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Golden Guardians’ Last Chance in the 2020 LCS Spring Split

With the final games of the 2020 LCS Spring Split this weekend, it’s Golden Guardians’ last chance to make playoffs. After last week’s games, the minimum amount of wins for a playoff chance is 8. With an 0-2 weekend, Golden Guardians now sit at 6-10 and two games behind 5th and 6th place 100T and Immortals. While there is a plethora of playoff possibilities, in the world of Golden Guardians, it’s a more narrow view. The most realistic scenarios revolve around Immortals and/or 100T going 0-2 and Team Liquid not winning more than one game. With the way tiebreakers work, in a two-way tie, head-to-head is used first. If that record is the same, then a single tiebreaker game is played. However, if more than one team is tied then it get’s more complicated. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios where GG can get a tiebreaker, assuming they go 2-0 this week.

IMT go 0-2, TL go 0-2

While there are a lot of perquisites, it’s not an implausible outcome. Immortals have had a weak second half of the split and play Dignitas and EG. Although Dignitas has not looked strong either, it is still a winnable game for them. Look for Froggen to have a strong game against Eika, who has had an unimpressive inaugural LCS split. Immortals will then face off against Evil Geniuses, who are making an impressive end of season run for the second seed. So, if Immortals (arguably the weakest top 6 team at the moment) goes 0-2, then anyone finishing with 8 wins enters a tiebreaker scenario.

During the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Week 7 at the LCS Arena on March 9, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, USA. (Photo by Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games)

Dignitas plays TSM in their final game of the split. While beating Immortals would be a strong showing, TSM is a different beast. If they were able to pull off an upset, then they would most likely go into a three way tiebreaker with GG and Immortals. 100T could finish as low as 8-10, but they should be able to pick up a victory against CLG – if they were upset, then a four-way tiebreaker could be a complicated possibility. In a three-way tie, Golden Guardians would face Dignitas in a single tiebreaker game and then the winner would face Immortals in a final tiebreaker for the #6 seed. If Dignitas goes 1-1, then GG would play IMT in a single game tiebreaker for the #6 seed. If Immortals and 100T both win at least one game, then Golden Guardians cannot make playoffs.

100T go 0-2, TL IMT or Dignitas finish 8-10

Since 100T has a 2-0 record against Golden Guardians, the only way they would play in a tiebreaker would be if at least one additional team finished 8-10. Although this would require a big upset from CLG, it’s still a possibility. Team Liquid has a tough schedule against FlyQuest and C9, so a 7-11 or 8-10 finish is very possible.

During the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series at the LCS Arena on March 7, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, USA. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

As mentioned earlier, Immortals is also on the precipice of finishing 8-10. This outcome is one of the most exciting. If all three of those happen, combined with a Dignitas 1-1 and GG 2-0 weekend, then we could be looking at a five-way tie for two spots.

Outlook

In the end, Golden Guardians, Dignitas and Team Liquid are all rooting for IMT or 100T to go 2-0. Team Liquid has some more wiggle room being since they could finish as high as 9-9. However, the most likely outcomes revolve around one of the bottom two teams bombing out. For Golden Guardians, they will need to step up their play compared to last weekend. Anything less than a 2-0 weekend will eliminate them. They match up well into CLG with Closer against Wiggly and FBI against a changing bot lane, but FlyQuest will be tough. Goldenglue, in particular, will need to step up. After a rough Week 8, he’ll be against PowerOfEvil who is pushing for the title of best mid NA. Additionally, Ignar has had an impressive split and could exploit Huhi in the bottom lane.

The best tiebreaker they could ask for from a matchup perspective would be Immortals. In a world where 100T beats CLG, IMT goes 0-2, T-l goes 0-2 and Dignitas goes 1-1, GG gets a single game tiebreaker. You win, you’re in at number six. Not only would it be the fewest games required to win, but this would accommodate Immortals’ inconsistency. The mid lane matchup is one that Goldenglue should be at a minimum even with and the same goes in the bottom lane. While Apollo and Hakuho have great synergy, FBI still has top tier stats in the LCS amongst ADCs.

Unfortunately for Golden Guardians, they will need to rely on other teams to make playoffs. The best thing to do at this point for teams is to focus on their own games. If Team A doesn’t win, then Team B’s results don’t even matter. They just have to put themselves in position to play a tiebreaker for a spot. As we’ve seen in previous splits, once the tiebreakers start coming into play, anything can happen.

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James Clee

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