NA and EU LCS Semi-Finals Predictions Day 2
After Day 1 of the Semi-Finals I am 0–2 with both my predictions ending up wrong. I didn’t expect Origen to play as well as they did against H2K and beat them in a five game series. With their playoff performance Origen also continues to show that best of ones don’t matter and that best of twos/threes can’t come sooner. Also Counter Logic Gaming came out ahead after a classic Game 5 versus Team Liquid. I thought this was going to be a close five game series and it did not disappoint. But now, onto Day 2 predictions
Everyone beats everyone and Fnatic wins in the end. That’s what everyone has said for 5 of the 6 EU LCS splits; with Alliance being the only other team to win an EU LCS split. Unfortunately for Fnatic, G2 Esports stands in front of them and a spot in their 7th straight LCS Finals. In only one split G2 have gone from a challenger team to #1 seed in the EU LCS Regular Season, and now they look to stop the reigning champions from defending their crown in Rotterdam.
This series should be exciting no matter how long it lasts. Both Trick and Spirit are aggressive junglers who will try and take over the opposing jungle and make plays off of it. Gamsu and Kikis are both known to play tanks, so they will be looking to group with their teams and make teleport plays. Bot lane will be a battle of opposite styles with Emperor and Hybrid being the aggressive duo and Rekkles and Klaj being the more safe duo. Then you have the superstar match-up in the mid lane, Febiven vs Perkz. Febiven was in Perkz shoes last year as the rookie mid laner on one of the best teams in Europe going into the playoffs. In the playoffs and throughout the rest of the year Febiven showed that he was one of, if not the best mid laner in the west. Now it’s Perkz chance to show that his and G2’s regular season was no fluke. Perkz had some of the best stats during the regular season, but that was best of ones and this is a full best of five series against some of the most experienced players in Europe. If Perkz can perform as well as he did all season long and lead G2 to their first Finals appearance, he might be able to start saying that he is the best mid laner in Europe.
In the end this should be G2’s series to lose. Everything about this current meta seems to favor how G2 plays. Top laner who plays tanks? Check. Aggressive jungler? Check. Superstar mid laner? Check. Solid ADC with a support who plays tanky utility champions? Check. I think Fnatic will give G2 a good fight, but not enough to stop them from reaching their first EU LCS Finals.
Official Prediction: G2 3–1 FNC
The final Semi-Final of the weekend is the clash between the 17–1 Immortals and the much improved Team Solo Mid. If someone asked me before the playoffs how I thought this series would go, I would’ve said that IMT would crush TSM 3–0. But now after TSM’s 3–1 victory over Cloud 9 last week, I think this series will be a lot less one sided. The two major reasons for TSM’s victory over Cloud 9 were their better grasp on the meta and their ability to play as a team over playing as individuals. Playing as a cohesive unit is what TSM must do if they want any hope of stopping Immortals, and it’s what they’ve had the hardest time doing all split long. During the regular season, watching TSM games was like watching a challenger solo queue game. Five great individual players who have no idea how to actually work as a team. One person would try and make a play and the rest of the team would be nowhere in sight to help. Because of play like that they finished in 6th place, which is the worst TSM had ever finished in a regular season. Now when you look at Immortals though it is the complete opposite story. Both teams were brand new rosters coming into the spring split, but unlike TSM, Immortals gelled together instantly. They dominated NA all split long only losing one game to the team that just qualified for the Spring Split Finals, defending champions Counter Logic Gaming. They’re favorites to win this series and based off their play it’s hard to argue against them.
To get a better look at this match-up we’ll have to look at it position by position starting in the top lane with Huni vs Hauntzer. From the second Huni came into the EU LCS last spring he was a force to be reckoned with, and that certainly hasn’t changed in NA. Getting two pentakills is only the beginning of what Huni has done this past split. Highest DPM (damage to champions per minute) at 610 and highest damage percentage (percentage of his total team’s damage) at 27 % for top laners is quite impressive. Compared to Hauntzer’s 373 DPM and 18.4 % DMG % it is easy to see that Huni does a lot for his team in terms of carrying. Luckily for Hauntzer this meta is more about playing tanks, so he doesn’t have to worry about carrying his team. In all of TSM’s wins last week Hauntzer was on a tank champion providing high utility while only doing the 3rd or 4th most damage on his team. So while he won’t be able to beat Huni in lane, Hauntzer can still make his presence known in the series with his tank play.
In the jungle we have a match-up between the MVP of the regular season, Reignover and the man who looked like Santorin 2.0 for most of the regular season, Svenskeren. For Svenskeren, based on his play style it’s not hard to see why he didn’t play well this split. Svenskeren is an aggressive jungler who likes to make plays to win his team games. Many times on SK Gaming last year if Sven got Lee Sin he might just carry the whole game himself. On a team like TSM though, who for most of the split didn’t know how to communicate properly, Sven couldn’t play this style effectively. Now with TSM’s improvement in teamwork it is showing through in Sven’s play. In two of TSM’s three wins last week Sven had the highest kill participation on his team and in Game 4 of that series he had the highest DMG % on his team by 5 %. This time however, Sven isn’t facing someone who normally struggles in LCS playoffs, he’s facing Reignover. Reignover, like Huni, is a two time EU LCS champion, a Season 5 Worlds Semi-Finalist, and currently has a 60–12 record in the LCS regular season and playoffs. There’s not much you can’t say about how Reignover has played this split. He’s controlled the enemy jungler in almost every game, he has the highest CS differential at 10 minutes for junglers at 7.3, the highest KDA for junglers at 8.3, and the highest EGPM (earned gold per minute) for junglers at 263.7. Without Reignover a large portion of Immortal’s play making ability would go away. He has consistently been setting up his team to succeed in every game. So Sven might have looked better last week, but he’s going to have his hands full when it comes to Reignover in this series.
