Week 1 of the NA LCS was clearly defined by the volatile patch 8.11 that caused a drastic shift in the game meta. The only two teams to come out of the week unscathed were powerhouses Echo Fox and Team SoloMid, while 100 Thieves, last split's first place team, dropped to an 0-2 start.
While the patch brought a number of changes to Summoner's Rift, the most notable were those that simply made closing out or finishing off a game faster. The average game time over the North American spring season was 37:01 compared to an average game time of 31:42 this past week. The longest game of the week belonged to TSM and Counter Logic Gaming who played for 42:37. Last split, every week except one had at least two games played longer than 42:37 (2/24 had one at 47:54).
The general shortening of the game leads to a decreased priority on late-game focused carries giving us this currently chaotic meta.
Seven different champions debuted, or debuted in a new position, this week with eight of the ten teams dipping into the cult of the new. CLG and OpTic Gaming were the only two that played standard champions both games and both went 1-1 on the week.
Heading into the week, much of the talk was surrounding the potential innovation in the bot lane carry role, and while that lane was certainly in the most disarray, it also found the least success in drastic changes. Teams that picked a non-standard bot lane carry (Brand, Vladimir or Yasuo) went 2-5 this week. Meanwhile, significant changes were also seen on the other side of Summoner's Rift with teams picking up Aatrox (top), Rengar (top), Taliyah (jungle), and Irelia (mid). Most notably, the two new top lane champions combined for a 4-0 record.
Cloud9 substitute three starters
Perhaps the biggest news coming into the start of the Summer Split was the Cloud9 announcement that they planned on demoting former starters Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen, Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi, and Andy "Smoothie" Ta to the Cloud9 academy team in favor of bringing up Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer, Yuri "Keith" Jew, and Tristan "Zeyzal" Stidam.
Cloud9 started the split 1-1 against OpTic and Clutch Gaming, teams they went a combined 5-0 against in Spring Split. They showed far less objective control in this week's matches taking zero Rift Heralds and two Dragons over the two games while averaging .8 Rift Heralds and 2.8 Dragons per game against these teams in spring.
Goldenglue held up well in the mid-lane with only two total deaths, but he also had only two kills in both games amassing a 6.0 KDA. Jensen had an 8.6 KDA in his five games against these two teams. The bot-lane substitutes did not fare as well dying ten times over the two games while Sneaky and Smoothie had only nine deaths in their five games against these teams.