European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Playoffs Quarterfinals Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

August 16th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

You could have expected upsets for the last week of the regular season. You could have expected top teams to slack off a bit as those matches didn’t really matter. However the amount of surprises that last week had in store for us was mindblowing.

G2 eSports losing to ROCCAT. Unicorns of Love losing to Team Vitality. Fnatic losing to… Ninjas in Pyjamas, of all teams. To be fair, these lower ranked teams upped their games as the split came to an end, however the results are unexpected and shocking nonetheless.

As a silver lining, the matches we had the opportunity to watch were amazing, filled with fan service and solo queue picks. We rarely get the opportunity to watch pros have this much fun on the big stage.

However the playoffs are upon us and the first two matches will take place in just a couple of days time.

Let’s take a closer look.

Unicorns of Love vs. Misfits, August 19th

Last week was a mixed bag for the Unicorns. They suffered a heartbreaking 2:0 defeat at the hands of Team Vitality. Losing is one thing, but losing in this fashion is downright embarrassing.

It was a shellacking. To their credit, Vitality played some phenomenal League of Legends.

A perfect game one. Zero turrets, zero drakes, zero Barons and zero kills on the side of UOL. It wasn’t pretty. Game two was more of the same, however the Unicorns did manage to put up a better offensive.

Now, UOL was never known for their early game, but handing over a 10k gold lead at the twenty minute mark is still a bit extreme.

Luckily for them, their win over H2K was almost enough to erase any and all memory of their abysmal play just a day or two earlier. While they started slow, they managed to dominate and outplay H2K on almost all fronts for the last two games of the series.

It was a fun sight to see. All other teams picking random, off-meta champions and having fun, and H2K and UOL playing like it’s the most important match of their lives. H2K had a lot to prove, after all they lost every match against the Unicorns in 2017. They were unable to win once again.

UOL looked good, they looked comfortable on the stage and on the Rift as well. Samux was able to do his thing even though H2K tried their hardest to stop him with a strong, seemingly unkillable frontline. UOL’s teamfighting prevailed in the end, as it almost always does.

As for Misfits, they have yet to show anything worthwhile on the Rift. In a span of six weeks they have managed to win only two matches that were against two teams that are now in the promotion tournament. They have too many holes in their game and even if you ignore that aspect, they’re not playing that well individually.

Hans Sama failed to live up to the hype that was put on his shoulders, and Maxlore didn’t positively impact the team as most predicted. While they seem to understand the meta to a solid degree, they never succeed in realizing their gameplan and that is a shame.

To make matters even worse, nearly every mage that PowerOfEvil plays will be getting nerfed on patch 7.16. Cassiopeia, LeBlanc, Taliyah, Syndra.

Their run for Worlds ends here. While it’s a hard blow to anyone sporting a Misfits jersey, it should be noted that they’ve come a long way from the challenger series. After all, this is only their second split in the LCS, and they look like a great team in the making. Will they be able to make a run for 2018 Worlds? Not impossible, with the right staff/player changes.

As for the Unicorns of Love, while their success further down the road remains unclear, they have a relatively easy test right now and they should by all means pass it with flying colors.

Expect the Unicorns of Love to take the series 3-1 and advance into the semifinals in Paris.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.45 (odds @ Betway)

G2 eSports vs. Splyce, August 20th

Photo: Riot Games

Much like the first quarterfinals match-up, this one is fairly one sided as well. G2 eSports played a somewhat competitive series against Fnatic last week, and even though they didn’t manage to win, they showed some good stuff on the Rift.

Sadly for everyone expecting fireworks, it wasn’t much of an El Classico. G2 got outdrafted and outplayed in almost every stage of the game. While Fnatic had their fair share of misplays as well, they always managed to win the teamfights that mattered.

G2 also faltered in the draft in both games, drafting either comps that lacked damage or going for Perkz’s Lucian. While he is a highly talented player, he is without a doubt the worst Lucian in the scene and almost singlehandedly killed all of the Lucian mid hype from a couple of week back.

Regardless, they are a top tier team that will improve, and now that they have ample time to prepare just for a single opponent, they’re set up to dominate and prove their worth.

Splyce on the other hand still have no coach, and have yet to truly show that they’re an elite EU team. They have the potential, but it’s not possible for them to achieve it in time for playoffs. They always manage to fall short of expectations. They are capable of upsetting any team, however in a Best of 5 series things get a lot more complicated.

Much like Misfits, they are a highly talented bunch. In fact, the parallels are very strong. Both teams have a toplaner with a lot of potential that crumbles under the pressure of performing against top tier teams, a jungler that while very solid fails to have a big impact on the game, a very talented midlaner and a strong bottom lane that doesn’t always pop off.

Sadly for Splyce, this is where the road stops. Even on a good day they don’t have the tools to take on an uprising G2 eSports. While we’re not witnessing the G2 of old, they’re pretty close. Close enough to contest for the number one spot for sure.

Expect this series to go 3-1 in G2’s favor. However don’t be surprised if Splyce put up a much bigger fight than most expect.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.28 (odds @ Betway)

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NA LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Playoffs Quarterfinals Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

August 14th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Cloud9 vs. Team Dignitas, August 19th

Watching Dignitas play over the last two weeks was really a mixed bag. When Altec and Adrian became their starting bottom lane, things just “clicked”. They not only started playing better, but they dominated the opposition as well. Wins over CLG, TSM and even IMT were a huge morale boost to all Dignitas fans.

However things settled down, their fast adaptation to the meta was matched by other teams as well, and as the weeks went by they had less tools to work with.

