Author: gibbsatron

NA LCS Post-Week 4 Power Rankings

S Tier -“Team Solo Tier”

#1 TSM

Power Grade: S+

Record: 8-0 | 16-3

Previous Rank: 1 (=)

 

One more match before TSM has the chance to successfully defeat every NALCS opponent and it’s P1.  It looks like they will secure a 9-0 half-split before facing off in a rematch against the spring split champion and MSI success story CLG.

As long as they continue playing in this form, look for TSM to come out of week 5 with a 10-0 record.

Week 5 Games: Saturday v P1 | Sunday v CLG


A Tier – “Battle for Second Tier”

#2 IMT

Power Grade: A+

Record: 7-1 | 15-5

Previous Rank: 2 (=)

 

Things indeed looked troubling for a moment after CLG took a game 1 from IMT.  If you remember, CLG was the only team to defeat IMT during the spring split regular season, dashing their hopes of an undefeated split.  However, Immortals quickly regained their composure and ended the weekend with 4 back-to-back wins.

Week 5 should be an interesting one at the very least as Apex should be a solid warmup for an all-important rematch with Cloud 9.

Week 5 Games: Saturday v APX | Sunday v C9

#3 C9

Power Grade: A

Record: 6-2 | 14-7

Previous Rank: 3 (=)

Finally, the rising Cloud 9 took a 4-0 week after a not-so-surprising shutout of NV and NRG.  They looked great on the rift and smothering out the weaker LCS competition is something C9 has struggled with in recent seasons.

Though week 4 was great for C9, I can really see week 5 being a tough one.  Team Liquid has been on a steady uprise back to former contention while Immortals is still considered the second-best team.  However, Cloud 9 may have been steadily improving while Immortals is kind of staying stagnant.  Only time will tell.

Week 5 Games: Friday v TL | Sunday v IMT


B Tier – “Gatekeeper Tier”

#4 NV

Power Grade: B

Record: 5-3 | 10-9

Previous Rank: 4 (=)

As I expected, NV came out of the week at 5-3.  I did not, however, expect them to go 0-4.  So while I was correct about placing them below the top 3, I never would have even thought to bet on an 0-6 record against TSM/IMT/C9.  They are the lone team standing between the top-tier and the middle-tier teams.  They are the Gatekeepers.

For NV fans, hope remains that their 2-7 record over the last two weeks hasn’t tilted them so hard that they drop to Echo Fox or Liquid, the later being more likely and I actually predict a 1-1 week.

Week 5 Games: Friday v FOX | Saturday v TL


C Tier – “Rock Paper Scissors Tier”

#5 TL

Power Grade: C+

Record: 4-4 | 9-9

Previous Rank: 7 (+2)

After 2-0’ing Apex, I decided on calling this the Rock Paper Scissors tier.  The three teams seem to be about equal in strength against other teams, but TL 2-0’d APX, CLG 2-1’d TL, and APX 2-1’d CLG, making for an interesting match of Rock Paper Scissors.  The future of the split, specifically with the teams in this tier should be more than entertaining.

This will be a very tough week for the Liquid crew.  I’m curious to see if they keep playing Fabbbyyy or if Piglet steps back in considering the strength of the upcoming teams.  I predict a 1-1 week as TL continues to improve while NV could possibly be on tilt.

Week 5 Games: Friday v C9 | Saturday v NV

#6 CLG

Power Grade: C

Record: 3-5 | 9-11

Previous Rank: 6 (=)

My prediction was correct and they did take a game from Immortals which is huge for them.  It was a game 1 and they couldn’t keep the same pressure up against the superior roster.  I still think the team is improving from their slump and I see them returning to the playoffs which is huge for a team who’s been unexpectedly struggling so much.

Week 5 should be much like the previous week.  If CLG wants to continue their improvement, they will finish off half the split at 4-5 which isn’t terrible all things considered.  Then they start off the second half against TSM who, like IMT, they should be looking to take a game from.  Getting TSM out of the way at the beginning of the second half of the split could be a blessing in disguise.

