LCS groups have struggled to make an impression at Worlds in recent times. Nonetheless, 2021 could be the North American league’s 12 months after a robust displaying from the Worlds-bound 100 Thieves, Workforce Liquid, and Cloud9.
NA speedrun no extra? Heading into Worlds 2021, the North American contingent is stronger than in years earlier than. With a model new champion and returning previous faces, NA would possibly simply stand an opportunity of a good efficiency at Worlds.
In the event you haven’t caught any of the motion this 12 months, right here’s a fast debrief of the LCS squads in attendance at Worlds 2021.
Be sure you try our previews for the LPL, LCK. Verify again for our previews for the LEC, and the wildcard areas. Additionally, take a peek at our Worlds 2021 hub and our post-draw preview with commentator Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye.
100 Thieves (#1 seed)
Final Worlds look: 2018 (Teams)
Greatest Worlds end: twelfth (2018)
- Kim ‘Ssumday’ Chan-ho (Prime lane)
- Can ‘Nearer’ Çelik (Jungle)
- Felix ‘Abbedagge’ Braun (Mid lane)
- Victor ‘FBI’ Huang (AD carry)
- Choi ‘huhi’ Jae-hyun (Help)
- Milan ‘Tenacity’ Oleksij (Prime lane)
100 Thieves return to Worlds at the end of a three-year rebuild. They’ve turned themselves into an LCS champion below the steerage of caster-turned-general-manager Christopher ‘Papasmithy’ Smith.
After ending fourth in Spring 2021, 100 Thieves added LEC midlaner Abbedagge and Cloud9 head coach Reapered, continuing to storm to an 18-9 Summer season break up document. They carried their momentum into the playoffs, reaching the Grand Closing and sweeping Workforce Liquid in lower than 90 minutes.
100 Thieves, after years of tinkering, lastly have a roster that clicks. Franchise mainstay Ssumday offers a strong choice within the prime lane. Turkish jungler Nearer has blossomed into a fully terrifying choice between the lanes. Abbedagge has proved to be the midlaner 100T had been searching for all through their rebuild. In the meantime, FBI and huhi make an extremely efficient bot lane pairing.
Nonetheless, what the staff can do on the worldwide stage stays to be seen. Their Spring end means they weren’t current at MSI, they usually have solely made Worlds as soon as earlier than. Whereas 4 members of the squad (Reapered, Ssumday, Nearer, and huhi) have expertise at Worlds, they nonetheless carry North America’s stigma with them and usually are not anticipated to make a deep run. Nonetheless, they continue to be one of the best contender from the LCS at Worlds 2021.
Participant to Watch: Nearer went from being a middle-of-the-pack jungler in Spring 2021 to being god-tier in Summer. Having reduce his tooth in Turkey earlier than becoming a member of the LCS in 2019, Nearer has labored his method into changing into the league’s finest jungler since becoming a member of 100 Thieves forward of the 2021 season. A grasp of the presently prevalent murderer meta, Nearer turns the jungle right into a demise entice at any time when he’s in it. His efficiency, particularly if groups are underestimating the LCS, might assist 100 Thieves upset the apple cart.
Workforce Liquid (#2 seed)
Final Worlds look: 2020 (Teams)
Greatest Worlds end: ninth (2020)
- Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris (Prime lane)
- Lucas ‘Santorin’ Larsen (Jungle)
- Nicolaj ‘Jensen’ Jensen (Mid lane)
- Edward ‘Tactical’ Ra (AD carry)
- Jo ‘CoreJJ’ Yong-in (Help)
- Jonathan ‘Armao’ Armao (Jungle)
Workforce Liquid and being eradicated within the group stage of Worlds, identify a extra iconic duo. Workforce Liquid have been to Worlds 3 times (2018-20), heading headed dwelling after the group stage each time.
Forward of 2021, Workforce Liquid tweaked their lineup, bringing in Alphari and Santorin. It appeared to repay as they received the season-opening LCS Lock-in Event. Nonetheless, from there it was a sluggish decline into ‘good, however not adequate’. They missed out on MSI after ending second to Cloud9 in Spring. They missed out on the LCS prime seed after ending second to 100 Thieves in Summer season.
The biggest thing that has hurt Team Liquid is their lack of spark, particularly throughout Summer season. Whereas gamers like Nearer at 100 Thieves and Kyle ‘Danny’ Sakamaki at Evil Geniuses had been shining vibrant, Workforce Liquid regarded boring, and really completed fifth within the Summer season common season.
Workforce Liquid would be the weakest staff from the LCS at Worlds 2021. Each Alphari and Santorin missed a month of the Summer season break up for numerous causes. Their 3-0 sweep by the hands of 100 Thieves positively raises questions concerning the staff. Liquid simply don’t really feel like a staff that is able to compete alongside the highest sides from around the globe. They really feel destined to proceed their love affair with group stage exits for a fourth consecutive 12 months.
Participant to Watch: CoreJJ is the center and soul of Workforce Liquid. Top-of-the-line helps within the LCS, he’s additionally solely certainly one of two TL starters whose time on the staff predates 2020. His desire for champs like Leona makes him good for the dive comp play the staff favors, however when the staff round him feels missing, there may be solely a lot he’ll be capable to do.
Cloud9 (#3 seed)
Final Worlds look: 2019 (Teams)
Greatest Worlds end: Third-4th (2018)
- Ibrahim ‘Fudge’ Allami (Prime lane)
- Robert ‘Blaber’ Huang (Jungle)
- Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković (Mid lane)
- Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen (AD carry)
- Phillipe ‘Vulcan’ Laflamme (Help)
Cloud9 made essentially the most talked-about signing forward of the 2021 season, as they dropped a reported $5 million to bring Perkz over from G2.
The signing labored firstly of the 12 months, with Cloud9 profitable the Spring break up and going to MSI, the place they completed fifth. However that’s when issues began to collapse. They went from 13-5 within the Spring common season to 15-12 within the Summer season common season. The return of Zven to the beginning lineup didn’t give the staff the enhance they had been in all probability hoping for, and there have been additionally points with inconsistency from gamers like Perkz. This led to them having to run the Loser’s gauntlet after being dumped into the decrease bracket by Workforce Liquid. They made it to Worlds on the expense of TSM however have needed to accept the Play-Ins.
Cloud9 have proven flashes of brilliance at occasions, however worrying inadequacy at others. It doesn’t really feel like a staff that’s absolutely able to compete simply but, regardless of their Spring title. Like with Workforce Liquid, Summer season revealed the failings in Cloud9 as they fell effectively wanting defending their Spring title.
They need to make it out of Play-Ins, however that’s on no account a assure if their consistency points persist. A slip up towards a staff like Unicorns of Love or DetonatioN FocusMe, who beat them at MSI, might spell doom for Cloud9. In the event that they do make it into teams, this isn’t the staff that completed third-fourth in 2018. Expectations are low for Cloud9, and even then, they may fail to fulfill these.
Participant to Watch: Fudge guidelines the toplane. The Australian spent 2020 honing his abilities within the C9 academy earlier than being promoted to the principle roster forward of 2021. He solely improved because the season progressed, arguably changing into one of the best prime laner within the league within the Summer season break up. Nonetheless, prime lane is an disagreeable lane. If his staff continues to wrestle round him, it’s going to be a chilly and lonely Worlds for Fudge. Nonetheless, in a season the place Cloud9 was inconsistent, the highest lane was one fixed they may depend on.