Something really stood out when Dignitas played against CLG in the last week of the regular season. They had the chance to get a higher seeding and face Team Envy in the quarterfinals, and with no offense to Envy, that would have been an easy path to the semifinals, maybe even the finals.

With something that big on the line, what do they do? They lock in Nasus! To be fair, the champion did get some hefty buffs in patch 7.15, however they’re not big enough to warrant him getting played competitively on the LCS stage.

As luck would have it, Darshan had an amazing series, completely shutting down any and all hopes Ssumday had of scaling, and even managed to turn the tides on a lot of fights around the map thanks to his TP’s and Shen ultimates.

How could they do such a thing? They didn’t take the series seriously enough, and that is a red alarm. They have the potential to go higher, they have the individual talent to surprise a lot of people, and yet the faltered at such a stupid road block.

Fighting a game Cloud9 in the playoffs is not something that you should want, especially not in the quarterfinals. As luck would have it, those are exactly the cards that were dealt to Dignitas.

If we take a look at Cloud9, it’s hard not to be impressed. They’re looking as dominant as they ever were. Their wins over Team Envy and Echo Fox we’re statements to all other NA teams. They’re on a six match win streak, and their series against Echo Fox took under 50 minutes of game time.

Individually, Cloud9 players have stepped up immensely.

Over the last couple of weeks, Contractz could do no wrong. He is just as intimidating on tanks as he is on carry junglers. Smoothie is playing like the second best support in the League and can play whatever is necessary, Jensen is arguably the best midlaner in NA with some pristine positioning and insane damage output and we already know how versatile and consistent Sneaky is.

Even Impact, who was arguably their biggest underperformer started playing better, probably due to the meta changing.

They will enter the quarterfinals with some serious momentum.

On the other hand if we take a look at how Dignitas played, one has to be a bit concerned. They’re a great team, and even in their losses they manage to hold on and make things even for as long as possible, but it’s never clean. You rarely see them dominate, even against lower ranked teams. When Altec and Adrian play out of their minds, they contend for the best duo bot, however that isn’t always the case, and if Shrimp wasn’t able to shut down OmarGod in their series against CLG – how does he expect to take on Contractz who is arguably the best performing and most versatile NA jungler at the moment? (or at worst Top 2 if you value Xmithie more highly)

Their third game against CLG was a mess, overchasing when they should have simply backed away, Keane playing without flash and overextending, Adrian using the potentially game-changing Taric ultimate multiple times without any reason or initiation, etc. They don’t always come together as a unit, and that simply isn’t acceptable if they want to contend for the Summer Split trophy.

Best of 5 series are a whole different ball game, and it’s where Cloud9 strive. Expect the boys in white and blue to come out victorious in a somewhat close 3-1 series.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.60 (odds @ Betway)

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Envy, August 20th

Photo: Riot Games

Last week we saw the two sides of CLG that manage to somehow co-exist. The dominant, creative playmaking team that contends for the top spot, and the lost, almost leaderless team that fails to create any game winning plays.

The latter often comes to the stage when they’re against a top tier team, however that wouldn’t be too right to say about CLG. They have the potential to be the number one team, just not this split. They’re pretty inconsistent, and are prone to making a lot of mistakes – especially early. To make matters even more problematic – they have a complete rookie in the jungle! While OmarGod has the potential to improve, he doesn’t have the luxury to do it in time for playoffs. While he shouldn’t have too big of a problem against LirA, it’s hard seeing him having a good time against Contractz, Svenskeren and Xmithie. He is serviceable, and that isn’t what CLG needs.

Individually, they’re all playing super well, with Huhi and Darshan being the two standout performers. They have their ups and downs, but overall have shown some spectacular play on the Rift over the last couple of weeks.

As for Team Envy, when watching their games against top tier teams you can see that they always need just a little bit more. It’s always a mistake in the early or mid game, a call that was unnecessary, an engage that went very wrong very quickly. They’re also a very competent team as well, they just need more time. Nisqy is playing really well and has shown great proficiency on a lot of different champions and Apollo and Hakuho are a very formidable duo that can tango with the very best.

However Envy simply depends too much on LirA performing, and that isn’t happening at the moment. They make too many individual mistakes, and their communication isn’t looking that good, so it’s fairly optimistic to think that they could give CLG a run for their money. After seeing them dismantled by both C9 and IMT (who had an 11k gold lead at the twenty minute mark) it’s hard to get hyped.

In summary, Envy have nothing to be ashamed of, a sixth place ranking in a split this competitive is nothing short of admirable. Could have they gone higher? Not really, not with Seraph and the whole midlaner situation. (Pirean, then Nisqy) However things look promising for this squad, and with another split’s time and perhaps a couple of roster changes they could be a real contender.

CLG will focus on taking Seraph down early so that he becomes a non-factor later on the game, all the meanwhile taming LirA and his impact on the game. Apollo and Hakuho are a threat for sure, but the veteran duo of Stixxay and aphromoo shouldn’t have too big of a problem going even, at the very least.

They want to have a couple of statement games and enter the semifinals with some momentum, and this series is the perfect way to accomplish that. Looking at this series specifically, CLG’s path to the semifinals could not be any easier.

If CLG come prepared, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t (and don’t prioritize Ashe in the draft) they should be able to take this one in clean 3-0 fashion.

Winner: CLG, 1.30 (odds @ Betway)

CONTINUE READING

European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 10 Preview, Betting Odds & Tips

August 7th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

We are on the verge of the final week of the 2017 Spring Split regular season. The standings are mostly locked and teams already know their fate. Some are headed to the promotion tournament (Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas) in hopes to defend their LCS spots, while six other teams are headed to playoffs. The only uncertainty at the moment is who will end up first in Group B and get that very important playoff bye.

