LCS enters Week 5 of Summer Split this weekend, with more League of Legends action featuring top 10 teams from North America fighting for their spot in the playoffs, which will award one team with a direct promotion into 2019 Worlds. In this preview, we will check out the upcoming thriller between two old rivals, the first- and second-place teams in LCS Summer Split, Team Liquid and Cloud9.
Cloud9 looking to dethrone Team Liquid
Looking back at the last four weeks of LCS Summer Split for C9, they won five and lost three matches. FlyQuest, Clutch Gaming, Echo Fox, OpTic and CLG all had to admit defeat to Cloud9, while it was Golden Guardians, TSM and 100 Thieves who managed to defeat the 2018 regional champions.
In between Week 4 and Week 5 of LCS Summer Split, Cloud9 also appeared in Rift Rivals, where they, alongside Team liquid and TSM, represented the NA region, who fought against their arch-rivals, the EU region. Being put head-to-head against the best EU had to offer, the NA region ultimately had to admit defeat, as they were simply no match for G2, fnatic and Origen. Finishing the Rift Rivals with a record of 0-4, Cloud9 was the worst team of the tournament, which does not reflect their strength in LCS; however, we can not deny their morale did take a hit.
Team Liquid establishing itself as NA powerhouse
Ever since Team Liquid defeated the reigning world champions, Invictus Gaming, and reached the finals of MSI 2019, this North American team has started performing on a whole other level. Entering Week 5 of LCS Summer Split action, TL are holding a 6-2 record, are on a four-game winning streak and are the only team alongside 100 Thieves that went 2-0 in Week 4.
We must also mention their impressive performance at Rift Rivals, where TL finished with a 3-1 record, which included two wins against MSI 2019 champions G2 and Origen. Looking at how they play, Team Liquid is without question the best team in NA as of now, and with no major changes in their team, we can expect them to hold on to that title for weeks to come.
Can Cloud9 get its revenge?
Historically, Team Liquid comes out ahead of Cloud9. Cloud9 are still a very strong team, but simply not strong enough to compare to Doublelift and his team. Looking back at spring season, Cloud9 managed to finish with the same record as Team Liquid (14-4); however, they lost both of the matches against them. The last time C9 defeated Team Liquid was in 2018 Summer Split, though they ended up losing to Team Liquid in the split finals (3-0). Bear in mind, last year was one of the best years for Cloud9, who are currently miles away from their 2018 form.
Looking ahead at the clash between the two sides, there is little that would suggest Cloud9 will have an upper hand over Team Liquid, simply because Liquid look to be on top of their game. Ever since their defeat against CLG on June 9, Team Liquid’s form has only gone up, and they are now on a 7-1 run in the last eight matches in all competition. That includes wins against G2 and Origen.
All in all, Team Liquid are the favorites here, and deservingly so. While we can expect C9 to put up a good fight, the superior quality and momentum on TL’s side will be enough to get them off to a perfect start in Week 5.
Prediction: Team Liquid to win