The 2021 LCS Lock-in Tournament has finally concluded and after a grueling best-of-five series, Team Liquid beats Cloud9 to become the first-ever LCS Lock-in champions. Besides securing the potential best team in North America, this tournament brings other implications to the future of the LCS and what expectations come after the performance that the 10 teams in North America. The regular season is about to hit the screens in a few days, let’s review everything there is to know about this tournament’s conclusion.
LCS Lock-in Conclusion
The LCS Lock-in tournament is similar to Korea’s KesPA Cup and China’s Demacia Cup. As one of the LCS Format changes, this tournament has become some sort of proving grounds for the new teams and a way for the orgs to test out the new rosters on stage without it affecting their chances of going to MSI or Worlds 2021. The LCS teams’ 1st week was pretty shaky with a lot of starting players experiencing visa issues and had to play from countries away. The tournament stabilized by the 2nd week.
Despite it being a minor tournament, the organizations took this very seriously to show that their rosters are ready to take on the next challenge that lies ahead. After the LCS’ suboptimal performance in the Worlds 2020 tournament, the region looks like it has undergone a major revamp and will work towards regaining its reputation as a competitive region. Team Liquid will be spearheading the region as the top competitor and will be the ones to watch this year.
Grand Finals: Team Liquid vs Cloud9
The Team Liquid vs Cloud9 Grand Finals went to a full five games with C9 almost getting a successful reverse sweep. However, the Bo5 isn’t as close as how it might seem it is. Despite Cloud9 taking Team Liquid to a full five games, the series didn’t seem very close at all. Team Liquid simply looked like the more dominant team with Cloud9 only capitalizing on small mistakes as all games had TL favored to win, losing only on the major objectives and small scrappy skirmishes.
Team Liquid won games 1, 2, and 5 very dominantly and there was no question that they would close out those games. Games 3 & 4 went to Cloud9 but those games were very close and the winners weren’t clear until the final minutes of the game. The LCS 2021 Season once again looks like it’ll be another Team Liquid-favored year and if the fans watched every game that TL played during the LCS Lock-in tournament, no one would disagree with that statement.
LCS 2021 Top Dogs
The LCS Lock-in tournament has revealed which teams are worthy of being called the region’s Top Dogs. Three teams in particular have stolen the show and are expected to climb the ranks as the Top 3 teams in the League. Among the 10 organizations in the LCS, these teams have the highest chances of winning the entire thing, barring a miraculous Schalke-esque comeback that would overturn these expectations. Let’s take a look at why they’re going to win and who has contributed most to their success.
1. Team Liquid
Team Liquid has undergone an almost total rebuild with 2 new players and a developing superstar in their roster. Team Liquid has always been a consistent challenger in the league but with Jensen and CoreJJ spearheading the direction of the team, they look absolutely unstoppable. The team looks as aggressive as ever and now that they have an independently aggressive topside, the entire map looks extremely dangerous when playing against this team.
Alphari is an excellent change in the new Team Liquid. This player has been playing out of his mind in the tournament and has introduced an incredibly aggressive topside that can secure kills and pull-off risky plays. Santorin is also a breath of fresh air since Team Liquid has only had facilitative Junglers until now. Santorin is aggressive and charges headstrong into fights and secure priority targets before going down. These two aggressive players have given Team Liquid a fast and risky playstyle that is balanced out by CoreJJ and Jensen’s leadership. Tactical is fighting to be the next King of the LCS.
Cloud9 was last year’s top performer until they suddenly weren’t. The team has also undergone a major change to their roster, replacing their solo laners with new players. During the tournament, the team showed the same aggression they had last year but felt a bit more held back. The top lane is an obvious weak link that most teams try to abuse by trying to flood with ganks and pressure to make sure that they can force the Blaber away from their strength – the bottom lane.
Perkz looks like an above-average mid laner and isn’t exactly the superstar mid laner that everyone hyped him up to be… for now, at least. He’ll need to get used to his new environment and be able to communicate better with his team considering he is straying away from the leadership role. Zven and Vulcan are the main strength of the team and are undoubtedly the best bot lane duo in the League right now.
3. 100 Thieves
The current 100 Thieves is basically an upgrade of last year’s Golden Guardians. Golden Guardians last year looked like they were gunning for a championship until they blundered in the lower-brackets by losing via a reverse-sweep against TSM. The team took Cloud9 to five games in a Bo5 series in the LCS Lock-in Semifinals and are definitely not a team to be overlooked. Right now, the team might have retained its core but the change in management and coaching might need a little bit of getting used to.
Ssumday finally has a good team! This player has long been exceptional in the LCS but had difficulty doing it alone since he was always placed in lower-tier teams. The new additions to the 100 Thieves roster is definitely an upgrade and look like they’re competing for the top spot. The team is strong all-around but they’re lacking bottom lane presence as their strong side is in their superstar Top Laner and Jungler (Ssumday & Closer).