Teams are entering week 10 with a somewhat relaxed demeanour. Teams that are placed lower in the standings are playing spoiler, while teams that are fighting for the top spot are looking to dominate and have a couple of statement games.

We will also have the chance to watch two insanely promising matches – Fnatic vs. G2 eSports and H2K vs. Unicorns of Love. These matches will surely provide fireworks.

Let’s take a closer look.

Fnatic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas & G2 eSports

While it’s still too early to say for sure, it seems like the former kings of Europe are back. There is only one road block ahead of them before they can rightfully say so – G2 eSports. Problem is, they’re not playing extremely well nor clean. Against ROCCAT they were sloppy, and a lot of individual members made tons of mistakes. Their backs were against the wall in both games, and while it’s not that fair to criticize them after a 2-0 win, it’s not the level of play that you’d expect from the team that arguably has the biggest chance to win the split. It’s never a promising sign when a team this good has to come back from a deficit twice in a row against a team that is ranked nine in the standings.

That said, there is no doubt that they can fix these things in time for playoffs.

vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

It’s a shame NiP didn’t have more time to nurture and develop. We’ve seeing some fun things from them over the last couple of weeks, as they were finally able to translate their early leads into a formidable mid game. They’re still prone to making mistakes left and right, but it’s a big improvement. They managed to take Misfits to three games, and if it wasn’t for that abysmall, tilting blast cone invade at the very beginning, they might have very well taken Misfits down.

As for their match against Fnatic, they shouldn’t be able to do much. That do have flashes of brilliance, so they might be able to take a single game, but anything over that is simply wishful thinking.

That said, do expect them to put up a solid fight in the promotion tournament. While it’s incredibly tough to predict whether or not they will manage to win and get back into the LCS, they have the potential to do so.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.04 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. G2 eSports

The match everyone is talking about. Former, versus the current kings of Europe. All members of G2 have been stepping up, and it’s tough to say whether or not they’re finally back to form. They have been looking dominant however. Expect went from being the weakest link to one of the best performing top laners in Europe, Trick is finally at home with the current tank jungler meta, Perkz is back to his confident playmaking self and their bottom lane is as solid as it ever was. With every member performing at the highest level, G2 becomes a very tough beast to tackle.

As illogical as it might seem, it might be best to just skip betting on this match. Both teams are locked in for playoffs and their seeding is also fixed, so they might pull out some crazy picks to satisfy the fans. When that happen, all odds and tips become nullified.

Regardless, one team must come out victorious, and for the time being betting on G2 would be a good idea. The odds are against them, and they have a lot to prove. If Fnatic come unprepared as they did last week, this might be your chance to win big. That said, expect it to be unnervingly close.

Winner: G2 eSports, 2.10 (odds @ Bet365)

ROCCAT vs. G2 eSports & Misfits

When ROCCAT plays, logic goes out the window. They have the uncanny ability to play to their opponents standards. That means they’re able to “degrade” their play to the level of Ninjas in Pyjamas, but also put the gear into overdrive and give Fnatic an extremely hard time.

Communication is one of the biggest problems that ROCCAT has, and it’s apparent any time they step foot on the Rift. To their credit, they had good set-ups, and had the better early game in every way, shape and form – against a top tier team to boot. However when it came to translating those leads into something concrete they were unable to do it correctly. Other than a single sneaky Baron, they didn’t show too much.

vs. G2 eSports

They simply don’t have what it takes to take G2 down. It’s a complete mismatch, especially on an individual level. The way G2 play won’t allow ROCCAT to skirmish. They will have a strong hold on the series, eventually using their leads to close out the series 2-0.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Misfits

This is where things get very complicated. While both teams are locked in the standings, Misfits are surely looking to dominate and get into playoffs with some much needed momentum. They’re not playing well, in fact – their play is almost embarrassing for a team so heavily hyped and touted to be a dark horse in the playoffs. They have shown very little improvement over the last couple of weeks, and have in fact managed to lose five out of their last six matches. That is an awful statistic no matter how you look at it.

Against ROCCAT they have a chance. They should be the better team and they have the tools to defeat them. However they probably won’t. If ROCCAT comes in the same form as they did last week against Fnatic, Misfits will probably crumble and fall in a close 2-1 series.

Winner: ROCCAT, 3.00 (odds @ Bet365)

H2K vs. Mysterious Monkeys & Unicorns of Love

H2K have continued their dominance with their clean 2-0 win against Team Vitality last week.

They’re extremely focused and hungry to prove themselves, and they will finally have their big test to determine who gets first place in group B.

vs. Unicorns of Love

If G2 vs. FNC wasn’t enough, we get to witness this madness as well! Both teams are coming in extremely strong, with a great understanding of the meta. Individually they’re all playing super well, with Exileh managing to die an astonishingly small number of times. Xerxe managed to channel his 2017 Spring self and dominate Splyce in their 2-0 win. With that said, their weakest areas are exactly what H2K does best. Over the last couple of weeks, it seems like H2K finally fixed some of the issues that have been plaguing them for a long, long time.

You simply have to give H2K the edge. They’re very much in sync, and they’ve all been stomping individually. That said, UOL won’t go down without a fight, so expect this one to be a very, very close 2-1 series going in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 2.00 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

Sadly, Mysterious Monkeys lost so fast and so decisively against Splyce that there isn’t anything concrete that you could say about their play other than that it was pretty uninspiring. They were destroyed early on, with Trashy focusing down CozQ and getting Sencux ahead from the very start.

