After an undefeated Week 2, Cloud9 sets their sights on Team Liquid and Immortals to continue their winning ways in Week 3. With their dominating showing versus Evil Geniuses and a slightly less commanding game against Golden Guardians, Cloud9 are in a good spot.
Team Liquid: 3-1 (through Week 2)
After an abysmal Spring Split, Team Liquid have roared back and currently sit in 2nd place, right behind Cloud9. Team Liquid were part of the biggest story of the offseason after Spring Split, when Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng left the team to join TSM. Many pegged Team Liquid as the losers in this move, but through four games they have a better record than TSM.
If Team Liquid wants to regain their throne as Kings of North America they have to go through Cloud9. Team Liquid will be out for blood looking to unseat the reigning champions. This game may be a Finals preview as they are even matched in terms of skill. The only difference being Team Liquid has a slightly less experienced bottom lane. And that difference is pretty big, Edward “Tactical” Ra has only seven games experience in the LCS, with both Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme having more than doubled that play time in Spring Split alone.
This match will be the benchmark for who won the Doublelift move. Team Liquid have shown they are still a top team with a win against TSM (2-2). But how will they fair against the top of the LCS in Cloud9? Expect a game similar to their final meeting in Spring. Team Liquid has the tools to challenge Cloud9, but how well can they utilize those tools?
Player to Watch: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
“Bot Difference” is a meme, but in this game that might be the reason for a Cloud9 victory. If Cloud9 plays blue side, an Aphelios or Miss Fortune will most likely be the first pick in Pick/Ban Phase. But, knowing this team, they are going to pull out some off-meta pick like Syndra to harass Tactical. Of course Team Liquid can easily ban out the bottom lane of Cloud9, but that will just leave a power pick open for another Cloud9 lane.
Due to this difference in experience and skill, Team Liquid Support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in will look to play “Protect the ADC” the whole game. Tahm Kench or Braum are the best bet for the CoreJJ while Lulu or Yuumi would also be expected to make an appearance. Cloud9 will target Tactical early and often, with Zven being charged with consistently damaging him for easier ganks from Robert “Blaber” Huang.
Prediction – Cloud9
Immortals 0-4 (through Week 2)
Overall Immortals don’t matchup very well at all against Cloud9, or really any LCS team given their current state. They benched two of their best players in Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent. In their place veteran Austin “Gate” Yu and rookie Nicholas “Potluck” Pollock. A move completely from left field, this left many in the community questioning the motives of Immortals and what they are trying to do.
They decided to double down and part ways with General Manager Keaton “Keaton” Cryer and Head Coach Thomas “Zaboutine” Si-Hassen on June 24th. While these are head scratching moves, you have to tear something all the way down to build it back up and may actually be a blessing in disguise. Xmithie and Hakuho may make their season debuts, along with a new coaching staff, in this game. Although their presence will hardly effect the outcome of this game.
On the bright side, the only place this team can go is up. Only Potluck has a KDA higher than 1 at 1.2, while Eika sits at exactly 1. Not a single player on Immortals has recorded a game with more kills than deaths. In order to even challenge Cloud9, teams have to be able to trade kills at the very least.
Will Immortals win a game this split? Maybe. Will they beat Cloud9? Only if Cloud9 goes full troll picks. Even then it would be a toss up.
Player to Watch: Robert “Blaber” Huang, Cloud9
Who is the most dominant Jungler in the LCS currently? Blaber. Who is the newest Jungler in the LCS? Potluck. Blaber may as well be playing Cho’Gath because he’s going to be feasting all game. The champion Blaber plays will not matter as much this game. He could probably choose a losing matchup and still come out on top.
This game may be Blaber’s Magnum Opus for the split. Cloud9 pulled a speed-run on Evil Geniuses and now it’s time for Blaber to shine. It would be a surprise to see Blaber not a hard carry this game. Blaber will be on a carry this game; Olaf, Kindred or Nidalee are expected to make an appearance.
Prediction – Cloud9
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