Photo Credit: Youtube
The semifinals for the NA and EU LCS are set to start on this Saturday, April 9th and will continue on to Sunday, April 10th. We will get a chance to see the best teams from both regions duke it out for a coveted spot at the grand finals and a chance for a large share of championship points. This could affect the teams going to worlds in the summer because the championship points total of a team from both splits are counted with the highest 3 given a spot at worlds.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team Liquid
Photo Credit: esportsupdate.wordpress.com
CLG comes into the tournament as the second seed by achieving a record of 13-5 in the regular season. The team had to go through some changes before the split began due to several important players, namely Doublelift and Pobelter leaving the team. This left a huge gap in the mid and ADC roles as both players were a significant part of the team in the previous LCS split and part of the reason why CLG attended worlds. The team decided to use Huhi as their mid-laner and Stixxay as their ADC. Liquid started off the season with a lackluster performance, sticking around in the bottom half of the rankings. In the last few weeks, they managed to regain some of their form and grab the 4th place position in the standings. Last week, they looked very strong against NRG, eliminating them in a quick 3-0 sweep.
Regarding the matchup between the two teams, both teams are actually not that far away from each other. The two matches they played against each other in the regular season shows this with CLG taking the first game, but Liquid taking the second. CLG’s strongest advantage comes from their top laner, Darshan, who has shown himself in several splits to be a strong split pusher. Liquid’s advantage resides in their star ADC, Piglet, who was one of the members of the Season 3 World Champion team, SKT T1 K. Piglet has the potential to carry the game and has put up great games despite his team losing at times. Comparing the junglers, Dardoch comes out ahead over Xmithie because of his performance during the regular season and the impact he has on Liquid’s game. Support has to go to CLG’s aphromoo, who is considered one of the best in his role. The mid-laners are very close and it is hard to call a definite advantage for either one. Expect a close series between the two teams with the team playing better on the day winning.
Immortals vs Team SoloMid
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Immortals were the dominating force in the regular season. Their score of 17-1 was 4 games ahead of their closest competitors, CLG, who were the only team to take a game off of them. The young team boasts one of the strongest early games of any team, usually taking their lead there and driving it home. On the other side, TSM performed in the middle of the pack during the regular season. The team picked up several high profile moves before the split began with Doublelift coming over from CLG, Yellowstar and Svenskeren from Europe, and Hauntzer from the broken Gravity team. In the quarterfinals, they showed their potential as a team by taking down one of their strongest opponents, Cloud 9, in a 3-1 fashion.
Simply put, Immortals should be winning this match. They’ve shown that they are the strongest team in this region by a long shot. Their early game and ganks by Reignover gives their team a huge advantage in each match. Additionally, their individiaul laners are very strong, and Wildturtle has seen a resurgence along with his lane partner Adrian. TSM does have a chance if they manage to shut down Immortals in the early game and drag the game out into late game where Immortals have shown weakness.
H2K vs Origen
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From both teams’ addition to the LCS, they have grappled to be in the top for this region. H2K finished much stronger this season, taking the second place seed, just one game behind the first place team. Origen had a horrendous start to the season, but picked it up at the very end to end up in 4th place. H2K’s pickup of FORG1VENGRE hit gold, as the ADC continued his strong performance from the previous splits despite being on a weaker team.
On paper, H2K should win as they have been the more consistent team throughout the split. Both times the two teams met during the regular season, H2K came out with the victory, even during Origen’s return to form at the end of the split. One of the interesting lineup factors that could tilt this match in Origen’s favor is that they have 2 mid-laners on their roster. PowerOfEvil and xPeke bring different types of playstyles to the match and could surprise H2K if one is changed out for the other between matches.
G2 Esports vs Fnatic
Photo Credit: highlightlol.com
Fnatic were once the undisputed kings of Europe a few seasons ago. Last season, they met relatively no competition with their perfect 16-0 split to take the first seed into worlds. However, this split, their throne was grabbed by their semifinal opponent G2, one of the new additions to the LCS. Although G2 were the new team on the block, the lineup features veterans and rookies alike. Similarily, Fnatic were forced to bring in new players also because of the departure of the dynamic duo, Huni and Reignover to Immortals, and long-time player, Yellowstar to TSM. They filled the top and jungler roles with another two Koreans in Gamsu and Spirit while the support role was given to a native European, Klaj.
This is another matchup that should be taken by the favorites, G2. They have proven themselves to be the best team in Europe at the moment while Fnatic has been inconsistent during the regular season. Fnatic did show their resilience by beating third seed Vitality relatively cleanly with a 3-1 score. Fnatic has the talent in the lineup, but so does G2, so despite the Fnatic being the previous kings of Europe, their crown will most likely fall to G2 in this game.