The LCS Mid-Season Showdown concluded over the weekend with Cloud9 punching their ticket to the Mid-Season Invitational. Here were the top performers for each role during the Mid-Season Showdown.
The inaugural LCS Mid-Season Showdown crowned its first winner in Cloud9 last Sunday. The MSS brought action and drama to the newly rebranded LCS model. There were five players who stood out amongst the rest this tournament and these picks should come at no surprise.
Top lane: Team Liquid Alphari
This was the most contentious role on this list of incredible players considering how the finals went down. Team Liquid's Alphari has been a monster for Team Liquid all split long and he showcased why they paid big money for the European giant. There was a reason Alphari came runner up in the MVP voting. The confident brit's laning ability was second to none. Alphari had the most kills of any top laner at 55 and was a threat at all stages of the game. Alphari was also extremely high in the damage per minute category at 465 DPM.
Gangplank was Alpharis best champion with a 4-0 record throughout the Mid-Season Showdown. Gangplank was a champion Alphari could brutalize his opponent in the side lane while also providing consistent damage and poke when he was grouped up with his team. Alphari had an 8.7 KDA on GP, which is a reason why it was banned so many times against TL.
Esportsgg's honourable mention: C9 Fudge
While Fudge was able to outperform Alphari in both best-of-fives this tournament, it was a different type of victory for the C9 top laner. Cloud9 were fully aware of Alphari and his strengths. He is their best player, after all. C9 moulded a game plan around Fudge to stop Alphari from ever coming online. Fudge was great at manipulating the waves to allow Blaber to successfully gank. Every first blood across all five games was in the top lane and Fudge played a huge role in pulling them off. I am excited to see Fudge's continued growth at MSI.
Jungle: Cloud9 Blaber
Was there any doubt on who would be the best performing jungler in the Mid-Season Showdown? of course not. C9's Blaber showcased why he was voted the LCS Honda MVP for the Spring Split. Blaber was head and shoulders above the rest this tournament. Despite only playing three best-of-fives, Blaber still ranked in the top three for his role in kills at 21. Blaber had by far the best KDA out of any jungler in the league at 6.4 with 100 assists in 12 games.
Blabers two most played champions were Nidalee and Hecarim at three games a piece. Nidalee was a surprising pick for Blaber as the LCS jungler did not play the champion once last split when the champion was strong in the meta. This is a sign of improvement as Blaber with experience strengthens his champion pool. Blaber picked Nidalee three times in his first encounter with TL in the MSS, racking up an 11 KDA.
Esportsgg's honourable mention: 100 Thieves Closer
This was a difficult decision to make considering there were not many standout performers in MSS for jungle. With Santorin missing both the lower bracket final and the grand final, for me, it had to be Closer. It was a rough split for Closer, he did not look anywhere near the level I know he is capable of. It was nice to see him pick it back up in both the DIG series and the TSM series. Closer controlled the early games well and I hope to see him back to his best in the summer.
Spica was another player I had as the next in line but I was quite disappointed with how TSM played the lower bracket for the most part. Spica was constantly backed into a corner in the draft with multiple losing lanes, especially vs 100 Thieves. He did the best he could and still was able to secure multiple baron steals.
Mid lane: Cloud9 Perkz
Perkz did exactly what he said he would do, dominate North America. Western League of Legend's most decorated player added another trophy to what has already been an illustrious career. Perkz shattered any doubts whether "playoff Perkz" would show up. Fans and analysts got their answer with the Croatian earning series MVP in all three of his best-of-fives this tournament.
Perkz had the most kills across mid laners in the MSS with 66 kills as well as a 5.5 KDA which was the second-highest behind Jensen. Perkz also leads the way in damage per minute at 571. The superstar's most influential champion was Sylas, playing him three times with a 3.5 KD. Sylas was on full display in game five against Team Liquid in the finals, Perkz was able to roam around the map, stealing multiple enemy ultimate's with the champions own ultimate ability. Perkz will now represent Cloud9 at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.
