LCS Picks, Predictions, Best Bets August 13 – World Sports Network
The LCS summer now heads into its eighth and final week of the split. The first match of the week for Team Liquid should be smooth sailing, their opponents being the bottom-placed Dignitas. The two teams will meet on Saturday, and it’s not hard to predict a TL walkover.
TL are on fire after two back to back wins last week, and after what has been, by their standards, an average split, they’re coming into their own once more. They’re fourth on the standings with 10 wins and 5 losses so far, due to their victories last week that saw them overtake Cloud9.
TL obliterated FlyQuest last Saturday, but that was nothing compared to their victory the next day against Evil Geniuses. Everyone knew the contest would be nothing short of a slugfest, but few could’ve predicted the one-sided, commanding victory that finally ensued. TL went berserk and the top-ranked team went down in 24 minutes, and all hell broke loose as they could manage only six kills in the end.
EG were unable to collect a single tower, dragon or baron as TL played to their considerable strengths, a dangerous reminder to the rest of what they’re capable of. Bwipo and Bjergsen dealt a hefty damage count of 16k and 15k respectively, and amassed 11 kills between them. After that assertive victory over the top team in the split, it’s quite clear that Dignitas don’t stand a chance.
To say the Dignitas have had a forgettable summer would be an understatement. They’ve only won three games in the split so far, and are now stranded at the bottom of the rankings. The only victories they’ve managed this season have come against Immortals and TSM, who’re keeping them company at the lower end of the points standings.
Prior to this week Dignitas were on a depressing six-loss streak, until they finally broke it by securing a win against Immortals last Sunday. Dignitas have to step up their game if they hope to succeed at this level, but it won’t happen overnight.
Saturday’s second game sees defending champions Evil Geniuses taking on the downtrodden Golden Guardians. The odds are skewed heavily in EG’s favour, of course, and they can bank on securing some easy points.
EG lost out on the top spot last week to 100 Thieves last week after an unexpected loss to Team Liquid. They’ve stood top of the standings ever since the start of the split, a fitting defense to their fairytale spring championship. Over the last three weeks, however, they’ve succumbed to a couple of defeats at the hands of 100 Thieves and TL.
Both those were heavy, morale-crushing losses, especially considering EG will soon encounter the same teams again at the summer playoffs. Bot laner Danny and jungler Inspired have the highest kill rate among the rest this season, a whopping 4.92 and 4.46 respectively. After pulling off some of the most attacking, offensive plays this season, as evidenced by the 15.4 kill rate per game, seeing them buckle under and fold against TL came a shock to many.
Not that that takes away from what a phenomenal season they’ve had. EG created history last spring when they won LCS spring split for the first time after battling the odds, and it’s clear they still possess the same hunger to succeed. Considering their last couple of matches are against Dignitas and Cloud9, it’s more than likely EG will reclaim their deserved spot at the top.
Golden Guardians currently stand eighth on the rankings, with only four wins so far across the seven completed weeks of the split. In fact, since week four they haven’t been able to win at all. Since then things have gone from bad to worse. GG have been dealt six losses on the trot, and though they may still manage to qualify for playoffs from the eighth position, it’s really flogging a dead horse at this point.
They will be aware that their chances of progressing beyond the loser’s bracket are slim to none. GG have suffered the worst death toll in the split so far, the figure standing at a miserable 14.0 deaths per game. Unable to find answers, they’ve stumbled blindfolded through the split , viewed by the better teams as an easy points-grab rather than actual competitors. EG have already hit GG out of the park once this season, and you can be prepared for a repeat of that result.
This should be a highly intriguing matchup between two sides that are considered the best of the rest. They’re in the playoffs spot at the moment in 5th and 6th place and have also distanced themselves from those under them that lessens the stakes but still promises a lot because both sides will want to prove that they’re up there with the best.
Team Liquid have had a bit of a disappointing campaign by their high standards. They were the best side in the league last season but have struggled to show that form this season. However, they’re still above FlyQuest and managed to beat them earlier in the league and will head into this match as the favorites.
There’s been some misfortune involved because they enjoy the third best KD Ratio of 1.28 in the league and also the third most damage in the league but are still tied on points with Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming. According to every available metric, they’re still the third best side in the league and have perhaps the standout player in the league. Bjergsen, the bot laner, has an extraordinary KDA of 7.61 this year and with a little help from his teammates, they could win it all this season.
FlyQuest provide decent opposition but aren’t a fully convincing side, having averaged 10.7 kills per game and 9.8 deaths per game for the season. They’ll need a bit more from the likes of bot laner, Johnsun, who has averaged 3.78 kills per game this year to really be a force. This isn’t going to be enough and it’s why Team Liquid should have little trouble beating them.
This is probably the hardest match to call so far on the list but it still sways quite heavily towards Team Liquid coming on top.
