Week 7 League of Legends NA LCS Preview
Match of the week: Team Solomid vs Team Liquid
Without a doubt, this is the biggest match of the week. On paper, there is a clear favourite. TSM have looked unstoppable this whole split, it has been many weeks since they were last challenged and every member has been stepping up individually.
TL on the other hand have had a very up and down split. They have produced some of the most surprising upsets, but can be prone to indecisiveness and inactivity, especially when falling behind.
The featured matchup is without a doubt between the two junglers; Dardoch and Svenskeren. Team Liquid live and die by Dardoch. He is a very emotional and ambitious player, and is a player who is very capable of taking over a game single-handedly, both on tanks like Gragas and Rek Sai, and carries like Lee Sin and Graves. Recently he has been playing a lot of Graves in particular and TL are one of the only teams who are willing to early pick the champion, as Dardoch is very confident in his Graves. He also has a significantly higher kill participation than Sven, 73.4% to Sven’s 63.8%.
Sven on the other hand is a more consistent option, if a lower impact one. He has been playing mostly tanks this split in order to facilitate Hauntzer filling a semi carry role. In a team which is doing so well, it’s a little harsh to call Sven the weak link, but he is TSM’s lowest impact player. He is known for being a player who can bully his opponent in the jungle, but Dardoch will be one of the toughest opponents he has to face.
The biggest mismatch in TSM’s favour is surprisingly not in the midlane, but in the top lane. From a purely statistical standpoint, Hauntzer is the superior player. He has more assists, kills and a higher K/P. In game though, Hauntzer has a lot more initiative. He has been making a lot of solo plays on Swain and Irelia, and is able to go toe to toe with any toplaner you could name. Lourlo on the other hand is a very teamfight focused player. He isn’t given nearly as many resources as Hauntzer, in lieu of Dardoch’s more selfish playstyle.
I predict TSM will win the series 2-1
Phoenix1 vs NRG
P1 have been surging lately, after taking out Echo Fox in convincing fashion, and will look to continue their upwards trend by taking on 8th place NRG.
They are two teams with very different problems. NRG have decent individual players, but tend to play a very directionless game of League of Legends. Santorin is their best performing player, and tends to take most of the initiative, but honestly, it feels as if he is a one man army in a squad who have moments of brilliance but fall into mediocrity far too often.
P1 on the other hand are in general average players by NA LCS standards. What shines through, however, is their teamwork and determination. All too often teams at the bottom of the standings seem to lose hope, and as a result stop improving. P1 however, have proved to be tenacious, and are improving at an alarming rate, under the leadership of support, Gate.
Both teams will view this match as a winnable one, but I predict that teamwork will win the day, and Phoenix 1 will pick up their third series win of the split.
Cloud9 vs Apex
Cloud 9 bid farewell to their 3 match losing streak last week with a decisive 2-0 win over NRG, and seem to be clawing their way back into form. Apex, on the other hand, have been struggling to find themselves for a while now and will see a slumping Cloud9 as an opportunity to prove to their fans that they are a top 5 team.
The featured matchup in this series will be in the midlane, between Keane and Jensen. Keane has been Apex’s star player for the whole split, has been mechanically solid and has been playing extremely well, even when Apex lose games. A big pick for them this week will be Zilean. Zilean is Keane’s most played champion so far and sports a 6.8 KDA on the champion despite almost half of those games being losses. Additionally, Zilean is a champion that Cloud 9 has struggled with in the past, as Jensen hasn’t played it, and they frequently ban it against known great Zilean players.
Jensen, on the other hand, showed us that he can play Talya last week, which is seemingly a feat that not many teams will boast. I predict a priority on this champion by Cloud 9, but I also expect Keane to have a counter pick in mind, as a small champion pool has never been a concern of his.
Shrimp vs Meteos in the jungle will be another interesting matchup. Both have heavily been prioritizing Rek Sai so far, but with wholly different results. Meteos has won 66% of his games on Rek Sai, and has a 10.4 KDA on the Viod Burrower, whereas Shrimp has only won 5 out of 12 games on her, and has a measly 1.9 KDA. Shrimp has looked good on Nidalee, however, and excels in using the champion to exert early pressure on the map and bully his opponent. I expect C9 to lock in the early Rek Sai, and for Meteos to dominate Shrimp, unless shrimp goes for a more carry style jungler.
C9 to win the series 2-0