Only four teams remain in the race for the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) 2020 Summer title, as they battle through the playoffs for the eternal glory that comes with winning the league and the largest slice of the US $200,000 prize pool.
Today we will look at a clash of epic proportions featuring two of the most successful teams in the North American LoL league history in Cloud9 and Team SoloMid. They will meet on the Summoner’s Rift this Saturday, August 29.
The match is expected to break the viewership numbers, and rightfully so since the two NA juggernauts will not only fight to keep their championship dreams alive but also for the third and final ticket leading to the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.
Cloud9 vs. Team SoloMid
Saturday, August 29, 13:00 PDT
It does not get better than seeing two arch-rivals in Cloud9, and Team SoloMid duke it out in what can easily be described as the most important fixture of their seasons. With everything on the line, we can expect both teams to put on a show, effectively providing the fans with a chance to see the peak NA LoL.
What adds even more excitement for this bout is that both teams have been struggling with their performances as of late, meaning there is no clear winner – only two teams with high ceiling and the potential to impress. It’s Cloud9 who are priced as heavy favorites, namely due to their dominance through the first half of the regular season.
There are talks about how dominant Cloud9 was in scrims throughout the season; however, that does not necessarily translate onto the stage. The LCS 2020 Summer runners-up began their playoffs run with a humiliating 1-3 loss to FlyQuest. While they bounced back with a commanding 3-0 win against Evil Geniuses last Saturday, it’s hard to praise them too much for that win since EG has been looking very iffy this split.
Team SoloMid, on the other side, began their journey through the LCS 2020 Summer playoffs with a humiliating loss to Golden Guardians (0-3) in the upper bracket but did not need long to find their stride. They crushed Dignitas (3-0) in the lower bracket and claimed a hard-fought 3-2 revenge win against Golden Guardians on Sunday, which kept their championship dreams alive.
Much of TSM’s success that day came down to the incredible performances of their star mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who solo carried game five on Zilean, and it would be fair to say that the Dane will play a pivotal role for his team this time out as well. That is a fairly reasonable thing to expect since Cloud9 heavily relies on their mid-jungle synergy to win the game, but their main win condition has not been looking too sharp as of late.
Even their team fighting has been lacking on the side of Cloud9 – in contrast to how good they looked throughout the season – which could prove to be the weak point in C9’s roster and something TSM will look to exploit. Even though TSM is by no means a perfect team fighting team, they can have their moments, especially if they get Bjergsen on strong team fighting champions.
As for the jungle matchup, TSM’s Mingyi “Spica” Lu has not been looking too sharp throughout the season as he had more than a few iffy performances. However, he has stepped up his game as of late, meaning that if he can team up with Bjergsen and put pressure on Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, TSM could easily shut down C9’s early game strength.
The bottom lane seems fairly evenly matched, mostly because both Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng are world-class ADCs, and we can easily imagine either winning their lane. However, this could easily result in both teams putting a lot of their resources into the bottom side of the map to get the early drake control and play around getting the dragon soul.
Looking at the top lane, TSM can’t afford to ignore Cloud9’s Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, who is widely regarded as the best top laner in the league even though he has not been performing too well as of late. Against Golden Guardians, TSM was seen pressuring Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell quite frequently, which shows they know how to play around the top side.
However, it remains to be seen how well they will manage to execute this playstyle, especially if their bottom lane falls behind.
Another thing to note here is that both Licorice and Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik can play carry champions, meaning the teams have an option to play around top side as their main win condition. The meta is slowly shifting in favor of tank top laners, as seen in Europe, so perhaps we are in for a less action-packed top lane matchup.
Either way, there is not a lot to set these two players apart based on their recent performances.
This match will likely come down to how well the teams will execute in the early game, and since both have shown they can play fairly aggressively, it’s fair to expect a close bout.
Cloud9 are still the favorites in our book, namely since they have proven they have much higher highs than TSM, but due to their shaky performances lately, we can imagine a world where TSM will push them to the limits and make them work for the W.
A 3-2 win for Cloud9 seems like the most likely outcome for this match, while we would not exclude a possibility of TSM coming out ahead. Many coin-flip factors will go into this match, so it makes the most sense to bet on TSM at +1.5 map handicap. An over 3.5 map bet can also be considered a safer bet, albeit at significantly shorter odds.
Prediction: Team SoloMid +1.5 maps – 2.00 at Bet365