Week 5 Games: Saturday v NRG | Sunday v TSM

#7 APX

Power Grade: C-

Record: 4-4 | 10-10

Previous Rank: 5 (-2)

 

Out of all the teams in this tier, Apex had the most impressive start to the split and the least impressive end to the first half and the last team they have yet to face looks monumentally better than them.  Like CLG, they will probably finish the first half of the split at 4-5 before starting the second half against the worst team in the NA LCS.

In week 5, Apex will likely go 1-1 in an unsurprising fashion, though P1 is still looking for that first series win and what better time to start the comeback and surprise everybody than halfway through the split?

Week 5 Games: Saturday v IMT | Sunday v P1


D Tier – “Cloud Drake Tier”

#8 NRG

Power Grade: D+

Record: 2-6 | 7-13

Previous Rank: 8 (=)

Well it appears we have our relegation teams all-but announced.  Barring any huge failures from the teams above them or incredible turn-arounds from NRG, FOX, or P1, these three teams will be playing to stay in the LCS in about 7-8 weeks.  Hopefully, NRG doesn’t get relegated because I, personally, can’t imagine an LCS split without KiWiKiD.

Week 5 is a real chance for NRG to secure a 2-0 week and break into playoff consideration, but with CLG fighting to stay relevant, I don’t see it happening.

Week 5 Games: Saturday v CLG | Sunday v FOX

#9 FOX

Power Grade: D

Record: 1-7 | 4-14

Previous Rank: 9 (=)

It seemed like Echo Fox might have gotten some things together.  They took a game from TSM after two back-to-back 0-4 weeks!  Then they dropped 0-2 to Apex.  I can only see one explanation for this and it’s that TSM didn’t prepare for them as much as they did for NV.

Echo Fox has a chance to have a solid week.  NV, as previously mentioned, could be on tilt from going 2-7 in the last two weeks, while NRG is FOX’s closest competitor.

Week 5 Games: Friday v NV | Sunday v NRG

#10 P1

Power Grade: D-

Record: 0-8 | 3-16

Previous Rank: 10 (=)

There isn’t much to say here.  Phoenix1 may legitimately not win a series in their debut summer split.  At this rate, P1 will be in the Challenger Series next year.  Inori played decent, nothing outstanding, and he certainly wasn’t the squad’s magic answer.

On the downside, P1 might go 0-18.  On the upside, they get to play 10 more Bo3 series on the LCS stage.  They should probably be asking the star players for their autographs while they still have the opportunity.

Week 5 Games: Saturday v TSM | Sunday v APX


TL;DR Week 4 Stories

TSM, IMT, and C9 are still alone, arm-wrestling on the mountain’s summit after 6-0’ing NV. TL is quietly moving to the top of the mid-tier teams, potentially challenging NV for that 4th spot. Hopefully Rick Fox doesn’t regret his investment.


Must watch games for week 5

#1 C9 v IMT; Sunday

#2 TL v NV; Saturday

#3 CLG v TSM; Sunday

#4 TSM v P1; Saturday

Note about Match #4: This is the last game of the first half of the split for both teams.  One is defeated, one is undefeated.  It’s mostly here for the lulz but if P1 did happen to upset TSM, it would be absolutely massive!
Advertisements

NALCS Post-Week 3 Power Rankings

S Tier -“Team Solo Tier”

#1 TSM

Power Grade: S+

Record: 6-0 | 12-2

Previous Rank: 1 (=)

 

An electrifying series against C9 came out with the NA favorites on top once more.  After defeating IMT and C9, it appears they are unstoppable.  NV could potentially be a worthy contestant, but considering they were stomped by Immortals, it seems fairly unlikely that NV has a shot at taking the series.

If they don’t end week 4 at 8-0, something went drastically wrong.

Week 4 Games: Saturday v FOX | Sunday v NV


A Tier – “Contender Tier”

#2 IMT

Power Grade: A+

Record: 5-1 | 9-4

Previous Rank: 2 (=)

 

A nice 4-0 weekend for IMT including a rout of NV, proving that the new team is still a step out of being top tier.  Week 4 should be another 4-0 weekend for IMT, which is unfortunate for both CLG and TL as they are attempting to rebound and prove they still have what it takes and their slump is over.  With that said, both of these are potential trap games for IMT.