100 Thieves versus FlyQuest is the third of Saturday’s one-sided contests. 100 Thieves have knocked Evil Geniuses from their stronghold on the top of the rankings after a surge of victories, and don’t intend to budge. They’ll view their fixture against the watered down FlyQuest as a means to cement that position.
FlyQuest are entrenched at number six on the rankings, with 7 wins and 8 losses as they head into their final three games. It’s been another so-so split for them, where they’ve performed at one level better than Immortals and Dignitas, but been unable to stand up to the likes of Evil Geniuses or Team Liquid. A lucky break against 100 Thieves in week four was the highlight of their season, but since then their situation has only deteriorated.
Across the last fortnight they’ve been taken to the cleaners in turn by Cloud 9, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming. Those four losses against the split’s best would’ve sent their morale on a downward spiral, and a recovery at this point is nigh on impossible. Their hopes for the playoffs remain alive, as they will no doubt finish the round robin within the cutoff for qualification, but it’s going to be a long, rough haul ahead.
100 Thieves’ loss to FlyQuest in the fourth week of the split was utterly uncharacteristic, and it served as a harsh wake-up call. It seems they took their learnings from that game very seriously, because they’ve been on a rampage ever since. 100 Thieves are soaring high on a seven-match streak, and no one, not even Evil Geniuses, have been able to hold a candle to them as they surged from strength to strength, unbeaten in the second half of the split. 100 Thieves have lost just three of their 15 games so far, and are tied for first place with EG, slotting ahead on the basis of their seven-match riot.
Their kill to death ratio is an impressive 1.81, the highest among any team. As the split has progressed they’ve only grown in confidence, with their gameplay covered across every base, and improving with each game. 100 Thieves’ bot laner FBI averages 4.08 kills per game, the third best in the split so far, and has been backed up admirably by Ssumday and Abbedagge.
Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming will face TSM in the fourth of Saturday’s fixtures, another game with the odds stacked heavily on the side of one side – you guessed it, CLG. They need this win if they’re to hold on to their ranking, and prevent Team Liquid, who are hot on their heels, from catching up. Beating TSM will give them the edge over TL heading into the final week, especially since 100 thieves are one of their remaining opponents.
CLG are tied for third place on the split rankings along with TL, each of whom have secured 10 wins each. They’ve won their last five games in a row, and will look to end their season on a high. CLG’s most recent game was a bloodbath against Fly Quest, which stretched for over 50 minutes.
That match involved 43 kills in total, and both teams ran neck and neck up to the end. But CLG dealt more damage overall, led by Palafox and Luger, and accumulated a better dragon and tower count than their opponents. They’ve shown this split that they have what it takes to compete against the top teams, and they won’t be shown up by the likes of TSM.
TSM have won only five of their games so far, and are seventh on the standings. They will likely qualify for the loser’s bracket, but it remains to be seen how far they’ll progress in the playoffs. In the last three weeks they’ve taken severe beatings at the hands of 100 thieves, team liquid and evil geniuses.
Though they’re coming off a convincing win against Dignitas, it means little in the scheme of things, and certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence heading into the contest against CLG. Bot laner Tony ‘instinct’ Ng has been one of the sole bright sparks of an underwhelming season, with a kill rate per game hovering at 2.83. But he’s had little support, and S0ul and Solo still haven’t found their feet. As a result the team’s kill rate has slipped to 9.1, the third worst in the league.
The last game on Saturday will see Cloud 9 fare against Immortals, another uneven contest where the odds are skewed in favour of the former. Cloud 9 have pulled off some stunning victories this split, but are neck and neck with FlyQuest, and require a win to stay ahead on the standings.
Cloud9 will be aware that they don’t have much of a task ahead as far as Immortals are concerned. They’re fifth on the rankings with 8 wins and 7 losses so far. But after their four match-winning streak across weeks five and six, during which they managed to take down to Team Liquid, they have since slumped to consecutive losses.
CLG took them to the cleaners, as did 100 Thieves the next day. The defeat to 100 Thieves was sobering. Though Fudge tried his best, Cloud 9 finally went down having managed only 8 kills to 23. Berserker and Jensen have been the standout performers for their side this season, the former holding a competitive kill rate of 3.6.
Though they lost to Immortals on the previous occasion these two sides met, it’s very unlikely Cloud 9 will let that happen again. Immortals have had a dismal split, having won just four games so far. The only solace they can seek heading into this match is that they’ve managed to beat Cloud 9 before. But that was four weeks ago, and since then their form has floundered.
Across the last fortnight they’ve endured drubbings at the hands of Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves, and then by Dignitas too to rub salt into their wounds. They salvaged their Sunday with a win over Golden Guardians to make up for their lousy weekend, but considering GG are in the same boat as them, it couldn’t have helped much. Immortals have the lowest kill rate per game than any other team in the league, currently standing at a meagre 7.9. The lack of a proper offensive strategy has shown up in their results.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]
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