The race for the World Championship is kicking off in North America.
It was a wild first half of the 2022 season for the LCS. From Evil Geniuses’ borderline-miracle run to the championship, TSM’s first playoff miss in LCS history, and inspiring performances from teams at the top-end of the league, North American League of Legends is hitting a boiling point.
Between the Spring and Summer Splits, teams could make changes to their rosters to become more competitive and make a push towards the World Championship. And with more than half of the teams in the league shifting their lineups, fans should buckle up for a potential shake-up across the entirety of the NA League scene. Unlike last season, Spring Split records will not carry over into the Summer Split, meaning LCS teams will have a clean slate going into the second half of the year.
With the second half of the LCS season set to begin on Friday, June 17, here are our power rankings ahead of the 2022 LCS Summer Split.
|Rank||Team||Change from Spring|
Immortals made several changes heading into the Summer Split, with Ignar, Lost, and Kenvi all joining the team’s starting lineup. While those pickups do increase the team’s ceiling heading into the second half of the year, it’s unlikely they can be a serious threat into the back-end of the playoffs. Immortals’ biggest goal should be trying to establish a competitive foundation for the future, and if young players like Kenvi turn out to be a net positive heading into 2023, that should be considered a big win.
Meanwhile, CLG’s rebuilding season will continue into the summer. It’s most likely that the team will hover around the bottom of the league’s standings, just as they did in the Spring Splitespecially considering the team only made one lateral roster move in replacing Jenkins with Dhokla in the top lane heading into the second half of the year.
Although the top half of the LCS seems relatively set in stone on paper, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we failed to account for variability. After all, we’re not even two months removed from perhaps the most unlikely championship run in the league’s history. All three of these teams, despite starting out in the bottom half of our power rankings to kick off the split, have plenty of potential to serve as absolute wild cards this summer. Both FlyQuest and Golden Guardians reached the playoffs in the Spring Split (with FlyQuest taking at least one game off of every other playoff-qualifying team expect EG), while TSM has made several heel-turns in its starting lineup after missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Plus, with the LCS playoff field expanded to eight teams in the Summer Split rather than the spring’s usual six (that’s an absurd 80 percent of the league), it’s extremely likely that at least two, if not all three of these squads, wind up in the postseason.
Jensen and Zven are back on the main Cloud9 roster, and Fudge is heading back to the top laneall is right in the world. This iteration of C9 combines talent from throughout the organizations history into one roster capable of putting the Spring Playoffs behind them. Yet when looking at the roster, Zven as the starting support stands out immensely. This is a role the ADC player has not swapped to in his professional career. Should C9 hope to take down Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses at the top, theyre going to have to prove two role swaps on their main roster will stick, or else theyll spend the start of another split trying to find what works.
Speaking of returning players, Gamsu is back on a League team after time away in the Overwatch League, returning to Dignitas where he spent the early days of his North American career. Yet what propelled the team to the border of best LCS teams and those trailing behind are their two rookies, River and Blue, who surprised players and fans alike by leading Dignitas to major upsets at many points in the Spring Split. Just one change to the roster shouldnt be enough to shake the potential of Dignitas, which theyll need to show from the start of the split should they wish to be part of the Worlds conversation.
Even though Evil Geniuses fell at the hands of Royal Never Give up at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, the leaders of North Americas youth movement still put up an impressive run through the tournament for a team with two players in their first year as pros.
Danny and Jojopyun still have plenty of room to grow but are quickly becoming the new faces of the league, while Impact, Inspired, and Vulcan remain as the rosters trusty veteran backbone. With experience against some of the best teams in the world, the Geniuses are poised to stay as NAs kings in back-to-back seasons.
There are, however, a couple of teams that will be challenging for the throne when the season starts, including Team Liquids star-studded cast and 100 Thieves strong lineup of champions. Liquids superteam will be desperate to prove themselves after a surprisingly early playoff exit during their inaugural split together, especially with how much hype they gained before 2022. Theyll need to channel that hunger and bring together the collective years of top-tier play they have on this roster to beat out the wolves snapping at their heels.
We might have seen 100 Thieves be swept in the Spring Finals, but they are still a top-three team in the league with the coaching staff to match. A lack of adaptation might have been their downfall in the playoffs, but this time around, theyve had enough preparation to steel their strategies for the upcoming marathon to the top.