The Spring Split is approaching its end and we are down to the Top 4 teams in North America. From what the Quarterfinals showed us all of these teams have what it takes to exit the Pacific Coliseum as champions. It will be an exciting weekend filled with League of Legends action but before that let’s take a look at the two Semifinal match-ups.
Team SoloMid vs FlyQuest
On paper this should be a fairly predictable match. TSM have looked better and better as the season progressed while FlyQuest kept stumbling more with each week. It really looked like they wouldn’t even make it to the playoffs but they managed to pull it off. After a grueling five game series against Counter Logic Gaming, the team lead by Hai “Hai” Du Lam was able to come back from an 0-2 and reverse sweep CLG to advance to the Semifinals. While the series as a whole was far from clean and FlyQuest have much to work on, it did give us some hope that maybe FlyQuest will be able to put up a fight against TSM.
Team SoloMid have looked great in the last few weeks of regular season play and while we haven’t seen them play in a while, it can be expected that they will bring their A game against FlyQuest. The only question mark is going to be Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen in the jungle. While his performance as a whole has been good, he has had several shaky games throughout the split. His tendency to invade into the enemy jungle even when his team isn’t backing him up ends up costing him sometimes and it culminated in him giving away first blood and an early game lead to the enemy team. The reas of the roster is in good form and if Svenskeren is able to play better than what he has shown, he’ll be able to match up against Moon well.
The series as a whole isn’t hard to predict. TSM will likely win it and will make their 9th NA LCS final in a row. How decisively they will win it is the question at hand. Looking at TSM’s tendency to lose the first game of a Best of series, it’s likely that they might drop Game 1 only to come in strong into the next three games. TSM has never missed an NA LCS final and it doesn’t seem like that will change this split.
Cloud9 vs Phoenix1
This match is certainly harder to predict than the other one. Both teams have had questionable periods throughout the regular season. Cloud9 started off really well but lost a lot of steam in the middle of the season. They were able to regain their momentum at the end of the split but now it begs the question of how prepared and ready they will be for Phoenix1. And not only that but it also makes us wonder whether or not Jeon “Ray” Ji-won will see any play in this series. C9 has opted to give Ray play time during the regular season but in a match as important as this one, it may not be the best option to let Ray play. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong has been the tried and true option for the team and some might say it would be foolish to not put him in the starting line-up heading into the match.
Phoenix1 on the other hand have been a little less consistent. They started off strong and then they slumped for a few weeks. After bringing in William “Meteos” Hartman to play instead of Rami “Inori” Charagh they were able to bounce back big time. But in the final week of regular season play they looked very off with No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon in particular not playing too well. He has earned himself a reputation for being really consistent and solid but that wasn’t the case in Week 10 where even he was making silly mistakes. After defeating Team Dignitas in a decisive 3-0 sweep in the Quarterfinals, it’s safe to say P1 is looking back on form. The question is whether or not it will be enough to take down the powerhouse that is Cloud9.
Apart from a shaky mid-season the C9 squad has looked like they are without a doubt Top 2 in North America. Phoenix1 has a big challenge ahead of them. The one advantage they have is that Meteos is on their roster. Being C9’s former jungler he will likely know the team well and will be able to exploit some of their patterns. P1 will also need his leadership and experience. Safe to say the best option would be for Meteos to start in the series against Cloud9. However the stronger team on paper is still C9 so they are expected to take the win in a possibly close five game series.
Both Semifinal matches look really exciting and even though another TSM vs C9 re-match is looming on the horizon, both FlyQuest and Phoenix1 have what it takes to make major upsets.