As we come closer to the climax of the LCS Championship, who looks like they're ready to become champions?
Two weeks of the LCS Championship have come and gone, with two more weeks remaining. Teams are fighting with all they have to keep their post-season hopes alive and claim a spot in the LCS Finals, or more importantly, the 2021 World Championship. Only six teams remain: Team Liquid, TSM, Cloud9, Immortals, Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves. Each of them will be ready to bring their best as they take to the Rift for some of the most important matches of the year!
Thursday: Evil Geniuses vs Cloud9
The first matchup of the weekend sees Cloud9 take on Evil Geniuses. So far in the LCS Championships, C9 has had definite ups and downs. Their first series was in the Upper Bracket against an in-form Team Liquid. Here, C9 couldn't even take TL to five games before losing, taking only one game off of them. As a result, they went to the Lower Bracket, where they gained some needed confidence with a dominant 3-0 over Golden Guardians. On the other hand, EG started off strong with a series win over Dignitas, then a close loss versus 100 Thieves in spite of Danny's best efforts.
Looking at this matchup, the mid lane is without a doubt a very important factor. While many had high expectations of Perkz when he joined C9, he hasn't always lived up to fans' expectations. Meanwhile, Jiizuke is looking pretty good but does have a tendency to be all-or-nothing. It'll be important for both teams to focus on the mid lane, as Perkz with a lead is known for roaming to get his team ahead, and Jiizuke has high carry potential. The ADCs, Zven and Danny, will be fun to watch too. Zven is a reliable rock for his team, always ready to perform in team fights, while Danny is the young player ready to make the big plays.
Overall, it's most likely that C9 comes out with the win here. Fans are hoping for dominance from them, but with their summer form, it's hard to say for sure that we'll see it. EG definitely won't go down without a fight, so the prediction is C9 3-2.
Friday: TSM vs Immortals
Next up is the match between TSM and Immortals. We haven't seen as much from these two as the previous two teams, but their experiences so far have said something. Starting off in the Lower Bracket, Immortals kept themselves afloat with a rather decisive 3-0 victory over Dignitas. While Dignitas isn't quite a top team, a 3-0 sweep is nothing to ever scoff at. However, TSM received a first-round bye, and even with an extra week of preparation couldn't stand toe-to-toe with Team Liquid. Luckily for them, Immortals shouldn't pose the same challenge that TL did.
Once again, the mid lane is a crucial point on the map. The stylistic difference between TSM PowerOfEvil, who prefers scaling and control mages, and IMT Insanity, who enjoys aggressive picks and early pressure, makes it so. Whichever of these mid laners can play “their game” will set the pace of the game, and neither wants that to happen. Another spotlight should be on the jungle matchup. Xerxe had a stellar series against Dignitas, boasting fantastic KDAs and fantastic objective control. Spica is definitely able to match him, and likely overtake him, but he has to be more active than he was against TL. The form Spica comes in on could be crucial to how the match goes.
At the end of the day, TSM is the heavy favorite. One loss against TL can't take away their entire season, where they did secure first seed, and they have a wealth of veteran experience. Immortals has a hard task ahead of them and their younger players, so the prediction is TSM 3-1.
Saturday: 100 Thieves vs Team Liquid
Finally is the highlight series of the weekend, Team Liquid vs 100 Thieves. As eluded to before, Team Liquid is looking hot right now with two convincing victories over other top NA teams. But 100 Thieves isn't looking shabby either, as even though their match against EG had to go to five games, EG is certainly a potential title contender and they showed great things against them. If both teams come in on top form, this should be a battle to remember.
Without a doubt, a huge aspect of this series lies in the top lane. Alphari and Ssumday are two names any LCS viewer will recognize. However, Ssumday hasn't had quite a memorable year, especially compared to the last couple, while Alphari has definitely established himself as the best top lane in the league. Shutting down Alphari will be critical for 100T's success. In addition, the bottom lane matchup is one to keep an eye on. TL's Tactical and CoreJJ have been a dominant force for the past two years, while 100T's FBI and Huhi found explosive accomplishment recently. Both supports will be eager to roam around the map and set their teams up for kills, and it'll lead to action, no doubt.
This isn't the easiest matchup to predict. 100T really leveled up this year, especially with bringing Reapered aboard as Head Coach, but there have been moments of inconsistency. Considering TL's recent form, they're the safe favorites. It will probably be a five-game banger with Team Liquid winning in 3-2 fashion, though if 100T shows up in peak form, it's not hard to see them taking the win.
Along with those three matches, one more awaits fans on Sunday. The losers of the C9 vs EG and TSM vs IMT matches will be eliminated, while the winners will face a test against each other on Sunday. If things go as expected, this series will be between C9 and TSM, which would be another exciting bout in a long rivalry. But without knowing for certain the teams for that, there's not too much point in speculating yet.
It also should be noted that the winner of the 100 Thieves vs Team Liquid series will book their ticket straight to the Finals, a great prospect indeed. With so much at stake, this is one weekend of games you don't want to miss!