The Week in LoL Esports: Once again, CLG are going to win Worlds

Meg Kay
Twitter @clgaming

Everyone’s favorite League recap is back after an extended absence, and we’ve got playoff updates and NA hopium for days.

Hello, gamers. After an extended absence, the week in LoL Esports is officially back in business. I, your loving and caring esports grandmother, am back in the saddle to guide you through another week of competitive League. 

Let me get a look at you. Well, haven’t you gotten handsome! You don’t look like you’re eating enough — I’ve got a peach cobbler in the oven, I’ll fix you a slice with some ice cream, just how you like it. 

And while you’re waiting for it to cool — no, you can’t eat it yet, you’ll burn your mouth — let me tell you a little about what we’ve missed since our last catch-up. 

Playoff qualification is well underway in the LPL, with six of the ten total spots already filled. Gen.G have finally pulled out in front in the LCK, sitting in first place with a single win over T1 in second. The LEC and LCS are, to put it politely, a clown fiesta, but they’re also starting to limp haphazardly towards their respective playoff series. 

And, in the latest installment of the segment that by now needs no introduction, I am overjoyed to confirm that CLG can still make it to Worlds 2022. BECAUSE THEY HAVE FINALLY SECURED A SPOT IN THE LCS PLAYOFFS! Personally, I never doubted them, and hope that the rest of the world will be graceful in defeat when CLG inevitably make it to Worlds and don’t drop a single game at the tournament.

LEC: Four Worlds seeds, but do any of its teams actually deserve to be there? 

Selfmade on the LEC stage in a Vitality zip up
Michal Konkol/Riot Games
Vitality have been a popular team to bash on this split, but I honestly think they’re just one of many teams who’ve been massively underperforming.

I think I just need to accept that the LEC is never going to be as good internationally as it was in 2018-2019. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s one that’s got to go down eventually. 

Because of the LCL’s non-attendance at Worlds this year due to the ongoing conflict in the region, the LEC will be receiving four slots at the World Championship for only the second time ever. And as gratifying as this is for the region, I have a sneaking suspicion that none of those representatives are going to be painting Europe in a particularly positive light. 

I’m more than willing to be proven wrong; in fact, I’d relish it. But the lack of any actual domestic dominance by any LEC team has me worried for the region’s hopes internationally. We don’t have anything close to a 2018 Fnatic or a 2019 G2, not by a long shot. 

MAD Lions have looked strong, and currently sit comfortably at the top of the standings, but I just can’t see them being able to take games off the Gen.Gs and the RNGs of the world if they’re still having 0-2 weekends seemingly out of nowhere. 

LCS: CLG vs FlyQuest is the best game of 2022 

Palafox smiling on stage with Contractz in LCS Summer 2022
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Everybody say thank you to our lords and saviors CLG for saving North American esports.

Guys, it’s happening. Everybody be quiet, don’t you dare make a SOUND, because I get to talk about CLG again and it’s finally in a context other than ‘eh’. 

CLG ARE GOOD AGAIN. AND BY GOOD I MEAN, ‘MACRO DECISION, TEAMFIGHTING, BEATING FLYQUEST WITH A DOUBLE TELEPORT PLAY’ GOOD. 

The CLG/FlyQuest matchup on July 7 was one of the best LCS games this year. The drafts were brilliant (I never thought I’d be this happy to see Twitch Lulu bot lane in competitive play), we got to see Sivir again for the first time in a blue moon, and Juan ‘Contractz’ Garcia played Poppy jungle. What’s not to love!?

And quite aside from the drafting, it was just a really, really fun game to watch. It embodied the “none of that pansy garbage” copypasta (you know the one) perfectly — it was a 50-minute high-action slugfest that I highly recommend you to watch if you have the time. 

LCK: Can we all PLEASE calm down and stop sending threats to teams who have lost three entire games? 

Inven Global
T1 fans sent trucks to the team’s headquarters and LoL Park AGAIN – this time complaining about the “incompetence” of head coach Choi ‘Polt’ Seong-hun.

T1 lost a game, and we all know what that means — it’s truck time! Yes, a small and EXTREMELY vocal minority of T1’s Korean fanbase have once again sent trucks emblazoned with slogans to the LCK studio, criticising T1’s ‘poor performance’ and asking for (although demanding may be a more accurate description) changes to the team’s coaching staff. 

I think it can be very easy for international fans to laugh at things like this, and to just wave it off as ‘something that happens in Korea’ and has no bearing on Western fandom. But it does. 

This sense of fan entitlement is getting more and more commonplace, especially on social media. The calls for ‘bench X, hire Y’ sometimes feel like all you can see under a team’s announcement of a loss — and God knows this isn’t a new problem. 

T1’s truck-sending fans are a huge minority. There are a lot of people in that fandom who have been nothing but supportive of the team in both of their losses this split. And while it shouldn’t be the job of normal fans to police the weirdos, that has, unfortunately, been the case. 

If you see weird, boundary-overstepping, or downright rude behavior from people who support the same teams as you, call it out! There’s nothing wrong with offering constructive criticism to your favorite team (although there’s a high chance that the only person reading it will be the social media manager, who, shockingly, is not in charge of roster changes), but there is a big difference between constructive criticism and ‘I believe X, Y, or Z deserves to be suspended by their ankles in the practice room until they learn to CS better.’

LPL: Top Esports are the most terrifying team in the world 

Twitter @TOP_Esports_
Top Esports LPL roster is entering their boyband era.

A 13-game domestic win streak? Check. 

A mid laner with the highest KDA of any player in the LPL? Check. 

And the best part is that they’re not even at the top of the LPL standings. 

Top Esports will be coming for the necks of every other team at the World Championship this year. After a slightly shaky start to the split, they’ve looked pretty much unbeatable, with Zhuo ‘knight’ Ding once again proving why he’s considered one of the best mid laners in the LPL (even if he’s not yet been able to replicate that form internationally). 

I, for one, welcome our new overlords — as an EU fan, I feel like the better the team that inevitably knocks out our No. 1 seed, the better our region looks as a whole. Perhaps a backward way of thinking, but I’m nothing if not a purveyor of the terrible ‘the LEC is good actually’ logic. 

And since this column is technically only talking about the week from Aug 1- Aug 7, I shouldn’t really be discussing this, but sue me. But as good as Top Esports are, their win streak was shattered by V5 on August 9 — which, quite aside from discouraging me about their performance at Worlds, just makes me more excited to watch them internationally.

Perfect, flawless teams have no place in the LPL. There’s a reason that domestic win streaks in the region are pretty rare, and some of the greatest teams the region’s ever produced didn’t even win the domestic split before they went on to stomp internationally (here’s looking at you, Invictus Gaming). 

Top Esports haven’t been untested in their regular season. That only makes them scarier heading into Worlds.

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