As one of the Major Regions, the NA region or so-called LCS is one of the regions that is most often underestimated. Even though it has a roster containing star players and likes to import players from larger regions such as Europe and South Korea, so far the LCS region still has zero international achievements.
Even since the 2015 World Championship, LCS teams are known to have the “second week curse” where the LCS representative teams have always experienced a significant decline in performance despite having a positive record in the first week of the group stage. This decline in performance led to failure to qualify from the group stage. So far the curse has been broken by just one team, Cloud9.
This year, LCS has indeed begun to show stretching through one of its representatives from Team Liquid. For the first time in the history of the Mid-Season Invitational, Team Liquid made their way to the Grand Final after overthrowing world champion Invictus Gaming. Even though it failed to become a champion, LCS now has at least one more hope besides Cloud9.
But the same cannot be said by other LCS teams such as TSM, CLG, Clutch Gaming and others. The public is still pessimistic that these teams can speak a lot in international matches. They even doubt that the top teams in the LCS apart from Team Liquid and Cloud9 are far superior to the mid-level LEC teams, such as the Rogue vs TSM debate that occurred some time ago where Rogue was far more favored.
Over the years, LCS teams have always been fixated on imitating the LCK style of play or following the way the world’s best teams play. They are not at all interested in developing their own style of play so that the result is that the LCS region is recognized as a region without a gaming identity.
LCS commentator Azael has a similar opinion. In an interview with Ginx Esports TV, Azael explained that over the years LCS teams have always been obsessed with imitating and not developing their own style of play.
“I think one of the pitfalls that have often entangled TSM and other LCS teams in the past is trying to copy exactly the LCK style of play or ‘this team is the best team in the world, let’s try to copy the game’. They ended up being a much worse version than what they were trying to imitate, ”explained Azael.
The man who was once known as a professional World of Warcraft Arena player added that fortunately several teams have started trying to increase flexibility and play according to their own style of play, as did Cloud9 and Team Liquid.
“Cloud9 has earned the credit by playing aggressively and creatively with his picks. We also saw Team Liquid at MSI then starting to play in their own style of play. I think this is the time when the LCS teams start to rise and develop, “added Azael.
Azael considered that at this year’s Worlds, LCS had a good chance. “I think the opportunity for LCS this year is quite good. We have two teams with the best international performances Team Liquid and Cloud9. In my opinion, it is natural that many hope that there will be one LCS representative who can make it to the Semifinals like last year and there are more than one team that made it through the group stage. Maybe I just need to worry about Clutch Gaming even though they have been doing pretty well lately. ”