This is an in depth tier list of actual players
The teams/players I'll include are:
Evil Geniuses/ex. CLG.EU
ex. Moscow 5/Gambit Gaming
TSM (Team Solo Mid)
And I'll probably briefly mention teams like Azubu (or whatever they are now, both Frost and Blaze), MRN, and so on.
So me looking over how LCS has gone and how each player has performed both in a team and individually, ranked from best to worst:
Teamwork/Teamfight/Overall progress as a team:
Explanation of why I think so:
You can't overlook that as a team, Curse was HARDLY even talked about towards the end of season 2 as a competitive team,
when North America was talked about in the entire League scene it was all TSM/CLG/Dignitas. Curse was always mentioned as CLG bench,
4th place winners etc. And I won't deny it was true, especially considering I'm a huge fan of TSM.
Come around to LCS qualifiers, IEM Katowice and so on
Curse shows INCREDIBLE progress and wins all of their matches for the qualifiers, granted some teams were up and coming and not heard of,
ex: MRN, The Brunch Club (now complexity) and so on, but still. They did incredibly well.
IEM Katowice: Curse comes into this hardly practicing at all and not having Nyjacky and having to have Rhux sub instead.
Saintvicious said in multiple different posts/tweets/whatever he wasn't really excited for IEM and neither was anyone else, they just
wanted to have a week off, and I could understand that. Especially considering how much they trained for LCS Qualifiers.
Coming out they win against GG.
Not only is this incredible, considering GG is a top tier team in the world and has been for a long time, but NO ONE from the U.S.
has ever beaten an EU-West (Azubu, GG, etc.) team before! TSM jokes and says M5/GG cheated, and so on and so forth. Granted,
Curse didn't advance to the next stage because they didn't win their game by a minute or something like that I forget, but the principle
of them being considered a bottom-of-the-barrel team and suddenly beating teams like AZB and GG is something to acknowledge.
So that's all said and done about Curse before LCS.
Ill go on to GG.
GG with the switch of team names and so on continues to be dominant, that is obvious. The reason I would rate them higher than Curse and so on
as far as actual team progress goes is because they can have games that they seem to completely throw, BUT STILL WIN TOURNAMENTS.
Diamond and Alex Ich just prove time and time again that they are dominant in the entire league scene. I mean, Alex Ich whips out AP Yi
and throws out pentakills like its his job. Which it kinda is. They just can advance through anything and its impressive! Very impressive.
Azubu can not be explained indepth because I honestly don't like their playstyle in comparison to others and when Alex Ich says he considers
the Koreans to be "robots" its gotta be at least a little true. They do have incredible teamwork and so on, I just don't like them, they are a top tier team though.
I'll save EG for last so onto Dignitas.
I'm not an extreme fan of Dignitas at all. I think Scarra is a bit overrated for what he is, granted he can play an incredible Gragas, Diana, Katarina, and many others,
I just don't think that as a team leader he sets out the right communication for his team. But we aren't talking about individual players yet.
Dignitas proved that they were just underpracticed in the first week of LCS. They get dominated by TSM and Curse and manage to win against Vulcun, good for them.
But their overall presence as players with each other leaves something to be desired. Their overall teamfight presence was just outweighed by Curse and TSM. But they proved
to pull themselves together in LCS week 2 and I have to hand that to them, winning games against TSM and Mrn put them a lot higher in the entire bracket. They pulled whatever was wrong together,
and obviously it worked out. I really don't want to get too indepth into Dignitas because as far as I'm concerned they're my least favorite team.
CLG. What to say
CLG has always been that team to make a new strategy and have it either work so well it's considered cheese (I mean Saintvicious in S2 in a pre-match said he can see CLG doing something stupid like 5 teleports)
WHICH CLG ACTUALLY ENDED UP DOING, 4 teleports not 5 though. But it's in the game so it can be done. Furthering with the "unfair strategies" if you can call it that, they have Taric Urgot, an INCREDIBLY tanky counter-carry lane against TSM
This is where I'd put the realm of unfair into play. You have Urgot who everyone stopped playing post IPL4 and so on, who is still incredibly good considering an early brutalizer, ninja tabi, and some other tanky item equals GG
But you also have Taric to back that up with MORE armor. AND TO TOP IT OFF FOR ULTIMATE POKE you have Urgot with blue buff to just zone out Chaox and Xpecial. But taking BOTH blue buffs shuts down Oddone for ganks practically.
