NA LCS Summer Split Playoffs Highlights

Well…………..if I had a penny for every time I said “Well…….that happened….” over the course of the 2015 Summer Split for the North American LCS, I would probably have enough to amount to……….

 

………….nothing, actually, because Canadian pennies are obsolete now.

 

But I would have quite a lot due to how crazy this split has been.

 

Baron steals, upsets, drama, and redemption all abound the final split of the 5th season of the LCS, making it a rather exciting one as we head onto the World Championship, and I’m about to highlight them, team by team.  Or at least the teams who made it to the playoffs.

Or to Worlds.

What’s up everyone, my name is Kenji from thebuttonsmashers.com,  and today I am showing some NA love by covering the most momentous teams who made the 2015 Summer Split a memorable closer to Season 5 of the League of Legends Championship Series.

Alrighty, without further fanfare, let’s allons-y into the spectacularly sensational season that is the 2015 North American Summer Split. 

 

 

Let’s start with Dignitas.

Let’s be honest here, NOBODY thought they would do as well as they did this split.  Being a team that BARELY, BY THE SKIN OF KIWIKID’S AMAZING ALISTAR HEADBUTT-PULVERIZE, made it back to the NA LCS by fighting for their spot against a Challenger team, not a lot of people would expect this team to have a great/above-average standing in the summer.  But, lo and behold, Team Dignitas is apparently not content with just walking that fine line between maintaining an LCS spot and relegations and proceeded to perform well this split, even taking first place in the regular season at some point.

Although they did falter off in the middle of the split onwards, culminating into a complete nosedive against Team Impulse in the quarterfinals, it is still impressive to think that such a team (with new members from the beginning of the year AND the split) would do as well as they did given the state of some of their members, and I am sincerely looking forward to how else they can improve in the future.

 

Up next is Gravity, a team that were an impressive adversary  during the regular season and probably the team that had the smartest drafts during the split, being able to counter their enemies and essentially defeat them before the game even started by manipulating the pick-and-ban phase to their favor.  Add that to the fact that Keanne is the most off-meta mid-laner in NA, Altec is transforming into a premier North American AD Carry, and their new jungler, Move, being a master of vision-control, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Well, almost.  The team did falter off in the last weeks of the regular season and completely crash-landed against TSM in the playoffs, and any rubble that would’ve been picked up were burned by Cloud 9 at the Regional Qualifiers for Worlds, but hey, they’re a team that’s just beginning to find it’s footing, and now that they have, they are certainly  a team that can offer the meta something unique and make it work.

 

And now, Team Impulse.

How do I even begin?

They’re just super exciting to watch.  Flashy plays, great escapes, and just general blood-thirstiness made Impulse a fearsome team, especially with able players that can definitely execute such a chaotic style of play, ESPECIALLY RUSH.

Although they did well in the regular season, and even swept Dignitas off of the Playoffs (even without XiaoWeiXiao), it wasn’t enough for them to barrel through the rest of the standings.  Unfortunately, it just kept getting worse, as they lost the 3rd-place match again to Team Liquid, and got reverse-swept out of World’s by Cloud 9.

However, with Team Impulse comfortably fitting into their style in their 1st year of LCS, expect them to come into the 2016 Spring Split with guns a-blazing, and I’m sure this isn’t the end for the #cuteboys of the LCS.

 

Team Liquid.

I REALLY am reluctant to cover this team.  I’m just too heartbroken over their foiled attempt to get into Worlds this year.

BUT I will try, because, with all that’s said and done about them, I’d give this team the award for “Most Improved”

They’ve gone from being a team that were teetering on the edge of uncertainty during the Spring split, to being one of North America’s top premier teams, with many of it’s players being household names for being amazing individually (i.e. Piglet, Quas, and Fenix).  Sure they might have gone from “Forever 4th” to “Forever 3rd” at this point, but nonetheless this team deserves a whole lot more than we think just for the amount of growth they’ve had in only less than a year, so kudos to them.

Maybe World’s won’t be so far away next year for them.  Until then though, I anticipate how else they will improve in the upcoming season.

 

Now let’s get the most recent news out now before we go on to the last few stuffs.

Cloud 9’s ascent to World’s.

Could there be a more anime-like plot in the history of competitive League?

Well…..probably, but it is something impressive, for sure.

