Last Week in LoL Esports: Feb 20th - Feb 27th
The full week of League of Legends esports all around the world has wrapped up. The Mean Green made the playoffs, LCS crossed the halfway point, the LEC is wrapping up the regular season, the LCK is welcoming back the one true king, and the LPL has some new rulers. I have a quick breakdown of our very own UNT Esports, and all 4 major regions around the globe to catch you up on anything you may have missed.
Let’s get started.
CLoL Week 6: UNT League of Legends makes the playoffs!
The UNT Esports varsity team, after a brutal loss to #1 University of Saint Thomas took down the 10th seeded Texas A&M Aggies on the final day of the season 2-1 to clinch the program’s first ever playoff berth. The series went the distance thanks to a breakout Karthus game from the A&M jungler, but in the Mean Green’s two victories, they were quite dominant over their opponent. Every single member played at the top of their game, they smoothed out the fundamentals and cut back on the mistakes. They finish the season 5-1 and qualify for the CLoL playoffs. A tremendous accomplishment for all involved.
Unfortunately, thanks to the somewhat janky seeding system, UNT is seeded 9th in the playoff bracket, last out of everyone. As such, they will play what is essentially a playing game this Wednesday at 7pm to make it to the standard bracket matches on Saturday. The good news is that it is against Florida, a team they have already beat and honestly could have swept if they had cleaned up a bit of the unforced errors. The bad news is that the winner of that game plays Saint Thomas, and the meeting between the two went poorly last time. The Mean Green certainly have a challenging road ahead, but perhaps they can pull off the seemingly impossible…
You can read about their historic feat in more detail here.
Final Regular Season Record 5-1 (10-4 game count)
Playoff Seed: 9th in South Division
Next opponent: #8 University of Florida at 7pm CST Wednesday at https://twitch.tv/untesports
LCS week 4 (NA): Superweek sees TL and C9 stand alone at the top. Flyquest crumbles, and TSM sinks to brand new low.
The special 3-day week to end the first round-robin saw the standings shake up and some narratives get flipped around. Cloud 9 had a big week ahead of them, possibly season defining. At the beginning of week 3, 4 hours before the game, they released their head coach/new face of the franchise/church leader LS that saw speculation and outcry from everyone from players to casters to a Portuguese MP. Given that the entire situation has turned into what can generously be called a PR tire fire, speculation is running wild, and apparently lawyers are getting involved, the specifics of this benching will not be discussed here. After this move, the C9 roster without the one who brought so many eyes to them gone, needed to prove they still had what it takes to win a title.
If their complete decimation of Dignitas, the former champs 100 Thieves, and one of the former leaders in Flyquest is any indication, the roster is here to stay. Team Liquid, despite losing CoreJJ for emergency reasons still came out of the superweek in good position, going 2-1 with a small slip up to the Golden Guardians and are tied first with C9.
The same cannot be said for FlyQuest. This week was the test for FLY, they had benefited from a relatively easy strength of schedule, so winning this week would’ve gone a huge way towards legitimizing them. Unfortunately, they not only lost all 3 games (EG,IMT,C9), they were not particularly competitive in any of them.
However, the biggest loser of this weekend was undoubtedly TSM. The longtime juggernaut had undoubtedly the single worst week in their 9-year LoL history. Fresh off a benching of Shenyi with vague words in the announcement, a leaked phone call, a narrative from their behind-the-scenes series they apparently didn’t feel like shooting down, and a general complete botching of all things quality communication, the optimism that had existed around the new roster has all but died. It only got worse when they stepped on the rift. They got to get smacked around by the defending champ and new cool kid on the block 100T, decimated by a major rival TL, and slaughtered by their oldest rival CLG. Not only has this post from founder and owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh aged like milk in the Texas sun, TSM now sits at 1-8 and dead last in the league. The worst start in franchise history, and their first ever sole possession of last place.
