The big weekend in Toronto is finally here. The 2016 NA LCS Summer Split will come to a close and the LoL World Championships will approach this fall. But before we get ahead of ourselves and start rejoicing over Worlds we need to make it past this weekend. A champion of the North American scene must still be crowned. Saturday opened up the championship weekend wth the third place matchup between former champions Counter Logic Gaming taking on regular season sensations, Immortals. Immortals emerged victorious in the best of five set to take third in the split. Twenty-four hours later we will witness TSM taking on C9 in the championship for the fifth time in history. This has grown to become a matchup for the ages, so with all of it’s epic and glorious battles it’s only fitting that we take a closer look at this upcoming battle. We’ll look at each individual matchup by role and see if we can see a pattern that will reveal who has the upper hand coming into the final face off.
Support: Biofrost (TSM) vs Smoothie (C9)
Given the very consistent meta in the support role as of late, these two play very similar champions. They both rely heavily on Karma and Braum. The two do, however, have different playstyles. Biofrost of TSM likes to take on a pesky and aggro role in the bottom lane. He won’t hesitate to use his mana to pester the opposing marksman as he attempts to farm. Meanwhile, Smoothie of C9 plays a more protective role. He stands by his marksman and awaits his junglers gank to go on the offensive. We can expect champion select to lock these two into the previously mentioned picks. Who gets which will likely determine who will be the aggressor in lane. If TSM decides to grab Karma early, it is likely that Biofrost will force a few skirmishes early on. Otherwise we can expect a passive lane. Overall it looks to be that TSM has the upper hand in the support role as Biofrost has proven his consistency, unlike his C9 counterpart.
Marksman: Doublelift (TSM) vs Sneaky (C9)
This is a matchup of two of the best in the business. These two have dominated the LCS as Marksman since the second split back in 2013. Both are incredibly savvy during team fights and both have some of the most polished mechanics the LoL community has to offer. As most LCS fans know, Sneaky was made famous by becoming the marksman initiator with champions like Ashe and Varus. He likes to stay at pace early and mid game with the opposite marksman without forcing too many fights and focusing on farming. He waits for his power spike to be the aggressor. Meanwhile, Doublelift only waits for his spawn before he starts seeking an advantage. His aggressive play on Lucian and Sivir are a nightmare in lane. While both are true carries, Doublelift has always been the king of North America. He continues that way, and will have the upper hand come Sunday.
Mid Laner: Bjergsen (TSM) vs Jensen (C9)
The Danish mages in the middle. This will be an exhilarating battle between the two countrymen. Neither of the two are huge on playing midlane assassins, both are midrange casters with strong wave clear and teamfight potential. Bjergsen established himself as the premier Azir player upon his release. While Jensen has adopted Cassiopeia as his primary champion this split. The two also play a great Viktor as an alternative as well. We can expect these two to find their income at the center of the rift as opposed to roaming to find kills elsewhere. We can expect a few skirmishes once the junglers arrive, but for the most part expect a farm fest as the mages will look to prepare themselves for team fighting. Since arriving in North America Bjergsen has been an all star midlaner while Jensen has been in the middle of the pack. The two are similar summoners, but Bjergsen is simply on another level. I can’t see Jensen getting the best of him in this match up.
Jungler: Svenskeren (TSM) vs Meteos (C9)
These days the jungle is controlled by Gragas and Rek’sai. So it is no surprise that those are the two most played champions by these two junglers this split. Both are comfortable on either champion in this meta. Therefore, this matchup will be decided by who successfully implements their playstyle into the game. The best part about this matchup is that these two could not have more opposite playstyles. Meteos created the farm heavy jungle style that still holds true today. He will always attempt to outscale the opposing jungler in the late game by clearing camps and only showing in lanes to create pressure early in the game. Svenskeren however has a very aggressive jungler. You will see him in lanes as early as level 2 or 3. He likes to pressure the laners by securing vision advantages and threatening to turret dive when necessary. Although Meteos does like to stay in his jungle, he has amazing intuition for the opposite jungler’s movements and will invade when he feels he has the upper hand. Svenskeren does not have this gift. This intuition is what is going to put Meteos on the offensive in this series.
Top Laner: Hauntzer (TSM) vs Impact (C9)
The battle in the top lane will be will be fighter vs tank as Hauntzer of TSM likes to take a meaty champion to absorb all the damage on the front line. We’re likely to see a Gnar with absurd tank stats or an Irelia who trades damage items for ones of health. On the opposite side of the coin, we’ll see Impact take a champion that can shred the opposite team. His Ekko and Gangplank will be threatening to TSM’s squishies. The biggest distinction here is experience. Impact has become a veteran of the LCS over the past few years. Hauntzer is fairly new, especially to the playoffs. Without a lot of pressure from Svenskeren, I can’t see Hauntzer overpowering Impact. The lane will likely be dominant on the C9 side. If they are placed on an island I can only see Hauntzer farming from a safe distance.
Ultimately these individual match ups will impact the development of the game. The result, however, will be determined by how they intertwine together. Toronto will see a blood bath on the rift come Sunday. Be sure to tune in and see how the matchups play out summoners.