They simply don’t have any team cohesion, and if it wasn’t enough against Splyce, it absolutely won’t be enough to fight off H2K.

Expect this one to be very swift and violent, with H2K coming out on top.

Winner: H2K, 1.06 (odds @ Bet365)

Unicorns of Love vs. Team Vitality

After a very strong showing last week, the Unicorns are looking to make another statement before clashing with H2K on Sunday. Unluckily for Vitality, they will be on the receiving end of a very strong Unicorns of Love squad. They’re playing well, they’re playing meta and they want that playoff bye. Vitality weren’t able to get anything off the ground against H2K last week, and while UOL has a pretty awful early game, they more than make up for it in the mid and late game.

Expect this series to go 2-0 in UOL’s favor.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.14 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. Team Vitality

Watching Splyce play is a mixed bag. They’re a strong team overall, and when they’re against a lower ranked team they are capable of showing off their skill and team cohesion. However whenever they went against a top tier team, they failed to do much. They are a proactive team and they are capable of building their advantages very quickly, however it never comes through against better teams. This week was no different, as they completely fell pray to UOL’s strategy. They failed to realize their own win condition, and instead opted to fight mid with the Unicorns thus allowing them to do what they do best – skirmish.

Things are not looking too hot for Splyce, however their last week is somewhat forgiving as they’re fighting against Team Vitality. No matter how slow and uninspiring Splyce was last week, Vitality was even worse. They were completely demolished by H2K. Other than a couple of good early game plays, they failed to do anything else for the entirety of the series. Even though they improved quite a bit over the regular season, they don’t have the tools to fight against Splyce.

That said, don’t be surprised if Vitality manages to take a single game.

Winner: Splyce, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

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NA LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 9 Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

August 2nd, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

The final week of the regular season is upon us, and things cannot be more exciting. With just 10 more matches left to be played (not counting eventual tie-breakers), things have never been so close.

Last week we had the chance to see just how closely matched teams are, as TSM struggled highly to defeat the sixth placed Team Envy on Sunday night. With teams being somewhat equally skilled, nuances end up being the deciding factor which makes betting somewhat complicated.

Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming week and the matches that await us.

Immortals vs. Team Envy & Echo Fox

For a team so highly lauded as the best in the NA LCS, they’re not playing that well. They barely managed to salvage their train wreck of a series against TL, and have looked lost in the draft against Dignitas – a series they ended up losing. They’re simply not at home with the current meta, and that allows their opponents the upper hand. Luckily for them, they have amazing team cohesion, so teams like Envy and Echo Fox should not present too big of a problem.

Thing is, as a number one team – they want to have control from the very beginning of the game, and that’s not happening at the moment. That said, they’re obviously at the very top and with good reason. Betting on them to win this week is the only logical choice.

vs. Team Envy

Winner: Immortals, 1.50 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Echo Fox

Winner: Immortals, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

Team Dignitas vs. Team Liquid & Counter Logic Gaming

What an unexpected surge from Dignitas over the last couple of weeks. They have absolutely wrecked house, beating out TSM, Immortals and CLG. Their only recent loss came to Cloud9, however it was arguably a series that could have gone either way. They have finally decided on their current roster and it is a fantastic one. Every member is performing at an insanely high level, with Altec being the biggest highlight. He constantly manages to deal fantastic DPS while having the least amounts of deaths. He is Top 3 in every statistic that matters, and it shows in his play.

They have a somewhat easy Week 9, as they’re facing a team that is essentially fighting to avoid relegations, and a struggling CLG that was just beat by the last team in the standings.

While Team Liquid shouldn’t give them much trouble, CLG could. Luckily for Dignitas, they already beat CLG even when they had Dardoch on board who was by all means a more menacing and dangerous player in-game than OmarGod. While it will surely go to three games, expect Dignitas to come out victorious. They’re too good at the moment, they have the best grasp on the meta and individually they’re all performing on the highest possible level. (by current NA standards) They have holes in their game, however teams just aren’t able to exploit them at the moment.

vs. Team Liquid

Winner: Team Dignitas, 1.28 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Counter Logic Gaming

Winner: Team Dignitas, 2.20 (odds @ Bet365)

TSM vs. Phoenix1 & Counter Logic Gaming

The perennial NA team has really struggled over the last couple of weeks. Their wins against Echo Fox, Team Liquid and Team Envy are nothing to be proud of, as they barely managed to come out victorious, often thanks to their opponents misplaying or throwing their leads on their own. They’re slow to adapt to each new patch and to make things more complicated they are also fairly one-dimensional in the way they draft and play the game at the moment. They pick Syndra for Bjergsen and go for a scaling hypercarry and hope for the best, however they even struggle with their own comfort picks.

CLG looked very scary when they were on their game last week. The constant roams from Huhi, the amazing Camille from Darshan and aphromoo with some vintage highlight plays and saves. They’re still as scary as they ever were, however they’re still plagued by the same problems as before as well. They’re very inconsistent and to top it all off, they currently have a winless record against top teams. That, paired with at times illogical drafts and very questionable early game plays make for a team that is very hard to predict.

After all, it was madness seeing them lose to Phoenix1.

Now obviously TSM have the tendency to come back strong as they put in the time and effort to improve week by week, and this time it should be no exception. They know CLG inside out and shouldn’t have a problem beating them once again, especially now when they have a less experienced starting jungler. That said, expect it to be very close.

