Ask FlyQuest or Team Liquid if they were happy with their playoff seeding and each franchise would answer no. Both teams had an opportunity last Sunday to climb up the ranks but came up short. For the second straight split, FlyQuest lost a tiebreaker that would have put them in a better position for playoffs. Yet unlike in the Spring split, they get to at least start in the upper bracket. Because they lost to C9 they have to play TL in the first round.
A TL win last night against 100 Thieves would have set up a tiebreaker for second place. TL was able to get Hans Samma ahead early, but a 4-5k gold lead quickly evaporated. In the mid-late game, 100T just straight up out team fought them thanks to the double healing power of Senna and Seraphine. The loss locked them into the third seed.
Heading into this first-round match-up, TL is heavily favored, but that doesn’t mean Fly don’t have the potential to play spoiler.
Despite their recent stumble against 100T, TL are peaking at the perfect time, winning four of their last five. Due to having a superstar at each role, TL can win in a variety of ways — making it super tough to gameplan against. They have the advantage in almost every lane, with the most obvious mismatch in the top lane. Bwipo will be squaring off against the rookie Philip. Dating back to his time in the LEC, Bwipo has one of the most extensive champions pools and has no problem being countered picked. In his two regular season matchups against Philip this year, Bwipo quickly jumped out to early leads and was even able to solo kill him.
TL is by far the best team in the LCS when it comes to the early game — leading the league in gold at 15 minutes (1805). To put it in perspective, Fly is sixth (-200). As long as TL drafts around their early game strengths, they should be able to snowball this series with relative ease.
For FlyQuest to pull off the massive upset, they will need almost perfect synergy between the jungle/mid duo of Josedeodo and Toucouille. When the two are communicating together, the team usually gets early priority on neutral objectives. From there, they can snowball to the late game — where ADC Johnsun has been excelling. Reunited with the legendary support Aphramoo, Johnsun has become a different player, finishing this split amongst ADCs in DPM (563), team’s damage% (28.9%), and kills (80). The problem has been for Fly to consistently reach the late game.
It will be up to Toucouille to keep his team in the game long enough for Johnsun to come online. Yet, if anyone can do it, it is their star midlaner. This split he led the LCS in player of the game nods with six. He has a deep champion pool and isn’t scared to pull out a Veigar or Zoe pocket pick.
Per Oracle Elixir, FlyQuest has an early game rating of 50.5 (6th best) and a mid/late game rating of 2.1 (4th best). Comparatively, TL has an early game rating of 67.1 (leads the LCS), but an -0.4 mid/late game rating. It will be a challenge for Fly to outlast TL’s early game, but if they can weather the storm, then that will be their window to steal the series.
Prediction: TL in 4