I will admit it was incredibly smart for them to do, and it worked out really well for them. But I just flat out didn't like it. I was glad to see Hotshot got outplayed by Dyrus, but we'll continue.
I'd consider CLG to be in a very good spot right now. They have Aphromoo synergizing (is that word? I think so) very well with Doublelift, Link115 is proving his worth especially bringing out that Syndra and proving she is viable in any aspect,
and having Chauster as a jungler is working out very well for them, he's one of the oldest players in League, he deserves recognition as does Saintvicious and so on.
We'll go on to Hotshot later.
TSM. I love TSM I really do. I used to laugh at their mentality that they could talk so jokingly but still pump out tournament wins like its nothing against teams that used to dominate like CLG.
But going into a world perspective I had to admit they had a very bad record with teams like GG, AZB, AZF, CLG.EU/EG and anything else I may be missing except SK.
They could go into a tournament and just 2-0, 3-0, 5-0 10000000-0 anyone and make it seem like a joke (TSM vs DIG at Pax) and it was incredible! Then they go on to worlds.
Worlds was a big upset in many factors for many different teams.
It was obvious that teams like CLG and Dig weren't going to do well at all. Sorry but it's true. 0-2 losses, easy games for their opponents, the NA Scene just wasn't ready for anything the Europeans and Asians had.
Granted in almost any e-sport the europeans and asians just have a different mentality that works out for them, but I digress.
TSM got upset by Azubu Frost. They did. AZF did go on and almost win it all (Damn you TPA you god damn ninjas!) so TSM could of been runner-up (hah).
Then the whole AZF fiasco happened where TSM claimed they cheated and so forth. Just with the overall play of TSM, I have to say even with Woong not looking at the map,
they still got outplayed. Shy is just a MONSTER as a top laner that makes everyone even Maknoon afraid. This was proved when Dyrus got Jayce the second match and they
still got beaten hard. I guess the point I'm making about Worlds is that this really discouraged TSM. You could tell.
They weren't in that happy-go-lucky mindset anymore, Reginald stopped being his goofy shit-talking self (Love you regi) and it carried over for a long time.
TSM now though is still in this. Reginald admits they are not the top team in NA/Worlds/Whatever he calls it anymore, but they're still a strong team.
I would rate them on par with CLG because of their overall lane presence as players against other teams. Dyrus has improved a LOT and has honestly carried games for TSM like it's nothing (I mean, Renekton games and the Elise game when they lost vs CLG Dyrus was the only viable person)
ANd I like that they still can be goofy. They've started the whole TSMMMMMMMM thing again where they win team fights again and it's good they're getting back in their mentality, and it shows in their gameplay that they can still do really well.
Onto what is now known as Evil Geniuses.
I love all the guys on this team. Froggen plays one of the best Anivia's in the world and he has changed the meta with things like Lee Sin mid. (He did play jayce recently too!)
I'm honestly waiting for a tournament pick where people just pick bruisers for mid, whether it be Zed, Lee Sin, Riven, whatever, it works really well a lot of the time especially if they have a gap closer.
Snoopeh I'd consider probably in the top 3 junglers in the world right now. He can maintain lane control as a jungler for Wickd or Froggen, he carries his weight, he does really well.
Krepo/Yellowpete is an incredible bot lane too. Their synergy works out very well and I'M glad. EG is in another very good spot and they deserve it coming very close in worlds last year.
Now that's all the teams that I think should be mentioned for the most part. They're all deserving in their own right. They can perform very well in different instances, and they can advance further on into the season, I mean we're 2 weeks into Season 3.
Player wise. (Jesus I just read through this and it is very long)
It's very hard to do a ranking system for individual players cause that's just so much to know. I'll do mostly honorable mentions/standouts.
Alex Ich. What can I say. Him and Froggen are obviously some of the best AP mids in the world. They hardly ever lose their individual lanes and it is very entertaining to watch them face each other.
He can pick up characters and play them very well. I watched play Karma in a solo queue match against Chaox and he did INCREDIBLY well.
He leads his team very well and despite a few hiccups in different games (Curse, etc.) they still rise victorious and he deserves some mentioning. I'd place him as the best AP mid in the world right now.
I figured I'd talk about someone I don't like early.
