Six weeks have already passed since the LCS Summer Split began, during which we got to see some teams rise and impress, while others failed to do the same. Filled with incredible performances, upset wins, and unbelievable comebacks, it’s sad to see LCS summer split coming to a close. While we count down the days which separate us from the playoffs, the teams make one final push to secure the spot in the final 6, where one team will emerge victoriously and grab a direct promotion into the World Championship.
Two teams that are so close but yet so far from reaching the playoffs are OpTic Gaming and Echo Fox, who will clash on July 21 in what promises to be an exciting match between two old enemies.
OpTic Gaming playoff hopes in doubt
OpTic surprised everyone this split, as they started their summer campaign with two perfect weeks, which catapulted them to the top of the standings. While Weeks 3 and 4 did not end as they planned, OpTic still managed to grab a crucial win against TSM in Week 4 to keep themselves afloat and in the top 6, proving to everyone they belong among top NA teams. However, they were not as convincing in Weeks 5 and 6. Week 5 ended with a balanced score of 1-1, whereas Week 6 ended with OpTic losing to both 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming. That now leaves their playoffs hopes in serious doubt, especially considering their upcoming fixtures are not even remotely easy.
Following their clash against Echo Fox, OpTic has TSM, Team Liquid, GGS, CLG and C9 on their schedule, who, bear in mind, are the top five teams of the split at the moment and will not give up their playoff spots easily.
Echo Fox showing signs of greatness
It did not take long for Echo Fox to find itself in the bottom part of LCS summer standings. Following their 1-1 record in Week 1, Echo Fox started to underperform, and before they knew it, Week 6 ended, and they were holding onto a 3-9 record, which puts them at the bottom of the table.
Nonetheless, Echo Fox has a weird tendency to perform well against some of the strongest teams in the LCS but fails to do the same against the rest. Their only three wins came against Team Liquid, OpTic when they were in good form and, last but not least, Cloud9 in Week 6. Being the most relevant match of all, the Week 6 win against Cloud9 was an impressive one, considering Echo Fox were trailing C9 in kills from the start but kept their composure, focused on macro play and ultimately gained enough lead to decimate one of the elite three NA teams after 51 minutes of play. Whether that win was a fluke or a sign of greatness in the team is up to debate; however, in my eyes, Echo Fox have proven their worth and should not be underestimated in the remaining three weeks.
Pressure on OpTic to win; poor form keeps their chances low
Considering the tough schedule OpTic has in the remaining three weeks, the upcoming match against Echo Fox is a must-win for them if they are serious about finishing in the playoffs. But that will be much easier said than done.
OpTic will enter the fixture on an 0-3 streak, following their defeats against FlyQuest, 100 Thieves, and Clutch Gaming. Their performances in those matches were disastrous. While they came close to defeating 100 Thieves, both FlyQuest and Clutch completely decimated OpTic Gaming.
To be fair, the team does not look too bad as they have one of the best NA junglers (Meteos) in their ranks, but it’s the performances of Big and Dhokla that keep OpTic down. They both failed to perform up to par recently and were arguably the two key reasons OpTic lost the last three.
Echo Fox, on the other side, are all over the place. Breathtaking performances against top teams followed by mediocre performances against bottom teams keeps us guessing what the next match will bring.
Their playoff spot is more or less only something they can hope for at the moment, as they will need a miracle to get there, and even then, they do not come off as a team with enough quality to compete for top spots. Nonetheless, Echo Fox has gained some momentum and showcased great potential against C9, which keeps the hopes alive.
Echo Fox are considered underdogs here, which is fair , however, the odds of 2.62 seem too high. Yes, they have their moments of weakness, but considering how well they played recently and how poorly OpTic performed, I believe Echo Fox has what it takes to win its fourth game of the split and leave OpTic on their knees, as they look to climb their way into the top 6.
Prediction: Echo Fox to win