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Following a break which has thrown up some big surprises, including the banning of two NA LCS teams, we’re certainly in for a great tournament.
Who are the strongest League of Legends Review contenders? Who is it worth placing an esports bet on to win?
During the Spring Split regular season we saw Immortals exert their dominance with a record of 17W-1L.
The Immortals were only founded this year following the acquisition of Team-8 (along with their place in the NA LCS) but heavy investment in the team meant they were always popular to do well.
They’ve picked the best talent from teams across the EU and NA LCS, and put together a whole new lineup that has quickly gelled.
However it was the more established side of Counter Logic Gaming that were victorious in the Spring Split Playoffs, with Immortals finishing in third.
It was a good summer split last season for Counter Logic Gaming, as it saw them make just one change to their roster before the spring split, despite a disappointing World Championships.
This obviously helped with their team cohesiveness, and has lead to them continuing last seasons summer split form into the new year.
But with a number of teams doing worst that expected, and some teams receiving bans for breaching the rules, this NA LCS summer split 2016 could see it all changing.
There have been some big changes in the time between the Spring and Summer Splits for many League of Legends teams in the NA LCS.
Following their disappointing performances in the spring split, both Cloud9 and NRG Esports have made several changes to their lineups.
Cloud9 have started by bringing in Impact from NRG Esports, and calling up Meteos and BunnyFuFuu to the starting roster.
This means Balls, Rush and Hai drop out of the starting roster and into the challenger team.
This is a risky strategy given Impact’s poor spring split for NRG Esports. In dropping Rush they’ve lost one of their best junglers, which has to be a concern as to whether this will actually strengthen their lineup.
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They’ve also brought in Reapered from EDward Gaming as their head coach. Another dangerous move given Reapered doesn’t speak English.
However Reapered is a phenomenally experienced and successful coach, so if he can communicate his ideas effectively, there is no doubt he would be of great benefit to the team.
Overall this is a dangerous move by Cloud9 and they’re not looking as strong for the Summer Split as they were for the Spring Split.
NRG Esports themselves have brought in Quas, Santorin, KiWiKiD and Ohq. This means the only surviving member from the League of Legends tournament in the spring roster is GBM.
Quas, Santorin and KiWiKiD are all long experienced competitors. Quas, in particular, being an important part of Team Liquid before retiring just last year. Apparently retirement didn’t take.
Ohq, on the other hand, comes with less experience. He’s been picked up following his previous team, TDK, being banned from the challenger series this year.
Despite losing a couple of players from the spring split against their wishes, and having been picked up by rivals, NRG Esports have somehow actually managed to strengthen their lineup for the LOL NA LCS summer split.
However it will be asking a lot to expect this team to gel quickly enough to have a major impact in this particular 2016 League of Legends tournament.
Another major change that has occurred is the incredible permanent ban of Renegades.
They had a poor spring split, but will not be coming back due to the permanent ban they received for rules infractions regarding the housing of players from opposing teams.
Renegades’ place was quickly purchased by Team EnVyUs.
Team EnVyUs is one of the largest and best-funded esports organisations in the world and they’re looking to make a quick impact in this NA LCS summer split.
They’ve picked up Seraph, Ninja and Hakuho from Renegades, and they join up with LOD, Nientonsoh and Procxin. How this pans out is yet to be seen, but we are always a little weary a total roster change as team cohesiveness is such an important factor in winning any eSports championships.
However, this is a very experienced team, and with the financial backing and facilities provided by Team EnVyUs, they are one to watch.
Though it’s worth noting that the these players, though excellent, were not fighting at the top of the table in spring. Will the Summer Split see they up their League of Legends gameplay?
This time it’s Team Impulse that get’s banned and seen their place purchased by Phoenix1.
Phoenix1 have picked up 3 of Team Impulse’s players in Pirean, Mash, and Gate, as well as Zig from Team Liquid and a relative newcomer in Zentinel.
This team is a bit of a mishmash of players recently relegated, one who has largely had a career just off the top and a newbie.
Don’t expect great things this season.
Newly promoted Apex Gaming have brought in a totally new lineup, picking up Ray, Shrump, Keane, Apollo and Xpecial, all from various competitors.
These players have little experience in working with each other and while there is some decent experience in the side, we still don’t expecting them to be challenging for a place in this years LoL 2016 World Championships.
As we know, good team work is the most important part in competitive League of Legends esport gaming.
And no less important when considering who to bet on the LOL summer split.
So it’s not surprising that a few teams have tried to keep as few changes as possible.
Following big changes before the spring split, Echo Fox have decided to stick to the team that finished 7th , all in the hope that better experience will see the team gel and results in an improve in turn.
Team SoloMid have taken a similar tactic having finished 5th. They have had to replace the departing YellOwStaR with Biofrost.
YellOwStaR was an experienced player while Biofrost has never played in the League of Legends Championship Series (though is well experienced at the Challenger level), so to be honest this looks like a weakening on their side.
However TSM’s problem was not the quality of players but in the lack of team synergy.
With most of the same roster in place we could see a real improvement in this summer split.
Team Liquid were also planning to keep the same lineup but just a week before the start of the summer split they have had to suspend Dardoch for “insubordination”. Moon is likely to take his place.
This is a real shame as Team Liquid were coming on strong by the end of the Spring Split following a lot of changes, especially with some real newbies coming in during the previous break.
Dardoch himself had just come from the Team Liquid Academy and was making a name for himself.
This could have a negative effect on their hopes of progressing from a decent 4th place finish.
Following their very strong performance in the last LOL Tournament, Immortals and Counter Logic Gaming have kept together their roster to go forward into the summer splits.
Going into this NA LCS summer split as it stand, you would have to put your money on Immortals and Counter Logic Gaming to continue their good form.
CLG are experienced at the top of the NA LCS, and Immortals had a great season despite being a newly formed team.
The experience they have gained will no doubt give them even greater team work.
In my opinion Immortals have the strongest side and are only likely to get better the more they play together.
We fully expect them to continue to dominate the regular seasons and probably win the summer League of Legends esports playoffs too.
However it is worth keeping an eye on Team EnVyUs. Despite being brand new, they have the backing of a powerhouse of an esports organisation and this will certainly help them in their attempts to qualify for the World Championships.
Also, by keeping together three of the best Renegades players they can be relatively confident in keeping a good team synergy, which that could really see them take off.
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