The regular season of the NA LCS has concluded and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Team SoloMid finished in first place, followed closely by Immortals in second. This year’s playoffs are very promising on paper and we might even get five game series in the quarterfinals if all teams play at their best. Here are a few takeaways from Week 9 of the regular season as well as some quarterfinals predictions!
Team Liquid’s new roster is promising
Despite losing both of their series in Week 9, Team Liquid still won a game in both sets and showed some good play with Sun “Mickey” Yong-min in the line-up despite not having much practice with him. Sadly for Liquid they are still going to have to attend the promotion tournament but with franchising right around the corner it’s very likely that Liquid will get to keep their spot in the LCS. The question now is if they can finally become a top team with this roster?
History would suggest that they won’t be able to. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett has consistently shown that he has trouble being in a team environment. If the same thing occurs on Liquid then things can easily fall apart for them. This has already happened before when Dardoch was on Liquid prior to joining Immortals and then CLG. It can easily happen again and if it does then the future already looks bleak for TL. But considering that they have Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin and Rami “Inori” Charagh on the bench, things might just work out well for Liquid.
All of the playoff teams are quite good
There has never really been a split where you can make a case for every playoff team winning the LCS. Perhaps EnVy should be excluded from the conversation with their most recent performances. But even they have a small chance if Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo pops off and carries them to the championship and he’s certainly capable of that under the right circumstances. Dignitas and CLG are the other two teams that are maybe less likely to win the playoffs but even they have enough positive things about them to where you could make an argument for them winning.
Cloud9, Immortals and TSM however are most likely to win the split. It doesn’t feel like Immortals will collapse in playoffs this time around however if history repeats itself we could very well see another C9 vs TSM final!
Cloud9 vs Team Dignitas
The first Quarterfinal of playoffs will be Cloud9 taking on the surging Team Dignitas. Due to their history and recent performances Cloud9 will definitely be the favorites heading into the match. C9 has been destroying their opponents in the final weeks of regular season play and they concluded their split by dismantling Echo Fox in a very quick 2-0 victory.
Team Dignitas are no slouches however. Ever since they added Johnny “Altec” Ru and Adrian “Adrian” Ma as their bottom lane they have improved immensely. By having another threat on the map aside from Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, they just became so much more versatile. A few worrying points for the team are Lae-Young “Keane” Jang and Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon. Both players tend to underperform sometimes and while Keane isn’t a big carry for the team, they seem to perform at their best when Keane is playing well. Assuming things go right for Dignitas they have what it takes to defeat C9. However the logical prediction is for C9 to win the series either 3-2 or 3-1.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team EnVy
This series might surprise a lot of people. On paper CLG should easily dispatch EnVy due to the latter’s late season struggles. Team EnVy is known as the team that defeats opponents below them but always loses to teams above them. It just feels like they are always unable to break through that glass ceiling that constantly keeps them in the middle of the pack. Seraph in particular has been performing quite badly in recent times and EnVy as a whole is starting to lose a lot of the momentum they had at the start of the Summer Split.
So CLG should easily beat them right? Well not exactly. CLG has also had their troubles ever since putting Omar “OmarGod” Amin as their main jungler after Dardoch’s departure. It doesn’t seem like the team is clicking very well with OmarGod and although they are still a decent team, they can definitely be exploited. That’s where Lira comes in. The EnVy jungler is without a doubt the start of the team and he definitely has what it takes to exploit OmarGod and make the games 4v5. It’ll all depend on how well CLG can protect OmarGod while winning their lanes as well as how good Lira’s performance will be. The prediction here is a 3-2 victory for CLG but it can really go either way if OmarGod cracks under the pressure.
We’re in for some exciting playoffs and if the quarterfinals go to five games, these playoffs might just be the best ones in NA LCS history!
Photographs taken by Riot Games