With the corporate-mandated Riot break-week coming to an end, the LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) is set to return for the final week, LCS Week 4, of its first round robin. This short hiatus has given teams like Evil Geniuses their first opportunity to rest from their historic MSI (Mid-Season Invitational) tournament run in South Korea.
On the other hand, developing rosters like Cloud9 have had an incredible opportunity to improve their team synergy mid-split so that they can finish their first nine matches with a winning record.
Breaks aside, this week has some exciting matches lined up; including, the most anticipated match of the split: Team Liquid versus Evil Geniuses.
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CLG vs. 100 Thieves
Diving into the first can’t-miss match of the week, CLG are set to face off against 100 Thieves. Although 100T are largely quiet about the practice performance and scrims, CLG aren’t afraid to spill the tea.
When interviewed on Travis Gafford’s Hotline League podcast, CLG newcomer and starting top laner, Dhokla, had a cheeky response when questioned about their upcoming match against 100 Thieves: “well scrims are going pretty well sooo.” Hinting that CLG has been doing well against the Thieves in scrims, Dhokla favors his team against the reigning summer split champions.
Since the date of that podcast CLG’s unprecedented win streak has come crashing down and 100 Thieves mid laner Abbedagge seems to be on the road to recovery after a series of abysmal performances. While CLG are the favorites according to Dhokla’s insider information, history favors the boys in red; in both of their matchups last spring, 100T came out on top.
What makes this matchup particularly exciting is that both of those spring games were action-packed, high-kill matches. In this particularly dull, scaling-based meta, fans are itching for some aggressive plays and early teamfights. Luckily for them, CLG vs 100T might be their best chance this split.
Unfortunately for CLG fans, history isn’t the only thing making 100T the favorites for this LCS Week 4matchup; experience also favors the Thieves. As the current longest-standing consecutive roster, 100T’s lineup has remained unchanged for going on three splits. CLG, on the other hand, just made a change in the top lane after their 8th place finish in spring.
Let’s not forget too that CLG’s bot laners are rookies from 100T Academy. Although they had their LCS debut last split, Luger and Poome are not far removed from scrimming against the main 100T lineup as part of the academy roster. This is especially pertinent as CLG’s duo competed alongside 100T the year of their championship run: the height of the current 100T roster’s capability.
Although 100T haven’t become worse, rather the competition around them has improved, CLG are on the come up and are looking especially dangerous.
Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses
In what is easily the most anticipated matchup of LCS Week 4, the spring champions have their eyes set on the biggest threat to their hunt for back-to-back titles: Team Liquid. While EG are the favorites to win it all for the second split in a row, Team Liquid are a close second.
With one of the most recognizable and expensive rosters of all time, TL have the star-power and skill, individually, to tear apart the reigning champions. While they have yet to equal the sum of their parts, this matchup will be their first opportunity to demonstrate that they can compete at the same level as the LCS’s best.
With Evil Geniuses looking to maintain their sole-control over first place, a win in the favor of TL would spell a potential three-way tie for first. A loss however, would guarantee Evil Geniuses the first place spot, with the potential of a two-way tie with 100T.
Despite their slight hiccup loss to CLG in week two, EG have looked unbeatable. With the next best teams in Cloud9 and 100T being easily dismantled in week one, TL has the last realistic opportunity to spoil EG’s incredible record.
Will EG take home the first round robin with an 8-1 record? Or will TL be able to upset the spring champions in their hardest matchup of the split? To find out, tune in to the LCS Week 4 this weekend when things kick off on Saturday, July 16th at 4:30 PM EST.