The Western League of Legends scene has finally concluded their regular season and each major region has some interesting names entering the top cut. Western LoL Playoffs will begin on August 7th in the LCS and August 13th for the LEC. As the Eastern LoL dominance continues to be one of the more pressing issues in esports, the west needs to send their best representatives at peak form if they want a shot to deny the trophy from another eastern team claiming it once again.
The Western LoL Playoffs Begin!
The regular season has finally concluded for the west and the fans might not be happy about what they’ve seen from their teams the past few months with some of the expected top teams ranking significantly lower, performing below the fans’ expectations. In that regard, new names have risen to the top but are definitely met by skepticism by a good portion of the fanbase. Does the west stand a chance this year to beat the west or have they already lost before they’ve even arrived?
Nevertheless, Europe and NA have been counted down more times than we can remember. During MSI 2019, people were already debating if T1 or Invictus Gaming would take the trophy after seeing the semifinals bracket but the western teams shocked the world when they beat both teams to proceed with an all-western finals. While we’re not saying that this would be the case for Worlds 2021, there’s no denying that if the western teams have a specific trait, it’s definitely tenacity.
Western LoL Playoffs: The NA Redemption?
The LCS has been performing really poorly in the past few years of League of Legends esports with none of their representatives even making it out of the Group Stage. Even though the North American teams look like they’re looking better each year that passes, it’s the same dreadful loop of not being able to perform against the other major regions despite being one. The need to make it out of groups grows more and more for each Worlds tournament that passes.
Worlds 2021 looks really bleak for the LCS especially since they are most likely send 3 of 4 inconsistent teams that they have which are 100 Thieves, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, and Cloud9. Even though these 4 are top teams, they don’t really look impressive aside from probably 100T, with the addition of Abbedagge who has definitely proved that he has that European import buff. Of course, the other teams will become scarier if they manage to fight their peak form at the World Stage.
Our Top Picks for the LCS
With the start of the western LoL playoffs, we need to look at which teams look the most promising in terms of international performance. There are some teams that look good domestically but drop down when it comes to the international stage. Here are our picks for the LCS.
1. 100 Thieves
100T are definitely looking like the top team in the LCS right now with their macro skills and individual performances looking like a cut above the rest. This team has the best chance of not only winning the LCS as a whole but also perform really well at the Worlds Stage. If you’re looking for an NA team to support that has a decent chance to make it out of groups should the group they land in be a really easy one.
The biggest problem with 100 Thieves would probably be the draft. Even though they have Reapered as their head coach, there has been some very questionable drafts in this split that only really worked because they were fighting against other NA teams. If 100T end up in a group that contains a top 3 LPL team and a top 3 LEC team (which is extremely likely), their chances of getting out of groups drop down significantly to the point of no hope at all.
We’re not placing our hopes on TSM because their current roster looks really inconsistent. Instead, we’re placing our hopes on Cloud9 even though they’ve been performing really poorly in the Summer Split and they looked absolutely horrible during MSI 2021. The thing that makes us believe that Cloud9 might make it to the top cut is because this team has a very talented roster that have very high skill ceilings in terms of individual performance and team coordination.
Cloud9 has always been NA’s hope for making it to the group stage and the tradition might just continue once again if they successfully make the top cut of the playoffs. Right now, the performance of Cloud9 isn’t really that impressive so we’re not going to bet our money on Cloud9 beating the other teams in their group unless it’s a wild card region. If there’s ever a time for Cloud9 to start showing up it’s definitely at the beginning of the western LoL playoffs.
Western LoL Playoffs: Is EU Going to Break the Barrier?
Europe has always been the west’s frontrunner when it comes to the challenge of climbing up the Worlds Stage into the finals. Containing some of the Best Western Players in the world, Europe is definitely a shining light that the west will look upon at worlds. Even though the teams right now are looking a bit wonky, they are definitely still considered world-class in terms of their ability to compete with their eastern counterparts.
Despite the entire world claiming that the east has complete monopoly over the esports scene, the LCK, in particular, doesn’t look as scary as they used to be. The LPL is looking a bit invincible right now but definitely has times when they have self-inflicted weaknesses. The LEC will be able to challenge their Korean rivals with the real challenge always being the LPL as the European’s final boss. Will this year be the time when they get the upset over them or will the dominance continue?
Our Top Picks for the LEC
The western LoL playoffs in the LEC is definitely the one to watch for the fans. Those matches will show whether or not the European teams are ready for the challenge of facing off against teams that have more intensive seasons that ran gauntlets against teams in the superior best-of-3 format that really polishes the skills of the players. Here are our top picks for the LEC.
1. G2 Esports
G2 Esports continues to be the top pick for the LEC even if they are significantly lower in the standings. The reasoning behind this is because G2 Esports is the most experienced team in the international stage and has the most hands-on knowledge of how to deal with the eastern teams. Now that they have Rekkles in the bottom lane, G2 Esports definitely look like a team that will have an all-around balance in all their roles that will prove useful internationally.
The biggest problem that G2 Esports is experiencing right now is the problem with inconsistency. Although, we heavily believe that the reason G2 Esports is losing so much in the LEC is that a lot of the other European teams know how to play against this team. On the international stage where you’ll probably only be playing with the other times twice or thrice during the tournament, G2 Esports will remain to be the spontaneous and surprising team that will prove to be a huge problem.
Rogue is the most systematically strongest team on the LEC with a powerful macro and excellent teamfighting capability. They win most of their games in a really calculated matter that dominates from start to finish, leaving very little room for other teams to come back. If Rogue manages to maintain this form throughout the entirety of Worlds 2021, they will definitely have a shot taking home the trophy for their region.
The biggest weakness of Rogue is explosive gameplay that simply disrupts the systematic gameplay that they’re so used to playing. In the Worlds stage where your opponents will most likely be LPL teams, that problem grows even worse. However, in Worlds 2020, we saw Rogue adapt to resorting to cheese tactics to gain an early game lead and snowballing them into the late game. If they can recreate this in 2021, they’ll definitely be the biggest threat in the west.
Is the LEC stronger than the LCK?
In the 2nd half of the LoL 2021 Season, the LEC and LCK look like complete equals in terms of ability. Each region has their own style with the LEC similar to the LPL in terms of prioritizing skirmishing and teamfights. The LEC likes to play towards the macro and take it slow. The region that will come out on top depends on what kind of meta will prevail during the Worlds 2021 tournament.