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2018 NA and EU LCS Spring Season Preview

18 January 2018 14:20

The North America (NA) and European (EU) League Championship Series (LCS) are going to be wildly different this year after Riot Games announced the 2018 NA LCS season would feature franchised teams. This means the NA LCS promotion/relegation battle has been removed, and the challenger series disbanded. The move came with plenty of scepticism from fans, but with action beginning on the 19th January for EU and the following day for the NA LCS, it’s finally time to see if the change has been a good or bad one.


Riot Games first announced they would franchise the NA LCS back in June 2017 and that 10 teams would make the cut for the inaugural season. The buy-in was an astonishing $10 million ($13 million for new teams) but those that were granted entry would receive a stake in the league and a piece of the revenue share from the league.

Team SoloMid and Cloud9, the top two teams from last year’s Spring season, return this year to take another run at the crown. In fact, Team SoloMid swept the NA LCS last year, winning both the spring and summer seasons, as well as the playoffs, so they are the obvious favourites for the 2018 season. TSM did have another torrid time at the 2017 World Championships where hopes were sky high, so it’s no surprise to see the team shake up both its roster and coaches since then. Take a look at the odds for each team to win the Spring season

  • Team SoloMid- 11/8
  • Team Liquid- 9/4
  • CLG- 13/2
  • Cloud9- 12/1
  • Clutch Gaming- 14/1
  • Echo Fox- 16/1
  • 100 Thieves- 16/1
  • FlyQuest- 25/1
  • OpTic Gaming- 33/1
  • Golden Guardians- 50/1

Despite being 12/1 outsiders, Cloud9 will be a top challenger after a good World Championships that saw them make it to the playoffs and push Team WE to a game five decider. Much like TSM, Cloud9 made some roster changes and will be fielding two new faces for the 2018 season. Team Liquid has had some awful showings in the NA LCS so far, ending up in the promotion battle in both summer and spring last year, so it may be a surprise to some to see them favoured so highly at 9/4. Perhaps an outside favourite is 100 Thieves at 16/1 in their premier LOL season. The team, owned by a former professional COD player, recently gained a huge investment from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers that helped them secure a franchise spot for the 2018 NA LCS season.


Although they are yet to adopt the franchise model, the EU LCS still has some major changes. Mid-year promotion and relegation is gone, and the challenger series has been dropped in favour of a pan-European tournament involving local country teams. The odds for each team to win the EU LCS Spring Season are as follows:

  • Fnatic- 7/4
  • G2 eSports- 4/1
  • Misfits- 9/2
  • Schalke 04- 6/1
  • Splyce- 9/1
  • Unicorns of Love- 12/1
  • ROCCAT- 20/1
  • Team Vitality- 20/1
  • Giants Gaming- 40/1
  • H2K- 50/1

Fnatic come in as clear favourites after a really strong showing towards the backend of 2017. The team won the Summer season but fell in the playoffs, meaning they would have to win through the European regional finals to qualify for the world championships. The team did just that, managing to work their way through both the play-in stage and a historic group stage at the world champs before being knocked out in the playoffs by Royal Never Give Up. Their squad is loaded with talent behind Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson and should sweep this season no problem.

G2 eSports and Misfits will be the two teams aiming to knock Fnatic from their spot as favourites. G2 eSports won the Summer playoffs to gain automatic entry to the world champs, but didn’t make it past the group stages after a really tough draw. Misfits are always near the top of the standings at the EU LCS, producing arguably their best showing at the World Champs this year where they made the playoffs. They pushed the mighty SK Telecom T1 to a decisive fifth game, but sadly lost. If they can continue that form this year then their 9/2 odds could seem like a bargain.

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Updated on: 2018-11-27

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