League of Legends: LCS Match of the Week Preview: Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
2 of 2

Team SoloMid

2018 was the first year in history that Team SoloMid failed to qualify for the World Championship and to avoid that happening again they’ll want to challenge the defending champions, Team Liquid, for the top spot. TSM also hold the record for most consecutive championships with three, alongside TL, and will want to prevent their opponents from clinching the fourth this split.

When it comes to predicting LCS champions, you can never count Team SoloMid out. With six titles already to their name, there’s no doubt that this legendary organisation are the best North American League of Legends has ever seen, and although they may not have lifted the trophy since 2017, they’ve yet to miss an LCS playoff tournament.

The additions of Broken Blade, Akaadian, and Smoothie in the off-season have created an exciting, new TSM look that, given time to gel, could mount a serious international challenge. Considering they only fell by one game to Team Liquid in a reverse sweep in the spring finals, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe they could have performed similarly at MSI.

TSM will head into Saturday’s Match of the Week brimming with confidence and excited at the prospect of taking down an international runner-up and making a statement to the rest of the league. Having already defeated Team Liquid twice in 2019 regular season matches, they’ll certainly feel like they can make it three for three, particularly after having a much longer break compared to TL’s short rest since MSI.

One to Watch: Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg

There is no player better suited to the task of taking down Team Liquid than TSM’s star mid laner, Bjergsen. Every year viewers and analysts are convinced that his form is beginning to decline, and he proves them wrong time and time again. This year he guided a young, inexperienced TSM roster to the spring split final, claiming a spot in the LCS All-Pro team in the process. After the disappointment of 2018, it’s inconceivable that Bjergsen wouldn’t want to use this year to carry TSM to international success, especially after watching Team Liquid’s MSI performance from home.

If you run down the TL roster, there’s one glaring opportunity to punish a player in a rough patch of form. Jensen was considered by many the most underperforming player throughout Liquid’s spring triumph as well as MSI, and it’s up to Bjergsen and his surrounding members to punish this. It speaks volumes about Team Liquid’s level of play when Jensen, one of the best mid laners in NA, is an underperforming member, but TSM need to take advantage of every little mistake if they want to come out on top in the first Match of the Week of the LCS summer split.

Akaadian or Grig should combine with Bjergsen to create multiple 2v1 or 2v2 opportunities in the mid lane to capitalise on the weakest part of this Team Liquid line-up. Utilising a mid lane lead and then rotating around the map to create numbers advantage scenarios is one avenue for success for TSM in Saturday’s intense match-up.

LCS Match of the Week Prediction: Team SoloMid Win

Team Liquid will be favourites heading into the LCS Match of the Week, but it’s a game that could go either way. TL are technically the second best team in the world, and TSM have already taken 4 games from them in 2019. Both sides are in excellent form and will undoubtedly be challenging for the top spot in the summer split.

Ultimately it’s a case of whether the lack of rest will affect Team Liquid’s chances. Team SoloMid haven’t played a competitive game in eight weeks and have been scrimming on the latest patches for an extended period of time, whereas TL have only had a two week break, previous to which they were playing on Patch 9.8, two patches behind the LCS update. This will definitely have an impact on the game and could give TSM the edge in terms of preparation and readiness for this weekend.

On top of that, it’s a battle in the jungle. It’s expected that Akaadian will start, however Grig could also face Team Liquid on Saturday. Both will have their work cut out for them if they want to get the better of NA’s best jungler, Xmithie, but with much more play time on the current patch (including scuttle crab changes), they’ll feel they have the edge in the jungle clash.

Team SoloMid may come out on top if Bjergsen can combine with his jungler to roam and extend their lead around the map – the 2v2 mid-jungle battle will be pivotal in deciding the outcome of Saturday’s match-up. Xmithie and Jensen would normally be the favourites to win, but it’s very likely that TSM’s duo can come out on top in what will be an exhilarating contest.

Next. Patch 9.11 Notes Breakdown and Analysis. dark

Disagree with my “LCS Match of the Week” predictions? Go ahead and flash the #TLWin in the comments below!

The LCS returns on Saturday at 17:00 ET on the Riot Games Twitch channel! Catch the LCS Match of the Week at 18:00 ET!