Competition in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Summer season is heating up. Now in its latter half, the LCS starts its second round robin with a shocking day of upsets. The standings are in flux now more than ever, and teams are scrambling to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Kicking off Week 6, four teams will clash on Friday to attempt to secure crucial wins. First up, a resurgent 100 Thieves battle a stumbling Team Solo Mid (TSM). Then it’ll be Team Liquid (TL) looking to assert their position at the top against an Evil Geniuses (EG) squad in freefall.
100 Thieves vs Team Solo Mid
100 Thieves conclude Week 5 triumphant. After a difficult start, the team is looking on the rise since the changes to the starting line-up. Juan “Contractz” Arturio Garcia is playing phenomenally in the jungle compared to William “Meteos” Hartman. At support, Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere is a shining star in his LCS debut season.
With a boost to the two supportive roles on the team, the 100 Thieves laners seem much more comfortable. Special mention goes to legendary top-laner Chan-ho “Ssumday” Kim, who after months or years of Tank duty got to show his stuff with stellar games on Jayce and Camille. This culminated in a victory over FlyQuest, and then a shocking upset over the seemingly-untouchable Cloud9.
On the other end, TSM is reeling from an 0-2 week. The loss to Cloud9 was expected, but their defeat by Immortals was shocking. Particularly poor this weekend was top-laner Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik. An uninspired Mordekaiser against Cloud9 and then an abysmal Wukong against Immortals made for a K/D/A of 1/8/2 over the weekend, with very low impact.
The current bright spot on TSM’s roster is mid-laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. His play has been consistently good this Summer even in losses across several different picks. The bot lane duo of Yiliang Peter “Doublelift” Peng and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has been steady, but not the dominant lane kingdom one would expect from someone of Doublelift’s name recognition.
This match-up is a difficult one to predict. 100 Thieves are climbing steadily higher and TSM is struggling to avoid slipping into the melee of mid to low-tier LCS teams. Their most recent form favors 100 Thieves. Contractz and Ssumday had a spectacular week 5: 100 Thieves should lean into those strengths to secure first blood and early Rift Herald by pressuring TSM's weak top-side.
The Rift Herald should give 100 Thieves the first tower. TSM’s consistent bottom lane should outperform 100 Thieves’ duo, whose talents shine outside of the laning phase, which should give TSM the room to respond by taking the first dragon. Overall, though, if 100 Thieves draft well and continue to attack Broken Blade, then TSM’s side lanes should collapse over the course of the game, giving 100 Thieves the win.
Team Liquid vs Evil Geniuses
The other match of the day also features teams that went 2-0 and 0-2 respectively this last weekend. Team Liquid currently holds second place in the LCS, but it is a tenuous position. The team has looked very shaky these past few weeks.
This past weekend was a step in the right direction, but Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen has not lived up to the level expected of a recent World’s finalist. Team Liquid’s best performers were top-laner Eon-yeong “Impact” Jung (with a stellar Shen game against Counter Logic Gaming) and support Yong-in “CoreJJ” Jo (who took over the game as Bard against Golden Guardians).
These two players lead the way for TL and define the current slow, methodical playstyle for which TL was once known and renowned. In the current chaos of the LCS, a controlled playstyle defined by good leadership and objective focus makes all the difference. This is evident by their five-game win streak. Now all TL need is for Broxah to deliver more of the superstar performances expected of someone with his name value.
In contrast, Evil Geniuses are a complete mess in the server. All five players never seem to be in sync and on the same page. Their two best players are mid-laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro and bot-laner Jun-sik “Bang” Bae, but the two never seem to want the same thing. Jiizuke plays a wild, impatient style that constantly tries to split-push. Meanwhile, Bang is attempting to slowly scale up and take controlled five-on-five team fights around key objectives.
For EG to win, it either requires herculean individual performances from Jiizuke or Bang, or for opponents to opt into EG’s disorganized mess. In any match with even a modicum of structure, EG’s oxymoronic playbook will see the team implode on itself.
This match goes heavy in Team Liquid’s favor. Barring unexpected outplays, EG has not demonstrated enough cohesion to outplay TL’s disciplined approach to the game. First blood may go to EG if Broxah continues to falter in early skirmishes, but otherwise, all early objectives should go towards TL. From there, TL should be able to choke EG out of the game while the EG players defeat themselves trying to figure out what they want to do.
The LCS matches begin on Friday, June 17. The day starts with 100 Thieves vs TSM at 6 p.m. PST, followed by Team Liquid against Evil Geniuses. The broadcast is available to watch on the LCS Twitch and YouTube channels. For those interested, viewers can also place bets on the games on Thunderpick.
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