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Team Liquid: LCS Summer Playoffs Preview

A look at Team Liquid's matchup with Clutch Gaming in this week's LCS Summer Semifinals

After a bye week in the first round, top-seeded Team Liquid are poised for a great run in this season’s Summer Playoffs. The road to this point was rather smooth, but that doesn’t mean it will remain the same going forward. Other teams – like Cloud9 – have made their cases as to why they should take home the championship. However, Team Liquid have been setting the LCS on fire with a streak of three titles in a row, so what could possibly be in their way?

Prologue

Heading into the Semifinals, Team Liquid are coming off of a scorching hot 14-4 Summer Split. They were the clear frontrunners from Week 4 on, securing their spot in the playoffs well before the rest of the league.

Despite dropping their only two games to Cloud9, this TL squad is locked in. Their ability to stay high and keep the train rolling is second to none in the LCS. This has been seen a lot this season, considering Team Liquid haven’t lost consecutive games (excluding playoffs) all year. Now, they’ll be looking to ride the momentum built from their Week 8 loss into the Summer Playoffs.

LCS Summer Semifinals

Team Liquid: LCS Summer Semifinals Preview
Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.

The Summer Semifinals kick off this weekend with two more best-of-five series, featuring Cloud9 v. CLG and Team Liquid v. Clutch Gaming. After C9 and CLG play on Saturday, TL get their shot at making their fourth consecutive LCS Finals the following day. So far this season, Team Liquid have bested CG in all four of their matches. TL have won each of their matches against Clutch by an average of 10.9k gold. Needless to say, there is a clear line that separates these two teams.

Over the course of the season, the story has been about Team Liquid’s Bottom Lane duo. Peter ‘Doublelift‘ Peng and Yong-in ‘CoreJJ‘ Jo have been simply unstoppable this year, even breaking ground internationally at MSI. These two are easily the most capable and forceful duo in North America and there isn’t much that Clutch can do to stop them. Surely Cody Sun and Philippe ‘Vulcan‘ Laflamme are viable opponents, but they’re no where near as dominant as Doublelift and CoreJJ.

Even though TL have controlled this series, CG have shown their flashiness in recent weeks. They recently ended the Summer Split with three straight wins, including a win over the playoff hopeful 100 Thieves. This doesn’t mean that they’ll walk away with a series win, but it definitely gives them a bit of hope. Team Liquid haven’t made it easy on them thus far and likely won’t let up this weekend.

Predictions

A preview of Team Liquid vs Clutch Gaming in the LCS Summer Semifinals
Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

If all goes according to plan, this should be a rather easy series win for Team Liquid. They hold the advantage on paper in every matchup across the board, making them the clear favorite. With top tier players like Eon-yeong ‘Impact‘ Jung on their roster, it’s hard to imagine TL even dropping one game to Clutch this weekend. They’ve undoubtedly been the most sound team in the LCS to this point.

With that being said, there’s still a slight possibility that CG make it a competitive series. Team Liquid have been prone to slipping up every now and again, so there’s no reason why Clutch can’t take advantage of them the same way EchoFox did in Week 2. If they capitalize on TL’s mistakes, they could easily swing the momentum in their favor. However, Team Liquid rarely make mistakes when the pressure is on.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.

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