LCS Summer 2021 Review
review
LCS Summer 2021 Review

With the first season of the LCS’ new format well underway, the Summer split presented North America’s best teams with the chance to win the first-ever LCS Championship.

Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Freelance Esports Writer
31st Aug, 21·☕️☕️ 8 min read
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With the first season of the LCS’ new format well underway, the Summer split presented North America’s best teams with the chance to win the first-ever LCS Championship. Looking to challenge Mid-Season Showdown winners Cloud9, the other 9 sides each had a chance to stake their claim in the region and work towards World Championship qualification.

Tournament Winner: 100 Thieves

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With the LCS’ full season table coming into play for the first time this year, 100 Thieves’ Spring standings meant that they started life in 3rd place for Summer (1 point behind Cloud9 and 2 points behind TSM).

An impressive start to this split saw them move up into the first position from weeks 4 to 8, however two losses in the final week (one of which was to title rivals TSM) saw them finish off in 2nd place. This was enough to earn them a spot in the upper bracket for playoffs, now dubbed the LCS Championship, where they earned a bye to round 2 and would face off against Evil Geniuses in their opening series.

Though EG never led in the series, they didn’t go down without a fight and managed to come back from both 1-0 to 1-1 and 2-1 to 2-2. Showing great determination and mental stamina, 100 Thieves was able to keep their cool and close out game 5 with dominance to move on to the next round.

Up next for a spot in the grand final was Team Liquid, and 100 Thieves were once again to go the full five games. This time it was 100T who went behind 1-0 in the best-of-five, before clawing back to 2-1 in their favour only for TL to win the final two games and take the series 3-2.

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This moved 100 Thieves down to the lower bracket to face off against Mid-Season Showdown winners Cloud9, led by legendary mid laner Perkz, for the last spot in the final. Perhaps their smoothest series up until that point, 100 Thieves started perfectly in taking the first 2 games back-to-back with Cloud9 then needing a reverse sweep to progress.

Despite winning game 3, C9 were unable to complete a comeback and fell in game 4 to grant 100 Thieves the 3-1 win and the spot in the final against Team Liquid to go with it.

100T’s full form finally came to fruition against TL, perhaps irked by their earlier loss, the “hoodie org” flexed their competitive muscles to dominate the four-time LCS champions and earn the first title of their own in a blistering 3-0 victory - one that was not far from being one of the fastest best-of-fives the region had ever seen.

Featured Match: 100 Thieves 3-0 Team Liquid (Championship Final)

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A rematch of TL’s 3-2 victory earlier in the Championship, 100 Thieves were this time looking to rewrite history in beating Team Liquid to claim the LCS crown.

A quiet opening 10 minutes in the first game was abruptly followed by a bottom lane dive from 100 Thieves, which netted the team 4 kills, as each member tanked TL’s turret with perfect precision. A 2k gold lead was soon accrued by 100 Thieves, with FBI’s Varus and Closer’s Vieoo particularly dangerous with 2 kills and 2 assists each.

This lead stretched with Abbedagge, often dubbed Fakerdagge by fans, getting kills of his own on LeBlanc before a 23-minute dragon fight in his team’s favour firmly put the game in their hands. By 26 minutes, 100 Thieves were a whopping 13k gold and 13 kills ahead before smashing TL’s nexus to earn a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 once again began in a timid fashion with only a single kill in the first 10 minutes, in 100 Thieves’ favour, while their opponents gathered a modest gold lead. Once again, like clockwork, the action kicked off soon after with 100T grouping bot to pick up a couple of kills, however Alphari’s Jayce was able to claim all 5 top lane plates as a result.

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Despite having still held onto a small gold lead earlier in the game, Team Liquid seemed unable to cope with 100 Thieves in any skirmish or teamfight as the latter constantly found advantages around the map and eventually swung the lead in their favour.

TL held on well throughout the mid game, slowly minimizing the gold difference and doing a better job of thwarting 100T’s engages. Eventually, successive teamfight victories for 100 Thieves gave them enough of a lead to claim Team Liquid’s nexus for the second time, moving the series to tournament-point and putting themselves within touching distance of a first seed at Worlds.

Finally, game 3 saw some action within the opening stages as Closer and Abbedagge picked off Santorin for first blood before yet another bottom lane skirmish this time earned Tactical an early kill for TL. 100 Thieves swiftly began taking control, marauding around the map in packs making pick after pick.

With a 4k lead heading into the mid game, a perfectly executed Lee Sin kick from Closer (which deservedly made its way onto the Reddit front page) set up a great fight for 100T as they took clear control of the match. Their dominance began to make TL look more like Academy challengers rather than LCS title hopefuls, and the damage was all but done to their confidence by the closing stages as 100 Thieves comfortably closed out the game to end the series and claim the organisation’s first LCS trophy.

Featured Player: Closer (100 Thieves)

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Despite TSM jungler Spica picking up the official MVP award after the regular season, it was undoubtedly 100 Thieves’ own jungler Closer that had the most impact by the closing stages of the split.

The former Golden Guardians man played a pivotal role in the final Championship series, shrugging off suggestions that he could only perform on the ‘OP’ Viego by dominating Team Liquid with his Lee Sin display in the title-winning game 3.

Of the junglers that played more than 10 games, he boasted the highest KDA (5.17), most gold per minute (406) and 2nd highest CS per minute - not to mention also having the greatest win percentage (69.2)!

Best Bet

100 Thieves to win the LCS Championship

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Having been just outside of the top three of Cloud9, Team Liquid and TSM in Spring, 100 Thieves’ Summer resurgence and first LCS title is even more impressive. Though the changes to bring in mid laner Abbedagge and veteran coach Repeared looked to be clear upgrades during the off season, backing them to go ahead and win it all would still have looked very risky before the split had begun.

After taking the LCS by storm in 2018, the organisation had stumbled in recent seasons and struggled to make a push back to the top. However, this Summer split has seen Nadeshot’s side shoot to the top of North America and deservedly head to the World Championship as a result.