With the first round of LCS action behind us, and the first teams eliminated, we move onto Round Two as Cloud9 and Team Liquid enter the Rift.
Round Two starts with the two Upper Bracket series between Cloud9 (“C9”) and FlyQuest (“FLY”), and Team Liquid (“TL”) and Golden Guardians (“GG”). The losers of these two series will move down into the Lower Bracket and face off against Evil Geniuses and Team SoloMid respectively. We’ll also take a look at the two Lower Bracket sides, Evil Geniuses (“EG”) and Team SoloMid (“TSM”).
Cloud9 v FlyQuest
This is set to be the closest of the two series of the week on paper. C9 managed to pip FLY to second place by the end of the LCS Summer Split regular season, despite C9 hitting a poor run of form towards the end which saw them drop to second. FLY has spent most of Summer Split being fairly consistent and picking up important wins against other playoffs sides such as TL and TSM. The worry for FLY is that the only side to 2-0 them during the split is C9.
For FLY, they come into the series off the back of a surprisingly close 3-2 series against EG. With games one and two looking so easy, the series against C9 looked all but locked in. FLY lost momentum in games three and four and it looked a little dire but they pulled it back in game five to get their series against C9. The series will have given C9 food for thought, with FLY exposing potential weaknesses in both their draft and playstyle. FLY does look like a side that can take games of C9, however, the series against EG might just have shown the wheels falling off the FLY wagon so we think it will be a 3-1 to C9.
Team Liquid v Golden Guardians
This is probably not the Upper Bracket game people expected to see TL play. When TSM was handed the series against GG, TL probably fully expected to meet TSM in Round Two. However, TSM saw a complete collapse against GG and looked completely out of the series. TL has a 2-0 record against GG in the regular season, so confidence will be high at the TL camp. GG’s 3-0 of TSM will have them full of confidence though and it could prove to be a tricky series for TL.
TL is not an infallible side by any stretch. Of their three losses in Summer Split, two have come at the hands of the top 4 sides, with just one series being dropped against EG. TL will have the quality across the lanes and jungle to take down GG, though we’d expect the series to be a cautious one from TL, especially in game one. For that reason, we put a lot of emphasis on game one in the series, if TL can take the early 1-0 then the series should be pretty safe for them. GG do look like they have a win in them, however, we suspect TL will be out to prove a point and show that GG’s win v TSM isn’t to be repeated. So we think a 3-0 in TL’s favor is on the cards.
After more than holding their own against FLY, and eliminating 100 Thieves 3-0, EG will be looking good for their Lower Bracket series. Based on our predictions above, EG will likely face off against FLY in Round Two, a side they will certainly feel they can beat. Regardless of who they play, EG will need to pay close to attention to the three games that their Round Two opponent drops and play off that.
Depending on how you look at TSM’s Summer Split thus far they are not the team TL or GG will want to be playing in a winner takes all series. TSM will certainly feel they have a chance, but with TL being first-place finishers and GG beating them in a Bo5 already, the pressure will be on TSM to make Worlds. With only three LCS teams making it to Worlds, one of which will be via Play-ins, TSM needs to get their act together quickly as they’ll need to win at least 3 Bo3 back-to-back to have a chance at Worlds.
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