Here are our top 3 things to watch for in week one of the upcoming League of Legends North American LCS Summer Split.
1.) CLG vs. TSM-
This matchup is a no-brainer to make the list. If you have followed the North American LCS Summer Split for any amount of time, there has been one major rivalry that defines that NA and that is CLS vs. TSM.
CLG went on to win the finals in 2015 and to add to the fire and dislike of these teams DoubleLift the five-year CLG veteran transferred to TSM in the between season 5 and season 6. It was only fate that CLG and TSM would meet in the Spring Split Finals with CLG winning to defend their title. It is only fitting that the Summer Split will kick of seeing these two teams meeting opening series.
2.) The effect of new Dragons-
The new midseason mage patch not only overhauled spellcasters alike but we see a whole new look in the dragon pit. Instead of the same annoying dragon respawning over and over again, four elemental drakes are taking over the dragon pit this split each with a unique buff. If you kill two of the same elements, your buff is increased. Most professionals are on the record saying two drakes, in particular, are stronger; the Infernal Drake, who’s buff, includes increased attack damage and ability power and the Moutain Drake, who provides extra damage to turrets and epic monsters. It will be worth watching how teams play around the drakes, how the random spawns will affect each game differently, and if teams will be willing to have those major teams fights around the dragon pit to earn each buff.
3.) Will the NA prioritize the same champions in week one as LPL and LCK-
The Chinese and Korean leagues have already played their first weeks, and some champions emerged as prioritized picks. In top lane nothing much changed with Maokai, Ekko, and Fizz still viewed as top tier. In the mid lane Ryze was nearly perma banned and the one time he slipped through the banning phase was picked. Azir and Viktor both saw huge priority as well with over 90% pick or ban percentages. The bot lane was exciting, a lot of teams picked Twitch in both the LPL and LCK and Lucian saw less of the rift than he did the spring. The bot lane was by far the most diverse with no champion picked more than 60% of the games. We bring up Twitch because his popularity in North America has almost been nonexistent in competitive play, but it looks like Korean and Chinese teams like 1 v 1 and pickoff capabilities in this patch. Will the NA follow suite with these priority champions or are we in for some new meta picks and bans. There has also been a lot of talk about Swain, who’s popularity and win rates have soared like his ravens since patch 6.9 in solo que. It will be interesting to see if any team decides to let the Swain out of the bird cage and on to the rift.