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Golden Guardians Week 7 Preview – A tough road ahead

After a weekend of mixed emotions finished at 1-1, there is no rest for the weary. Golden Guardians face Dignitas and Cloud9 in week 7. Currently tied for sixth at 5-7, Dignitas is a must-win game for GGS, especially considering the next opponents. They play the undefeated Cloud9 followed by the next top three teams in the league – Team Liquid, TSM, and FlyQuest. It goes without saying that if they cant beat last place CLG, then they won’t be able to make playoffs. Looking ahead, here’s what GGS needs to do in order to find success this coming weekend.

Team Dignitas (5-7)

Team Dignitas are the epitome of the coinflip team. They are usually massively ahead or hopelessly behind within 15-20 minutes of the start of the game. Jungler Grig seems to be the catalyst for their success; when he is on, the team plays well around him. When he’s off, the team has a tendency to look lost and uncoordinated. Huni has always been a feast or famine player, so he fits right in with the team. On the flip side, there is Froggen who is always a rock and Johnsun who has had a decent rookie season.

 (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

The focus should once again be mid and bot for GGS. Although FBI and Keith had an off game versus EG, the numerous calls for their heads on social media may be overblown. FBI now is in second place for damage percent share, 0.1% behind Tactical who has played 10 less games. At 31%, FBI is one of the main reasons for GGS success. Excluding the latest game against Evil Geniuses, his Aphelios has been super strong, highlighted by a pop-off 23k damage game versus Dignitas earlier in the season. If FBI is put on a champion that he can carry with, he should have a positive matchup into rookie Johnsun that GGS can play through.

Closer has continued to look strong in his inaugural LCS split. Against an inconsistent Grig, he should be able to have some success. If he continues to play champions with initiation, he can help be the “go button” that many teams lack. If the bottom side can be self-sufficient, then Closer can focus on shutting down Huni in the top Lane. Hauntzer has had an “okay” split so far, but had a very strong game on Ornn when the teams last played each other. If Huni can be shut down as well, then Golden Guardians have a good chance in this matchup.

Cloud9 (12-0)

The current final boss of the LCS has looked unstoppable in the Spring Split so far. Very few teams would be able to look at a matchup with Cloud9 and realistically say “we will win”. Perhaps overconfidence in one’s self and a hint of delusion is the key to beating them, but only time will tell. Blaber has been dumpstering opponents all split, and will be a tough matchup for Closer. Even though Closer has had strong early games with the second best [email protected] in the league, Blaber beats him out for the top spot with over double his statline. The mid lane tells a similar tale. Nisqy has been overpowering his opponents with an impressive KDA of 9.2. Goldenglue has struggled at times this split, and this matchup might have a similar outcome.

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

The Cloud9 bottom lane has been stellar this season. Zven seems revitalized and has a whopping 29.5 KDA – which is actually worse then what it was earlier this split. Additionally, on average he holds a gold lead of more than 800 above what FBI usually has. Vulcan has looked like he was worth every penny of the $1.5 million and is contesting for the spot of best support in the league. He will be a formidable opponent for Keith, which will only add to the matchup woes for Golden Guardians.

While the draft against 100 Thieves was criticized and did not end well, this may be a good game for Inero to experiment. With a game where they are the definitive underdog, playing by the book does not seem like a promising opportunity. With critical games against opponents closer in the standings coming up, this is their best chance to try something like the failed Olaf-carry comp. Perhaps they can try a new strategy to be used against other teams later in the Split? Maybe they can experiment with an unexpected counterpick to a super meta pick like Sett? Best case scenario: they find something that could work for them in the future and pull out a surprise victory. Worst case scenario: they lose a game that they’re expected to lose.  Either way, going out on a limb can’t seem to hurt.


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James Clee

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