The first match taking place in beautiful and sunny Miami will be deciding the third and fourth place teams to end the 2018 Spring Split of the NA LCS.
Our two teams jousting for the position of third will be Clutch Gaming, paying (-129.87) and Echo Fox, paying (-109.89) with BetOnline.
Echo Fox, formerly the second place team in the regular split, has had its rough patches in the latter half that were displayed quite prominently in their match against Team Liquid last Saturday.
Their strategy of putting the most versatile and aggressive top-laner on tanky champions completely backfired in their games. Despite taking game 2, FOX was actually down in kills and the gold difference was manageable. Unfortunately for FOX, Fenix probably had his worst playoff series in his career, going a total of 3-14-9 as his KDA, which in turn prompted a plethora of question marks from analysts and Twitch chat.
Clutch Gaming on the other hand has been looking stellar not only from the end of the split but also through their matches between TSM and 100T. Taking 100T to a full 5 game series, CG looking amazing by capitalizing on Hakuho’s threats in picks and bans, LirA’s jungling routes and most surprisingly of all, Solo’s stellar performance once resources are thrown into his lane.
Echo Fox vs Clutch Gaming
Saturday April 7th – 1PM PST / 4PM EST
Echo Fox and Clutch Gaming have had great seasons despite the result of this match. Coming from Rick Fox and his sons’ dream of creating a professional esports team, Echo Fox has made its footprint as a respectable if not dynamic organization. Clutch Gaming, an organization hailing its support from the Houston Rockets, is in its infancy stage for esports and has managed to place top four with a roster riddled with doubt. Both these teams have proved their worth in the NA LCS and now they have to prove that their team deserves the bronze medal.
Echo Fox: Priorities, Top Players, Weaknesses
Priorities – Last week, FOX prioritized Huni in the wrong way by giving him a bunch of tanks. In addition, Altec was the main win condition of the match with Fenix severely underperforming. FOX should take a serious though as to subbing in Damonte for Fenix should the same situation occur as Damonte has had a few games of LCS experience beforehand. The same goes with Adrian and Papa Chau; Adrian’s week has been absolutely horrid on paper. Other than that, Dardoch absolutely has to make plays in the early game instead of being docile and half dedicated to a gank.
Top Players – Once again, Huni should be the lane to play around as his mechanics and game sense have earned him the top spot among top laners. With most of the team in disarray, Altec and Huni have shown more than enough nerve to withstand public sentiment. Fenix is still a great mid laner as history has shown but needs to reset his mentality coming into this week.
Weaknesses – There may be too many weaknesses to count for FOX. Early game laning, early game jungle pressure, objective control, early game rotations. The only thing that FOX did well was matching rotations in the mid game but the snowball had already turned into an avalanche. The main culprits of FOX’s weak points were Dardoch, Fenix and Adrian; if FOX can successfully remedy two of the three players, FOX will already become a tougher team to face.
Clutch Gaming: Priorities, Top Players, Weaknesses
Priorities – This week, CG has shown they can play through literally any lane and have it shine. However, most of this is due to LirA’s jungle resources being donated where it counts. As such, securing Olaf, Skarner or another early game jungler for him will allow CG to make mapwide plays. Hakuho is a second priority in the sense of his specialties; if FOX leave a Thresh or Morgana up, Hakuho will have a field day.
Top Players – LirA, Solo and Febiven were all standouts last week. LirA with his jungle pressure allowed Solo to dominate lane and in turn, Solo had priority on any teleport or mapwide plays over his lane opponent. Febiven still remains a great anchor for CG in the midlane, demonstrating a large champion pool that cannot be banned out as well as absorbing and surviving enemy ganks.
Weaknesses – CG honestly does not have any apparent weaknesses that can be exploited easily. However CG has had faults when it comes to snowballing situations. Should a lane in CG get repeatedly put behind, the outcome is a long and drawn out bleeding wound that CG cannot mend. Most of CG’s games are low kill games which means that although they may be able to prolong their suffering, they also have trouble pushing the snowball in the other direction as well.
The Betting: Predictions and free tip
When all is said and done, CG are the extremely heavy favorites this weekend to emerge victorious. FOX have too many questions that still need answering regarding strategy and playstyle while CG has done more than most people would have imagined. That being said, FOX is still an unexpected team that will manage to pull at least one win away from the newcomers.
My best bet: Clutch Gaming to defeat Echo Fox 3-2 in the maps betting which is paying +350 with BetOnline.