Winner: TSM, 1.66 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Phoenix1, they simply don’t have what it takes to take down even a struggling TSM. No matter what MikeYoung and Co. bring out, TSM will adapt and punish their mistakes far greater than CLG did last week.

Winner: TSM, 1.22 (odds @ Bet365)

Cloud9 vs. Echo Fox & Team Envy

The boys in white and blue have the easiest remaining schedule out of all teams competing, and they need it as they surely want to secure the highest possible seeding for playoffs. They ended last week on a high note, beating both Team Liquid and FlyQuest, and while those weren’t top tier teams by any stretch of the imagination, it was still a nice, dominant showing from C9. They were looking like the Cloud9 of old, with Jensen having some mindblowing performances in particular. However their games weren’t that clean, they were still making mistakes which better teams will be able to exploit, and their bottom lane underperformed heavily – Sneaky in particular.

Looking ahead, they’re entering Week 9 with some newfound confidence. They already beat Dignitas two weeks ago in 2-1 fashion, and they have a fairly solid read on the meta.

Echo Fox, while they did show big improvement, even managing to take down Phoenix1 thanks to Brandini in the top lane, don’t have enough tools to defeat Cloud9. That said, they always manage to make it insanely close and unnervingly intense, so expect it to be a 2-1 series going in C9’s favor.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.44 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Team Envy, they are truly an enigma. They locked in their playoffs spot so at least they can breathe a sigh of relief, however they don’t have what it takes to compete at the highest level no matter how well Apollo and Nisqy perform. Cloud9 know how to shut down LirA and after that it should all be smooth sailing. Cloud9 will take this 2-1.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.61 (odds @ Bet365)

FlyQuest vs. Team Liquid & Phoenix1

FlyQuest find themselves in a very tricky situation. They are currently in a three-way tie for last, and have only 4 wins and 12 losses. They are desperately fighting to avoid relegation, and to make matters more interesting they are fighting both of their relegation-bound brethren this week. They didn’t show a lot of good things. Other than a couple of standout Wildturtle + Lemonnation moments, they were outplayed in every stage of the game. Still, you could see that underneath all the chaos and bad macro, they had a good idea in mind, it’s just the execution that lacked.

Looking at their match against Team Liquid, it’s hard giving them any sort of edge. Piglet has been playing out of his mind recently, Matt finally had a couple of good Thresh games and Reignover feels right at home with the current meta. Even in their losses to C9 and IMT last week, you could see that their 2-0 in Week 7 was no fluke. They’re a lot more comfortable on the stage and with each other. Expect Team Liquid to come in strong with a starting roster that has Reignover and Goldenglue at the helm, as this is a must win for them.

Winner: Team Liquid, 2.00 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Phoenix1, they look somewhat good when ahead, however they got demolished every time they didn’t create a big lead in the early game. They were able to beat CLG and that in itself is no small task, however you have to question CLG’s play and take that into account as well. We saw the return of MikeYoung’s now famous Nidalee, and Arrow somehow managed to channel his inner 2017 Spring MVP self and completely stomp CLG on Kalista. If they manage to survive the early onslaught, they have what it takes to take down FlyQuest. They have better laners, and if Ryu comes to play like he did last week there is no doubt that they can win this series.

Winner: Phoenix1, 1.83 (odds @ Bet365)

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European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 9 Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

August 1st, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Other than a single insane upset (Ninjas in Pyjamas clean sweeping ROCCAT), the eight week of the European LCS went exactly as predicted. Those are good news for anyone betting on the EU scene, as things have finally come into place.

We are on the verge of a new patch – 7.15, however things shouldn’t shake up too much. Jungle priority will surely change a bit with Elise and Gragas nerfs, however other than that we just might see some familiar faces like Ekko, Ezreal and Nautiful come back into the meta.

Teams have just two weeks left to try and rank as high as possible in order to qualify for the playoffs/avoid relegation, and the race is somewhat close, especially in Group B.

Let’s take a closer look at the ninth week of the regular season.

Splyce vs. Mysterious Monkeys & Unicorns of Love

What an unexpected end of the road for any and all momentum Splyce had built up over the last couple of weeks. It’s no shame to lose against H2K, after all they are they are the more experienced team with veteran players, but the fashion in which they lost was the biggest surprise. A single mistake at bottom lane in the first game was all H2K needed to heavily snowball their lead and dominate.

Every time Splyce tried to engage they either failed in their execution or simply got destroyed by H2K as the lead they had was insurmountable. The second game was somewhat close until a monstrous teamfight broke out around the thirty minute mark where Kobbe essentially zoned himself out of the entire fight.

They didn’t play well. They were outdrafted and outplayed in almost every stage of the game, and for a clash between two top teams fighting for first place in their group – it wasn’t even remotely close.

Looking ahead to their Week 9 matches, they have the perfect opportunity to rebound and cement themselves as a team that can actually upset the status quo. While their match against the Mysterious Monkeys should go with relative ease, all eyes are set at their clash against the Unicorns of Love who haven’t been performing at the level that is expected from them.

UOL had to sweat in order to win their close 2-1 series against the Mysterious Monkeys last week. They’re still plagued with the exact same problems that they had during the Summer Split. They often forego any macro and strategy and just group mid hoping for the best. While their solid teamfighting can work against lower ranked teams, Splyce have tools to fight against it.

Splyce is looking to get that second spot in group B in order to avoid playing against G2 eSports in the playoffs. They know that this is a must win if they want to have any chance to advance further, and luckily for them they even beat UOL once in Week 3 of the Summer Split. Seeing how UOL is playing worse with each passing weak, now would be the time to bet on Splyce.

