The NA LCS Summer Split has been filled with ups and downs for every team. At the end of it all, six teams remain, fighting to win it all. These playoffs will have a lot of questions surrounding it. Will the new teams in Echo Fox, 100 Thieves and Flyquest, be able to dethrone the old guards of NA in Cloud9, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid? Which teams will qualify for Worlds? And ultimately, will any team be able to dethrone Team Liquid? For them to get there, first, they need to get through the quarterfinals. So which teams will move on? Which teams will make a run to win it all? Let’s take a look
(3)100 Thieves vs (6)Flyquest
While 100 Thieves and Flyquest had very different Spring and Summer splits, they now find themselves against each other in the first quarterfinals matchup. 100 Thieves comes off another great regular season which saw them eventually take the third seed through tiebreakers. Now the team will be looking to return to the finals, where they hope to finish what they started and win a championship going into Worlds. On the other side, Flyquest has been all over the place this split, even being tied for first at one point. But they do make the playoffs at the sixth seed after missing it last split. Simply a trip to the semis would be a huge boost for this team’s confidence and morale.
The key matchup in this series will be between the two Korean top laners. While 100 Thieves often relies on Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho to be the playmaker and carry of the team, the same can easily be said for Flyquest and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong. While Ssumday has been by far the better player throughout the split, Flame is still a capable world-class player. As a result it’ll be likely that we’ll be seeing a lot of visits to the top side of the map by other players throughout the series.
While the top lane matchup will be a lot closer than most people think, the rest of the map is mostly in 100 Thieves’ favour. While Flyquest’s Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen has a small advantage against Andy “AnDa” Hoang, the rest of the players are heavily outmatched by their 100 Thieves counterparts. On top of that, 100 Thieves has looked much more cohesive in their play and rarely does nothing, mostly thanks to Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black. With all this considered, this matchup won’t be close, especially with how inconsistent Flyquest can be.
Overall, I give this series to 100 Thieves 3-0.
(4)Echo Fox vs (5)Team SoloMid
Since last season, the trajectory for both Echo Fox and Team SoloMid have drastically changed. Once kings of NA, TSM has dropped all the way to mid tier team and are constantly struggling to play at the level the players are capable of. Meanwhile, Echo Fox have finally risen to the top of the region after being stuck in the pits of relegation for two years. While both teams have had their highs and lows, they end up in similar spots. While Echo Fox has been dealing with various roster issues throughout the season, they seemed to finally find a lineup that can provide consistency. Meanwhile TSM has simply been trying to find the consistent play that makes them appear to be one of the best teams in NA, but has struggled to do so every game.
As a result, the key matchup here will revolve around that same theme, consistency, mainly in the bot lane. It is very likely that the team that takes the series will depend on which bot lane tandem can find their high level of consistent play. If the TSM bot lane of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez can find their world-class level of play, then TSM can easily take the series, otherwise it’ll be time for the team to look towards the Gauntlet. Meanwhile, if Echo Fox’s tandem of Lawrence “Lost” Hui and Andy “Smoothie” Ta can find their synergy and gain an advantage in lane, Echo Fox will easily take over the series.
While the series can be close on paper, their recent matchup in the tiebreakers has shown another story. If TSM can’t get it together for a long BO5 series and simply does nothing for a majority of the game, Echo Fox will easily take the series. However, if Zven and Mithy can play at the level they showed in EU and Jonathan “Grig” Armao can contain Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett in the jungle, TSM can easily take the series and look towards potentially returning to their throne on the top of NA once again. However in the long run, Echo Fox has simply looked better recently and has a good matchup playstyle-wise against TSM.
Because of this, I give the series to Echo Fox 3-1.
A common theme among the two quarterfinals matchups are teams trying to find their consistent level of play. While this may be fine for now, two very consistent teams in Cloud9 and Team Liquid await them in the semifinals. While the quarterfinals matchups will be entertaining, the teams need to be prepared for the challenge that awaits them after.
To watch the NA LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Twitter.
Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38.
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