Echo Fox vs Cloud9
Next up, we have a pretty fascinating clash between Cloud9 and Echo Fox. Now, much like many other games preceding it, this isn't exactly a spectacular fight of seismic proportions and is by no means a must watch.
But then again, both teams are prone to skirmish at all stages of the game and have more than enough mechanical talent in order to make this clash worthwhile from a viewer's standpoint.
But before delving deeper into the match-up itself, let's take a closer look at both teams and where they currently sit in the LCS standings.
On one hand, we have Cloud9. Everyone knows just how strong and capable they are -- there's no secret surrounding them. We're all aware of their immense talent and awe inspiring flexibility. That said, for all of their potential, they're also fairly limited as a five-man unit. They were fairly meek and reactive (by Cloud9 standards) in Spring, but most people wrote it off as "developing synergy". And there was more than a bit of merit to such a statement -- they were synergizing with their brand-new mid laner Nisqy.
But as a whole, they never really reached their former heights. They never left the LCS pantheon either, but their level of play was a far cry from their prior forms.
So coming into the Summer Split, most people expected them to step up and start taking names. Now, the standings definitely tell such a story. They're tied for first and are entering this week fresh off of a spectacular win over the defending champions Team Liquid. But talented though they are, it feels like they have a palpable skill ceiling.
Perhaps they don't have enough players who can hard carry. Perhaps they need to change and restructure from the ground up playstyle-wise. They're still trying to play in the same way even though they lost their star mid laner. Nisqy is great, but he's simply not on Jensen's level. He's not as impactful, he's not as dominant of a laner, and is nowhere near as consistent. When he pops off it's a sight for sore eyes, but those moments aren't particularly frequent, even though he is playing at a fairly high level right now.
Echo Fox, on the other hand, are dead last in the standings. Not exactly a prestigious position to be in, to say the least. We're still unsure what to make of them and their current level of play. They're not playing good League of Legends, that's for sure, but we're also fully aware of their innate potential.
We've seen them pop off on mutliple occasions and we know just how close they came to winning against many of the top tier teams we see today.
We know they're good. Perhaps even more than that. But if they are unable to maintain a certain level of play then it's all in vain. Then it doesn't matter. And right now, the ship is sinking, and everyone's for themselves.
There's just no good reason to give them any benefit of the doubt. We are five weeks in, and barring any exceptional flash of brilliance, they're bound to end the split at the very bottom of the standings.
To make matters even more complicating, they have only just signed MikeYoung (of TSM fame) as their starting jungler. We've seen him play under the Echo Fox banner last week and we were not impressred, to say the least.
He was passive and was outjungled heavily. His aggression was simply not enough and it was a detriment to his team more often than not. Whether or not he succeeds in making Echo Fox a solid team remains to be seen, but the odds are definitely stacked against them.
In the end, we simply have to side with the boys in black and blue. There's no reason to doubt them at this point, and while they're not as well-rounded as most people think, they should still be more than capable of taking Echo Fox down in relatively clean fashion.