To be honest, there is a very solid chance EG won’t win this series. As explained in this previous article, EG needed to place fifth to stand a better chance of making it through a BO5. Now EG are here, facing TSM who very well could make a losers run to finals. The old adage of reaping and sowing comes to mind.
With all of that being said, there is a chance Evil Geniuses can win this. Here is how.
SKT vs SKT:
One of the coolest parts about TSM is that there is so much history between three of their players. Back when PowerOfEvil was on Misfits he beat SwordArt on Flashwolves in the Group Stage of Worlds 2017. Misfits made it out of groups and then played SKT T1. Who was the Top Laner? It was Huni. Huni beat POE in a close 3-2 series. SKT didn’t win worlds that year, but guess who did win Worlds with SKT? Impact.
Old history aside, the SKT boys have both had great splits. Huni has shown up once again proving the haters wrong and Impact has carried over his solid performances from TL. There is even an argument that Impact is performing better than on TL. All of this is to say this is a battle of the #2 and #3 Top Laners in the LCS.
For Evil Geniuses, playing through Top Side is not the way they win this. Sure, Huni is clearly gankable and Impact is a great performer. So why not? The answer is simple. Huni is going to probably be on tanks. In the series versus Team Liquid, Huni was on some more carry style champs. He played Rumble, AP Gragas and Camille. While Huni was not the reason they lost, there is a good chance versus Impact they just ignore top side and don’t play through Huni. Huni seems destined for tank duty. For both teams, just leaving Top on an island seems like the right move.
Now of course, if there is a draft like Renekton vs Rumble for instance, the game plan changes. Everything is circumstantial so acting like it won’t change is just simply ignorant. TSM had some awful drafts that Huni got the raw end of. The Rumble game? He had no front line or set up. The AP Gragas game? They had no damage or AP threat besides Seraphine. So there is still a chance they roll the dice on him with a Jayce or something similar. Huni though has had his best performances just owning the tank card up in Top Lane. EG should know this and do something similar with the exception of a curveball or counterpick.
Spica is not having a good split. Analyst keep acting like Spica is doing well and frankly, it’s a bit bewildering. It feels like they want to protect the LCS North American Talent angle, but with stats like these, well, they speak for themselves. Spica is ninth in the LCS for KP at 61.8%. He has a -38 GD@10, -52 XPD@10, and -1.9 CSD@10. His DPM is eighth at 265. But alright, those stats are bad. But maybe Spica is good at objectives? Nope. 39% first dragon along with 48% dragon rate. Elder? 33%.
Now admittedly, Spica does have a high Baron rate of 76%. What these stats do show though is an early game struggle for TSM and lack of objective control. This is where EG need to strike and commit everything. This means Spica is target banned. Don’t let him get Hecarim, Olaf or Lillia if possible. Spica did not look that good on Udyr during the TL series and his other champs are hit or miss such as Skarner.
Of course, EG won’t be able to ban out everything, but based on their gameplan, some of these more potent Spica bans should certainly be considered.
Now analysts and fans alike have been very critical of Svenskeren as well, but he is no worse than Spica and possibly better this split. Spica is the weak point of TSM and he should be exploited for it. EG need to draft with priority in Mid and Bot to force Dragon Stacking. This is how they kill TSM and prevent them from turning it around late.
This is probably where TSM have the biggest advantage to be honest. PowerOfEvil has had an amazing split with highlight-reel play after highlight-reel play. On the other hand, Jiizuke has had sitcom laugh track moments followed by highlight-reel plays. Jiizuke can clearly play great. This is known due to his insanely high DPM and even playing well against TSM in Week 6. The difference is that PowerOfEvil has never been a liability all split. His consistency in late gameplay has been astounding and carried TSM to victories.
Is there a chance that Jiizuke can pull out some good winning lanes vs POE? Yes. He totally can. Specifically, with his iconic Ryze or Ekko, he can cause havoc on the rift. With this being said, POE will not lose lane every time and there is a good chance TSM will look to ban his champs. Jiizuke on Ekko is vastly different than Jiizuke on Syndra. EG need Jiizuke to break out in these games or else Mid will certainly be gapped.
One thing that has been repeated in articles on this site is how underrated the EG Bot Lane is. Deftly and IgNar have been putting up very respectable numbers in spite of the question mark surrounding them before the start of the season. The best part? Deftly doesn’t die. Deftly only has 30 deaths all split, the lowest for the ADC role. Followed up by respectable stats like the second-highest DPM, a positive CSD@10 and mid range stats for everything else, Defly is criminally underrated.
IgNar has been a solid second half to the Bot Lane as well. While he is not performing as well as he did on Flyquest, IgNar puts up some solid stats in both WPM and WCPM, DPM and Assists. He is doing fine and has even played off-meta picks like Neeko. But what IgNar is playing against is one of the best Supports in the LCS. SwordArt is having an amazing split. Despite a rough start, he decimated IgNar in virtually every statistic. Sure, SwordArt is on a winning team, but for stuff like WPM and WCPM, Newbie on Golden Guardians leads. SwordArt is second. A player doesn’t need to be on a winning team to destroy and place more wards.
Despite SwordArt’s stellar performance, Lost is a little Lost. He is last in the LCS for DPM. His XP, CD, and CSD? All negative. His warding? Bad. Now to be fair, Lost is often left alone in the Bot Lane while SwordArt roams, but besides Spica, Lost is a target that EG should focus on. The issue of course is that Bot is not a solo lane. EG need to attack SwordArt as well. If SwordArt goes roaming though, Svenskeren better proc that Turbo Chemtank in the Bot Lane and go for the kill.
1 3 1:
Despite everything said here, there is value in going for a 1 3 1 composition versus TSM. This was brought up on The Dive and frankly, there are some solid points. Jiizuke is really comfortable on the split along with Impact on a stronger pick. Tthrow Deftly, Svenskeren and IgNar in the Mid Lane and see what happens. There is a very good chance EG tries this in at least one of their games. They have players who can do it and TSM lost to TL who did it to them.
TSM may have ended second in the Spring Split, but they can lose to EG. Despite covering and analyzing EG all year, this series is incredibly unpredictable. TSM SHOULD win, Team Solomid is priced as the favorite to win the game by bookmakers with odds 1.55 at CYBER.BET. New players can use promo code TOP100 for a 100% bonus on their first deposit. Other odds available: over 4.5 maps @ 2.55 / under 4.5 maps @ 1.41. That said, it does not equal will win. TSM played bad and drafted bad versus Liquid. EG have been waiting two weeks and are ready to crack their knuckles and stomp a team. If TSM repeat those same mistakes there is no doubt that EG will be ready to punish them. If TSM plays more like their regular split self, well, EG loses. This will be an exciting series regardless and one of the two most exciting rosters will fall out of the Mid Season Showdown.