League of Legends LCS Playoff Preview: Cloud9 Vs. TSM

TSM Bjergsen - Riot Games
TSM Bjergsen - Riot Games /
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Who Wins?

Down to brass tacks – who will take this Semifinals?

Most analysts seem to be predicting Cloud9 in a close 5-game series, citing the 2-0 regular season against TSM’s late-split rise. As for me, I’ve put my cash money on the boys in black and white. Let’s look at some history.

In Spring of 2014, Cloud9 lost their first NA LCS Finals to TSM. Here’s how the lanes stacked up:

·       An “Balls” Le was expected to beat Marcus “Dyrus” Hill in the top lane. Balls was an aggressive carry player who could also effectively splash into the Tank meta.

·       Will “Meteos” Hartman was considered the single best jungler in NA, and was heavily favored against Maurice “Amazing” Stuckensneider

·       SØren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, the strongest midlaner at the time, was favored against Hai “Hai” du Lam.

·       Nobody was quite sure how to rate Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Ham “Lustboy” Jang-Sik against Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Daerek “LemonNation” Hart.

Wildturtle of FlyQuest. League of Legends. Playoffs
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Let’s look at the setup which we now face for our 2019 LCS semifinals match.

·       Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, a carry player who can effectively splash for tanks, is expected to beat Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik.

·       Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen looks better than Matt “Akaadian” Higgenbotham, and maybe the best jungler in the League with the falloff of Jake “Xmithie” Puchero.

·       Bjergsen has ramped up and is likely the best mid lane in North American League of Legends.

·       No one can really tell who should win on the bottom side of the map.

But there’s more.

From a narrative perspective, remember that in 2014 Summer, TSM was coming off their – at the time – worst year, mostly at the hands of C9. Further, TSM had begun their split with a reasonably anemic start, before clawing their way up to third place by the end of the Regular Season.

Add to this a slight analyst bias towards the boys in blue, a burst-mage meta in the middle of the map, and the third moon of Jupiter in retrograde (I’m making this part up).

Sound familiar?

Nearly five years have passed since TSM first turned their corner against Cloud9 in what would be one of the best League of Legends Playoffs series I have ever seen. This Saturday these legacy organizations are facing off once more. For the first time in years, the squads are meeting as relative equals, each with something to prove.

Cloud9 hopes to win their first title since that portentous day in 2014. TSM looks to build their LCS dynasty to its former greatness.

I’m not an analyst. I don’t crunch K/D/A numbers and CSD @ 20 and Jungle Proximity and all that other stuff that keeps these game commentators employed. But I’ve watched a lot of League of Legends in my time, and even I can see the patterns that make for a great story.

If history can be trusted, TSM will win in a banger five-game Playoffs series, just like 2014. Enough stars have aligned for me to put my money on that. But hey, whichever way it goes, we’re in for one hell of a ride.

Next. League of Legends LEC Playoff Preview: G2 Esports vs. Origen. dark

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