Beniona: Diamond-capped Power Rankings and Odds
Last season as Gaymers in Arms, Leeroy and Hastega won first place on a roster that struggled to find a uniform voice with King Mowgli (an aggressive carry jungle focused player) and JacJac (a late-game hyper scaling ADC player) constantly driving the goal of the team in a different direction. Many times, it seemed like 2 different games were being played on the map: one with topside in control and another with RandyNewman and JacJac against the world. Having rebranded with 3 new players in Top, ADC, and Support Reign of Kings looks to make the OKLCS their kingdom. ADC rookie Sickly and OKLCS support veteran Babyfufu will have to see if he can bring that consistent carry style that JacJac and RandyNewman once had. I have high hopes from this botlane: if BabyFufu can carry Kitachi on SkyZero, he can certainly carry Sickly and develop advantages for his team on his aggressive supports like Alistar, Blitzcrank, and his namesake, Thresh. Last season, Hastega and King Mowgli would change who was playing jungle based on how their games were going as King Mowgli would sometimes underperform and do some more than questionable invades and get caught out. Now under one banner, Hastega can better focus on ensuring that all of his strong laners can make it to the midgame and show his strong teamfight mechanics. Just looking at the team at this point, Reign of Kings is a Top 4 contender, but when you consider Beniona, the best toplaner in the OKLCS, it really brings this team to a solid Top 2 team. Beniona consistently draws two bans (Ornn and Camille) and is willing to pick them blind and win the game. RoK’s scrim record backs it up with not a single game lost on Ornn and Camille. With this heavy ban priority, RoK can outdraft other OKLCS teams with ease in order to set RoK with superior team comps that can crush the opposition.
Coached by ex-pro player Innox, GSM brings in some changes to their roster this season looking to make a quake in the OKLCS. Seasoned veterans of the OKLCS, GSM did not make a lot of playoffs in previous seasons, partly in part due to their weak bottom side of the map in previous seasons with Aripanda on Support and various ADCs. The topside trio of iClutch toplane, Shacdaddy jungle, and JacJac mid should prove to be a strong force not to be reckoned with. iClutch tends to play lane-dominant champions, and JacJac plays a more aggressive midlane style but remains quite versatile. Success from GSM relies on how well Aripanda and Mystik Decay can synergize in the bottom lane to either not be anchor for their team, or at least go even and let the topside of the map naturally carry as iClutch and JacJac are resource-heavy players. It is up to Shacdaddy to weigh the decisions he makes a jungler to assist his resource intensive topside, or plug the hemorrhaging from his bottom side of the map.
Sky | Zero was a team that consistently developed early game leads last season through consistent jungling and strong solo laners but lacked heavily in midgame decision-making, and it never seemed that they were on the same page. Sky|Zero was fourth heading into Fall 2017 playoffs and exited fourth. In between seasons, they have since arguably downgraded their toplane from Beniona - a strong well rounded player capable of playing almost all champions in the toplane better than even some of the onetricks in the league - to Garbleazy, who has only had consistent performances on Rumble. They swapped their support from BabyFufu to Randy Newman, and the levels of synergy with Kitachi are still to be seen. I rate Sky | Zero as a middle-of-the-pack team who might be able to generate some good leads and snag some wins off other teams through top and midlane dominance and the occasional Kevin popoff.
Gone with the old, in with the new. Chriscantmiss is back again with another strong, meme-filled roster. Upgraded from 50 Shades of Mosher, Tu Fast Tu Furious bolsters an impressive roster with lots of star players from previous OKLCS seasons. Everyone knows that Chriscantmiss and Biscuit are some of the best players in their roles in OKLCS. I was personally impressed by Seizmic's jungling last season, as he exceeded my very low expectations of him. I look forward to seeing how this team takes its experienced roster - as I have not scrimmed versus their team and it is likely that with a seasoned roster like this, they try to play towards more than just one players strengths. I expect this team to either play extremely well and be a Top 3 team, or to be irrelevant because they have conflicting views on how to play the game and are not able to work properly as a team. There's a lot that could happen with Tu Fast Tu Furious - it is almost impossible to say where they will end up, but one thing rings true: they WILL be inconsistent.
