LoL NA LCS Semifinal Preview: TSM vs CLG
The semifinals of this years NA LCS Summer Split are approaching fast this weekend and once again we find Team Solo Mid and Counter Logic Gaming clashing in the playoffs. LCS fans will be treated to a rematch of the last two seasons’ championship. Only this time they bump heads a step before the title match. The two teams are long time rivals and have met in postseason contention more than any other pair of teams and have had their match up dubbed “El Clasico of eSports.”
Although this is a match up of the first and fourth seed, you can expect an excitingly evenly matched battle. TSM clearly had the better regular season, losing only once all split. Meanwhile, CLG was a loss away from a mediocre .500 record. However, this is the playoffs and both teams surely have the regular season behind them and are only looking forward to their current match up. We can expect that CLG will enter the match with high confidence coming off of their dominant quarterfinal victory over Team Liquid. They’ll be hot, but TSM will be ready for them as they’ve had 2 weeks of rest and preparation for this match-up.
Let’s take a look back at their match-ups this season. Looking at these statistics TSM are the overwhelming favorite as they defeated CLG 2-0 in both regular season meetings. In the opening week CLG looked shaky across the board. Solo laners Darshan and Huhi had a tough time dealing with TSM’s jungler Svenskeren as he applied immediate and consistent pressure to their lanes. Meanwhile, the bot lane duel was dominated by TSM’s Doublelift who likely enjoyed powerhousing his former team. Subsequently, team fights were tough for CLG to come out of alive forcing the 2-0 sweep. A month later, the second match was even more of a nightmare for CLG as they were swept again and totaled 7 kills and 34 deaths as a team in the match.
Coming into the match, the key battle will be in the mid lane. Bjergsen and Huhi both have fairly wide champion pools so it will be interesting to see how their respective teams approach champion select. Most of the LoL community expects Bjergsen to dominate the lane given his repeated all-star status. This is why this match up is the x-factor in the semifinal. If Bjergsen is able to exercise his dominance and flex his muscles all match, TSM is sure to control the team fighting phase and ultimately secure the win. However, if Huhi is able to get the upper hand on Bjergsen (or even keep him at bay for that matter given his supreme relevance to the team) CLG has a much more significant chance at a 3peat. CLG jungler Xmithie will need to control his jungle as well as pressuring Bjergsen. This will not be an easy task, but it will be a pivotal point in selecting a finalist.
When put into perspective, it is a tough task to assign a winner to this match-up because we only have the immediate results to base our decision by. TSM has dominated this split. Bjergsen and Doublelift are world class all stars that do not crack under pressure. But again, CLG is not a team to be rolled over in the postseason. We’re going to air on the safe side here and say that TSM is going to maintain their title as the most dominant NA team in the history of LoL. CLG is going to put up a great fight and lose in the fifth match. Get your twitch stream and tune in Sunday at noon to see if we’re correct.