NA LCS week 5 wrapped up with Cloud9 tied with TSM at 7/5. Despite some great games, the teams score is sitting well below their usual dominance over the North American scene. A huge number of roster swaps and the addition of support staff on many NA teams has raised the competitive level of the region.
Although analysts predicted unchanged Cloud9 roster would sweep the early season while region adapted to their changes, the team has had a rocky start. I spoke with Meteos regarding the teams performance and his impressions of the other teams.
Did All Stars affect your ability to prepare for the first week of summer split?
Meteos: Not having Hai affected our ability to prepare for the summer split. having to play with another mid laner changes the team chemistry and then going back changes it further. Trying to take time off to see family between All Stars and the summer split cut into our practice time as well which has lead to us under performing.
Did the changes in play caused by the 4.7 patch influence this at all?
Meteos: I don’t think this specific patch affected our performance. The game is constantly changing, we just haven't practiced enough to keep up with it.
Did any teams stand out right away as having adapted in particular?
Meteos: Dig and LMQ looked really good the first week.
Your first match against TSM was fairly methodical. Do you think TSM was also still a bit uncomfortable with the new roster?
Meteos: Possibly. I think the biggest factor in the first C9 vs TSM game was the preparation. I think we prepared better than they did, on top of having the blue side advantage which gave us a better draft for the match
What's your impression of Amazing as a jungler?
Meteos: Amazing looks good, he has really good mechanics and plays all of the meta junglers.
Despite having quite possibly the most major roster change, Dignitas came out gates at a full sprint while many other teams are still building synergy. What do you think has allowed them to show up so strong?
Meteos: They're good players with a good supporting staff on the team. They've been practicing a lot in solo queue which has given them really strong mechanics. They usually get an advantage early game which they use to snowball into mid and late game.
One of the main criticisms of their roster shift was that it wouldn't necessarily improve the team strategically. Do you think they have changed on that front?
Meteos: Dignitas quite possibly has the strongest supporting staff this season, including a coach, several analysts, and a life coach so the players can focus on the game. I think that a devoted supporting staff can really improve a team.
Cloud9 and CLG have now faced off twice. Both teams are known for being the most strategic teams in the NA LCS, but both games between you two ended up becoming huge bloodbaths with a lot of aggressive flashes and fights. Can you think of any reason the games play out this way?
Meteos: I think games between C9 and CLG turn into blood baths because both of our teams like playing aggressively and we go for fights and plays when we’re behind even if it’s risky.
Although Curse has had a rough run so far, many of their games have been extremely close. Do you think there are any deciding factors preventing them from getting more victories?
Meteos: Curse looks like a good team but it seems like random stuff goes wrong in their LCS matches. Not sure if there’s any one thing prevents them from getting more wins.
Despite their losses, Curse manages to draw out many of their games and keep matches extremely close but Cloud9 was able to close out their match in under 30 minutes. Do you think you did anything differently or did everything just go right?
Meteos: Our game versus Curse went really well from the beginning. We got 3 early kills and were able to snowball the game by taking their objectives and having full vision control of the map. It’s almost impossible for a team to come back from that deficit unless we mess up.
LMQ has been performing very well and developed an early lead on Cloud9 in both you matches. In the first match, however, Cloud9 managed to come back from the early deficit. What was the situation in that match?
Meteos: LMQ outplayed us really hard early game and were able to get a huge gold lead early in the game from dragon, turrets, and first blood. They invested a lot of gold into vision control so we had to play really carefully and do our best to farm up while conceding control of the map. We picked some good fights and managed to get back into the game and ultimately, I think, it came down to us out scaling them with our picks and having a good team comp against them, even if our picks weren't good in lane.
What is your impression of their style compared to other Chinese teams such as WE and OMG?
Meteos: I find it hard to compare styles between teams. In my opinion it just seems like every team does their best to win without really worrying about style. Most teams play meta champions, try to win lanes, and then snowball their early game advantages into vision control and go from there. LMQ is pretty aggressive compared to most other teams that we play.
With talent acquisition like Altec and, more recently, Helios on EG, is it possible to tell if it is a good pick up right away or is it hard to say without time?
Meteos: Like most roster changes, only time will tell how it works out. There are a lot of factors that go beneath the surface with players rather than just their skill in the game such as their commitment to improvement, their ego, their communication skills, and their synergy with each other.
Thanks for answering my questions. Any shout outs you would like to add?
Meteos: Sure, I’d like to thank our sponsors. HyperX, Logitech, Alienware, Lol-Class, NEEDforSEAT, Homejoy, sideqik, and the Airforce Reserve.