Last week had a continuation of upsets, surprise picks and breakthroughs for many teams in League of Legends LCS North America Wk 8 action.
Cloud9, Echo Fox, Team Liquid and Clutch Gaming all lost at least one game to a lower ranked team, keeping the playoff dreams for TSM and CLG alive. Both of which stand at the cusp of the sixth place spot, TSM with a 9-7 record and CLG with a 7-9 record.
If the stars align for CLG, which would require them at minimum to play a tie breaker with either TSM or TL, they can absolutely secure sixth place, although the momentum is not fully dependent on them.
Echo Fox on the other hand, losing both their games last week and going 0-2 for the first time since the split, seem to be having some difficulties synergizing with the new patch.
The reason for the games listed below and instead of the C9 vs TL game is primarily because of the playoff implications. CG vs 100T will duke it out for third place, whereas the TSM and CLG games are by far the most crucial for the sixth place spot.
As much as we’d like to track Echo Fox’s downward spiral, Echo Fox and C9 are assured spots in the playoffs, albeit not necessarily first place for either.
100 Thieves vs Clutch Gaming
Game 1 – 2PM PST/ 5PM EST
The two surprising teams who have been forced to mesh together veteran players are fighting yet again this week. Quite a fitting match, as the two have been at the heels of the top runners for the duration of the season. 100T is coming off two predicted wins this weekend against lower ranked teams while CG had upset the famed Echo Fox but lost to TL. Regardless of this week’s outcomes, both teams will be locked into the top six teams heading to playoffs – this game will be a large decider as to who has an easier matchup.
CG, as stated multiple times before, possesses an extremely powerful bottom side of the map. However, LirA and Solo were not slackers in the slightest; Solo actually brought out the Darius pick a week before, spurring a plethora of Darius Solo Queue bans and picks during this entire week. As long as LirA and Solo are able to match Ssumday and Meteos the early game will not be as shaky. Teamfighting is 100T’s forte, but CG has not shown the propensity for a 1-3-1 split push as of late. Febiven might have to take up the Ryze or Taliyah to help alleviate pressure from the pro shotcalling on CG.
100T should just straight up ban Rakan Xayah; giving the lovers duo to Apollo and Hakuho will just spell disaster coming into mid game rotations and small skirmishing. Aphromoo should definitely secure himself his famous engage supports to help initiate, while the rest of the team should draft enough pressure to prevent too much split pushing from occurring. Another important factor is how Meteos’s picks and plays his champions – engaging champions whose flexibility in peeling seem to be his go-to picks for a winning formula.
This game will be close as their standings coming into this week. Each team will undoubtedly play their own style rather try to counter their opponent’s picks, falling back on what has gotten them this far in the Spring Split. Based on the patch, game length, and style of fighting, 100T are favorites to win this matchup, but only by a small margin.
Best bet: 100 Thieves to win +100 with BetOnline
Team SoloMid vs Golden Guardians
Game 4 – 5PM PST/ 8PM EST
Many people will write off TSM as a winner in this matchup, and they should rightfully do so. However, ignoring GG’s 4-6 record in the second half of the split may be an Achilles’ heel to the veteran team and its fans. GG’s ability to pull upsets has not been consistent in the slightest, but they have undoubtedly caused a shakeup in the standings of the upper eschelon.
Bjergsen from TSM is currently on the uprise from his consistent playstyle that was always of higher caliber. He picked Syndra last week and absolutely dominated his former jungler with excellent Scatter the Weaks. Zven and Mithy are still taking a backseat, allowing the rest of the team to shine but providing auxiliary support. MikeYeung is the largest talk of the town, providing spot on ganks, engages, and peel whenever his team needs him. In this iteration, drafting for MikeYeung and Bjergsen will net TSM a strong foundation for a win.
GG are no longer in the playoff race, but they can still cause a complete earthquake in the middle tier of teams. Contractz has shown some aggression as of late, albeit some of which is unwarranted and dangerous. Matt and Deftly displayed some teamfighting prowess, namely Matt on Rakan. Hai and Lourlo both cannot win lane by themselves and, at best, can hope to go even. This will draw not only Contractz but also MikeYeung, as the game will truly be centered around mid lane. It looks bleak, but the draft phase for GG will be the ultimate decider of the team’s fate.
TSM are hands down heavy favorites. In fact, odds that GG will be blown out severely are incredibly high, but on that miniscule chance that GG pulls off an upset, oh boy do TSM fans have something to worry about.
Best bet: Team SoloMid to win -138.89 with BetOnline
CounterLogic Gaming vs Optic Gaming
Game 5 – 6PM PST/ 9PM EST
For the same reason as the TSM game, eyes will be on CLG to see if they can steer their playoff ship the correct way or end up shipwrecked. OPT is also out of the running but not many would consider them a completely powerless team to stand up to CLG. Momentum wise, CLG had just upset FOX, so they have some wind in their sails. There are a lot of ship analogies here for no significant reason and I sincerely apologize for that.
With Biofrost at the helm of shotcalling, CLG has had an impressive record against some very competitive team. Stixxay is still performing at a high level that befits the name of CLG but pales in comparison to some of the top ADCs in the league. The most impressive performances of late had to have been Darshan and Reignover’s midgame. Drafting Darshan a carry champion (shocker) and Reignover a pseudo engage/peel champion (again, shocker) has been CLG’s go-to, but rotation wise, the two players have been more intelligent going about ganks, objectives and split pushing. Drafting is of the upmost importance here, and CLG may have to focus on the top side picks to get their ball rolling once again.
OPT has not had the best season, but they do have some standout players that they can put their carry potential on. PowerOfEvil has still been able to go match the best midlaners in the league skill and pick wise, being an obvious pillar for OPT. Arrow is also doing his best considering the circumstances. The problem is that OPT really has one of, if not the, lowest KP totals of any team in the league. Akaadian, Zig and Lemon really need to step their game up to finish the season strong.
CLG are favorites to win, but not by as much as a margin as the previous game. OPT does have some power players, but CLG is on such a high upswing right now that momentum will honestly be able to carry them through.
Best bet: Counter Logic Gaming to win +100 with BetOnline
League of Legends Saturday predictions
100T vs CG –
FLY vs EF – EF
TL vs C9 – C9
GG vs TSM – TSM
CLG vs OPT – CLG