Sunday’s matchups are not as close or competitive as day 1 of week six of the League of Legends North American LCS Spring Split, but there are still possibilities of upsets and movement in the ranks.
The Golden Guardians are nearly out of the question for playoff series, but they may still be able to cause a bump in the road for those who aim for such. The top two teams play the next top two teams in different matches, all the while TSM and CLG fans are simply praying for a victory streak to preserve the legacy teams.
Optic Gaming vs Team SoloMid
Game 1 – 12PM PST/3PM EST
There may be more exciting matchups to write about, but the race for sixth place can be just as crucial and bloodthirsty as well. Optic and TSM have only one game separating each other coming into Week 6, both with sub .5 win ratios. A win for either team propels them forward towards that bottom line, while a loss may prove unrecoverable for mentality.
OPT has had some wonky games this season and has had glaring issues as a result. Zig is by far the worst top laner of any team in the league while Lemonnation has not shown the support of days past. PowerofEvil, however, has been an exceptional standout in the mid lane, which in turn becomes OPT’s largest winning condition. Arrow has been the middle of the pack, but if Akaadian can snowball mid and bot, this game would be more than winnable.
Enough talking about TSM’s past and problems – the focus will have to be shifted to how they can win. Hauntzer should have a relatively easy time up top, beating out Zig in most matchups. Zven and Mithy may not necessarily win, but on paper, the European duo laners should outrank the Korean and American duo. Bjergsen and MikeYeung are the question marks for this matchup, but securing Bjergsen a standard, safe mid lane pick may prove to be the best choice for facing PoE.
Optic and TSM have not had the best season so far, being plagued with communication, team synergy and a negative feedback loop effect. However, when it comes to players with renown reputations and experience while in a hard spot, TSM is favored to come out on top. Despite mistake ridden, TSM fans can predictably hope for the best from the NA veteran champions.
Echo Fox vs Team Liquid
Game 3 – 2 PM PST/ 5 PM EST
A match between the top team and a team tied for 3rd, this game will be a spectacle to watch. There is always a speculation as to which would win – time honored stability or dynamic and energetic unpredictability. Team Liquid is the former with Xmithie, Pobelter, Impact, and Olleh. Echo Fox is the latter, with Huni, Dardoch and Altec.
Echo Fox really have two routes to explore – top lane and bot lane. Huni vs Impact will be a battle of Korean powerhouses, but the slight edge will go to Huni for his immaculate playstyle and Impact’s regression. Forging Huni ahead will also allow Dardoch to invade the topside jungle, a huge boon for Baron control.
Botlane will most likely be a standoff unless Fenix or Dardoch interfere, which would help to push an advantage for Altec against one of, if not the, most overbearing ADC in North America.
Team Liquid may have to think out of the box for this game, whether it be through objective control, lane minion control or tower control. Versing EF lane for lane matchups would be playing EF’s game and without a clear winning lane, may prove catastrophic.
Doublelift is undeniably a powerful player but will have trouble fighting EF alone, so Pobelter or Impact will need to alleviate pressure to help bolster their chances for winning. It’s not to say Pobelter or Impact cannot carry the game themselves, but against Fenix who is known for farming and consistent plays and the world famous Huni, they need to bring their A game to dominate their lanes.
Rick Fox must have had an epiphany on who to draft and buy considering his team is number 1 in the standings, and will most likely be remaining number 1 after the week. Echo Fox’s shotcalling and teamfighting are on point and as such will outplay TL on the rift. Even if TL can pull off a cheese or give 110%, that may not be enough to win versus the Foxes.
Cloud9 vs Clutch Gaming
Game 5 – 4PM PST/ 7PM EST
Clutch Gaming has shown a surprising amount of vigor this season, enough to secure themselves a tie for 3rd place. Best Cloud9 will be a struggle, but if any team has the ability to follow in Echo Fox’s footsteps in this regard, it may be Clutch Gaming. Cloud9 may sit second to the throne, but it is by far not a secure, comfortable seat with the match this week.
Cloud9 have faced CG just two weeks prior and it was anything but a clean game. Before, they had Jensen hold down the fort mid lane while Svenskeren ran around to help track LirA. Employing a similar strategy may work, but focusing top will also become an option. Licorice is slowly getting accustomed to the stage while Solo tends to play carry top laners, meaning the game can spiral out of control in favor of C9 should they put Solo on tilt.
Clutch Gaming on the other hand is coming off a four game win streak, so their morale heading into this week is quite high. Febiven stands out as CG’s star player, with extraordinary performances against mid laners of any caliber.
Apollo and Hakuho also stand out as a duo that can go toe to toe with Sneaky and Smoothie, but they have to be wary of the jungle proximity of their laners. By drafting well primarily for top and jungle, CG can allow their mid and bot lanes to flourish unimpeded by a global Gangplank ult, terrifying Camille teleport or kingly Jarvan Cataclysm.
Despite the momentum for CG, they have to learn from the past in order to rise to the occasion. CG’s win streak has only been against sub .500 teams, so this will be the first game against a stronger opponent in two weeks. Cloud9 will predictably have the edge, from keeping their edge sharp vs EF last week as well as past results.
Sunday predictions for Wk 6 of League of Legends LCS North America
OP vs TSM – TSM
FQ vs 100T – 100T
EF vs TL – EF
CLG vs GG – CLG
C9 vs CG – C9