Easily 7-1 after week 4.

Week 4 Games: Friday v CLG | Saturday v TL

#3 C9

Power Grade: A

Record: 4-2 | 10-7

Previous Rank: 3 (=)

After three weeks, C9 has still played more games than any other team.  This is probably just a useless statistic, but the fact that only one series involving C9 has ended in two games is pretty interesting.  The team looks solid, but not incredible.  Their support substitution strategy is still a complete mystery to everyone outside of their organization, but I think they made a mistake subbing in BunnyFuFuu in game 3 against TSM after Smoothie was involved in the game 2 victory.

Saturday will certainly be entertaining as C9 and NV go head-to-head in a battle for the true third best team.  Most likely, C9 will come out 6-2.

 

Week 4 Games: Saturday v NV | Sunday v NRG

#4 NV

Power Grade: A-

Record: 5-1 | 10-5

Previous Rank: 4 (=)

 

It was a decent week for NV, but nothing too unexpected or incredible happening here.  They were 2-0’d by Immortals, which unfortunately proved they are a step behind the top three teams while they battled it out extensively with defending champ CLG, winning a 2-1 series.  Week 4 will be their toughest of the regular season unless a major power shake-up happens mid-split.  I expect them to take a game from C9 but lose both series in a 1-4 fashion and come out of the week at 5-3.

Week 4 Games: Saturday v C9 | Sunday v TSM


B Tier – “Ocean Drake Tier”

#5 APX

Power Grade: B+

Record: 3-3 | 8-8

Previous Rank: 5 (=)

Apex had a 3-3 weekend, but it probably should have been a 3-2 series.  They are only the second team to drop a game to P1 and it still remains to be seen if P1 was playing exceptionally well in those two games or of the teams that lost to them were just paying exceptionally bad.

I predict Apex to finish the week 5-3, though an upset by TL wouldn’t shock me in the least.

Week 4 Games: Friday v TL | Sunday v FOX

#6 CLG

Power Grade: B

Record: 2-4 | 6-9

Previous Rank: 6 (=)

 

One big step forward and then one tiny step backwards.  They beat FOX in a 2-0, which is good for the team in general, obviously.  They looked like they were figuring things out and then they held strong against NV in a game one win.  In game two, they appeared to be in control until the mid-late game and they fell apart.  NV took two games in a row to take the series from them.

Week 4 looks like it could be a similar situation, but if they can take a game from IMT it would be monumental for the squad who is in a tough battle with the next best team, Liquid.  My prediction: 3-5.

Week 4 Games: Friday v IMT | Sunday v P1

#7 TL

Power Grade: B-

Record: 3-3 | 7-7

Previous Rank: 8 (+1)

 

This was a huge weekend for TL.  They came away with a total of 4 wins and 1 loss.  The teams weren’t special, but they were all close to each other in the bottom 4 of the standings.  For this week, I propelled TL from D tier all the way to the bottom of the B tier.  Though they have a better record than CLG, they have had a slightly easier schedule thus far and also lost to CLG, hence their placement below them.

This will be a tough week for TL.  If they can manage to claim victory over Apex, it will show they are actually improving.  Though the Spring 3rd place rematch, against IMT, seems to be unwinnable. My prediction: 3-5.

Week 4 Games: Friday v APX | Saturday v IMT


C Tier – “NRG Tier”

#8 NRG

Power Grade: C

Record: 1-5 | 5-10

Previous Rank: 7 (-1)

NRG still appears to stand alone, separating the bottom tier from the middle tier.  Sometimes they look like they are powerful and sometimes they look like they are clueless.  A week 4 victory over C9 would certainly confirm they are the NALCS dark horse.

At the end of Week 4, NRG will likely be 2-6.

Week 4 Games: Saturday v P1 | Sunday v C9


D Tier – “Cloud Drake Tier”

 

#9 FOX

Power Grade: D

Record: 1-5 | 3-10

Previous Rank: 9 (=)

 

Echo Fox seems to have completely fallen apart.  Getting 2-0’d by IMT isn’t a huge deal, but getting 2-0’d by CLG definitely is.  If they hadn’t torn P1 apart in week one, it would be very questionable which team deserves 9th and 10th.  Note: the rematch is in week 6.