Expect an insanely close 2-1 series that can in all fairness go either way.

DISCLAIMER: Splyce have just announced that they have parted ways with their head coach. We cannot know for sure how big of an impact this will make on their play, so do have it in mind. They are an experienced team however so they shouldn’t be phased too much, if at all.

vs. Unicorns of Love

Winner: Splyce, 2.75 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

Winner: Splyce, 1.22 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. G2 eSports & Ninjas in Pyjamas

Misfits didn’t have a good time over the last couple of weeks. Not only did they fail to secure any wins, but they also failed to show anything actually worthy of mentioning. They need to be more proactive. They need to have a clearer plan on what they want to accomplish. Their playstyle isn’t going to work against top tier teams from Europe. They are not creating opportunities, they’re are neither punishing nor pushing their opponents. With that approach to the game, they won’t stand a chance against an uprising G2 eSports.

G2 are finally back to form as they have succeeded in stringing a couple of much needed victories. While they still do stumble here and there, they’re looking a lot more like the G2 of old. The current meta is also suiting them to an incredible degree, mostly with Trick and his champion preference. While Misfits are no slouch, they will at best be able to take a single game.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.36 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Ninjas in Pyjamas, they have finally succeeded in putting a win on the board. They always had an extremely strong early game however it was their lack of any macro and strategy that always cost them the game. That seems to have improved – greatly, and over a short period of time which is highly admirable. However it cannot be overstated how badly ROCCAT played, so that should be taken into account as well.

Misfits, as shaky as they might seem right now are the stronger team on every level, so expect them to take this series with relative ease. That said, NiP will surely put up a bigger fight than most people expect.

Winner: Misfits, 1.14 (odds @ Bet365)

H2K vs. Team Vitality

H2K’s match against Splyce was a tough one to watch for anyone sporting a Splyce jersey. Most people expected H2K to take the series, however the sheer aggressiveness and determination they did it with was astounding. They were so in-sync, rotating and making plays as a team. This was the H2K everyone expected to see, confident with strong teamfighting. The most impressive thing however was how well they played once they got a lead through their bottom lane.

It was a demonstration of force, of how good H2K can play when they start off strong, with confidence. When they succeed in this they always enforce their playstyle and manage to look dominant. Problem is, they don’t always manage to do so, however they have the tools – they only need time to work things out.

A big shoutout has to go towards H2K’s bottom lane. While they don’t always perform at the highest level – probably due to the language barrier – they have the potential and have the tendency to play out of their minds.

Looking ahead at their match against Vitality, they are simply too strong for anyone to bet against them. No matter how improved Vitality look with each passing week, they simply don’t have the tools to compete at H2K’s level.

Expect this one to be a strong 2-0 for H2K.

Winner: H2K, 1.10 (odds @ Bet365)

Fnatic vs. ROCCAT

Is it possible for a team to defeat Fnatic, lose to Mysterious Monkeys, defeat the Unicorns of Love and then lose to Ninjas in Pyjamas – a team that has only managed to win two single games over the course of the Summer Split? Turns out it is! ROCCAT retains the crown of “most confusing team” in the LCS. Their inconsistency is mind-boggling, and it reached new heights last week after they got clean swept by the worst team in the LCS.

There isn’t anything particularly nice you could say about their last week’s play either. They were all out of sync, and didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do on the map. They were making bad call after bad call, with Phaxi engaging at the worst possible times.

As for Fnatic, their embrace of the meta really benefited them as a team. Their games against Misfits were slow, but they never really lost control of the game, nor their lead. A good teamfight on Fnatic’s side ended game one, whereas game two was a different beast altogether, with Caps reaching deep in his champion pool for the first EU Kayn in the mid lane. As with most FNC matches, they put the gear into overdrive and outclassed MSF on all fronts.

Looking ahead, they are yet to be challenged, and unfortunately for ROCCAT they aren’t the team to do it, especially not after last week.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.11 (odds @ Bet365)

CONTINUE READING

NA LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 8 Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

July 28th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Much like Europe, North America had it’s fair share of upsets and unexpected swings and turns. Patch 7.14 brought a plethora of changes, and as it goes by default some teams ended up with the shorter end of the stick. The latest competitive patch changed a bit more than most expected, and the meta changed almost immediately. New pick and ban priorities went through the roof and teams that didn’t adapt fast enough had very little chance to come out victorious.

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly changed, and how it will impact this week’s matches.

Phoenix1 vs. Echo Fox & CLG

Phoenix1’s situation could not be more confusing, and for any and all fans – frightening. When the split began, they were unexpectedly weak, especially after a strong showing in Spring. Their whole jungle position situation was publicly scrutinized, and soon afterwards their decision to swap out support players didn’t go too good either. However they seemed rejuvenated when MikeYoung joined the team. What he brought was a fresh take on the game, a different strategy. His aggressiveness and the leads he built in the jungle carried over to the team and for a little while, Phoenix1 looked good. Along with Xpecial’s late game plays (that didn’t always came to fruition) they looked like a team possessed.

Until they came back from Rift Rivals.

Now they simply look lost. The meta is shifting towards tank junglers, something that MikeYoung didn’t show great proficiency on, Arrow and Xpecial are among the worst bottom lanes statistically in the NA LCS, and to top things off – Ryu is taking time off due to stress and burnout. While he was pretty inconsistent during Summer, he was still their shinning light most of the time, hardcarrying games on the likes of Corki and Orianna.

