2020 LCS Summer Split Key Results and Takeaways
The 2020 LCS Summer Split has finally concluded, so let’s go over a couple of key results and interesting takeaways that have managed to pique our interest! As far as the LCS is concerned, 2020 has been quite a strange year. Heck, maybe that’s even an understatement. We saw the end of the Team Liquid dynasty, the meteoric rise of Cloud9, their unexpected fall from grace, and the triumphant ascension of an age-old champion no one gave much thought to. There were also a couple of unexpected twists and turns thrown in for good measure!
It was, in short, absolute madness, and we loved every second of it. It wasn’t always packed with top-tier League as was the case in the LEC, but what the LCS lacked in quality gameplay it more than made up for in narratives, storylines, and mind-boggling outcomes.
So, let’s focus on the most important 2020 LCS Summer Split results and takeaways, listed below in no particular order!
FlyQuest — Worthy of Your Undivided Attention
Coming into 2020, no one expected much from FlyQuest. They were an exciting roster on paper, but they still paled in comparison to age-old fan-favorites like Cloud9, Team SoloMid, and Team Liquid. Good thing no one on FlyQuest got the memo! They managed to stand out right from the very get-go because of their surprising synergy and willingness to throw down regardless of the odds with their 2020 LCS Summer Split results.
They’ve grown into one of North America’s most fascinating challengers. By the looks of it, they don’t intend on relinquishing such a position any time soon. The thing is, well-rounded teams are somewhat of a rarity in North America. It is a region dominated by just a handful of giants: Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and Team Liquid. There’s a set number of exceptional players. Most of them are playing for the best and most revered organizations. That’s just the reality of it all.
That’s why the top of the LCS is always so competitive, with everyone else basically fighting for scraps. There’s just no one to challenge the upper echelon as they lack in every way, shape, and form. FlyQuest, on the other hand, has a lineup assembled with care and patience. We’re talking five players who match up incredibly well in terms of playstyle and overall approach to the game. And that, for some odd reason, doesn’t happen all that often in North America. It feels like most rosters are assembled on a whim as if there’s little logic or reason behind each decision made and contract signed.
FlyQuest stands out in the best possible way, and after finishing Top 2 in both splits, they’ve earned our benefit of the doubt. They’ve traded heavy blows with many LCS mainstays and have solidified their spot at the top.
Hopefully, they’ll be able to grow even further once 2021 comes along. They were moments away from becoming the LCS champions, and if they fix some of their inherent flaws, they might even go all the way come Spring Split of next year. In any case, the fight at the top has never been this fierce!
Golden Guardians — A Potential Pretender?
No one’s quite sure what to think of GGS. They went from being the region’s laughing stock to an actual challenger worthy of praise and attention. And they did so in the span of just a couple of splits. In short, that is quite unexpected and is a true testament to their top-notch coaching staff and leadership. When you look at their roster, there’s nothing overly impressive. A few grizzled veterans, a promising import from the TCL, and a rookie that failed to impress him first joined the LCS.
But that sort of assessment (made in haste) wouldn’t be correct, nor would it do this lineup any justice. GGS has shown incredible growth and long-term potential. They punched way above their weight class, and while they showed obvious weaknesses throughout the season, they fought bravely regardless of whom they were up against. That’s not something that can be said for all permanent LCS partners. Still, as a team, they always had a palpable skill ceiling, and one could argue that they finished much higher than most expected — in no small part because of their resilience, grit, and the fact that their bottom lane duo started wrecking teams left, right, and center.
This lineup will almost certainly change during the off-season, but GGS has done more than enough to warrant a dedicated following. They never allowed what people thought of them to impede and hinder their growth, and they’ve found success time and time again, despite the odds.
The biggest question now is: will GGS be able to retain their insanely dominant bottom lane duo? Their stock has risen through the roof, and you can bet that both Victor “FBI” Huang and Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun are getting offers that might end up being too good to pass up.