After week 4, P1 will likely still be the only team they have beaten.  1-7.

Week 4 Games: Saturday v TSM | Sunday v APX

#10 P1

Power Grade: D-

Record: 0-6 | 2-12

Previous Rank: 10 (=)

 

Well, boys and girls, it seems P1 is destined to play in the Promotion Tournament at this point.  They did pull out a win against another top 5 team, however.  In both of those games, the team they defeated looked lost in the mid-late game, which lead me to believe they were team comp issues.  Something noteworthy about those two games, the losing bot lane was Caitlyn and Karma.  So maybe, the key to success for P1 is to try and force their opponents into that duo lane somehow.

The series against NRG could be very interesting indeed and they could come away from the week 1-7 or even 2-6 if CLG keeps falling apart in the late game.  I still predict 0-8.

Week 4 Games: Saturday v NRG | Sunday v CLG


TL;DR Week 3 Stories

TSM stands alone on the top of the hill. NV likely can’t handle the top-tier teams. CLG and TL seem to be on the rebound but have a long way to go if they want to return to form. P1 and FOX are well below the rest.


Must watch games for week 4

#1 TSM v NV; Sunday

#2 C9 v NV; Saturday

#3 APX v TL; Friday

#4 P1 v NRG; Saturday

NA LCS Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

S Tier -“Gods of NA Tier”

#1 TSM

Power Grade: S+

Record: 4-0 | 8-1

Previous Rank: 1 (=)

What an opening two weeks for TSM. They have officially proven that their spring playoffs turn-around performance was not a fluke. They did drop a game, finally, but took the series against Immortals. #WORTH

In week 3, they will look to continue their NA dominance but Friday’s series against Cloud 9 should give them yet another test. The series against NRG should be another 2-0 in TSM’s favor.

Week 3 Games: Friday v C9 | Sunday v NRG

#2 IMT

Power Grade: S

Record: 3-1 | 7-4

Previous Rank: 2 (=)

For the first time in 20 regular season weeks, Immortals are not the kings of NA. However, they are still pose a dominating roster and have proven that they can handle best-ofs. They were the first team to force TSM to drop a game, proving that they are beatable.

In week 3, their largest goal is to prove that they have not dropped in power and that NV are still a step behind the top-tier teams. At worse, this should be a 4-1 week for Immortals.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v NV | Sunday v FOX

#3 C9

Power Grade: S-

Record: 3-1 | 7-4

Previous Rank: 4 (+1)

Another great week for Cloud 9, a heart-stopping game loss to P1 but the series went to C9 with two near-perfect victories followed up by a 2-0 rout of the struggling, yet defending champions Counter Logic Gaming.

In week 3, C9 has the chance to prove that the top-tier teams are even closer than we all think. They have the ability to take down TSM and IMT may have given them the blueprint. Remember, in week 1, C9 lost a very close series to Immortals and C9 v TSM tends to be a 50-50. Apex could also be a tough series, as they are a solid team. Quite possibly another 6-game week for C9.

Week 3 Games: Friday v TSM | Sunday v APX


A Tier – “Something to Prove Tier”

#4 NV

Power Grade: A

Record: 4-0 | 8-2

Previous Rank: 5 (+1)

Another great week for NV. The biggest question here, though, is the strength of schedule that they’ve played against. Their toughest two games have been Apex and NRG (combined record of 3-5 | 9-11), they did, however, prove they are a step above APX which was a big question after week 1.

