With the Spring Split Regular Season done, it’s time to look at who will advance and have a shot at winning the North American LCS Spring Split. Here are my predictions for this Sunday’s matchup
Phoenix1 vs Team Dignitas
The stories for Phoenix1 and Team Dignitas are actually quite similar during the regular split.
Both teams were able to acquire two highly rated Korean players before the start of the season, which also brought in higher expectations. It wasn’t the best start for as they struggled at the early part of the year but they were able pick up the pace towards the end.
Team Dignitas barely made it to the playoffs by beating Immortals on the last day of the regular split, but that shouldn’t make Phoenix1 complacent as this match is closer than we think. If there’s any chance for Team Dignitas to advance, they need both Ssumday and Keane (9-Player of the Game awardee) to perform well considering that LOD and Xpecial will be facing difficulties in the bot lane against Arrow and Stunt.
But due to better overall play and a slight advantage in the jungle through Meteos, Phoenix1 will advance with the score of 3-2.
Counter Logic Gaming vs FlyQuest eSports
With a group of players that were considered past their prime, the journey of FlyQuest eSports towards the playoffs has caught many people by surprise. FlyQuest continues to rely heavily on their mid lane player, Hai, to call the shots and bring them the victory. Their aggressive calls in-play have surprised enemies with their cheese picks, including the Mordekaiser bot lane that they managed to pull out during Week 6.
Even though that sounds impressive, it still would not be enough to beat Counter Logic Gaming, who have had an unimpressive run throughout the regular season. But in any sports, big time players have always made big time plays, and there’s no doubt that Counter Logic will perform beyond expectations especially when it matters the most. The bot lane duo of Stixxay and Aphromoo will continue to be the focal point of the attack for CLG. Darshan and Huhi have been performing just below expectations but the pressure will still be on the top and mid lanes with Xmithie in the jungle.
This should be a fairly easy match for Counter Logic Gaming, advancing with the score of 3-0.
Now, with the format of the playoffs and Team SoloMid being the number one seed, TSM will face CLG while and Cloud9 finds themselves against Phoenix1.
Cloud9 vs Phoenix1
Two important details for this match: A trilogy between Cloud9 v Phoenix1 and Dark Meteos facing his old team, Cloud 9. Need we say more? With both teams spliiting the regular split record, this 3rd matchup is the fitting stage to finally settle the saga between Dark Meteos and Light Sneaky.
Towards the end of the regular season, Phoenix1 faced off against Cloud9 and Team Solo Mid. And instead of getting enough motivation to start their playoff run, Phoenix suffered 2-0 losses to both team. We’ll never if it was because of Phoenix1 being complacent (those two games didn’t have much bearing) or if the team just can’t keep up with the top teams in the region.
Cloud9’s jungle, Contractz, still remains to be the weakest link for the team, which gives Phoenix1 an opportunity to capitalize. But when it’s all said and done, Cloud9 should still advance after making quick adjustments and move on to the Finals with the score of 3-1.
Team SoloMid vs Counter Logic Gaming
Like the Cloud9-Phoenix1 match, Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming will be facing off for the third time but without the same hurrah. TSM were able to beat CLG with ease during the regular season split, and should have no problem in beating them for the third time.
That is unless CLG could go clutch and play according to what their name implies, “counter logic.” But of course, that’s unlikely to happen.
Team SoloMid had to figure out how to play with Doublelift throughout the season, but have managed to click just in time for the playoffs. Counter Logic Gaming could steal a game from TSM, but this is matchup for Team Solo Mid to lose. Team Solo Mid will advance with a score of 3-1.
Cloud9 vs Team SoloMid
Even before the regular season started, this has always been the matchup that everyone (including myself) has predicted. And yes, here we are again.
At the beginning of the year, Cloud9 were able to beat a “disjointed” Team Solo Mid. Then TSM managed to return the favor by defeating Cloud9 in convincing fashion on the second match. The deciding factor for the Finals now relies on the form of every player in TSM.
Hauntzer, a contender for this split’s MVP, has improved drastically by filling up the shot-calling responsibilities left by Doublelift. He should have the edge on the top lane, with CS and Gold advantages, which is better than his top lane counterparts, Ray and Impact.
Sneaky and Soothie will be dominating the bot lane with ease as Wildturtle and BIofrost haven’t been impressive in the lane. Even if Wildturtle manage to perform at his best, Sneaky still outranks him in terms of lane dominance and damage contributed.
The mid lane matchup will be a close one as Jensen and Bjergsen have always had a tight match with one another. This Finals matchup could then be decided on which team has the better jungler – that’s Svenskeren. Though he underperformed in comparison to his incredible run during the World Championship, Svenskeren seems to be back on track for the playoffs.
With Svenskeren going aggressive in the jungle with his invades and complementing Hauntzer and Bjergsen in the solo lanes, this calls for a victory for Team SoloMid. But this is definitely going to be a very close series with TSM squeeking a 3-2 victory over Cloud9.
– Jeremiah Rulloda