Team Liquid — Saved by the Bell
If you’re a TL fan, 2020 hasn’t been particularly kind to you. Liquid went from being the defending LCS champions to ninth place, after which they bounced back to third place all in just a couple of months. Many words were said and written about their unexpected fall from grace, but that’s old news now. Instead, let’s focus on their rebound with their 2020 LCS Summer Split results — a feat that required immense dedication and patience from everyone involved.
Team Liquid isn’t the best team in the region right now. They’re barely in the Top 3. In essence, that is quite a surprise given the sheer amount of talent that’s present within their lineup. Still, talent in itself doesn’t amount to much if it isn’t given the right guidance. Liquid, in particular, has enough leadership and experience, but they lack flexibility. They’re not exactly one-dimensional, but they’re far from a versatile team. This is why they’ve struggled in the playoffs and why they’re bound to struggle at the upcoming World Championship.
And the thing is, from watching these players compete for so many years, it feels like Liquid will have to change in more ways than one if they intend on actually diversifying their arsenal. They need more tools to work with (and different ones, to boot) if they want to stand a chance of reclaiming the LCS throne.
Still, for a recently ranked ninth team, finishing this high and locking down a ticket to Worlds is quite a good consolation prize. It’ll also be an invaluable learning experience, although the vast majority of their roster has already graced the World Championship stage many times throughout their careers.
Heck, some of them have even won the whole thing! In the end, 2020 has proven to be a mixed bag for TL. So far, it’s been void of any concrete success, but they should count their blessings given how hard they imploded at the start of the season.
Cloud9 — A Conundrum for the Ages
What exactly happened with Cloud9 will forever remain a mystery. How does a team go from dominating the LCS with staggering ease to missing out on Worlds? It’s not just the sheer fact of it all that boggles the mind, but rather the fashion in which it all occurred. Cloud9 blew their opposition out of the water, and it wasn’t even close. Then, mere weeks later, they struggled with even the most basic things.
They tasted ultimate success and crushing defeat after another, all in just a couple of months. Generally speaking, that’s not half bad seeing how most of their peers hover in the middle for years without ever accomplishing anything. Still, it’s an emotional rollercoaster, and it surely left a mark. Fortunately, this incredible lineup intends to stay together for 2021. They want another shot at glory (and redemption). If they manage to fix their biggest issues, they might even stand a chance of once again leaving a mark.
Regardless of what eventually happens, following the boys in black and blue next split will be an absolute must.
Team SoloMid — Should’ve Seen It Coming
From the moment Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng signed for Team SoloMid, we knew something big could happen. The last time TSM truly dominated was when they had both Doublelift and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg aboard. Now, granted, a fair bit of time has passed since Team SoloMid last stood atop of North America, but these two legends didn’t regress performance-wise at all. They aged like fine wine.
And so naturally, with such a stacked lineup that consisted of three former LCS champions, a promising young rookie, and a very talented top lane import, TSM had all the right tools to prosper once again and find concrete amounts of success.
No one thought they’d go the distance and win the whole darn split, but they found a way to persevere, and they deserve a ton of credit for it. Their unexpected rise to the LCS throne didn’t come easy. Quite the opposite.
They were first clean swept by the Golden Guardians, after which they had to go through Dignitas (3-0), Golden Guardians (3-2), Cloud9 (3-1), Team Liquid (3-2), and finally FlyQuest (3-2) in the 2020 LCS Summer Split finals. Let that sink in. Twenty-five grueling games against a bevy of opponents, with each of them posing a different kind of threat. What absolute madness! And they accomplished all of this with a rookie in the jungle. The same player who clutched things out with staggering ease against opponents many deemed superior.
For Team SoloMid, 2020 has been a resounding success, and it seemingly came out of nowhere. In retrospect, of course, things make a lot more sense, but we were too busy looking at Cloud9 and Team Liquid. TSM was pretty much an afterthought. Hopefully, they’ll be able to ride this momentum wave and leave a mark at Worlds. They’ve earned that too, especially after so many years of dropping the ball.