Wildturtle smiles after a Flyquest win.

Alrighty boys and girls. League of Legends is back for the summer split and week 1 of the LCS is officially in the books. I’ve got some of my main observations from the first week of the summer, as well as some things I’d like to see in Week 2 of the LCS.

3 Things we learned in Week 1

  • Cloud9 is picking up where they left off. Well, if there was any question about whether would limp out of the gate in the summer, they put that to rest real quick. Cloud9 opened their season in a rematch of last split’s grand finals against FlyQuest. By my eyes, it looked to be about the same. FlyQuest is a good team, but Cloud9 appeared to be clearly superior. Sure, they fell behind early. However, a massive team-fight around the 10 minute mark put them ahead for good. Props to the casting team for dropping “five finger fumblerooski” on the call.
  • It wasn’t the homecoming Doublelift was hoping for. Much was made in the off-season about Doublelift reuniting with Bjergsen and Biofrost on Team Solomid. Would it be what he needed to shake off the funk he was in during the spring and move forward? He had all the opportunity to prove it as he faced off with his old team last Saturday. However, Team Liquid was having none of it. With Tactical slotted in at ADC, Team Liquid played a strong game and didn’t give Team Solomid much room to make anything happen.
  • Pandemic? What pandemic? The esports world has certainly been affected by COVID-19, however many leagues are pushing on anyway. With players working from home, and casters doing the same, many productions are really suffering for it. Such is not true in the LCS. I was thoroughly impressed by the LCS production last weekend. At many times, if they had subbed in some b-roll of an audience cheering, I would have believed they were casting like normal from the studio. Very impressive Riot.
    UPDATE: Riot has released a statement admitting they ‘missed the mark’ on the broadcast and promised it will be better going forward. I really enjoyed the broadcast, but I guess there’s no accounting for taste.

3 Things to watch for in LCS Week 2

  • Cloud9 needs to lose. This isn’t so much a mandate for week 2 as it is for this summer. They cannot go 17-1 again and cruise through the playoffs if they expect to compete at Worlds. In the words of Master Yoda, “The greatest teacher, failure is.” Someone in the LCS needs to rise up to their level and push them to be even better. C9 faces Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians this week, so I’m not holding my breath too much. Maybe Evil Geniuses will rise up, but I’m more looking towards next week’s match with Team Liquid.
  • A lot of teams have a lot to prove. TSM has games with Immortals and FlyQuest this weekend and if they want to be taken serious this split, they really need to win both of them. Team Solomid had the most drama of any team in the off-season, and has perhaps the most to prove. One thing we saw in the spring split was a lot of teams clustered around the middle of the pack. If a team is for real, they need to find a way to separate.
  • Team Liquid. Team Liquid made a good case for themselves in week one. Their victories of TSM and Golden Guardians should put the rest of the league on notice. They may have lost Doublelift, but they plan to prove that it’s addition by subtraction. Tactical is second in the league in kills right now. If everything continues as it did in week 1, we’re going to have a June 26th showdown between 4-0 Cloud 9 and 4-0 Team Liquid. Yes, please. I’ll take two.

You can catch the LCS at their Youtube or Twitch channel starting Friday at 8 PM EST.

What’s new at Checkpoint XP?

Make sure to make your voice heard this year! Gamers make up one of the largest voting blocks in the country today, and yet way too few of us are actually registered to vote. Gamers.Vote wants you to get out to the polls this November and cast your vote! No matter who you choose to vote for, make sure you do it, and make sure it’s informed! Head on over to Gamers.Vote and register today!

Beginner’s Guide To Esports – League of Legends
Pokemon Snap Is Back!

Lead Photo by Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games