The LCS Summer Split is moving to Detroit! Here, the final four teams will fight for their spot in the Finals and a ticket to the World Championship. There are also valuable Championship Points on the line to help the teams go to Worlds.
Team Liquid ("TL") and Cloud9 ("C9") both secured byes from the Quarterfinals, so these matches will be our first chance to see them in the post-season. TL is widely considered to be the best team in the league, meaning a strong performance is necessary. For them, anything less than the best is a failure. C9 has a lot to live up to too. This team's been hot on the heels of TL for a while, and as they had a better performance at Worlds last year, C9 will want to kick it up a notch and take the #1 spot.
Counter Logic Gaming ("CLG") is another staple name in the LCS but hasn't seen much success in the past two years. Finally, they're back in the spotlight and have a decent shot at reclaiming their long lost title. Clutch Gaming ("CG") is the last team attending the Semifinals, but not one many expected to see here. This organization doesn't have a legacy of success like the others, though that hasn't stopped them from making a surge this split to make it farther than they've ever been. These four teams represent the best in North America and these upcoming matches are sure to reflect that!
Match One: Cloud9 vs Counter Logic Gaming
The first Semifinal Match will be between C9 and CLG. This is definitely the closer of the two and should be a very close series. To start, C9 is an extremely creative team. They have unique drafts that utilize counter picks to the fullest. On top of that, their ability to substitute players in to create special circumstances is something that gives them a definite edge. Their biggest performers this split have been Svenskeren and Nisqy, whose early skirmishing and ability to set up plays has brought C9 success over and over again. Furthermore, C9's mid-game is where they excel. This is where they push their leads well, or if they fall behind early they have a knack at finding ways back into the game.
On the other side, CLG has some of its own strengths in the draft. Ruin and PowerOfEvil have wide champion pools that can make them threats in themselves. They've all outperformed expectations this split, but none more than Wiggily. His pathing and playmaking are a huge reason for his laners' success. The team is fantastic at playing as a five-man unit and is intelligent in the later stages of the game. In their Quarterfinals series versus OpTic Gaming, CLG devastated their opponents. In this series, they showed they could play well from behind to come back and smash early game leads to victory. CLG played quite cleanly that series, which means C9 has their work cut out for them.
When these two teams take to the Rift, C9 is the likely victor. The jungle matchup will be the focus, as Svenskeren and Wiggily have had marvelous splits. It'll probably go to Silver Scrapes, but our prediction is C9 3-2 because of C9's consistent success with this roster.
Match Two: Team Liquid vs Clutch Gaming
Next up is the match between CG and TL. Unlike the previous one, this one is anticipated to be rather one-sided. TL is the undisputed best team right now, winning the Spring title, making it to the Finals at MSI and dominating the LCS Summer split too. The caliber of their players is high, with Doublelift and CoreJJ being the core focus of the team. But Impact stepped up big time this year, turning into one of the best carry players the LCS has seen. TL seems to thrive at all points in the game and their armor is extremely hard to crack. It's possible to bring them down in the early game, but going late against them is a risky strategy indeed.
The underdogs for the series, CG, have a hard road ahead of them. They have some tools to find success but will be relying heavily on the unconventional to bring down the top dogs. Their draft revolves around a lot of comfort picks, which can benefit them and hurt them at times. Their aggressive play style looks more refined than in Spring, so if they can turn up the heat on TL early, it's possible for them to pull off an upset victory. Huni is back on form and Cody Sun has played exceptionally, especially so in the series versus Team SoloMid. Its an uphill battle for sure, but CG has players and a strategy they can depend on.
As said before, TL should be the winner of this series. Though CG has some fire, TL is among the best teams in the world and defeat here is out of the question for them. The prediction is a 3-0 sweep for TL, but it's possible for CG to catch TL off guard and take one game.
LCS Semifinal Broadcast
These matches will be some of the best games fans have seen all split! The C9 vs CLG series will be played on Saturday at 2 p.m. PST/5 p.m. EST. TL vs CG will take place on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PST/ 3:00 EST.
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Images via LoL Esports.
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