Photo Source: loadthegame.com
The two 3rd place decider matches will be taking place on Saturday, April 16 with H2K taking on Fnatic at 8 AM PST and then Team Liquid taking on Immortals at 12 PM PST. The grand finals will begin on Sunday, April 17 at 8 AM PST with Origen vs G2 Esports and conclude at 12 PM PST with Counter Logic Gaming playing Team SoloMid.
H2K vs Fnatic
Photo Source: Youtube
The Fnatic of this season was not the Fnatic of old as they finished in 6th place, one of the lowest placings for the team since the start of the LCS. However, Fnatic showed up in the playoff stages when they took on the formidable 3rd seed, Team Vitality, and took the series comfortably, 3-1. Against 1st place G2, they put up a good fight but still fell short 1-3. H2K came into the playoffs as the 2nd seed and were seen as one of the few teams that could stop G2. In the semifinals, they fell in a close series to Origen. This dropped them down into the 3rd place decider match against Fnatic. In this match up, H2K is favored because of their more consistent play throughout the season and performing better than Fnatic against stronger opposition. H2K has two big star players in their ADC, FORG1VENGRE, who carried the SK lineup that topped the EU LCS a few splits ago, and Ryu, the ex-KT Rolster Bullets’ mid-laner. When this team performs well, those two players usually have impressive score lines. This does not mean that viewers and H2K can count out Fnatic. Fnatic have improved significantly since their relatively poor performance during the regular season. They’ve also been one of the few teams that managed to beat H2K in the regular season, winning their first game against H2K but losing the next. So, H2K have the stronger and more consistent team overall, but Fnatic have shown that they have the potential to beat H2K.
Team Liquid vs Immortals
Photo Source: Youtube
Unfortunately for both teams in the 3rd place decider match of the NA LCS, they had a lot going for them to make it into the grand finals, but couldn’t overcome their opponents. During the regular season, Immortals looked like a dominating juggernaut that couldn’t be stopped until CLG managed to take one game from them. Immortals shrugged off the loss and proceeded to close out the season with only that one loss. Liquid started the season very poorly, most likely from the new players that they added to their roster resulting in a lack of coordination. They started their resurgence during the middle of the split and ended very strongly, looking like a team that could compete with the best in NA. In Liquid’s semifinals match, they almost closed out the formidable CLG and even held a gold lead for a good part of the final game. Immortals, on the other hand, went into their match against TSM as the heavy favorites and most people even predicted a 3-0 or 3-1 score for the team. Imagine the shock for fans and analysts when they succumbed 0-3 with significant gold leads in the first and third games. When we look at the match between these two teams, Liquid seems to be on the rise while Immortals showed that they were indeed mortals last Saturday. If Immortals can solve their problems and learn to transfer their play from the regular season, they could comfortably take this series. Otherwise, Liquid could do the same on the other end if the same problems persist with Immortals.
Origen vs G2 Esports
Photo Source: Youtube
Origen looks like another team on the rise with the level they have achieved in the playoff stages. In the regular season, the team looked pretty mediocre compared to their previous selves that attended Season 5 Worlds. In their quarterfinals match, they blitzed through Unicorns of Love, 3-0, despite many predictions saying that it would be a closer series. Their match against H2K in the semifinals was a close 3-2 win that could have gone either way. G2 finished the regular season in first place and looked like they were going to keep their spot at the top of EU by defeating Fnatic 3-1 in the semifinals. Although this team is a new team to the LCS, it contains some veterans from Korea and Europe. Their coach, Youngbuck, had also played previously in the EU LCS and was voted the Best Coach of the Split. G2’s mid-laner, Perkz, was also voted as the Rookie of the Split with his strong performances for his team in the mid-lane. It looks like G2 should be favored in this game with how strong they have been performing in both the regular season and the playoffs. They also have the fact that they won both of their regular season matches against Origen. Origen have shown that they can compete with the best teams in EU and despite the advantages G2 has, they could still pull off an upset and take the crown of EU.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team SoloMid
Photo Source: gamurs.com
It’s said that the NA LCS is scripted by some higher power. Once again, we will be seeing the classic matchup between CLG and TSM. This is a rivalry that has extended to the beginnings of competitive League of Legends. Also, this season saw CLG’s star ADC, Doublelift, moving to TSM after disagreements with some of his teammates. CLG was the second place team in the regular season behind Immortals. They also boasted the only win over the first place team. Their top laner, Darshan, is a strong split-push threat and diverts the attentions of the other team while the rest of his team pushes down turrets and objectives. On the other side, TSM had a very poor regular season, just barely getting the 6th place seed to qualify for the playoffs. They came into the playoffs strongly, taking down NRG 3-0, who they lost to in the last week of the regular season. Going into the semifinals, no one expected TSM to have much of a chance against the almost undefeated Immortals. The first game was going in favor of Immortals who took a huge lead, but somehow TSM managed to come back and win the game. This allowed them to build the momentum to take the next two also to shockingly sweep Immortals. It’s been said, time and again, that TSM has the magical quality to somehow win the split despite looking in poor form. They are once against going into this match as the underdogs, but if they demonstrate the resilience and skill they showed in their games against NRG and Immortals, they could take this game against CLG.