With only four matches left for each team in the LCS, it’s becoming crunch time for a lot of teams in the ‘clump’. The bottom six teams are still in the hunt for the playoffs, making these final two weeks quite interesting. The most interesting and important match this weekend will be GGS v. CG. The Golden Guardians are tied with Optic Gaming for the fifth place spot, while Clutch Gaming sits just one game behind. One team will be hoping to secure a spot in the spring playoffs, and the other will be looking to stay alive for another week.
The Not-So-Clutch, Clutch Gaming
CG’s spring split hasn’t been the most glamorous or eye-grabbing. At 5-9, they need a few things to go in their favor before they’ll even have a shot at the spring playoffs. First and foremost, Clutch has Team Liquid ahead of them on Saturday, an easy blowout in the eyes of a Team Liquid fan.
After that, they’ll get a shot at the Golden Guardians who will be coming off of a tough match against TSM. If Clutch manages a miracle win over TL, they could easily ride that momentum into their match against GGS. However, a loss to Team Liquid would slowly diminish their chances of making the playoffs. Beating GGS in the following match would keep CG alive for another week depending on the rest of the league. Either way, wins are needed this weekend for Clutch Gaming.
CG Must Consider All Options of Winning
A winning force that Clutch should consider pulling out is the Irelia bot. Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin is 3-0 so far on Irelia, his best win rate on any champion this split. Not only would this pick benefit their team as a whole, but it would put a lot of pressure on the bot side of the map. If Clutch prepares around this well enough, they could easily set up fights near dragon and in the bot lane to help Piglet scale even better.
However, they would need to be quick and efficient with these fights. Four members of CG average 2.3 deaths or higher each match, putting them towards the bottom of the league in efficiency. A team with a 3.17 K/D/A is not how Clutch wants to be remembered this split, so they’ll need to be more cohesive as a team in whatever they do in the coming weeks. On the bright side, Clutch is 1-0 against the Golden Guardians so far this season.
The Folding Guardians
The Golden Guardians are in a tough spot in the rankings. Though they would make the playoffs if the regular season ended today, GGS has a tough schedule ahead of them.
Third place TSM will be their first opponent this weekend, followed by Clutch Gaming on Sunday. Next week they’ll face Optic Gaming, who they’re currently tied with, and well-knit FlyQuest team the following day. Their overall team K/D/A of 2.98 has been reflective of their play so far, especially against the top two teams as GGS is 0-4 combined against Cloud9 and Team Liquid. Needless to say, they can’t get comfortable just yet.
Consistency is Key
GGS has been very inconsistent this season, so they’ll need to stay in the bounds of their game plan. Matthew “Deftly” Chen and Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell have been handling most of the load for the Golden Guardians so far, both staying mainly consistent with their champion selections as well. Hauntzer likes to play higher DPS champions, such as Urgot and Ryze, but he has the ability to effectively play tankier champions like Sion. Deftly has also stayed true to his high-burst play style by playing Ezreal, Lucian and Draven very well. If these two can pick champions in their respective wheelhouses while Juan “Contractz” Garcia limits his death totals, GGS can grab a nice win over Clutch this weekend.
Since Clutch is fairly desperate to make the playoffs, it’s fair to expect some unorthodox methods coming into this match. CG struggles with keeping their members alive much like GGS does, so as long as they don’t force too many fights, GGS will be the favorite to win. However, Clutch definitely has hidden aces up their sleeve with Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon in the top-lane and Piglet carrying the bot-lane. If CG can establish a solid lead early by picking off Contractz or Hauntzer, they have a chance at turning the tables and taking an important win.
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