Week 6 Preview
Match of the week
Team Solomid vs Cloud9
This match represents the first major hurdle that TSM must overcome in their perfect season run. Last week, I’d have said Cloud 9 could have given them a close match, but after their performance last week, I’m unsure. They lost in a close series against TL, but looked very much out of sorts against Immortals, who beat them with seeming ease. Cloud 9 definitely have something so prove this week, and what better team to do it against than the undefeated TSM?
Jensen vs Bjergsen is always an interesting matchup, as both players are exceptionally skilled, however now more than ever I think the lane favours Bjergsen. Bjergsen is on some of the best form of his career, whilst Jensen has been underperforming lately. His Twisted Fate in particular (Which is oft banned against him) has been lackluster in the past few weeks, although he continues to put performances on mages such as Victor and Cassiopia. Bjergsen has been without question the best mid NA so far, in particular his Zilean which Cloud 9 banned in 2/3 of their games the last time the two teams met.
One thing the teams have in common is their solid toplaners. Impact and Hauntzer have been amongst two of the most consistent players for their respective teams. Statistically the two players match up well; Hauntzer has a slightly higher KDA at 4.8 to Impact’s 4.3, however Impact makes up ground with the higher Kill participation (66.3 to Hauntzer’s 61.8), and a significantly higher amount of assists (192 to 144), however this could be attributed to the fact that C9 play longer and bloddier games than TSM do. In terms of champions, the two differ. Impact plays a variety of champions, and styles, trending towards mostly traditional teamfighting or splitpushing tanks. Hauntzer has trended heavily towards Irelia and Swain, picking little else.
Overall I expect C9 to exceed expectations, but I think TSM will still take the series 2-1.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Envy
CLG are improving steadily, but still have a long way to go in order to prove that they belong in the middle of the standings, as opposed to near the bottom where they currently sit. Envy have a different story to tell, as they began the split phenomenally, but have failed to beat any of the teams above them in the standings, and are slowly slipping.
Right now, CLG have a solo lane combo that seems to be working for them. Huhi has between playing great, even in losses, on Vladimir. On the Vampite Lord, he is able to make a huge impact in teamfights, outputting a ton of damage whilst being an unkillable frontline. Darshan’s Jax is the second piece to the puzzle. He is currently 5-1 on the champion so far this split, his only loss being to TSM. It’s harder to say whether Darshan’s playstyle is complemented by Jax, or whether Darshan’s playstyle is the way it is because of Jax. He has been playing Jax for years, and loves the splitpushing/dueling power he provides. CLG should try and secure these two champions if they are to be in with a chance.
Of course, the solo lane duo they are up against is possibly one of the best in the League. Even before the split began, everyone knew about Seraph and Ninja’s potential, and boy did they deliver (Early on in the split). In terms of champions, Lissandra is a big deal for Envy. Both Seraph and Ninja are exceptional Lissandra players. Seraph even went as far as to say that no one else understands Lissandra to the level that himself and Ninja do, and it shows in their record; Envy are currently 5-1 on the champion.
I predict that CLG will take the series 2-1
Phoenix1 vs Echo Fox
At the bottom of the standings, another interesting match is taking place. P1 and FOX have opposite stories at this point in the season. Way back in week 1, Echo Fox dominated P1 to claim their first victory, and many considered them to be an underdog coming into playoffs. Since then, however, Fox have lost to every other LCS team, and their victory over P1 is their only one to date. P1 however were swept by all 9 teams, but last week managed to pick up their first win against mid table Apex gaming.
FOX are a team with some very strong individual players like Froggen, KFO and Keith, but they mainly falter in terms of shotcalling and teamplay, which is probably the worst in the whole league. P1 however, have a team full of misfits, and individually probably the worst roster in the league. However, over the past weeks, they have been gelling as a team, under the leadership of support Gate, and have showed some strong level team performances.
This match is so important for both teams, in terms of the standings, and in terms of team spirit.
In the end, this match will come down to who outclasses who more in their respective strengths, so it’s a tough one to call. Based on current form and momentum, I predict that P1 will take the series 2-1.