In week 3, NV has their first shot to prove themselves as a top-tier team with a series against Immortals, and then we have a very interesting series against CLG where we get to see a surprising power-house newcomer against a slumping, defending champion. Let’s dub week 3 as Judgment Week for NV.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v IMT | Sunday v CLG

#5 APX

Power Grade: A-

Record: 2-2 | 5-5

Previous Rank: 3 (-2)

Heckle me. I was wrong about Apex. Last week I called them the strongest of the new teams but it turns out their week 1 victory over CLG was less-impressive than we may have thought. I still believe they are closer to NV than the standings reveal, considering they were bested by TSM which is no shocker and they did force NV to a third game.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v P1 | Sunday v C9


B Tier – “Mid Tier”

#6 CLG

Power Grade: B-

Record: 1-3 | 3-7

Previous Rank: 7 (+1)

The slump continues. They had a big chance to turn their early split around with a series against Cloud 9, but they appeared out-classed in both games while their only series win so far has come against the, arguably, worst performing team in NA, TL, who forced them into a third game.

In week 3, they have a real power test. If they do not take the series against Echo Fox, things are going to become very dire for the spring split champions, while the series against NV will not be easy. If Counter Logic Gaming take that series, they will prove they aren’t dead yet.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v FOX | Sunday v NV


C Tier – “NRG Tier”

#7 NRG

Power Grade: C

Record: 1-3 | 4-6

Previous Rank: 8 (+1)

NRG is perhaps a dark horse in the NA LCS. They took a game from Immortals in week 2 after getting 2-0’d by Apex in week 1. They seem to be a small step above the bottom three teams and maybe a small step above the mid-tier teams such as CLG and Apex.

In week 3, they will look to show dominance over TL and prove stronger than they appear by taking at least a game from TSM. If they can take a game from TSM in week 3, we look to a potential David and Goliath match in week 4 versus Cloud 9.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v TL | Sunday v TSM


D Tier – “Bottom Tier”

#8 TL

Power Grade: D+

Record: 1-3 | 3-6

Previous Rank: 9 (+1)

TL finally won a series in a 2-0 upset over Echo Fox after handing CLG their first series win. Perhaps they have just begin their turn-around after some likely synergy-issues with Dardoch coming back into the roster after the pre-split benching.

In week 3, their goal is to show the world that they are better than the bottom tier. They could move up the rankings if they come home with a 2-0 week after taking down P1 and NRG, though as long as they aren’t 2-0’d by P1, no outcome here should be a shocker.

Week 3 Games: Friday v P1 | Saturday v NRG

tied #9 FOX

Power Grade: D

Record: 1-3 | 3-6

Previous Rank: 6 (-3)

Easily the worst performing team of the week. Echo Fox was 4-0’d by teams that appeared to be weaker than them after week 1.

In week 3, Fox will be hard-pressed to take a single game against CLG or IMT since they couldn’t do so against TL or NRG. Winning either series will be a massive upset and tell everyone that week 2 was just a fluke.

Week 3 Games: Saturday v CLG | Sunday v IMT

tied #9 P1

Power Grade: D

Record: 0-4 | 1-8

Previous Rank: 10 (+1)

Phoenix1 looked like an entirely different team in game 2 against Cloud 9, taking a victory against a top-tier team, something they couldn’t do against the likes of Echo Fox or Envy. Even still, after making a push that completely exposed C9’s nexus, they still almost lost the game. Pirean’s Varus was a thing of beauty and I look for it to draw repeated bans against him going into the future.

In week 3, we have a huge fight coming to us in the form of TL v P1. Arguable the bottom two teams could make for a seriously interesting series. Also, going up against Apex should provide P1 with a solid test to prove they are they don’t necessarily belong in the same conversation with TL and FOX.

Week 3 Games: Friday v TL | Saturday v APX


TL;DR Week 2 Stories

TSM secures the number 1 ranking. Cloud 9 proves themselves as top-tier. NV shows they are the strongest of the newcomers, not Apex. CLG struggles continue, potentially worsen. Huge steps in the wrong direction for Echo Fox.


