Another week in the books another 2-0 week for Cloud9. While they had some hiccups against Dignitas and the CLG game wasn’t as dominant as they expected, a win is a win. Coming up in Week 5 of the Summer Split is rival TSM and a shaky 100 Thieves team.
Previewing Week 5
Team SoloMid (TSM): 6-2 (Through Week 4)
In what is a historic and storied matchup, this occurrence will be no different. Cloud9 sits in first and TSM is tied for second with Team Liquid. Both Team Liquid and TSM have been slated as the only teams that should be able to test Cloud9. Team Liquid failed to do so in Week 3 and TSM look to put the brakes on the runaway train known as Cloud9. How likely is a TSM win? More likely than any match leading up to this game. But the gap between Cloud9 and the rest of the LCS is still rather large.
TSM made major waves between Spring and Summer Splits by finagling Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng back from Team Liquid. Doublelift originally left at the end of 2016 to join the soon to be powerhouse Team Liquid. Oddly enough, this move made both teams better. After Spring Week 4 TSM’s record was 4-4 and Team Liquid was 3-5. TSM may have finally found the piece they needed to get back to their pre-2017 form and this may be a sneak preview of the Finals for this split.
During Spring Split, TSM were the only team able to defeat Cloud9. They achieved the “unachievable” by drafting a composition aimed specifically at taking down Cloud9. The linchpin of this operation was Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg on Zilean. He was able to speed up teammates to punish slight missteps by Cloud9 as well as resurrect fallen teammates. This was a perfect counter to Cloud9’s hit and run playstyle, preventing a guaranteed TSM death.
Player to Watch: Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg (TSM)
Zilean will most likely be banned early by Cloud9 as a precaution. What champion will Bjergsen play to try to stop Cloud9 this time? Tank Fiddlesticks is a possibility; great wave clear, self-healing and his passive could scare Cloud9 into wasting important cooldowns.
As the team name implies, the team is built around Bjergsen’s midlane presence. He is the backbone of the team, even if he isn’t attracting the amount of attention of years past, he is still a force. Just as in their first Spring matchup, expect Cloud9 to ban a few of Bjergsen’s champions. Namely Syndra and the flexible Pantheon and Yasuo. Although Cloud9 won this match, they proceeded to only ban Syndra their next meeting. Which resulted in TSM dismantling Cloud9.
Prediction – Cloud9
100 Thieves: 2-6 (Through Week 4)
The start of this game marks the beginning of the second round robin for Cloud9. The first meeting did not go very well for 100 Thieves. They managed only 2 kills and one tower downed in a loss that came just under 26 minutes. Cloud9 looked to contain Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho in the top lane and Eric “Licorice” Ritchie did just that, while also throwing out his global Gangplank Ultimate to assist his team in fights.
This game should be no different as Cloud9 are still undefeated and 100 Thieves are giving Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere, their rookie Support, a shot in the LCS in place of William “Stunt” Chen. 100 Thieves also swapped Junglers with their Academy team, William “Meteos” Hartman for Juan “Contractz” Garcia. Coincidentally both started their professional careers with Cloud9, in 2013 for Meteos and 2016 for Contractz.
While these changes have had an immediate positive impact, the gap between these two teams is still very large. Cloud9 outmatches 100 Thieves in every lane, including top lane where Ssumday reigns supreme over the rest of the LCS. Licorice is just too much for one man to handle and sending Contractz to help Ssumday leaves the door open for Robert “Blaber” and Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer to run amok. While that would be a joy to see, it would blow this game wide open and 100 Thieves would not stand a chance.
Player to Watch: Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, Cloud9
100 Thieves will be starting their rookie support Poome. Both Vulcan and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen will take advantage of his limited LCS experience and punish any mistake. Poome only has two games under his belt, a loss to Golden Guardians, support Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun, and a win over the struggling Dignitas, support Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black. Both of these supports are not exactly the best support players in the LCS currently.
Anticipate an aggressive support pick for Vulcan. Pyke, Leona or maybe even a Blitzcrank game could all make sens. The point is to apply constant and antagonistic pressure on the 100 Thieves bottom lane. Cloud9 want to force Poome into mistakes and missteps and punish him. Leaving Cody “Cody Sun” Li-Yu alone and allowing the rest of Cloud9 to collapse and put 100 Thieves further behind. Vulcan will be the go button for this strategy and his plays will dictate how far ahead both he and Zven can get.
Prediction – Cloud9
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