The League Championship Series (LCS) is winding down, with Week 7 coming up this weekend. Counter Logic Gaming suffered their first 0-2 week, and it comes at a bad time. CLG dropped from tied for first to tied for third with Team Liquid and Cloud9 clearly ahead. To make matters worse, the two teams they lost to are the two teams directly behind them in the standings–TSM and Golden Guardians. Week 6 could prove to have been the most important week of the split, depending on how the Summer Split ends.
For Week 7, CLG faces Flyquest and C9. FLY and C9 are 3-1 in their last four games, with FLY currently ninth and C9 second. These games are important in their own ways. A win versus C9 helps CLG even the head-to-head score and moves CLG up to tie with C9. A win versus FLY is expected at this point, so losing would allow TSM and GGS to get another chance to tie or surpass CLG in the standings.
Day 1 – FlyQuest
FLY enters Week 7 off a win against GGS and a loss against TL. They executed a creative draft and V1per put on his typical carry Riven performance against GGS. Versus TL, FLY slowly ceded gold until an explosive teamfight which resulted in Baron and a fed Corki for Jensen. Both of these matches played pretty quietly for 20 minutes until FLY either won a fight and got Baron or lost a fight and lost the Baron.
Matching up against FLY should be relatively easy for CLG. Teamfighting is the biggest strength for both of these teams, CLG is just generally better in the early game and executes fights more consistently. The drafts for FLY and CLG do not overlap too much, so expect them both to come away with picks they prefer. CLG will prioritize Aatrox, Trundle, Leblanc, Sivir and Lux. FLY will prioritize Kennen, Rek’Sai, Ryze, Xayah and Tahm Kench.
Statistically, CLG is just straight up better. Their differences at 15 are higher. Their damage and KDA are higher. Even their objective control is higher. Kill participation across the team is a significant difference, but not necessarily better. V1per, Santorin and Pobelter have higher participation than Ruin, Wiggily and PowerOfEvil. It doesn’t necessarily mean much by itself, except more of FLY’s members contribute to kills together. More of CLG’s kills come from fewer members at a time, meaning more solo kills and 2-v-2 skirmishes.
Player to Watch: Ruin
When these two teams matched up in Week 4, Pobelter had one of his worst games in recent memory. FLY’s mid laner finished 1-7-3 on Irelia, which was first-round picked. Ruin and PowerOfEvil actually swapped lanes to put Ruin’s Renekton versus the Irelia. Pobelter secured First Blood, but Biofrost’s Lux killed him shortly afterwards. From there, both teams put a lot of resources into playing around mid lane. Pobelter gained a bit of a lead, but never really turned it into much.
V1per has also become FLY’s biggest threat this split. His Riven has won two out of three games, making the 1-v-1 with Ruin pretty juicy. Both of these players play the Kennen when necessary, but V1per will play Riven, Irelia or Jax, and Ruin has picked Aatrox, Renekton and Jayce. With so many volatile match-ups, Ruin will have his work cut out for him.
Day 2 – Cloud9
C9 most recently lost to Echo Fox and beat TSM, but CLG should probably look more towards TSM’s strategy than FOX’s. FOX fell behind early and essentially out-scaled C9 with Gangplank and Corki to begin winning fights and taking Barons. TSM, on the other hand, ran away with the game and then completely threw (as usually suggested, check out PapaSmithy’s review). Drafting lane phase power and forcing C9 onto scaling is the way to go.
CLG could totally recreate this scenario versus C9. Banning seven possible mid laners and three supports is completely doable for CLG, considering PowerOfEvil is happy to play Orianna or Viktor and Biofrost the Thresh or Pyke. The only dangerous response would be C9’s Gragas-Yasuo combination. Based on stats, C9 is better at fighting and neutral objectives, while CLG is better in lane and early game macro. C9’s gold differential indicates they snowball leads a bit better.
Last time these two teams matched up CLG locked in a true scaling composition that lacked engage. C9 capitalized by drafting Sejuani and Braum for engage, and Irelia-Akali-Kai’Sa for dive and damage. CLG will want to avoid falling into this trap. If they take mostly peel and scaling, Wiggily at least needs an engage jungler. Sejuani, Jarvan IV and Sylas will be hotly contested in this draft.
Player to Watch: PowerOfEvil
Between Yasuo, Sylas and Veigar, Nisqy has truly stood out as a powerhouse for C9 this split. He plays aggressively in lane and is not afraid to spearhead riskier plays. PowerOfEvil is much more reactive, but understands where and when to roam. He coordinates very well with the rest of the team, and it is rare to see him make egregious mistakes. However, his preference for scaling mid laners, like Orianna, Viktor, Syndra and Corki could be CLG’s Achilles heel. C9 will most likely ban the Leblanc, but if it is left up CLG should definitely pick it for PoE. His proactive playstyle versus GGS last week could put C9 on the back foot.
All statistics from Games of Legends