As the 2018 League of Legends Pro League Summer Split continues on, it's becoming a tale of two regions as the East remains a tight foot race to the top while the West looks to be all but decided. At the end of Week 8, Invictus Gaming and Rogue Warriors sit atop of their respective regions.
In the East, there looks to be three distinct groups that make up the standings. At the top, there's Invictus Gaming (14-1), JD Gaming (12-3) and Royal Never Give Up (12-5). In the middle of the pack sits Suning Gaming (8-7), LGD Gaming (7-8) and Bilibili Gaming (5-10). Then, all alone at the bottom and eliminated from playoff contention is Vici Gaming (1-14).
RNG was the busiest team in the region this week, playing three series but only coming up with a single win. The worst part for this team is that while the win came against the lowly Vici Gaming, the losses came against the playoff contenders Suning and Invictus. Not only that, but both series were 2-0 losses. Star AD carry Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao might be back in the fold after missing time earlier this season, but there looks to be trouble in paradise as the defending Mid-Season Invitational champions look very much worse for wear.
Meanwhile, Invictus has continued to impress with a ninth straight victory to further strengthen its hold on the top spot. Most illuminating of all was its 2-0 trouncing of RNG to close out the week on a high note. Also closing on a high note was Suning, who picked up a pair of wins over strong competition in RNG and JDG. While moving up into the third seed will be unlikely given that it sits four games back, this was a strong week to give the team confidence in locking up the final playoff spot.
Despite a crop of teams all vying for the top spots in the East, Rogue Warriors (12-3) sits alone atop the West. The team only had a single outing in Week 8, picking up a 2-1 victory over OMG (5-11). That certainly wasn't the most desirable result considering the struggling nature of OMG, but it was another win on the board nonetheless. With all of its hard matchups out of the way and only four series left in the final three weeks, Rogue looks more than poised for a No. 1 seed from the region come playoff time.
The picture in the rest of the West, however, is much murkier in comparison. The closest to Rogue in the standings is EDward Gaming (8-8) and Topsports Gaming (8-8) who are both trying to prove their relative worth in the region. Topsports had its hands full this week, playing three sets and coming out on top with a 2-1 record. The week started out well with pair of 2-1 wins over Team WE (3-13) and EDG before coming to a screeching halt with a 2-0 loss to Topsports in its final game of the week. Even with that loss, though, the manner in which it shook off a Game 1 loss against EDG to eventually take the series was a welcomed sight, particularly because just two weeks ago it was sitting at a paltry 4-6. EDG, who somewhat salvaged its week with a 2-0 sweep of WE on Saturday, will need to play significantly better or risk losing its grip on the second seed to Topsports.
Speaking of losing ground, current fourth seed Snake Esports (6-7) may not have played this week, but it could soon find itself out of the picture if it doesn't turn things around next week. After going 0-2 in Week 7, it now sits even in the win column with FunPlus Phoenix (6-9) who had quite the week. While its win over OMG was perhaps nothing special, snatching a 2-0 sweep out from under Topsports was a sign that this team might have some juice in the tank to make a run in the final few weeks of the season. FunPlus doesn't have the easiest of schedules, though, with Rogue Warriors, EDG, and Snake on the horizon, but it's certainly a team to look out for as the Summer Split winds down.
The race for the top spot in the West might be all but over at this point in the season, but there is plenty to watch out for in the LPL during these final weeks before the playoffs. The upper echelon of the East is far from over while the final three spots in the West are far from settled.
Week 9 gets underway on Monday at 5 a.m. ET when OMG takes on EDward Gaming.