The North American Competitive Series – Odds and Predictions for 2017-18 NA LCS

by Terry Owens
on December 4, 2017

With the NA LCS seeing big changes in terms of teams, individual well-being, and overall structure, we can expect large changes in how certain teams will perform, especially since the market for players has grown tenfold.

What do I mean by this? Ever since the 2018 Season ended, players have been moving from teams. Recently, Team Solo Mid’s renown AD Carry, Doublelift, switched to Team Liquid and G2 Esport’s famed bot lane duo consisting of Mithy and Zven, was recently acquired by Team Solo Mid.

We’re only scratching the surface of everything currently happening. With that being said, let’s take a look at the remaining and new NA LCS teams and their odds of making it to World’s, the Playoffs, and winning it all. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Note: We’ll be going with the amount you’ll receive/amount you bet format to give a good reference on the odds for each team’s chances in their run for the gauntlet.

Team SoloMid

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/7 (87.5%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 1/4 (80%)

Team SoloMid has shown great prowess throughout the years. They’ve been an obelisk for the North American Competitive Scene franchise and have been known to acquire some of the top names from around the world.

In both 2016 and 2017, they won the Summer Split with no contention whatsoever. In 2017, they won the Spring Split as well, solidifying themselves as a qualifier for the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational. Team SoloMid has been one of two teams that has been able to qualify for Worlds consistently, year after year.

They’ve had many infamous names come through their ranks throughout the years, like Dyrus, TheOddOne, and YellOwStaR. They still have prodigies with them to this day, ranging from their star mid laner, Bjergsen, to the infamous top laner, Hauntzer.

Now, with the acquiring of G2 Esport’s infamous bot lane duo, Zven and Mithy—both of whom made it to the 2015 World Championship Semifinals—along with the NA LCS MVP Mike Yeung, people are expecting for a standout season when the NA LCS Spring Split starts.

Cloud9

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/7 (87.5%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 1/4 (80%)

If there wasn’t Team Solo Mid, Cloud9 would definitely be the next in line for the throne of the North American Competitive Series. They’ve made it to Worlds every single year since their debut on the stage in Season 3.

Though they haven’t won as many Splits as Team Solo Mid has, they’ve still managed to make Playoffs every year except in 2015 when the team had gone through an interior crisis. However, despite their failures in the 2015 NA LCS Split, they still managed to qualify for Worlds through the “Cinderella Run” making them one of the top spots for contention in the NA LCS as a whole.

They possess individual powerhouses like Cloud9’s famed mid laner, Jensen, as well as the icon of Cloud9 itself, Sneaky. Moreover, no one can forget their support, Smoothie, who came in with a
“bang!” and destroyed every single opposition, including—at the time—the unstoppable TSM duo of Doublelift and Biofrost.

Throughout the years, they’ve also seen names like Hai, Balls, Impact, and Meteos, all of whom have secured international ranks in their areas. Throughout the years, their performances on the World Stage have been something to envy for the North American teams.

Now, with the signing of four talented players, one of them being Team SoloMid’s former jungler, Svenskeren, we can expect large things from the Cloud9 franchise. They’ve given us consistent results every single year and they leave the crowd wanting more every single time.

Counter Logic Gaming

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/6 (85.7%)
  • Odds of Making it to Worlds: 4/3 (43%)

Counter Logic Gaming has been an on again, off again, team throughout the years. They’ve almost been relegated to the Challenger Series. However, at the same time, they’ve been one of the few teams to ever defeat Team SoloMid in the playoffs more than once.

We know that Counter Logic Gaming has great potential ahead of them. That being said, let’s dive into their history and what we know about them. In 2015, the team made history by taking down Team SoloMid and cementing their first Worlds appearance.

In 2016, they upset crowds yet again by being the first North American team to make it to the Mid-Season Invitational Finals. Counter Logic Gaming has seen faces like Doublelift, Aphromoo, Pobelter, and Xmithie all take the stage.

With such strong players coming and going, it’s no surprise to why Counter Logic Gaming has been seen as one of the strongest names in the NA LCS scene. When CLG’s main carry, Doublelift,  left, they brought in a new, fresh talent named Stixxay and he defied boundaries.

CLG has been known to defy everyone’s expectations and push boundaries to a whole new level. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again. Now, with the signings of two new prodigies, Biofrost and Reignover, we can expect even greater things from the franchise.

