Immortals vs. NRG Esports
Immortals continue to dominate the NA LCS standings, and further solidify their playoff bye after defeating CLG and Echo Fox last week. NRG on the other hand continue to demonstrate an awkward mix of results; losing to Phoenix 1 but beating Team Envy.
Immortals vs. NRG is a classic example of a crowd favourite vs. an underdog. The Immortals have established themselves as a very well rounded team, with carries in every single role alongside unrelenting from their jungler and support. Immortals have been polishing their gameplay; punching out some very clean and systematic league of legends, with high KDAs, dragon control and short(er) game times.
As the weeks progress, NRG are moulding themselves into a very dangerous team identity. Very reminiscent of the 2014/15 TSM line-up, NRG is heavily dependent on GBM pulling ahead, placing Santorin and the NRG bot-lane into very supportive/fodder positions. When GBM starts poppin’ off, NRG are able to play around his high-damage, control-mage champions. But. If GBM falls behind, the whole team slumps.
Immortals possess all the qualities and characteristics of a team to bet for. I will always favour the well-rounded team that doesn’t play around one single player.
Prediction: Immortals 70% | NRG Esports 30%
Bet: Immortals (Series and/or Map 2)
Echo Fox vs. Apex
Game after game after game, Echo Fox continues to tank the losses as they approach the dreaded relegations tournament. What comes to a surprise is that Echo Fox actually starts games with a decent game plan; able to pick up first bloods, strategically group together in the early phases and coordinate resources effectively. However, this is only within the preliminary stages of the game. Echo Fox are unable to translate small early leads into more objectives, more kills or more pressure.
Apex on the other hand have developed into a top-centric team, relying on the power plays of Ray while using his assertive plays to pick up objectives, vision and towers elsewhere. Apex are without a doubt favourites for this match-up; their past performances, stats and individual mechanics are simply on another level compared to Echo Fox.
The only question I have to ask myself is what kind of risk is there in betting for Apex to win? Echo Fox have been playing consistently poor for the past eight weeks, taking past performances would mean there is very little chance for Echo Fox to cause an upset. Overall, Apex should cruise to an easy victory, especially in a best of three series.
Prediction: Echo Fox 35% | Apex 65%
Bet: Apex win (Series or maps)
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Liquid
CLG vs. Liquid. A clash between NA’s finest. It was not long ago that I was bashing on CLG and their mid laner, their split push efforts and their bot lane capabilities. However, they proved me wrong. I certainly find it very difficult to gauge who is the stronger/better team between CLG and Liquid. The only thing that CLG and Liquid have in common is that they both got stomped by TSM and Immortals.
Both CLG and Liquid are very similar in their team compositions and skill. This includes:
- Darshan and Lourlo both enjoying the more carry orientated top lane meta. Both top laners have been picking up solo kills and also being solo killed in their respective games. The ganks by their junglers will be key in determining their lane dominance
- Huhi and Fenix are both heavily under-appreciated mid laners. That being said, Fenix is much more consistent while Huhi does have the tendency to heavily hit or miss
- Liquid and CLG bot lanes are very standard; however Fabbbyyy leans towards supportive ADCs such as Ashe and Sivir, while we see a deeper ADC pool from Stixxay
Overall I feel like Liquid have a slight edge in this match-up. I feel like Dardoch is going to be much more impactful in the early game, and Fenix possess much more play making potential than Huhi. As for CLG’s Darshan, Lourlo has played toe-to-toe with TSM Hauntzer and IMT Huni, so I am confident in him, at the very least, mitigating Darshan’s split push pressure.
Prediction: CLG 49% | Liquid 51%
The Bet: Boys it’s gonna be a close one
TSM vs. Phoenix1
There isn’t much to say about this matchup is there? Realistically I could just leave this preview at that.
Let’s be honest here, the odds are probably going to be something along the lines of TSM (1.10 – 1.15) and Phoenix1 (7.50-8.50). Which to be fair, for the greatest team that NA has ever seen, vs. a group of headless chickens are pretty good odds. You could obtain better value from betting on the map one and map two victories, and tie this TSM victory into a nice multi with some other games from the NA LCS.
All-in-all, there is absolutely no way that TSM can lose this match-up. Let’s just leave it at that.
Prediction: TSM 90% | Phoenix1 10%
Apex vs. Immortals
Apex are lodging themselves as a middle-of-the-pack team. Which is probably not enough to take on the Immortals. To take your mind off the fact that they are going to get destroyed, here’s a list of things that Apex are good at:
- Having a coach that is very good at Pokémon Go (Saintvicious) https://twitter.com/LolStvicious
- The whole Apex crew all have crazy high CP Pokémon
- Ray reached rank 1 in NA solo queue
Overall, Immortals and TSM are in the driving seat of the NA LCS. And thus far, there are no contenders to take their seat. Apex have not nearly shown enough mechanical greatness, nor team cohesion to take down the second best team in NA. Given the certainty of this match-up, it should tie nicely into multi.
Prediction: Apex 20% | Immortals 80%
TSM vs. Team Envy
All aboard the TSM hype train! Choo Choo!
TSM are spitting nothing but fire this split, harbouring some of the best games, biggest win streaks and team statistics the NA LCS has ever seen. Given the sheer momentum that they carry and the fear factor they radiate upon their opponents, many, if not all teams are crushed under the might of Team Solo Mid.
Team Envy is trying to speed ahead of the pack and claim a third place finish. However, their current mediocre performances have them losing to teams like NRG.
If history was to repeat itself, Envy will lose to TSM, the same way they have been losing to Team Liquid, Immortals, CLG and Cloud 9.
Prediction: TSM 75% | Team Envy 25%
The Bet: Team Envy is highly unlikely to win. Bet TSM to win the series or map(s).
Cloud 9 vs. Phoenix 1
It is with full confidence that I can say that team’s like TSM and Immortals will beat mid to lower tier teams. However, when its Clown 9 up against Phoenix 1, could I smell an upset?
Realistically, Cloud 9 is a very solid team that is looking to consolidate on their current 3rd place standing. With C9 gaining a majority of first bloods in their matches and maintaining a strong early and late game rating, should seek to make quick work of Phoenix 1.
So what do Phoenix 1 have, that is in their favour? Well for starters, Pirean is an extremely efficient mid laner who works well when he’s fed, and even when he’s behind and gold starved. Mash too, is a very conservative ADC, who has the tendency to farm, maintain low deaths and quietly reach those critical power spikes and attempt to have an impact on the game.
Overall, Phoenix 1 lacks the firepower to take down NA’s memers. Cloud 9 should earn a victory, regardless if it is an easy 2-0 or 2-1.
Prediction: Cloud 9 70% | Phoenix 1 30%
Echo Fox vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Could Echo Fox finish this split with more than just a single win? The honest answer is: no.
Echo Fox have fallen into a deep, deep pit of irrecoverable team errors. The burden of having a poorly performing team is placed on the team’s leader, Froggen. Froggen is the lifeline of Echo Fox and yet, isn’t doing so well himself in the face of NA’s strong mid laners.
Overall, Echo Fox are far too weak right now to face almost any team in the NA LCS. Starting with poor individual mechanics right through to messy team cohesion and poor mid-late game decision-making, they some crazy miracle to improve.
With CLG ramping up their performances last week against C9, and a proven history of beating these lower tier teams, should cruise to an easy 2-0 victory.
Prediction: Echo Fox 15% | Counter Logic Gaming 85%