Both the NA and EU LCS have concluded with Team SoloMid and G2 Esports emerging as the champions. Both finals were exciting and had a lot of fun games that will be remembered for a long time. That being said it’s time to look at them more in-depth, praise those that did well and criticize the ones that did poorly.
Over-Performers – WildTurtle and Biofrost
A bottom lane that was heavily underestimated and looked down upon due to their average regular split performance. Ever since re-joining TSM and taking over for Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng in the ADC role, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran has been under constant watch from the community as well as commentators and analysts. Every single time he would make an in-game mistake it would lead to people saying TSM needs Doublelift back. Similarly to that Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has also been the recipient of criticism because of how poorly he performed at Worlds last year. Nevertheless the bottom lane for Team SoloMid exceeded the expectations and played very well. Although they were expected to fail against Sneaky and Smoothie, they didn’t and in-fact they were able to kill them in lane and gain leads against them. If both of TSM’s bottom laners are able to keep up this performance, that will greatly increase the team’s chances of doing well at MSI.
Over-Performers – Hauntzer and Bjergsen
Both of TSM’s solo laners played incredibly well. While Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg did have a weak Game 4 and Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnel‘s last two games weren’t super impressive, as a whole their performance was great and it was a large reason why they won the series. Hauntzer went against both Jeon “Ray” Ji-won and Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong in the top lane, doing decently well against Ray in lane and having more team fight presence than him. Against Impact he was even able to get a solo kill in Game 2 of the series. Meanwhile Bjergsen went mostly even against Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen in lane however his team fighting and impact on the map was really top notch. Not to mention he was able to win Game 5 and the series for TSM by almost instantly deleting Jensen at the start of the final fight. Although neither of them won the MVP of the split award, both were great throughout the regular season and the playoffs and deserve to be in the conversation for best player in their respective roles.
Underperformer – Jensen
Although as a whole Jensen’s performance was solid, that’s not what Cloud9 needed from him in order to win the finals. Jensen has always been a player that performs really well when the momentum is on his side but doesn’t perform as well when he is under pressure or when he is having an off-day. Unfortunately for him in the finals against TSM he once again succumbed to the pressure and made the series losing mistake in Game 5. This is becoming a reoccurring thing for Jensen where he makes a crucial mistake in a series. It begs the question of whether or not he is a choker or if it’s just a heat of the moment type of mistake. Very tough pill to swallow for Jensen but that’s what separates the good players from the great ones, the ability to perform and make clutch plays under pressure. Until he is able to do that he will more than likely stay stuck in Bjergsen’s shadow.
Underperformers – Unicorns of Love
Honestly, there is no one on UoL that you can pinpoint as the reason for their loss. The entire team as a whole did not have a great performance in the finals and it’s rather disappointing considering how clean they looked against Misfits. Granted that Misfits are a weaker opponent than G2 but still, expectations were higher for the Unicorns and they definitely didn’t deliver. They were characteristically weak in lanes and looked outclassed in all roles for the most part. Not to mention their team fighting which is usually one of their strengths wasn’t on par with G2’s in this series. Although G2’s lackluster international performances make people skeptical about how well they’d do at MSI, there is no better team to send there from Europe. Maybe the Unicorns can de-throne G2 in the Summer but right now it’s clear who the kings of Europe are.
Overperformer – PerkZ
Known for getting so much flack from the community for his outspoken remarks and inability to back them up with his play. Luka “PerkZ” Perković may not have had any impressive international performances yet, but his domestic play in Spring of 2017 has been stellar. He looks like he has matured from his brash and aggressive playstyle from last year. Although he still play aggressive, he knows how to balance it out and play safer when needed. Regardless of whether or not G2 does well at MSI, one more split could turn PerkZ into a terror in the mid lane. His performance against the Unicorns certainly backs that up.
While G2 looked more dominant over their opponents, both of the winners of the playoffs proved that they deserve to go to MSI. Not to mention both teams have a bad history at the event and will surely try to redeem themselves. MSI is shaping up to be awesome this year and it’ll certainly be really interesting to see if anyone can dethrone SK Telecom T1 as the best team in the world.
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