LEC Weeks 7 (EU): The playoff race is all but locked up
This week ended up being judgment day for more than a few teams and saw the race for playoffs all but get locked in. To start, Rogue has clinched a top 4 spot and holds a 1 game lead over the rest of the pack. However, if they end up tied with anyone, they will lose out on 2nd half record, so they can’t afford to slip up next week. Fnatic locked their spot in playoffs with a clean win over Rogue. All 5 members fired on all cylinders and they shut down almost everything Rogue wanted to do.
Misfits clinched their spot with quite possibly the single biggest throw in League of Legends history from G2 Esports. G2 somehow managed to lose with a 13k gold lead and 2 inhibitors by 18 minutes. The “comeback of flippin the century” as caster Aaron "Medic" Chamberlain called it locked Misfits into top 6, but a bad loss to Vitality the next day severely hurt their chances of catching Rogue or Fnatic. G2 themselves locked their spot by taking out Team BDS, who along with Astralis are mathematically eliminated from playoffs.
If Vitality or Excel win 1 out of 3 games next week, they lock in playoffs. If MAD Lions or SK Gaming lose at all next week, they are eliminated. Given the forms of those 4 teams, it looks quite clear which two are going to make it. Unless a miracle happens, the final 6 teams should be RGE, FNC, MSF, G2, XL, and Vitality in some order.
The LEC will resume play at 11 AM CST this Friday with SK Gaming vs Rogue.
LPL Week 6 (China): Victory 5 and Weibo Gaming stake their claims as the new top dogs.
If there was ever any doubt as to whether V5 and WBG’s runs were legitimate or a fluke, I think those just went officially out the window. With the season heating up and the top teams finally starting to face each other frequently, many of the teams predicted to stand atop the LPL are hanging around the 7-win mark. World Champions Edward Gaming and the Doinb/Tarzan super team of LNG Esports are at 7 while on 2 and 3 game loss streaks and starting to skid a bit. RNG running back Xiaohu mid, the BLG all-in Uzi push, and JackeyLove/Knight and friends A.K.A Top Esports are also at the 7-win mark.
Weibo and V5 each sit at 9-1. They are on 8 and 6 match winning streaks respectively. Weibo edged out LNG to hand them their 2nd loss of the split. Victory 5 one upped them by sweeping EDG and LNG. The former Invictus Gaming legends on each team have returned to form in full force. TheShy is throwing it back to 2018 while Rookie is reminding everyone why he has been in the conversation for best mid aside from Faker for so many years. The Sunning members that made it all the way to the World Finals in 2020 are playing well enough to potentially take Weibo there in 2022. V5’s supporting cast members that looked uninspiring when signed are now popping off. ADC Photic even picked up his 2nd pentakill of the split against LNG of all teams. He also tied Rookie in Player of the Game awards for Spring 2022. Both teams which most people had around the 6-10th place mark are now running the league. And I am excited to see how far they can take it, or if one of the expected teams can take back the top spot.
The LPL will return to play March 2nd at 3am CST with LGD Gaming vs Edward Gaming. The current standings are listed below.
LCK week 6(South Korea): T1 are back. No further words need to be said.
To cap this off, the LCK has welcomed back it’s old overlord. T1 are looking like the scariest team in the entire world. There is a grand total of 1 team in the LCK that looks like they can stand up to them. Keria is looking like the best support in the World, Gumayusi is developing just fine. Oner and Zeus aren’t crumbling under pressure despite being so young and look great. And Faker is somehow still finding new ways to wow people and insert himself into the spot of “best midlaner in the world” after almost a decade of professional play.
T1 currently stand alone at 11-0 and have already locked playoffs. Their highlight match with the only other team that looks like they can compete with them, (3rd place Damwon lost in a convincing 2-0) the other superteam Gen. G, is quite possibly the final opponent who can deny them the perfect split. The LCK is T1 and Gen. G’s world and the other 8 teams are just living in it.
The LCK will return on March 2nd at 2 am CST with Fredit BRION vs Hanwha Life Esports. The current standings are listed below.