NA LCS Week 7 Preview
NA LCS Week 7 Preview
With the second half of the season fast approaching, there’s a number of exciting storylines to watch going into Week 7. With a great lineup of matches, some vital roster changes, and close contention for ranking, fans can count on this week to be both exciting and unpredictable.
The Turtle Arrives
With long-time AD Carry Chaox gone from Team SoloMid Snapdragon, the spotlight will fall to Jason "WildTurtle" Tran to inspire a renaissance. TSM has largely stayed out of the fight for the top spot thus far in the LCS, hovering around the third and fourth place positions due to the odd upset and losses from other juggernaut teams.
Tran's promotion from substitute to starter comes amid some personality conflicts within the team, and it has been clear from members' opinions that a shakeup was needed to re-establish discipline and get the team back on track. While Tran brought instant fanfare with a pentakill in his first game and a perfect 3-0 week for his team, the major question is whether that's indicative of a consistent future: As teams learn WildTurtle's habits and make adjustments accordingly, will Team SoloMid stagnate?
More importantly, will it mean more heads are destined for the chopping block?
There are two ways of thinking about this, and the "correct" one will become evident only with time: Was TSM right to sacrifice team synergy for someone who has yet to prove himself long-term, or will the jokes of "TSM Snapdecision" ring true?
Clash of the Titans
TSM will definitely have their hands full this week, as will many of the other top teams. This week each of the pre-LCS "powerhouse" teams will get a chance to step up and slug each other in the face, hopefully solidifying (or improving) their standings in the process.
Naturally, a match to gravitate towards is Curse v Dignitas, playing out second on Saturday (approximately 2:00pm PDT start). Both of these teams have been spitting distance from each other at the top of the standings, and whoever comes out on top will strengthen their position while dealing direct damage to the other's claim to the throne.
Dignitas has been the picture of consistency for most of the LCS after having a rough first week - their losses to Vulcun at MLG Dallas look to be largely in the rear view mirror as well. With Curse's hot streak only being extinguished by Counter Logic Gaming and Dignitas, they could be looking for a measure of revenge against both squads on Saturday.
Keeping Close Quarters
Counter Logic Gaming has had their share of struggles recently, as they went a disappointing 0-3 against Dignitas, Vulcun, and TSM Snapdragon in Week 6. Each loss had the added problem of being particularly one-sided for the victor; it would definitely be less concerning otherwise.
While CLG will look above them in the standings to scout their opponents for this coming weekend, they need to keep an eye on teams below them as well. The gap between 5th place Vulcun Command and 4th place CLG has shrunk to the point danger. If CLG were to continue their winless slump and Vulcun were to steal a win off of Curse on Sunday, both teams could end up tied for fourth place. As Vulcun's opponents include the new lineup of Team MRN and the tied-for-last Good Game University, the odds may be tipped in their favor. On the flip side, CLG will face Curse, Dignitas, and compLexity by the time the weekend’s through.
With all but the top two teams in danger of possibly losing their LCS spot, tensions are high and teams will be looking to do anything they can in order to stay competitive. The bottom two teams will automatically be placed into a bracket with hungry Challenger Circuit teams during the upcoming Promotion/Relegation Tournament, while the third-to-sixth place squads will compete to see who will have to join them.
Even as March ends, it’s safe to say that there’s a tinge of madness to Week 7, and we’ll just have to wait and see how it all turns out.