In 2016 and 2017, Biofrost and Doublelift were considered to be one of the strongest AD Carry pairs that a team had ever seen before in the history of the North American League Competitive Series. As for Reignover, his ability to consistently exert pressure and build momentum for his team helped propel many accomplishments, two of them being Immortals’ dominant run in 2016 and Fnatic’s 2015 World Championship debut.

There are many things we can expect from Counter Logic Gaming. However, due to recent shaky performances from names like Stixxay and Huhi, as well as the departure of the main face of CLG, Aphromoo, we’ll need time before we can see if they have what it takes to make it to Worlds.

Team Liquid

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 2/4 (67%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 2/1 (33%)

Though Team Liquid has been a dominant name in almost every esport platform it has spread to, it cannot say the same for its League of Legends team. However, with Team Liquid getting the jackpot of trading, the chances have gone from almost non-existent to hopeful.

In the past Team Liquid has had team troubles despite talented individuals like 2013 World Champion Piglet on the team. They’ve seen names like League of Legends’ infamous jungler, Dardoch, and their trusty Team Liquid Support, Matt, come and go.

However, with a newly revamped roster, there’s hope that the team can live on. They’ve acquired new individuals that are sure to bring changes like Cloud9’s former prodigy top laner, Impact alongside Xmithie, Pobelter, Doublelift, and Olleh.

With names like Xmithie, Pobelter, and Doublelift among their ranks, it’s no doubt that Team Liquid’s chances have gone up, especially considering the synergy will be there. Xmithie, Pobelter, and Doublelift were all part of Counter-Logic Gaming’s miracle run in 2015 and with the teammates they’re being provided, perhaps it can happen for Team Liquid.

Doublelift has been a true powerhouse throughout the years of his performance, dominating on both Counter-Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid. Pobelter helped shape CLG’s miracle run in 2015 and created the dominance of Immortals in 2016.

Alongside Doublelift and Pobelter will be Xmithie, Impact, and Olleh, all three of whom have considerable talent. Xmithie has been known to be one of the most consistent junglers in the game and Impact needs no introduction: his resume says it all.

As for Olleh, his standout performance on Immortals will be more than enough to make himself a respected name in the 2018 NA LCS Season. If all goes well for Team Liquid and the communication goes well, this could be their year.

Echo Fox

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 3/2 (40%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 1/2 (33%)

Owned by NBA Basketball Star, Rick Fox, many thought that Echo Fox was going to be an instant power-house in the North American Competitive Series. However, after several matches, it became evident that despite their powerhouse mid laner, Froggen, they were struggling to make themselves known in the NA LCS.

But like all the teams in the current NA LCS stage, things are looking hopeful for the Echo Fox organization. Though they’ve struggled in the past and they’ve certainly known no stop to the endless losses that come their way, with the new names that are coming to the team, some things certainly could change.

Acquiring names like Fenix for the mid lane, Dardoch for the jungle, Altec for the AD Carry position, and Adrian for Support, there certainly is hope for the team. In 2015, Fenix single-handedly took down four members of the Counter Logic Gaming dream team and Dardoch has been an infamous name in the NA LCS for quite some time.

Now that Echo Fox has acquired a fresh start, we can expect a better future for them. Despite the organization taking out their star mid-laner Froggen as well as AD Carry Keith, and top laner Looper, things are looking a little better for the struggling NA LCS team.

FlyQuest

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/1 (50%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 2/1 (33%)

FlyQuest was originally a reincarnation of the old Cloud9 team, consisting of names like Hai, Balls, and LemonNation. However, this season has seen a lot of changes for the organization. The only returning member of FlyQuest is WildTurtle, a renown AD Carry in North America’s region.

With the team signing Flame, AnDa, Fly, and Stunt, the future of FlyQuest is still unclear. However, certain individuals of FlyQuest have certainly made names for themselves. Flame made himself a viable force to be reckoned with in the 2017 NA LCS and Fly has been no stranger to the Korean competition.

Ever since the birth of FlyQuest, the team has shown considerable amounts of success through strong performances in their games.  However, with four new names being signed onto the roster, things are unclear for the future of FlyQuest.

While we do not know what to expect about this new, upcoming lineup, we can depend on names like WildTurtle, Flame, and Fly to show off their prowess. We may not know much about FlyQuest as of now, but the potential is there.

Clutch Gaming

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 4/3 (43%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 4/1 (20%)

Clutch Gaming is one of four new teams being inducted into the NA LCS. Though they may not have a background to analyze, we can certainly take a look at their individual talents. As of now, their roster includes Solo, LirA, Febiven, Apollo, and Hakuho.

