LCS lock-in action has just taken a turn for the better as best of fives return next weekend. To decide the finalists for the $150,000 winner take all tournament, 100 Thieves face off against Cloud9 in our first semifinal of the event. The following tie will feature a surging Evil Geniuses who will look to derail the hype train of Team Liquid as they both enjoyed 3-1 records and 2-0 sweeps in their groups thus far.
100 Thieves vs. Cloud9
Prediction: 100T (3-2)
Cloud9 had the only 2-1 series of the quarter-final knockouts due to TSM’s unwillingness to crack under early game pressure. However, the competition in this semi-final series gives a whole new set of challenges for C9 given 100T’s structure at each phase.
One thing is for sure, C9 will not have an easier time against 100T than they did with TSM. 100T’s bot lane is a few notches above that of C9’s last opponents, and FBI has been making a case for himself as the best Kai’ Sa in North America. Furthermore, 100T’s biggest weapon in late game team fights is Ssumday, and he will be sure to put on a clinic against the lukewarm performances from C9’s top laner as of late.
While C9 is a young and developing squad still, 100T’s roster possesses a bit more polish across their members that can possibly deliver them the victory, despite their underdog status. The only concrete win condition on the side of Cloud9 is some 1v9 Perkz heroics in the late game, but the current threat of 100T seems to much to overcome at the moment. If Damonte plays an even keel series and delivers good performances against Perkz, this will be a hard deficit to overturn for the Croatian international.
Either way, expect this series to be the most competitive of the tournament so far. Both teams have plenty to prove and zero desire to come out on the losing end of this result. Which will make for high-intensity games between two competitive sides.
Evil Geniuses vs. Team Liquid
Prediction: Team Liquid (3-1)
In our second semifinal of the tournament, a red-hot Team Liquid faces off against a surging Evil Geniuses who have seemingly found a new talisman with Impact. Impact faces off against his former team for the first time since leaving Team Liquid this offseason and this first best of five between both sides will be a great test of strength.
Svenskeren and Impact team back up again with the likes of Jiizuke, Deftly, and IgNar for a new look EG that could rightfully contest for a top-four spot. However, against Team Liquid, their roster strength is limited by the strengths they possess in those same categories.
Without a doubt, the bot lane duo of CoreJJ and Tactical is the best in the region. Routinely this pair is able to get double kills in bot lane in a way that hasn’t been executed since Tactical’s predecessor Doublelift was at his peak. The Korean boot camp did wonders for the young AD talent as he is looking to build off a promising Worlds campaign into this new year.
While EG usually gets the better of TL in the early game due to Svenskeren’s jungling, the lane pressure across the board will be too much to overcome over the course of five games. The most anticipated solo lane matchup this series will be Alphari vs. Impact as they both have been lauded for their ability on tanks as well as carries in the top lane.
There are plenty of interesting storylines to pay attention to in this series, but the odds favor Team Liquid over EG due to their team strength across the board.