Cloud9 showed up this 2017 at Worlds, so what happened to the rest of NA?
POSTED BY Ralph Nicolo Manaloto ON October 23, 2017
For the second year in a row, Cloud9 became the last North American hope in the League of Legends World Championships. They were the only team to move on to the Quarterfinals for both Worlds 2016 and 2017. Yes, they were eliminated by Team WE, but it took five whole games to do so. There’s no doubt that Cloud9 showed up this year at Worlds, so what happened to the two other NA teams?
The other two teams, Team SoloMid and Immortals, were both heavily hyped by the NA scene fans. The hype seemed justified at first, as the teams ended the NA LCS Spring Playoffs at the first and second spots respectively. But come Worlds 2017, TSM and IMT floundered in the Group Stage, as both teams were unable to make it through to the Quarterfinals.
Fan-favorites TSM are no strangers to under-performing at Worlds, as this is the third straight year that they were unable to move on to the Quarterfinals. Adding salt to the wound, TSM was the undisputed top team of the NA region for 2016 and 2017, as they made relatively quick work of their opponents in the NA LCS. For some reason though, they always fail to deliver in front of the international crowd.
TSM’s failures in the previous years are still understandable, as they were grouped with fairly strong Korean teams. But they have no excuses this year, with their group being the “dream/group” according to most fans (and even to TSM themselves). Their opponents were: a rookie team in Misfits, third place LPL Team WE, and the historically under-performing Flash Wolves. Yes, their first week was great, but TSM succumbed to the “Week 2 NA” meme; they lost their chance to get a quarterfinals spot after performing badly in the second week.
It’s difficult to pin the blame on one player in particular, even if fans are calling for the heads of team captain Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, along with the passive play of jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen. Yiliang “Doublelifit“Peng is also getting some heat from fans, as his reluctance in using Flash cost him his life multiple times.
Overall though, it was TSM’s passive play and failure to adjust to enemy strategies that have probably cost them their shot at the World Championship. Well, there’s always next year, right TSM fans?
Filipino League fans are surely let down by Immortals‘ result this Worlds 2017, as the only Pinoy Player Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has failed to lead his team to a Quarterfinals spot. Their result might seem excusable at first, as they were grouped with the #1 LCK team Longzhu Gaming, which will no doubt take top spot (and they did).
Though when you look at their other opponents in the group, they’re loss seems almost as inexcusable as TSM’s. They were also matched with fresh-from-the-Play-Ins Fnatic, along with the SEA team GIGABYTE Marines. Not to take away from the mentioned teams, but heading into Worlds, IMT should have at least breezed through their matches against them.
In IMT’s defense, they did win as expected in Week 1. Though much like TSM, they pulled a “Week 2 NA” by losing all their subsequent matches, even their tiebreakers. Again, it’s hard to pin the blame on a single player, as the team as a whole did not perform up to par.
Overall, Cloud9 is the only bright spot in the NA LCS teams’ Worlds 2017 run. While no one knows what the teams will do to improve next year, every fan in NA is hoping that TSM and IMT learn from 2017, so they won’t disappoint again come Worlds 2018.
Images courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.