An overall look at where teams stand before the 2023 LCS Summer Playoffs kick-off.
Finally, the exciting part of the LCS season is ready to commence as the players get ready for the best-of-five stage of the league. The Summer Split has been full of surprises so far with a lot of teams performing well beyond the expectations before the split started, but there were also some disappointments—FlyQuest being the most obvious.
Still, here we stand with only two teams eliminated, and the remaining eight still in competition for the LCS title or a chance to represent North America at Worlds 2023. Three of these eight teams will earn themselves a ticket to New Jersey to play in the LCS Finals Weekend held at the Prudential Center on August 19-20. These three teams will also guarantee a spot for themselves at this year’s Worlds, while the fourth-place finisher will go against the fourth-place LEC team for the seventh and last Worlds spot for the West. So, let’s see who we at ESTNN think has the best chance to achieve the ultimate goal.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) July 24, 2023
8. 100 Thieves (Regular season finish: 8th)
- Top lane: Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
- Jungle: Can “Closer” Çelik
- Mid lane: Lim “Quid” Hyeon-seung
- AD Carry: Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
- Support: Alan “Busio” Cwalina
Preseason prediction: 5th
2023 has been pretty disappointing for 100 Thieves so far, and not sure if it will get any better for them in the playoffs. They managed to string together a couple of wins at the end of the regular season with some good games from Closer and stayed in the top eight, but they are looking like the worst team in the postseason. The only player on the roster with consistent performances has been Doublelift—and even he didn’t have the best split, and considering his recent medical problems the Thieves might be in for some rough times.
7. Dignitas (Regular season finish: 7th)
- Top lane: Lee “Rich” Jae-won
- Jungle: Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen
- Mid lane: Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen
- AD Carry: Frank “Tomo” Lam
- Support: Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere
Preseason prediction: 8th
Credit is where credit is due, Dignitas did a lot better than anyone expected. But their main win condition this split has been Rich, and with him having a lot of bad games one after another to close out the regular season, one has to think their ceiling is pretty limited. Still, they have a lot of experience in the top side of the map so maybe they can surprise a team if they come in unprepared, but Dignitas fans shouldn’t expect too much.
6. NRG (Regular season finish: 5th)
- Top lane: Niship “Dhokla” Doshi
- Jungle: Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia
- Mid lane: Cristian “Palafox” Palafox
- AD Carry: Victor “FBI” Huang
- Support: Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun
Preseason prediction: 4th
Under the CLG banner, the core of this roster always struggled once the playoffs started. On top of that, they’ve been one of the worst teams in the league in terms of putting out consistent performances—even compared to their usual selves. They are an explosive team, more so if the top side of the map is playing well, so they can always turn up on the day to win a Bo5. They also managed to dodge Cloud9 who always gives them some trouble in playoffs, but they are still the underdogs against TL.
5. TSM (Regular season finish: 6th)
- Top lane: Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
- Jungle: Lee “Bugi” Seong-yeop
- Mid lane: David “Insanity” Challe
- AD Carry: Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
- Support: Jonathan “Chime” Pomponio
Preseason prediction: 10th
Despite not even being named an All-Pro, I thought Insanity has been one of the best players in LCS this split. He and Bugi have a pretty good synergy and they can carry a lot of games through the advantages they gain in the mid-jungle. Although doing this will be much harder in a Bo5 since the TSM bot lane doesn’t necessarily get leads during the early game and the top lane is pretty much a black hole in most games. Unless they can consistently manage to take games to 30+ minutes, they might struggle against teams with more options to play through.
4. Evil Geniuses (Regular season finish: 3rd)
- Top lane: Mo “Revenge” Kaddoura
- Jungle: Jonathan “Armao” Armao/Jade “Sheiden” Libut
- Mid lane: Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun
- AD Carry: William “UNF0RGIVEN” Nieminen
- Support: Bill “Eyla” Nguyen
Preseason prediction: 7th
Weird end to the season for EG with one big question in most people’s minds: which jungler will EG play with during playoffs? Armao had a red-hot start to the season and looked like one of the best mid-jungles with Jojo, but he really struggled in games his mid laner did not carry. Sheiden on the other hand was impressive in his short stint during last week, but he really lacks the experience necessary for a bigger stage.
3. Team Liquid (Regular season finish: 4th)
- Top lane: Park “Summit” Woo-tae
- Jungle: Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon
- Mid lane: Eain “APA” Stearns
- AD Carry: Sean “Yeon” Sung
- Support: Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in
Preseason prediction: 6th
Even with a mid-jungle duo that can’t speak the same language, TL is clearly the best early-game team in the LCS. They really have some things to work on once the game goes on a little bit later—the solo laners in the team tend to get caught out a lot, but they are really improving week after week. They beat the title favorite Clou9 twice this season, which is a confidence builder going into the postseason.
2. Golden Guardians (Regular season finish: 2nd)
- Top lane: Eric “Licorice” Ritchie
- Jungle: Kim “River” Dong-woo
- Mid lane: Kim “Gori” Tae-woo
- AD Carry: Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes
- Support: Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun
Preseason prediction: 3rd
First time in the organization’s history, Golden Guardians finished an LCS regular season with a positive win record. River is having a monster of a split and one of the biggest MVP candidates so far. It would be hard to take them over C9 considering the history of best-of-series between these two teams and they lost the tiebreaker at the end of last week, but their championship chances are rising with every week.
1. Cloud9 (Regular season finish: 1st)
- Top lane: Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami
- Jungle: Robert “Blaber” Huang
- Mid lane: Jang “EMENES” Min-soo
- AD Carry: Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol
- Support: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
Preseason prediction: 1st
Cloud9 showed a lot of weaknesses this split and they feel like they are playing below expectations. Still, they’ve been top-two in the standings the entire split and they are first place coming into the postseason. Not sure why it feels like they aren’t giving the same confidence they usually did the last couple of splits, but even with all of the asterisks it is unwise to bet against Cloud9 during LCS Playoffs.
How to watch the 2023 LCS Summer Playoffs
Fans can catch the LCS action on the official LoL Esports website with a chance to earn exclusive drops from Riot. Or you can follow the official LCS Twitch and Youtube channels.
For more of our LCS and LoL Esports coverage, follow us on ESTNN.