Looking Ahead to Cloud9 vs Team Liquid

Week 7 Day 3 at 2017 NA LCS Summer Split in Los Angeles, California, USA on 23 July 2017.
Week 7 Day 3 at 2017 NA LCS Summer Split in Los Angeles, California, USA on 23 July 2017. /

Will the Church be able to convert the reigning LCS Lock-In Champs?

Praise Da Lawwwd!

In what was perhaps the most exciting Week One in LCS history, Cloud9 went undefeated with their brand new roster, led by the polarizing League Pope himself, Nick “LS” De Cesare. The team was quick to brandish LS’ patented scaling strategy by putting mid laner Fudge on supports and garnering early dragons, making the games virtually unwinnable for the enemy team. With a full week’s of practice this time around, they hope to continue to spread their faith against the newest iteration of the Team Liquid superteam.

Robbed in Broad Daylight

Lock-in champions Team Liquid are coming off a 1-1 week after a decisive loss against reigning summer split champions 100 Thieves, where the squad was unable to make purchase on early game advantages from Bwipo’s Renekton pick and ended up being outscaled by Ssumday’s Ornn. I remember watching this game and being particularly critical of Bjergsen and Santorin being unable to find a good wombo with their Jarvan IV and Orianna ults in the mid game; I felt that Bjergsen’s lackluster shockwaves and the team’s general ability to push the pace of the game while they were strong was a key reason they got handed the L this time around. With hopefully more time to work with substitute support player Eyla, the 2022 Lock-In champs look to bounce back against what feels like the most exciting team in LCS right now.

 Key Matchups

HyperCarry Meta

Early 2022 Spring has been dominated by hypercarry ADCs like Jinx and Caitlyn, *cough* Arcane *cough*, and so the first matchup we’ll be delving into is C9’s Berserker vs. TL’s Hans Sama.

The Homesick Frenchmen

Now I’ll be honest, Hans Sama has not looked as good as he advertised himself in 2021 Worlds Group Stages; don’t get me wrong, the man has still got it, but he definitely appears to be a gear behind his usual lane-dominant self and his teamfighting hasn’t been as perfect as it has in prior years.

Now I know all of you will instinctively will point to the fact that CoreJJ still does not have his green card yet and the team itself is forced to play with Eyla, but I do not think this completely excused his lukewarm play. He was still able to dominate the LEC, albeit single-handedly, when then-support Trymbi was still a rookie and I do not see why he is not able to replicate that level in an arguably easier region.

Perhaps the Frenchmen is still getting used to the culture shift of moving to a new region, and it is still early in the split, but I am definitely C9 favored here when you think about who his opposition is…

The Monstrous Prodigy

Berserker might just end the split as the Rookie of the Split and MVP. There, I said it. He might be the first ever play to accomplish this feat and given how the young Korean import is playing, you would have to be legally blind not to see it. A player with seemingly flawless teamfight decision making, Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol singlehandedly won C9 the game vs Lock-In Finalists Evil Geniuses with one of the craziest, big-brain Aphelios teamfights I have ever seen. It is no wonder that T1’s ADC Gumayusi, who I consider the best ADC in the world, was rumored to remark that he was scared that young Berserker, who was playing in T1’s Academy team, might someday take his job.

Not only has LS used his T1 connections to bring over an extremely talented, young player to the LCS, his drafting style also greatly benefits Berserker; in their opening match versus Golden Guardians, Licorice’s mid-game spiking Renekton was completely stifled by the double enchanter peel and Berserker easily rolled over the rest of the game. Even though I do not think he is a better player than Hans Sama at this point in his career, given both: Cloud9’s propensity for enchanters and the TL superstar not looking at his usual level, Berserker is easily my player to watch out for within this game.

Riveting Mid Lane Gameplay!

Boy, I cannot wait to watch Bjergsen’s Zed vs Fudge’s Lee Sin! Gee, that does sound like an extremely hype matchup with all sorts of mind games and micro mechanical outplays and- 

Oh wait this is Season 12, where people get excited about support mids… In what has to be one of the weirdly, hyped matchups of this game, TL vs C9 pits two mid laners who are still growing into their positions for different reasons: one spent an entire year coaching and the other spent the entire year playing top lane.

The Ol’ G.O.A.T

Bjergsen has looked a shell of his former self and has played lukewarm at best on any champion except for Zilean and Sylas. The G.O.A.T’s return was amazingly built up in the ridiculously, badass hype video but he has been anything but hype to say the least. His shockwaves against the 100 Thieves were completely abysmal, as if the only targets he could hit were the health-stacking Ornn and Xin Zhao.

Far removed from his tantalizing aggression, Bjergsen’s calculated playstyle will eventually reward his fans when he secures the dub, but looks completely lifeless when he doesn’t – the Great Dane simply isn’t as fun to watch as a Jojopyun or even Palafox. However, owing to the man’s work ethic and dedication, as soon as playoffs roll around and when CoreJJ is back in the lineup, Bjergsen will likely remind these LCS newcomers where they stand in comparison to him.

sOrAkA mId?!?!

It’s easy to say Fudge is about as far removed from last year’s MSI days, where he shocked the world with his incredible Lee Sin plays, as Bjergsen is from his assassin days. Well, part of that is the Coach LS whispering into his ear the virtues of “sOrAkA mId.” But as a tactic, it is simply brilliant; it is better to ease Fudge into his new role by having him taking a much more supportive position within the team, while Blabber and Berserker run the show.

I am very keen to what Fudge and C9 will do about Bjergsen’s Zilean – while it is not exactly a traditional “enchanter” champion, it’s scaling and immense utility scales parallel, if not surpass, the enchanters they have Fudge playing. I do not think Bjergsen will punish Fudge as hard in lane as a Jojopyun might would, so I can also see C9 just taking a classic mage matchup and hoping to scale that way as well. Either way, what should be a banger matchup between two good players – is probably going to fizzle into something boring like Lulu vs Zilean…


C9 will take this game 69% (nice) of the time. With a decisively stronger bot lane and a much more hyper aggressive jungler, they are one Zilean ban away from completely matching Team Liquid until they hit their late-game spikes and just roll a baron fight. The only way I see Team Liquid wining this game is if they have leveled up their mid game shotcalling with their new support and pull the trigger on a potential opening, instead of running around doing nothing while they get outscaled. Either way, it is the biggest matchup of the day so tune in to see which resident-sleeper mid laner will walk away with the dub on February 12th!

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