Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses Preview: 2023 LCS Spring Playoffs

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Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses Preview: 2023 LCS Spring Playoffs

The teams are competing for the last spot in the LCS Finals Weekend in Raleigh.

Before the last week of the regular season, both teams were poised to finish the split in the top four and both stumbled at the finish line going 0-3 during the superweek, finding themselves with a Lower Bracket start. Backs against the wall they were able to get through their first series, Golden Guardians with a hard-fought victory over 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses with a clean sweep agaisnt CLG.

Now against each other in another elimination game, these teams have more similarities than their fates in the 2023 Spring. Despite strong performances from their bot lanes, Golden Guardians and Evil Geniuses are two teams heavily dependent on their mid-jungle duo, and the early pressure they create around the map.

Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses Preview

Golden Guardians

Most games GG won during the regular season came on the back of River and Gori. Not to diminish the monster performances from Stixxay, but without their duo finding leads in 2v2 they might’ve struggled to get themselves to late-game. So it is a bit worrying that neither River nor Gori had the best time during the 100 Thieves series. Some of their picks like Xin Zhao or K’Sante really limited what they could do in the early game. Although the pick/ban stage was a bit unusual during that series because of the heavy Wukong prio and 100T’s insistence on playing picks like Jinx.

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GG relying on their mid-jungle also doesn’t mean they cannot play through any other lane. Stixxay and huhi show at multiple points they can get leads in 2v2 or around teamfights, and snowball those leads to close out games. Also after a very disappointing regular season, Licorice stepped up massively against 100 Thieves. His back-to-back counter-picks in games four and five were the key to victory for Golden Guardians and he rightfully won the Player of the Series. His ability to continue at this level will probably be the biggest determining factor for GG in their next series.

Evil Geniuses

One advantage Evil Genisues have over 100T is that while Tenacity found himself on tank duty for the whole series, Ssumday is a player who is more willing to play carries and he is more than happy to opt into counters like Fiora. EG might not be the best team to play for their top laner, but they can do it decent enough to win one or two games through Ssumday. The veteran top laner also had a quiet season for his standards, but we saw him start to step up in the CLG series.

Joseph “Jojopyun” Pyun of Evil Geniuses poses before the start of the Playoffs of the 2023 LCS Spring Split at the Riot Games Arena on March 26, 2023. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

And Ssumday wasn’t the only player to wake up against CLG. After his weeks-long battle with COVID, Jojopyun had a bit of a resurgence. Looking like he was in the zone playing in the LCS studio compared to the remote games, Jojo made some visible improvements. He had fewer unnecessary deaths, he wasn’t getting caught randomly and his 2v2 synergy with Inspired looked much better.

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Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses Predictions

Golden Guardians showed a lot of upside in the 100T series. They adapted well to their opponent in most games, they were better as individuals and as a team. But Evil Geniuses is a tougher matchup for them compared to the one-dimensional Thieves. They cannot as easily exploit the weakside top lane and give themselves a win condition. And Evil Geniuses can match them in all lanes if need be. With Jojopyun and Inspired also looking in form, it would be hard to bet against EG. The games might be close if EG is sloppy, but I’m expecting them to finish it 3-1.

How to watch Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses

Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses will be played on March 31 and will determine the last participant for the LCS Finals Weekend held in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fans can watch the series on or the official LCS Youtube and Twitch channels. For Spanish-speaking fans, LCS also started their Spanish broadcast in partnership with LLA, you can find the stream on the LLA Twitch channel.

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Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses Preview: 2023 LCS Spring Playoffs
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.