Team SoloMid and Cloud 9, two of the most storied organizations within the LCS. For the fifth time these teams will meet each other in an NA LCS Finals. While both rosters are very different from how they were in the past, TSM’s Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg would love nothing more than to defeat C9’s William “Meteos” Hartman and Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi for the third time.
Cloud 9 is entering the finals with a 3-2 victory over Immortals in a match where they were considered the underdogs. Despite that being the case, the boys in blue managed to play Immortals’ game and defeat them at it. A huge factor that lead to their victory was the performance of Top Laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. Impact not only absorbed the immense pressure from Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin in heroic fashion but he also outperformed Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. Both Reignover and Huni are hailed as some of the best players in NA and the best top jungle duo within the region. To see Impact withstanding their onslaught and coming out on top is amazing and it truly reminds us why Impact is a former World Champion.
It wasn’t all the Impact show for Cloud 9. Sneaky and his support Andy “Smoothie” Ta were consistent in all 5 games and never really dropped the ball against Immortals’ bottom lane. Meanwhile Meteos and mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen made mistakes in some of the games but still played very well overall. It truly was a team effort and while Impact was definitely the player of the series, C9 outperformed Immortals as a team and managed to pressure Reignover’s jungle with their joint efforts.
On the other side of the rift, Team SoloMid defeated Counter Logic Gaming in an impressive 3-0 sweep and qualified for their eight NA LCS Final in a row. Truly an amazing feat as no other team in the history of the NA LCS has qualified for all finals. While the remake of Game 1 and the disabling of Aurelion Sol hurt CLG, the outcome of the series proved that TSM was the superior team. Staying true to their strong macro play and very good laners, TSM was able to take leads in all 3 games and comfortably snowball them into wins.
The biggest disparity in the series was in the top lane where even in winning match-ups and with the help of Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, CLG’s top laner Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaha was unable to gain a lead against TSM’s Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell. Even in the harsh circumstances he was put in, Hauntzer managed to be one of the main threats on TSM, dealing the second most damage in Game 1 (only behind Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng) and the most damage amongst his teammates in Games 2 and 3.
C9 and TSM’s top laners played spectacularly in their semifinal matches and while they will likely be a huge point of focus, the series outcome may depend heavily on the junglers and mid laners of both teams. If Cloud 9 hopes to win their third LCS championship, Meteos and Jensen must clean up their play and stay consistent throughout the whole series. TSM is good at punishing mistakes and C9 must not make too many of them in order to increase their chances of winning. Their controlled and calculated style of play worked well against Immortals but they didn’t have much control over the games, even in the ones they won. TSM is a smarter and more punishing team than IMT. While a TSM victory is the most likely outcome, Cloud 9 should be able to win at least one game if they snowball a lead in the early game.
One thing is for sure, we are in for some great games on Sunday. With a crazy story behind it, different rosters and two great teams facing each other, this year’s edition of Cloud 9 vs Team SoloMid promises to be one heck of a series!