I didn't mention him before. But I will now. My friends know I realllllly don't like Hotshot. I don't think he's deserving of the position he's in and I think it's showing that all these people he benched
(Saintvicious, Voyboy, Elementz) are now on a team that destroys his. Voyboy absolutely dominated him when they played last week. In the game where TSM actually lost to CLG Hotshot got destroyed by Dyrus in CS and lane phase, Hotshot just had malphite
so he was still able to build tanky and initiate. I mean, come on I think Dyrus had 250 something CS to Hotshot's 150? It just was showing. As a team leader, I would honestly appoint Chauster over him.
Chauster knows any lane. ANY lane. And I think Hotshot does give recognition to Doublelift and Chauster being very strong members of his team. Obviously as a leader he's at least doing SOMETHING right because
they're still a top tier NA team, but I think as an individual player he gets outplayed a lot (CaughtshotGG) and it shows I mean I watched Rainman destroy him last week in solo queue.
Onto another person I don't really like; Scarra.
I know I seem like I'm bitching but I think that not only is Dignitas as a team overrated, but so is Scarra. He plays very strong champions, still very well, but loses lane frequently. He proved me wrong yesterday against TSM, but I think his playstyle and the way
he interprets everything whether it be in an interview or anything isn't something I care about. But I'll admit him and Hotshot are better than I am, I just don't like them whether it be playstyle or attitude.
I don't wanna rant too much about the players I don't like so I'll overlook imaqtpie too.
Let's talk about someone I've been a fan of for a while; Voyboy.
In previous games like against M5 (I think that's what they were at the time, and Voyboy pulled out Katarina), he was the carrying force of Curse.
It's very rare to see Voyboy get shut down or lose a lane, and I'm glad Curse picked him up. Westrice left something to be desired and watching Voyboy play so so many different champions top and have it work very well is deserving of acknowledgement.
Curse is in probably the best place NA right now with their roster. There is no weak point. I thought there was a while when Nyjacky decided to not play for 2 weeks, but he proved me wrong too. I mean it's obvious Voyboy is very well liked, he's been on 3 different teams,
and he gets like 30-50k average viewers on twitch every time he streams. I'd consider him one of the best top laners in the world, if not the best.
Onto someone I haven't talked about at all and it's actually a duo lane-Chaox and Xpecial.
Chaox being the playcaller for TSM does very well. They have some of the greatest teamfight presence in the game and it's the reason they do so well.
Chaox and Xpecial are another pair/lane that RARELY loses. I've seen so many Chaox double/triple kills it's gotta be second nature to him now. Xpecial honestly
might be my favorite support in league other than Elementz. He knows how to play EVERY support well and I'm really excited to see if he'll pick Thresh next week in LCS.
Brief, but again, acknowledgement.
I can't rant on about so many players without this turning into a 8 page essay so I'll try and get through the next ones quick
Proves he isn't the player on TSM that gets carried (I've seen a Saving private ryan poster modified to Carrying Private Dyrus)
Can win lane against a lot of people.
Has widened his champion pool a lot.
But admits he sucks in solo queue lately.
I'd consider him 3rd best jungler in the world right now behind Diamond and Snoopeh.
He plays junglers than can engage and he knows how to lead a team. He comes off as a huge dick though in that aspect but still is awesome.
He also has widened his champion pool and its fun to watch him jungle Ezreal, Kassadin and Garen.
Blah blah blah I like everyone on Curse TSM EG and GG whatever lets go on.
Solo queue players are probably the last thing I'll talk about so I'll go onto them now cause I can rant about how I love individual players forever.
Ever since he got announced as a TSM sub 2 days ago, I've seen him as a top streamer on Twitch. He can do very well. I hope they don't replace Dyrus with him.
Phantoml0rd. I thought he was going to be TSM's sub for a while. Dyrus was duo queueing with him a lot and Phantoml0rd is a top tier solo queue player.
Westrice. I do like Westrice a lot. He is playing a better role as an AD carry now for Epik than when he was on Curse. I hope he can find a team that suits him or get Epik off the ground.
IWDominate. I think he might be one of the few people I liked on Dignitas. Yes he's a dick. Yes he got banned for it. But he's an INCREDIBLE jungler and I don't think I'm seeing Crumbzz fill his position well.
Dan Dinh. As a team manager for TSM he still does really well in the game itself. Top tier solo queue player and he plays a lot of different champions
I know I got short worded and didn't point out more towards the end of this but it's VERY long. If you read this long, you're awesome. I hope you enjoyed it.
P.S. MAJOR HONORABLE MENTION CRS PLUTO. SO FUN TO WATCH STREAM. AD CARRY TOO STRONK.
(I typed this in notepad before I put it here)