After a disappointing Week 9 left them on the brink of elimination, Golden Guardians have made the miracle run. With a 3-0 weekend, they secured the 6th seed in the 2020 LCS Spring Split playoffs. It took some help from other teams, but Golden Guardians won the games they needed to. Once again, this year shows us that anything can happen on the last day of the split.
As the 6th seed, Golden Guardians will automatically start in the losers bracket. They await the loser of the Evil Geniuses vs. FlyQuest match up and will play on Tuesday, April 7. With EG and FlyQuest facing off this weekend, here is a look at the two teams they could potentially face.
Evil Geniuses (10-8)
After a slow start to the split, Evil Geniuses has rapidly transformed into one of the top teams in the LCS. After fans meming about C9 not handing out refunds, EG kept their word about taking down Team Liquid and finished in second place. Since TL finished 9th, the accomplishment does seem to lose some of its flair. However, the team has a lot of talent and has really clicked down the stretch, living up to preseason expectations.
Jizuke in particular looked to be disconnected from the team at the start of the split. He was getting caught out, had poor synergy with Svenskeren, and overall looked nothing like Vitality Jizuke that had popped off at worlds. However he has turned his split around, and the Italian stallion was slapping kids on his signature Ryze pick once again this weekend. His ability to dominate the mid lane and then transfer that lead to an unstoppable split push threat will be difficult for teams to handle.
World Champion ADC Bang has also looked strong in recent weeks. Similar to his time on SKT, he has been excelling when he does not need to be the hard carry of the team. Instead, he is best as a consistent damage threat with good team fighting that you can rely on. During his time on 100T, he did not look as strong when he was the sole star player in the main lineup. This year it’s different – he can let Jizuke and Svenskeren make the crazy plays while he can focus on his own game.
Overall, Evil Geniuses has been steadily improving as the split went on. If they continue on this trend, they will be peaking at just the right time. With veteran experience at every role outside of the top lane, the team should look strong in the Bo5 series coming up.
After starting off the season as the consensus number two team, FlyQuest limps into playoffs at the number four spot. They are 2-5 in their last seven games, with both wins over teams that missed playoffs. They have been experimenting with both V1per and Solo in the top lane, with both starting in games in the last two weeks. The late roster swap is indicative of the fact that they had problems they thought needed fixing. Unfortunately, the swap has had mixed results. While Solo has not been the cause of their losses, they also have continued to slide in the standings.
PowerofEvil started off the split looking like he was an MVP candidate. As the split went on, however, he seemed to lose that 1v9 potential he had been showing. By all means, he is still one of the top mid laners in playoffs though. He will have to be the main carry of the team as WildTurtle and the top lane have been turning in mixed results. If he can team up with ex-Misfits teammate Ignar to make plays around the map, he can help stabilize his other lanes.
Jungler Santorin will also be a key player if they want to see post-season success. A serious contender for the 2019 Spring Split MVP, he has struggled to regain that form. However, he has looked better on champions like Gragas that have some engage and playmaking ability. He will have a tough matchup against Svenskeren, but as long as he can stay even he can still have a positive impact on his lanes. If the jungle starts to snowball out of control in favor of EG, FlyQuest will be in a bad spot.
While the current momentum for both these teams is in different directions, they both have lots of talent. Golden Guardians will have a tough time with whoever wins this match. They will get the added bonus of watching their Bo5 match up, but will then only have a day or two to make adjustments. Any advantage they can get will be appreciated as they will be the underdogs. That shouldn’t discourage them though – just like the end of the split, on a given day anything can happen.
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