Cloud9 had a rocky start to their NA LCS Summer Split, but pulled it back by the end to return to lethal form. The team are strong at all phases of the game and are as adaptable as any. Utilizing more aggressive support roams than ever, often hitting the lane of the most dangerous player in the NA LCS in Jensen’s mid, Cloud9 is a force to be reckoned with coming into playoffs. They look to return home to the Split finals.
Dignitas looked to be one of the strongest teams in the league during their various hot streaks this split, and that was certainly no different in their dominant closure of the season with some of the team’s best individual performances happening in the final weeks. With the stars shining across the map for Dignitas, the true danger is a secret no longer. Despite a lower Summer Split finish than one would expect of this roster, Dignitas has come to compete.
Top Lane Matchup
Impact has stepped to the forefront of Cloud9’s duo of top lane threats, and for very good reason. Closing out the season on perhaps his best string of games this Summer, and finding himself in a tank meta catered to his strengths, the former World Champion is quite a big fish in the pond. While his stats aren’t the most impressive, expect Impact to have a bigger bite than bark.
Ssumday finds himself on the NA LCS All-Pro team as top laner, and it’s no mystery why. Perhaps the strongest player on Dignitas, Ssumday finds himself routinely breaking open games for the team with his stellar performances. And he’s quite good at slapping faces on tanky champions in a favorable meta as well. Ssumday has one of the most versatile champion pools of any top laner and can go deep to surprise opponents with the skill and polish of his main champions, but even with straightforward picks Ssumday has proven a cut above most top laners in the region.
Verdict: Dig Ssumday runs the top lane.
Contractz has proven to be a consistent presence pushing Cloud9 over the edge, and this shows in his own stats just as much as in his all star midlaners. That’s because Contractz has established some of the strongest mid lane control and play in the region, ensuring that opposing teams cannot lock out Jensen. As well, Contractz has proven to be versatile playing whatever role the team needs and is rarely ever a standout negative (though he did see some questionable Zac play during the split.) With the 18th best KDA in the NA LCS, you can expect Contractz to perform day in and day out regardless of the champion or situation he’s in. Whether he’ll steal the show is doubtful, but whether he’ll be a key player on the Rift? Without question.
Shrimp is certainly no slacker from the jungle, but alongside Dignitas’ other threats, Shrimp is likely the weakest player on the team. Still, that’s no small feat. Shrimp plays an important role for Dignitas, that of an enabler. Participating in 75% of the team’s kills, the 11th highest in the NA LCS, Shrimp is still a key component to the Dignitas machine, though much less important than others. With hardly a top 50 KDA in the entire league, Shrimp, much like his opponent, is unlikely to grab the headlines. Still, slow and steady (and in this meta, tanky.)
Verdict: C9 Contractz wins out in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
Jensen is the single best player the NA LCS has today, and it’s hardly a debate. Rocking an obscenely high kda of 8.7 (the best in the league,) alongside top 3 stats in kill participation and in CS/min, the Dane’s middle lane dominance is as well-rounded as they come. Whether he’s hurling cards, reversing time, Scattering the Weak, or bringing them together in a Shockwave, Jensen is likely killing your mid laner and he’s likely going to do it time and time again. Accompanied by one of the most active roaming supports in the league in Smoothie and one of the most on point junglers in the league in Contractz, Jensen’s mid lane power is a source of many victories for Cloud9, and we don’t expect that to even slow down any time soon.
Keane would be a sleeper pick for best mid laner in North America if the league wasn’t so stacked in this area. While he struggles to stand out in a field of Jensen, Bjergsen, Pobelter, Froggen and more, Keane still solidly holds a spot in the running. With top 30 rankings across KDA, cs/min, and kill participation, Keane proves to be a versatile threat in the mid lane. When he gets an edge on the opponent, that edge is likely staying for a long time. But it’s hard to ask anyone to even come out even staring down the threat Keane faces.
Verdict: C9 Jensen runs right through the mid lane.
Bottom Lane Matchup
Sneaky and Smoothie have been the unsung heroes of Cloud9 this split, only because of how hard it is to share the limelight with the best player around. But don’t take this bot lane and their combined 10.1 kda ratio lightly, it’ll be a quick defeat. Sneaky battles on and off as being North America’s best ad carry, and Smoothie with recent adaption to roaming and securing big team kills early on has become more dangerous than ever. This duo is a scary one. Sneaky has a keen ability to hold lanes alone, and Smoothie has the wonderful skill of showing up in fights at precisely the worst moment for opponents. North America is on notice, and opposing ad carries should reach for the clouds.
But the explosive duo meet a tempered strategist and reliable sniper in their bottom lane opponents Altec and Adrian. While Smoothie boasts plenty of roam potential and playmaking opportunity, Adrian holds down the Dignitas fort with an extremely strategic vision game and measured decisionmaking. Altec, meanwhile, farms up reliably, and always is a threat late in the game. This is a battle of control vs explosive power.
Verdict: In a playmaking bot lane meta, we edge the bot lane matchup to C9 Sneaky and C9 Smoothie.
We think this will be one of the most exciting and tense matchups the 2017 Summer Split Playoffs has to offer, but in the end, only one of these incredibly powerful lineups move on. We think on top of more explosive potential and a very strong end to the Summer Split, Cloud9 edge out Team Dignitas with a 3-1 record.
What do you think of this Summer Split Playoffs matchup? Who takes home the victory and moves on? Let us know in the comments below!
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