LandSnek has been the most consistent team in the OKLCS the past four seasons. As other teams have improved, LandSnek has kept their same power level with no improvement and have dropped in the standings relative to other teams. Now they are a 5th place middle-of-the-pack team. This comes from a combination of things: with above-average players in their Top and ADC role and a shaky roster elsewhere. LandSnek is a team that has been playing with the same roster for a long time, meaning they have good teamwork synergy and each know how their teammates will play. This season, LandSnek adds Syfy to their roster as a jungler in an attempt to spice up their gameplay. Syfy tends to play extremely aggressively, very similar to other OKLCS junglers like Crazy Clown or King Mowgli, and should help LandSnek tremendously by snowballing them through the early game. Keramat is a very strong adc and consistently does well with PbDoughboiii - the issues for LandSnek's support and midlane stem from PbDoughboiii's relatively niche champion pool (although he plays a nasty Bard) and Echoed Voice’s similar small, limited pool. I expect LandSnek to be a team that the stronger teams should have no trouble with as long as they can keep their earlygame strong. I can see LandSnek doing tremendously well if Echoed Voice is able to sharpen up his midlane skills and Syfy is able to get LandSnek past their early game with a lead in order for Keramat and Jackloveslamp to carry later game teamfights.
Apache eSports is a branded organization that has come to the OKLCS with an interesting lineup of players. Taking toplane MVP of Fall 2017, Slappy, alongside Renjii and General Vici, Apache Esports has the carry player potential to be in the top of the league, However, I do not know if the jungler Aikado will be able to reach a good point in the game for the carries of Apache Esports to shine. In OKLCS, there are many aggressive junglers paired with strong laners that can take on Slappy and Renjii, if Aikado is not able to provide a backbone for his laners to have pressure through him, it is likely that this team will crumble. I look forward to seeing how Aikado and Himana are able to generate a stable game for the team.
Unlike other teams in the league, United as One has a strong jungler with weaker laners as their roster. Mowgli has shown that when a game is played at a pace that he sets, he can take over the game on champions like Kha'Zix, Elise, and Graves on a strong carry jungle- invade heavy performance. If Yuna x Tidus or Adramtor play the same way that they did last season, I have a difficult time seeing this team make it to the Top 5. We do know that Padova has had excellent Xayah games in the past, featuring the 1v4 Padova special, but he tends to be unable to create leads on his own. If Mowgli and King Nobody are able to have good jungle and support synergy, we might see Padova and Mowgli create aggressive games with which United as One can snowball and dominate in.
Wadu Hek Gaming is new to the league, and I have no expectations for Wadu Hek Gaming because I have not seen them play, but based on their first 3 weeks of OKLCS (GSM, RoK, [ONE]), they will have fairly strong teams that they are verses in the league so we will know where they stand - either being top-half of the league or bottom-half and unlikely to make playoffs.
9-10 OU Diamond
Freshly made team from the University of Oklahoma as part of an eSports initiative, OU Diamond is not expected to do well in their first season of OKLCS. This team is going to be constantly swapping fresh rookies in and will hardly be able to get real synergy. Most of the players on this team are new to the league and hold a lot of untapped potential. Any teams that drop games vs OU Diamond should really be reconsidering their plans because it is highly unlikely that OU Diamond will be seen in the playoffs. I was given the opportunity to play on OU Diamond but legitimately think that there is no chance we see OU Diamond past the regular split. The only thing can could carry this team to playoffs is if there is a strong hidden talent at OU that is revealed by the eSports program.
While I was in free agency, OGR requested that I try out with them. During that time, Syfy was also trying out, and I was really enjoying the way that the games were snowballing effectively and efficiently. Each time, however, I noticed that midlane would fall behind or stay even regardless of the ganks that Syfy would provide, and botlane felt like an anchor by never positively contributing to the game. I think that MechanicalReapr is limited in his champion pool and will not be able to carry through the topside. Likewise, with Syfy on LandSnek, I do not think that MooseonDaLoose can carry the team's vacuums of skill in the bottom and midlane. The combination of MechanicalReapr and MooseonDaLoose is a straight downgrade from Beniona and Syfy that I expect this team to crash and burn, not likely to make it to playoffs.