Nobody expected C9 to fall from grace so hard after bringing in an import that would, supposedly, fix up any remaining problems that the team has on a technical level.  Turns out that it actually created more problems that proceeded to rip through the team over the course of the split.  Morale was low, the star players are not playing to their fullest extent, and nobody can lead the team in these troubling times.

So what do they do?

They bring Hai back.

Everything wasn’t fixed immediately, I’ll tell you that.  But slowly but surely you notice a trend of improvement across all players, and by the time they had to climb and barrel their way into World’s, everyone was in top form.

It was a tough ride, full of bumps and potholes and even loops that go around and around, but C9 pulled through at the 11th hour, and now I’m genuinely interested at how they perform at the international stage.

 

Soooooooo……..what a split it has been for Team Solomid, eh?

After their horrifying slump at the Mid-Season Invitationals (which we will never speak of AGAIN), TSM seemed to have tilted a couple of degrees.  The team was in shambles:  Dyrus’ weakness have been exploited upon (even though he managed to fix things for a while, it quickly went back to the status quo of “Camp Dyrus”)  Santorin’s influence in their games have been reduced, and Wildturtle had the worst split of his career (his position on the team was even threatened by the team’s signing of former Liquid sub Keith).  Even Bjergsen is showing immense trouble in trying to be the sole saving grace for the team EVERY SINGLE GAME almost.  Coming into the playoffs, a lot of people thought that TSM would heavily struggle and not make it all the way until the end.

But this is TSM we’re talking about.

The team that can do mid-split roster changes, have all the drama in the scene, and be bashed to bits by their own fans, but they’ll still show up come playoffs time.

Using a comp that we never thought we would see from TSM, they focused heavily on having DYRUS OF ALL PEOPLE carry against Gravity in the quarterfinals, and it worked and  Wildturtle stepped up heavily during their semifinal match against Team Liquid and was instrumental to TSM’s objective control (shoutouts to that Baron steal).  With the team looking at top playoff form in classic TSM fashion, everyone thought that they would be a match for the uprising CLG.

TL;DR they kinda weren’t.  They were smashed 3-0, losing the draft phase again and again, making their games over before they started.

However, with their sights on becoming a top team in the World’s Championships, TSM will definitely try to do all that they can to represent NA proudly.

We’ll have to wait and see how they perform to know for sure if this team’s dream is attainable for them or not.

 

And now, it is time for faith.

Counter Logic Gaming has been the butt of the fandom’s jokes for many many years now, always being tagged as the team that loves to choke come playoff’s time.  Never succeeding higher than 3rd place, always tilting after the 2nd half of the regular season, and finally nosediving themselves out of the series come playoffs.  This year has been a year of intense drama for CLG, and so many expected the team to do what they do best:  crumble once the pressure is on them.

But some still held their faith.  And they have been rewarded.

For once, CLG finished a strong 2nd place during the regular split, a feat that was previously unheard of for the team.  Coming into the playoffs, however, the pressure of being a top-tier team was immensely high, especially with an opponent like Team Impulse in the semifinals.

What did CLG do?  They dismantled TIP’s chaos-style from its roots and swept them.

Now having booked their ticket to Madison Square Garden as legitimate contenders for the Summer Split Championship trophy, this is uncharted territory for CLG as a brand.  Never before have they reached this level of pressure and expectations.  Add that to the fact that they’re facing the veteran TSM, the question on everyone’s minds were:  would they be able to keep their a calm mind under all that hype?

What did CLG do?  They cleanly disposed of TSM by sweeping them 3-0, becoming North America’s #1 seed coming into World’s.

 

Now, one question remains:  with the stakes being this high, competing against the best teams in the world, how will CLG perform?  Is this where they choke?  Or is this really the Golden Age for a team that has been ridiculed countless times in the past for having so much potential yet never living up to it?

Only one way to know for sure, and that’s when the World Championships begin 3 weeks from now.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Thanks everyone for reading this article, which I know is kinda late, but hey, you know the saying.  I decided not to do an EU LCS article this time, because the only noteworthy things is Fnatic, sooooooooooooo yeah.

If you guys have any comments or suggestions on what I should do next in terms of League of Legends, let me know in the comments section below.  And, speaking of liking, give the article a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.

Aaaaaaand, with that, I bid you all adieu.  This has been Kenji, representing thebuttonsmashers.com, and I’ll see you guys in the future.

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