The game must go on. Even in the midst of a pandemic, many esports are still finding ways to bring their games, and a desperately needed sense of normalcy and escape, to viewers around the world. While most live tournaments have been canceled for at least the next few months, online matches have continued, with casters and analysts working from their own homes to create a quality production.
After North America and Europe’s League of Legends leagues both took a week off to transfer from in-person games to online, they resumed last week. Meanwhile, China’s LPL league just completed its second week of online play and third week overall, while Korea’s LCK will be returning this week, also in an online format.
In China, rookie squad eStar has continued its dominant streak. They lost to EDward Gaming in a nasty 2-0 best-of-three last week, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed them down; the squad has won all of the other five series they’ve played since the hiatus ended. This includes Monday’s dominant 2-0 over Invictus Gaming, who suffered their first loss of the season. EStar’s young lineup, which has an average age of 19, has certainly looked impressive through the first few weeks of the season. Now, the only question that remains is whether or not they can keep that momentum going through the next four weeks.
In Europe, the battle for placement continues, but the top six teams are confirmed. G2, Fnatic, Misfits, Rogue, Mad Lions and Origen have all qualified for playoffs. G2 currently holds the first spot with a 13-3 record, with Fnatic and Origen just one behind at 12-4. Origen and Fnatic also have a 1-1 head to head record. While G2 is leading they have not secured a top-two finish yet; if Fnatic and Origen win both their games and G2 loses both games, G2 will be the third-place team.
In North America, Cloud9 has already claimed first place. They won both games last week, too, though the wins over CLG and 100 Thieves were less convincing than what many fans had expected. Nonetheless, Cloud9 are still the undisputed favorites going into playoffs. For fan favorites Team Liquid, the situation is growing dire.
After a loss on Saturday to Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid is in dire straits. To have any chance at making playoffs, they need to win both of their games next week, against Flyquest and Cloud9, two of the best teams in the split. Even if Team Liquid wins these games, their place in the top six and playoffs is not guaranteed. Below Cloud9, who sits at 13-1, there are five teams with 9-7 or 8-8 records, and Tl is only one game behind that, at 7-9. Any of these teams could still make second place, much less playoffs, which means that the final LCS week is going to be incredibly important. Currently tied for second place are Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest and TSM. Behind them with 8-8 records are 100 Thieves and Immortals. As if that wasn’t chaotic enough, the 6-10 Dignitas and Golden Guardians are not entirely eliminated, though their odds are incredibly low.
Ashton Stansel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.