andy “AnDa” Hoang who had some issues communicating with his laners and snowballing their advantages, but AnDa was still quite solid in terms of not falling behind himself.

On the other hand, an upgrade in mid lane was desperately needed after Huhi’s abomination of a split in spring. He’s replaced by 100 Thieves’ academy mid, Soligo, who also supplanted him in the spring split. Soligo wasn’t bad but he certainly wasn’t great, which could be a big issue considering he’s playing one of the most important positions in pro play.

Player to watch: Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho

I’ve been on record that Ssumday should be considered one of the best top laners – if not one of the best players – in the LCS. Can he maintain that form in summer? Will having a more aggressive jungler enable him to hard-carry games where he previously couldn’t?

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It’s hard to go down when you’re in the basement, and for a team that went 4-14 it’s hard to see them dropping more games now that they don’t have Huhi to carry. If they can play around Ssumday and Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, while Aphromoo can return to something resembling his old form, this team could easily be in the top six. I don’t think they’ll bounce that high, but I’m interested to see if they can.