Esports League of Legends

NA LCS: Semifinals Preview

With a surprising quarterfinals out of the way, the NA LCS Summer Split playoffs now move on to the semifinals. Here, we’re met with two very interesting matchups on paper. On one side, we have the matchup of the juggernauts of the region in Team SoloMid and Cloud9. On the other side, we have the matchup of the new rulers of the region in Team Liquid and 100 Thieves. Which teams will move on to the finals? Will we get more upsets? Let’s take a look and see what’s in store for the NA LCS semifinals.

Cloud9 (2nd) vs Team SoloMid (5th)

Courtesy of: LoL Esports Flickr

This matchup has a lot of interesting facts behind it. For starters, both teams have never lost in the semifinals before, which will change by the end of this weekend. Then there’s the fact that Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has yet to beat TSM in a BO5 series, while C9 itself has yet to beat them in four years. So what’s going to happen this weekend? Will TSM continue their redemption run and make it to the finals? Or will C9 finally get their win off TSM and continue their spectacular season?

With recent results in mind, this should be going to C9. While TSM did pull off the upset victory over Echo Fox highlighted by pentakills for both Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, the team still looked shaky for a decent portion of the series. Meanwhile, C9 was beginning to look like the best team in the region near the end of the regular season. Unless TSM can improve even more, this could be a fairly quick series.

The key matchup for this series will be none other than the mid lane. Bjergsen and Jensen have had some incredible battles against each other in the past and that likely won’t change here. While C9 can decide to run the tandem of Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer instead, it’s very unlikely as Goldenglue will have a lot of trouble keeping up with a mid laner like Bjergsen. At the end of the day, if TSM wants to win this series, Bjergsen beating out in Jensen in lane will be where it starts.

Prediction:

While this classic matchup has often been in TSM’s favor, C9 should be the favorites by a wide margin this time around. While TSM can always pull wins out through incredible performances from any of their carries, it’s hard to find any lane in which they’ll have a real advantage in this matchup. It doesn’t help that Robert “Blaber” Huang has a huge advantage over Jonathan “Grig” Armao in the jungle.

With all this being said, I give the series to C9 with a score of 3-1. While it’s always tough to count out TSM considering their history, C9 has simply looked too good to be stopped by a fairly weak TSM.

Team Liquid (1st) vs 100 Thieves (3rd)

Courtesy of: LoL Esports Flickr

A rematch of the Spring Split finals, this matchup between Team Liquid and 100 Thieves will have guaranteed Worlds qualification on the line. Coming off of a convincing 3-0 against Flyquest, 100 Thieves will have a lot of momentum. But it may not be enough considering what they’re up against. So far this season, Team Liquid has been 6-1 in games against 100 Thieves and it’s hard to see a different result taking place in this match. Neither teams have changed their overall identity or playstyle so far this season. As a result, it’s hard to see how 100 Thieves could potentially win 3 games.

If 100 Thieves want to win, they’re going to have to focus heavily on allowing Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho to get a huge advantage in the top lane. Coincidentally, this is the key matchup for this series. For Team Liquid, an easy win will depend on Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong to keep Ssumday in check. However, if Impact struggles as he’s prone to do at times, Ssumday could easily steal a few games for 100 Thieves. On the other hand, if the rest of Team Liquid can help Impact keep Ssumday in check, we can easily see that record go up to 9-1.

Prediction:

Considering how poorly 100 Thieves have done against Team Liquid so far this season, it’s hard to imagine anything changing for this upcoming matchup. While there is a chance that 100 Thieves could steal a single game off of Team Liquid, it’s hard to imagine a world in which they’re able to steal three, especially considering the current record.

As a result, I give the series to Team Liquid 3-0 once again in what will likely be a stomp.

While the Spring Split semifinals saw new teams step up and take out the old guards, the Summer Split has shown a different result. With TSM and C9 making their return to the semifinals, it’s clear that the old guards aren’t quite out of it yet. Regardless of who wins, we’ll be seeing some amazing matchups in both the finals and the 3rd place match.

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/.

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Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Twitter.

Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38.

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