Week six of the LCS Spring Split is upon us. Though this weekend should prove to be interesting for most teams, the match up between Team SoloMid and Cloud9 will be the spectacle of them all. Both teams have proven their skill and shown their reasoning for being among the top three so far. This match will most likely be the most important of the split for each squad, as they battle for second place.
Team SoloMid: Smoothie’s Team
TSM has turned it around these past few weeks, as they now sit in third place behind Cloud9 and Team Liquid. There have been plenty of positive forces that have helped this team get to this spot, but none are as big as Andy “Smoothie” Ta in the bot lane.
Smoothie has single-handedly won his lane in each of their last four matches. His play on Thresh and Tahm Kench has been top-class, as he has a combined 3.87 K/D/A between the two. Much like we saw in TSM’s recent victory over CLG, his incredible play-making abilities make it nearly impossible for their opponents to build up or maintain any lead.
In addition to Smoothie’s impact, TSM’s overall play-style has been working flawlessly as of recent. Though they had a slip up in the beginning stages of their win over FlyQuest last week, TSM likes to build up an advantage in the top side of the map. Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham usually sets up his top laner, Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, with a few kills and plenty of wards in the river and enemy jungle. Akaadian’s play on Sejuani has been spectacular recently and his K/D/A of 7.5 shows it. Picking a tankier jungler gives Broken Blade the opportunity to pick a higher DPS champion, like Jayce or Irelia, so he can get an advantage early on.
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has also stepped up his play recently to make things look even better for TSM. His aggressive mentality and overall skill-set makes ganking his lane much easier. Even if he starts off poorly, Bjergsen will focus on maintaining a solid gold advantage by farming to keep himself in the game.
On top of that, he’ll make sure to roam to other lanes to help stack advantages on his teammates. This makes him a threat as a carry and as a supportive mid-laner. Overall this team’s focus is getting advantages early on, so if they can stack kills and gold in the top lane it should be easier for them to close the game out. As long as there are no slip ups or miscommunications in the early stages of this game, expect TSM to give Cloud9 a run for their money.
Defense Wins Championships
One thing that has stood out for Cloud9 so far has been their defensive mentality. Of course you’ll see Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi playing aggressive in the bot lane if given the chance, but this team prioritizes vision control and team play. Both of these concepts take a while to perfect while in-game, so most of their matches take at least thirty minutes to finish up. Most of their team kills come from organized ganks, roams and fights, and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen has been at the core of every single one of them.
Unlike Akaadian from TSM, Svenskeren prefers to pick high-damage champions like Nocturne and Camille. As a result, he has a 100% win-rate on both champions so far and it has helped his laners tremendously. Both Camille and Nocturne have significant gap-closing abilities to make ganking much more efficient. More often than not, he’ll force an opponent to use their flash in his first pass-by and make a second run soon after to solidify their advantage.
Later into the game, Cloud9 switches gears to all-out vision control. Every member of the team will make sure to have an inventory slot open to fill with two control wards and use them accordingly. When baron is in play, C9 makes sure to clear the entire top side of the map of enemy wards and place their own to control the flow of the game. This ward coverage forces enemies to stay in lanes with teammates as opposed to roaming in the jungle or river. Their advantage in vision ultimately gives Cloud9 total control of most objectives and fights.
This defensive mindset will be put up to the task of handling an aggressive TSM squad this Sunday. Cloud9 will need to play as smart and safe as possible to limit TSM’s jungle and top side pressure. Sneaky and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam will be key factors in Cloud9’s success as well. Their play in the bot lane has been almost unstoppable this split, which will make Smoothie’s job of dictating his lane much harder. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen will be faced with a tough match up as well in the bot lane, as Sneaky has his K/D/A doubled. It will also be interesting to see how the pick and ban phase goes for both teams, because of their polar differences in play-style. No matter how this match goes, it will surely be one of the best we’ve seen so far this split.
Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports.
Follow Brayden on Twitter and Instagram: @staybrayzy
From Our Haus to Yours.