One week of play in the 2019 LCS Spring Split is too small of a sample size to make any definitive conclusions. However, the first weekend of games in North America gave some first impressions to be analyzed, and also raised questions to be answered as the season progresses.
Team Liquid, Clutch Gaming, and FlyQuest enjoyed triumphant starts to the LCS, sharing 1st place with 2-0 opening weeks. Team Liquid looked dominant in dispatching of Cloud9 on Saturday, and while Sunday's victory over Counter Logic Gaming was less than smooth, TL looks like the early frontrunner for best team in LCS.
Clutch Gaming defeated Echo Fox in clinical fashion, but its victory against TSM proved far more impressive. Huni was put severely behind, but CG slowed the game down and stayed with TSM, the latter of whom failed to capitalize on an early game advantage. Clutch Gaming battled back and eventually won the late game in an impressive 2-0 week.
With the team flashing the ability to play from behind, as well as Tanner "Damonte" Damonte's emergence as a potential carry threat, Clutch Gaming's playoff chances look likely early on in the split.
FlyQuest, viewed by most as a bottom 3 LCS team, pleasantly surprised in the first week, looking like the most cohesive team on the rift all weekend. Strong performances from new Mid Laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park have augmented the team's toolkit, and the core of the roster and staff remains mostly intact from the previous season.
FlyQuest's stalwart comeback against Golden Guardians Saturday and dismantling of OpTic Gaming Sunday showed a team who was ready to bend and not break, which is an integral factor for teams in the playoff picture down the stretch. Still, how FlyQuest will perform against teams with superior firepower has yet to be seen.
The honeymoon phase has not transitioned to the rift positively for every roster, though. Golden Guardians dropped a pair of winnable games. Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung is a fantastic mentor for young talent Matthew "Deftly" Chen, but his individual level of play was a liability in week one. Golden Guardians will have to tighten things up on both sides of the map if it wants to stay on its expected path to spring playoffs.
100 Thieves was also slow to start. TSM defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers affiliate in convincing fashion, and Cloud9 followed suit with a 25 minute victory. With new additions in both carry roles, 100 Thieves' roster may need more time to gel before it find its footing.