Like FlyQuest, the individual talent is certainly there. With a powerhouse mid laner and a strong AD Carry, the potential for Clutch Gaming should not be ignored. Febiven is an international threat, for good reason too.

In 2015, he took down Faker in the Mid-Season Invitational and helped bring Fnatic to a World Championship Semifinal in 2015. Clutch Gaming’s jungler, LirA, has been a major force in Korea and Apollo’s name has been known throughout the NA LCS due to his strong performances on the now deceased Team EnVy Us

Though Clutch Gaming is a new face to the NA LCS, they certainly have the individual talents to make themselves a formidable foe. However, individual talent doesn’t suffice in the world of eSports. Teamwork is a large factor as well.

With teamwork being such a large aspect in League of Legends, time will only tell if this group of talented individuals can come together and become something more. The potential is certainly there. If the teamwork is there as well, then they could be potentially unstoppable.

100 Thieves

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 6/7 (54%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 7/6 (46%)

100 Thieves is also another new team coming into the NA LCS for the 2018 Season. They’ve picked some strong players that have individual talent and strong synergy with the rest of their teammates. The top three talents on the team are their top laner, jungler, and midlaner—Ssumday, Meteos, and Ryu in the respective order.

Their mid laner, Ryu, has been a formidable foe in both the Korean, European, and American region. He helped take H2K Gaming to a World Semifinal Debut in 2016 and pushed South Korea Telecom to their limit in 2013.

Combined with Meteos and Ssumday, the newly formed team is expected to go far into the 2018 NA LCS. They also have the synergy. Both Meteos and Ryu have had their history together, playing side-by-side on the now-deceased Phoenix1 team during the 2017 season.

Many are expecting great things from this team of talented individuals. While I do not usually try to take sides for specific teams, I’m willing to bet that despite their novice status, 100 Thieves will go far into their season.

Golden Guardians

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/1 (50%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 2/1 (33%)

Golden Guardians are the third of the four new teams inducted into the NA LCS. Currently, their team consists of Lourlo, Contractz, Hai, Deftly, and Matt. All of them are strong veterans who have had experience in the NA LCS.

The team is composed of several extremely strong names like Hai, Lourlo, and Contractz. Hai has been a veteran player who helped pull Cloud9 past a dreary season in 2015. Contractz went into the NA LCS with a boom during his debut on Cloud9, and Lourlo has been a dominant force since his start on Team Liquid.

They certainly have the individual talent and they certainly have the synergy. Hai and Contractz have both come from Cloud9, and Lourlo and Matt have both come from Team Liquid. However, due to the Golden Guardians bringing in an inexperienced AD Carry, the chances for the Golden Guardians could be shaky.

Team Liquid’s players have been known to choke at certain points of the season and combined with the inexperience of the new AD Carry, things could be uncertain for the team. However, Hai and Contractz could be the ones that carry them to victory this season. Only time will tell.

OpTic Gaming

  • Odds of making it to Playoffs: 1/2 (66%)
  • Odds of making it to Worlds: 1/1 (50%)

OpTic Gaming is the last of the four new teams being inducted into the 2018 NA LCS Season. Currently, the team consists of zig, Akaadian, PowerOfEvil, Arrow, and LemonNation. This is the only other team that I expect will have a standout season in the 2018 NA LCS.

With names like PowerOfEvil, Arrow, and LemonNation, there’s certainly no shortage of top players. Recently, PowerOfEvil helped bring rookie team Misfits to a close five-setter against South Korea Telecom, upsetting TSM along the way. Arrow has played with some of the top Korean teams throughout his career and LemonNation had been the backbone to Cloud9 before his departure.

While the team may take some time to synergize, I have no doubt that the team will certainly get along just fine. LemonNation has always been a flexible support to work with and Arrow’s mechanics are something to fear.

PowerOfEvil’s confident playstyle, combined with the synergy brought on by Arrow and zig, who used to both play on Phoenix1 together, will be crucial to the team’s success later on. While OpTic Gaming is new to the scene, I have no doubt they will excel throughout the season.

Conclusion:

There it is. These are the ten teams that will be competing in the 2018 NA LCS. They all possess some of the top names in the nation—and from across the world. Some teams have faced drastic changes while others have only moved perhaps a single spot.

Despite their differences, one thing is for sure. The 2018 NA LCS is expected to be an exciting one. With League of Legends expanding into different aspects of the game, there’s no doubt that the 2018 Season will be a thing of epic proportion.

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