His replacement – Selfie (who is coming over from Tempo Storm) is no slouch, but he won’t be able to fill Ryu’s shoes, nor have the impact Ryu had on his team.

vs. Echo Fox

They’re a team that is no longer focused on winning. What their core strategy is at the moment – no one outside of the organization can tell for sure, but it’s not winning every possible match and getting into playoffs. That makes them a team you should absolutely rarely bet on. To make matters even more complicated – as of the last couple of weeks, you never really know their starting roster either. They subbed out Froggen – arguably their biggest performer and best player. Akaadian is nowhere to be found as Grig is starting now more often – also fairly illogical as the early advantages Akaadian created were the only saving grace Echo Fox had in Spring. The only thing they had going in their favor was their strong early game, however that went out of the window.

It didn’t take a lot of time before CLG and TSM dismantled them last week. Phoenix1 on the other hand are nowhere near the upper echelon of NA LCS at the moment, so this match is a completely different ball game. While CLG completely demolished them in 2-0 fashion, they did manage to take a game win against TSM which is not too shabby.

Bet on Echo Fox. They know that this is one of the easiest wins that they can get at the moment, so they shouldn’t be fooling around too much with their roster. While closing out games was never their forte, they know this is a must win.

Winner: Echo Fox, 2.00 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. CLG

Unluckily for P1, no matter how well they might prepare, they don’t stand a chance against CLG. Even with a less experienced jungler, CLG has the upper hand in almost every department. Expect this one to be a rather swift 2-0 victory for CLG.

Winner: CLG, 1.30 (odds @ Bet365)

Immortals vs. Team Liquid & Team Dignitas

Immortals continued their dominance over NA LCS last week with a clean 2W-0L weekend. They don’t have any obvious problems or holes in their game which is not something you can say about their competition, it’s all just a question of how well they will perform on a given day. So far, they’ve been performing at the highest level as they have taken sole possession of the number one spot in the LCS. Their roster is a strange one, as they don’t have any monster players on first glance. They don’t have someone like Doublelift, or a jungler known for his mechanical prowess. Instead, they have five guys working their hardest and having insane team cohesion. They all bring something unique to the table and they all work off each other, sharing their leads and moving as a unit.

A lot has been said about their trade for Xmithie at the beginning of the split, but it cannot be overstated how big of an impact he had on the team. He was the perfect addition stylistically to Immortals, enabling his teammates rather than taking resources for himself. Thankfully, his teammates have stepped up big time as well – each and every member of IMT are arguably Top 2 in their position at the moment. Cody Sun is playing out of his mind and when paired with Olleh you get arguably the strongest bottom lane in the LCS. Their versatility and aggression is something that not a lot of teams can rival.

vs. Team Liquid

Something clicked with TL last week, as they were finally able to string two series wins in a row. That was no small task as they were facing Team Envy and Phoenix1. They were finally all on the same page, moving as a unit and setting up plays way faster than their opponents. To make matters more interesting, the current meta is shifting towards tank junglers which is Reignover’s forte, and with recent news of TL signing former ROX Tigers’ midlaner Mickey, CLG’s Dardoch and solo-queue standout instanityXXX, it seems like they are on a good path.

Sadly, they have yet to win against a top tier team, and it doesn’t get any more “top tier” than Immortals. They have the cleanest macro and are strong in every stage of the game, so expect this one to be a somewhat close 2-o series in Immortals’ favor.

Winner: Immortals, 1.30 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Team Dignitas

Dignitas is an enigma for itself. However if one thing became apparent over the last couple of weeks it is the fact that they’re an astoundingly strong team with their current roster. They have on and off weeks, losing to lower ranked teams, then demolishing the upper echelon the very next week. (lost against Envy and FlyQuest in Week 5, then went on to beat CLG and TSM)  However when they come to play, they wreck house. When Ssumday and their bottom lane start off strong, they snowball super hard regardless of the opponent, and they know their way around the map. Long gone are the memeing days of the “Dignitas Baron throws” – taking quick Barons are now their specialty. Individually they’re all performing fantastically, with Altec and Adrian being the absolute highlight.

It seems as though that defeating Dignitas starts off with the draft. Luckily for IMT, they have a fairly solid pick and ban phase so they shouldn’t be outdrafted by any stretch of the imagination. They also have a lot of footage to look over, and seeing how Dignitas have a lot more holes in their game it shouldn’t be too hard for IMT to come up with a solid game plan.

That said, this will probably be an insanely close series, going 2-1 in Immortals’ favor.

Winner: Immortals, 1.53 (odds @ Bet365)

TSM vs. FlyQuest & Team Envy

Their Week 7 games against Dignitas and Echo Fox were extremely sloppy. In standard TSM fashion, they failed to adapt fast enough to the patch and went on autopilot. TSM know how badly they played. They know how bad of a grasp on the meta they have and are surely working extremely hard to fix all issues. Luckily for them thanks to an easier schedule, they won’t have to sweat a lot in Week 8.

While both FlyQuest and Envy are capable of surprising teams, TSM know that these two matches are a must win if they want to retain their chances of a playoff bye.

vs. Team Envy

Even though NV ended last week with a 1W-1L score, it was far from good. They looked lost and de-synced. If anything Nisqy seems like a really solid addition to their roster as he had a couple of monstrous Syndra games. He is always with his team, often at the right place at the right time. Will they bounce back? Probably. They are a solid mid-tier team that has upset potential, however their upcoming schedule is anything but forgiving. They have TSM, CLG, Immortals and Cloud9 in a row, so don’t be surprised if Envy ends the next two weeks without a single match win.