Esportsgg's honourable mention: Team Liquid Jensen
While he didn't have his best series in the lower bracket finals with PowerOfEvil stepping up, Jensen was the second-best mid laner in the tournament for me. He was a monster the first time around against TSM and came up huge on Viktor and Orianna against C9. Jensen was right up there in kills with Perkz and at times outperformed him. It will be exciting to see if this finals defeat lights an even bigger fire under him. It was boys against men in game five which should inspire Jensen and TL to come back stronger. The LCS Mid-Season Showdown ended badly for Jensen, but he is still a great mid laner in the LCS.
PowerOfEvil was also in contention, though I am not confident yet seeing him play anything outside of control mages. This isn't a flaw to PoE, but an area for TSM to work on. PowerOfEvil can play different styles and I know he can play champions like Lucian, Sylas etc, I just don't think TSM are ready to play around different picks. TSM has looked their best when PoE is piloting Azir, Orianna and Syndra. PowerOfEvil did branch out into picks like Lucian and TF but neither of them resulted in a win for TSM. The question for TSM becomes this, do they experiment more towards worlds or refine this control mage style?
ADC: Cloud9 Zven
After becoming the first western player to win both an EU and NA title, Zven has added another to his collection with the 2021 Mid-Season Showdown title. Zven was rock solid for Cloud9 this tournament, he and his support Vulcan were the glue for C9, pumping out consistent damage while creating pressure through playmaking. While Zven was only third in kills across the bottom laners, his KDA more than made up for it. Zven had a 7.2 KDA with the next highest being Tactical at 4.2.
Zven's most prolific champions were Kaisa and Ezreal. Zven was incredible at putting out late-game damage on both champions. Zven has also shown large champion pool improvements, in the 2020 summer playoffs, Zven only played four champions across 11 games. This time around, Zven has played seven unique champions across 12 games.
Zven is one of the returning members from the 2020 Cloud9 roster that did not make it to either MSI or worlds that season. One of them was due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the second being a complete collapse in the summer split. Zven will finally get to represent C9 at the 2021 MSI event.
Esportsgg's honourable mention: Team Liquid Tactical + TSM Lost
This was too close to call so I ended up going with both for my honourable mention. Both players showed promise in this tournament. Starting with Lost, there were many doubts at the start of the season in regards to his play. He actually ended up with the most kills across all the adc's. Where I want to see him improve is his positioning and awareness, In many games, he was fed but often was found getting caught and in such a volatile role, it is hard to consistently win games when it is uncertain how Lost will position.
This is a similar problem I find with Tactical, both he and Lost are bloody and will constantly pressure for kills. With this playstyle comes a larger emphasis on decision-making skills. The LCS Mid-Season Showdown was a revival for Tactical. He has been poor for most of the split. He did great for the most part but lacked the discipline in big game team fights when it mattered the most, getting greedy for kills and positioning greedily too.
Support: Cloud9 Vulcan
While CoreJJ is still the outright best support in the league, Cloud9's Vulcan is slowly chipping away at the gap. Vulcan was amazing in this tournament. The C9 support had an amazing KDA of 6 which was one of the highest of any support in the LCS Mid-Season Showdown -- only IgNar had a higher KDA though this can be contested due to only playing a single best-of-five.
Vulcan's best pick by far was on Alistar (4 games), one of two champions he played more than once. Vulcan had a 4.5 KDA on the champion, winning three times and losing once. Vulcan played eight unique champions this tournament across 12 games.
Esportsgg's honourable mention: Team Liquid CoreJJ
North America is stacked with great supports, for me, CoreJJ is still the best North America has to offer. He is so so good at reading the game. Even when TL was not at its best, he was trying his heart out and creating plays to save his team from losing. The Rell+Nocturne game against TSM stood out to me. Lost was extremely fed on Tristana and Core found multiple engages to claw his team back from a 10k deficit. It is exciting to see him and Vulcan play at such a high level. It is turning into a rivalry and I am here for it!
The Mid-Season Invitational officially kicks off May 2. The LCS will return for the summer split on June 4.
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