Must watch games for week 3

#1 TSM v C9; Friday

#2 NV v CLG; Sunday

#3 IMT v NV; Saturday

#4 P1 v TL; Friday

A Simple Guide to a Successful Species

A message to whomever is next on Earth —
Learning from the mistakes of humanity
     The most important things in life that humanity has strived for, historically, are liberty, knowledge, and self-preservation. For centuries, we have looked up into the sky for answers, hoping that we would receive guidance from supreme entities known as Gods or a singular God. This has caused many problems within our various societies. For this reason, I am compiling a simple guide to leave behind. If, for some reason, humanity ceases to exist on this Earth and another civilized, intelligent species colonizes the planet, I hope they don’t make the same mistakes that we have.
     Liberty: We humans define liberty as individual and collective freedoms. These freedoms should be all-encompassing and a birthright to each of us. Fair guidelines have been set in place and followed for thousands of years (Magna Carta and the Constitution of the United States), but it never fails that a group of humans bands together with the goal of taking away liberties of others for power and control. These are corrupt people. Unfortunately, after generations of liberty, it can become taken for granted. Meaning we don’t notice these liberties in our daily lives and when a group of corrupt people begin taking them away, it may be hard to notice at first. Then, when the collective people finally take note of their freedoms becoming stripped away, it is nearly too late.
     These freedoms come in several forms. Freedom of speech is quite possibly the largest. This simple concept provides any human the opportunity to speak their mind without punishment from another human or a group. Freedom of religion/spirituality is the next piece of the puzzle. For all we know, scientifically speaking, there is no spiritual realm, but humans are a spiritual being. This freedom allows us to believe in (or pursue a belief in) anything that we wish. Unfortunately, if your belief is that all other humans must believe in your religion or be persecuted, it conflicts with our innate being and the freedom of religion itself. This has been the cause of many wars, countless violent acts, and, quite possibly, even our extinction. If you wish to survive and grow as a species, you must come together as one to stop violations against attacks of your collective freedoms.
     There can only be one exception to a civilization that thrives without individual freedoms. These sentient races will be “hivemind”. This word has been adopted to describe a society which lives like insects. There is an overlord in this scenario (or perhaps two overlords, a mother and a father) and every other member of the species works together in extraordinary fashion towards a singular goal. However, humans are not hivemind and I personally believe that it directly conflicts with sentience but could very well be wrong. The greatest examples of hivemind are ants and bees. These creatures have an overlord (which, in both cases, humans have dubbed “Queens”). Ants, and bees as well, work together to build their living spaces called “colonies”, they take no instruction, they just do it as if they were programmed to do it which is why I believe it conflicts with sentience.
     Knowledge: Since the time humans began roaming this Earth, we have become increasingly more advanced scientifically and technologically, but in truth, we may be no closer to finding out our ultimate question: what is our purpose here? I believe two things: we actually have no purpose and that we are just natural progression of cellular growth. This may sound depressing to many other humans and conflicts with the earlier statement “Humans are spiritual beings” however I do have reasons for these beliefs. Whether they are true or not, this planet will not be able to naturally sustain life until the end of time. For this reason, we have a secondary goal and it falls in line with my next point of self-preservation. I don’t simply mean preserving a single life forever, but the continuation of humankind. We do need to expand past the Earth if we wish to, as a species, exist beyond the planet’s life. The only other outcome would be to peer into the future, see all the ways the Earth will be destroyed, and prevent them through technological means.
     Self-Preservation: As a collective, we do not even agree on how we came to be. Sad as that is, I blame this directly on our spiritual minds. As societies, we have different beliefs and cultures, and instead of coming together on ideas, we constantly fight amongst one another to proclaim that our ideals are the only truth. If we could abandon “religion” and “dogma”, come together and find out our origin scientifically, we could connect-the-dots and link our spirituality with science. Perhaps we were created by a supreme, all-knowing entity, but at least we would be able to identify that fact. Maybe we were created by another species own attempts at “self-preservation”. The truth is that we do not know and we may never know, but we certainly will not know if we let ourselves cease to exist.
     Ironically, as we come ever-closer to our last days on Earth, we extend this concept of self-preservation to other non-sentient species that exist on our home planet. We attempt to save plants and other animals who are not self-aware (lucky or unlucky as they may be) from going extinct.
     Conclusion: Come together as a collective to protect each of your individual freedoms while not physically harming each other. Seek to learn more in any way you can. Continue to live on and allow others to do the same, even if they are unaware. Since we are not here to teach you these things, I sincerely hope with all that we leave behind, you are able to learn our languages. That way, you may learn from our mistakes and live forever.