When we get to the mid lane this is where TSM has their biggest advantage, and they are going to have to use it. Bjergsen is one of if not the best mid laners in the west. He did have a slight slump this split, but considering the problems going on with the team it makes sense for that to happen. But even with him not performing as well as he has previously, he still outperformed Pobelter in almost every statistic. Bjergsen had a better CS difference at 10 minutes, DPM, DMG %, and kill participation than Pobelter. Bjergsen had the 2nd worst DMG % in the league with 27.3 %, but Pobelter had the worst at 23.5 %. This shows how much less Pobelter is needed to carried compared to mid laners on other teams. It is a very similar situation to the role Pobelter had on CLG last split. Darshan and Doublelift were the main carries on CLG, just like Huni and Wild Turtle are the main carries on IMT. TSM on the other hand, have and always will be what their name says they are, Team Solo Mid. If TSM wins a series, you better believe Bjergsen had a major part in it and this one is gonna be no different.
Doublelift vs Wild Turtle is a match-up that has been going on for as long as the LCS has been around. The only thing that has changed now is the teams they represent. Before it was Wild Turtle on TSM and Doublelift on the rivals CLG. Turtle went to every NA LCS Finals with TSM (winning 3 out of 6), while Doublelift couldn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Then last split Doublelift and CLG finally made it to the NA LCS Finals and faced off against TSM in Madison Square Garden. Unlike in the past, CLG dominated TSM 3–0, won their first LCS split, and got the #1 seed from NA for Worlds. Then after Worlds everything changed for both Doublelift and Wild Turtle. TSM released their entire roster besides Bjergsen, Doublelift was released from CLG and subsequently signed by TSM hours later, and Wild Turtle signed on with new team Immortals later in the off season. After all that back story we finally get to what matters, this split. On Immortals, Wild Turtle has gotten the freedom to play how he wants, which he lost on TSM. Doublelift on the other hand is trying to adjust to a whole new team with a whole new set of problems on TSM. Statistic wise there’s not much you can’t say about these two this season. They’re the top two in DPM for ADCs (Wild Turtle is 1st), they’re in the top 4 of DMG % for ADCs (Doublelift is 1st), and they’re tied for 2nd in CS per minute for ADCs. Doublelift and Wild Turtle are going to be major factors in this series no doubt, but who is a bigger factor might come down to their supports.
Unlike Wild Turtle vs Doublelift, Adrian vs Yellowstar is a match-up of a young player looking to win his first LCS championship, facing off against one of the most successful players in LCS history. Adrian has only played 1 full professional season and could not make it past the semi-finals in his first two LCS splits. Yellowstar on the other hand has never missed a LCS final in his 6 EU LCS splits and is a 3 time Worlds Semi-Finalist. Now just taking history into account this might not seem like a balanced match-up, but that’s not how this split has gone. Adrian has been on the 17–1 team, and Yellowstar is the one struggling to gel with his new team. Utilizing Janna and Soraka to great effect, Adrian has been the roaming ambulance for Immortals making sure that his teammates are always healthy and ready to win a fight. This play style performed especially well when it came to protecting Wild Turtle. Turtle is a player known to dive head first into the enemy team, and when you are playing Soraka you can just heal him over and over again so he doesn’t die. Some might say Adrian can only put up good numbers with these two champions, but history has shown that he is more than capable of playing supports like Alistar and Braum. Comparing his statistics with Yellowstar’s from this split they are almost identical in wards per minute and kill participation. Where the real difference comes in is when you look at KDA. Adrian has the highest KDA for supports at 8.7 while Yellowstar is far below at only 2.9. When you look at how their teams did and how they played with their teams this stat makes a lot more sense. As said before TSM has struggled throughout the split to work together as a team. This can be seen quite clearly with how Yellowstar played in certain games. Many times Yellowstar would try and engage or reengage a fight and the rest of the team is walking the other way. In the Cloud 9 series however, Yellowstar looked to be working much better within TSM, which can be seen by his 6.0 KDA for the series. Whether Yellowstar makes his 7th LCS Final or Adrian reaches his 1st will be an interesting topic once this series is over.
This series is going to come down to how much TSM really have improved as a team since the end of the regular season. Individually TSM have no problems squaring up against IMT. When it comes to team play however, that’s where the real question mark lies. Unfortunately for TSM I think Huni and Reignover will be too much to handle, and they’ll control this series to make sure Immortals comes out ahead. So while TSM look to be working together better as a team, and will be a contender next split, I don’t think it will be enough to stop the freight train that is Immortals from reaching the Spring Split Finals in Las Vegas.
Official Prediction: IMT 3–1 TSM
My FNC vs G2 prediction was more simple, while I tried to go more in depth on TSM vs IMT. Hopefully you enjoyed my more in depth writing and I’ll continue to do it in the future. Thanks for reading my article, comments are always appreciated, and look out for more soon. Also thanks to Oracle’s Elixir and Games of Legends for the stats I used in this article.