Winner: TSM, 1.36 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. FlyQuest

Historically, FlyQuest and TSM always have exciting matches and this should be no exception. It always went in TSM’s favor, and to be frank this match should be no different. They’re breaking at the seams so it shouldn’t be too hard for TSM to take advantage of their weak laning and (as of late) questionable late game shotcalling. If anything, they manage to stay even for a good portion of the game, but they always find a way to fall off. At times they even manage to sneak a game win – regardless of the opponent however those wins are too few and far between.

Betting on TSM would be the better choice.

Winner: TSM, 1.20 (odds @ Bet365)

CLG vs. Team Envy

Something felt off when CLG decided to swap out Dardoch for OmarGod – a jungler far less experienced – a couple of weeks back. They said it was due to them wanting to share stage time, but it never looked like it. A couple of days ago news broke out that they have sold Dardoch’s contract to Team Liquid, and will be starting OmarGod for the rest of Summer. Now that is incredibly unfortunate, as Dardoch gave them the aggressive, mechanical edge they needed. While he didn’t play out of his mind as most people expected, he gelled with the team in a fascinating way, and it payed dividends fairly quickly. They enter Week 8 with a roster that is a big question mark. Sure they shouldn’t have much trouble beating Team Envy, but they have both Dignitas and TSM next week, and without a consistent jungler – they don’t stand a chance.

All eyes are on OmarGod. And with good reason.

Winner: CLG, 1.53 (odds @ Bet365)

Cloud9 vs. Team Liquid & FlyQuest

After a couple of shaky weeks, it seems like Cloud9 are finally coming back into form. While they still have a lot of holes in their game, you can at least expect a certain level of consistent high-level play whenever they enter the LCS stage. The meta is going into a direction that fully suits their players, and Impact specifically. He is a fairly versatile player, but he wrecked house a split or two ago on tanks and there is no reason for him not to do so again.

Luckily for them, their schedule for Week 8 and 9 is a fairly easy one. They will simply have to continue working on their strengths and will surely come out of this week 2-0. However expect both Liquid and FlyQuest to put up a bigger fight than expected.

vs. Team Liquid

Winner: Cloud9, 1.30 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. FlyQuest

Winner: Cloud9, 1.40 (odds @ Bet365)

Echo Fox vs. Team Dignitas

One of the more one-sided matches this week. Regardless of the roster Fox comes out with, Dignitas is looking like an extremely strong team at this moment. Echo Fox isn’t strong enough to contest in any possible area, which will surely lead to a dominant 2-0 victory on the side of Team Dignitas.

Betting on Dignitas would be the more logical choice.

Winner: Team Dignitas, 1.40 (odds @ Bet365)

CONTINUE READING

European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 8 Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

July 26th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Teams fully embraced all the chaos and uncertainty that came with patch 7.14, and we saw it almost immediately in their priority with the likes of Cho’Gath, Maokai and Sejuani. These jungle picks heavily impact the way teams play the game, and paired with some Lethality and support changes, we’re on the verge of a refreshing new meta.

After a very tumultuous week of action-packed matches and a couple of upsets, we take a closer look at this week’s schedule.

Mysterious Monkeys vs. Team Vitality & Unicorns of Love

In essence, there isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new to say about Mysterious Monkeys. For every good move they make, they make two or more bad ones. As the weeks go by, the Monkeys seem like a sure lock for relegation, along with Ninjas in Pyjamas. Even though they’re still stronger than their relegation brethren, it’s not by much. It’s complicated predicting their next move as they often show some improvement, followed by a total collapse. Their 0-2 loss to Misfits last week wasn’t a good sight as they were outclassed and outgunned whenever they tried to make a move.

Yuuki and Dreams heavily lost lane to Hans Sama and IgNar (Yuuki even went for Tristana in order to attain a safer laning phase – and still managed to die 2v2 at level 3), Amazing is fairly inconsistent and CozQ is often completely outclassed. His questionable positioning and tendency to die with Flash up multiple times in a row is not something that you would expect at the highest level of professional play.

That leaves us with Kikis who seems to be their only beacon of light. While he isn’t a top 3 player he is fairly consistent, can carry and has a fantastic champion pool.

Even if you would focus on their strengths we’re on a verge of a new meta, and they aren’t a team that will adapt fast. If anything, they should find solace in the fact that they often go even with the opposing team, deep into the mid game. It’s hard seeing this team getting any higher, as they are currently only looking to survive relegations and re-enter the LCS in 2018, possibly with some roster changes.

Beating Vitality and UOL is a tall task, especially for a team that is struggling as the Monkeys are.

vs. Vitality

Vitality is finally coming together as a unit. While it’s still too early to predict anything higher than a 7-8th ranking, it’s still refreshing to see. That fact also brings insecurity to anyone betting for or against Vitality as they actually pack a punch. Last week they took a game off G2 eSports, drafting a perfect 7.14 team comp that had insane engage and teamfight potential. Pairing both Maokai and Cho’Gath allowed them to have an impenetrable frontline that G2 simply couldn’t handle.

Still, they’re prone to making serious mistakes and misplays come mid-game and that is the area they need to improve the most on. When they don’t draft well, and when they don’t get a strong start they often get demolished, as was demonstrated in their 12-3 loss the very next game against G2. They’re still indecisive in key moments, too afraid to make a concrete move on the map – go for an objective, set up a play. While individual members started playing a lot better – like Steelback who showed noticeable improvement – they’re still far from being a force to be reckoned with.

They shouldn’t have too big of a problem taking down Mysterious Monkeys as they have both the tools and a good enough grasp on the meta to take the series 2-1.

Winner: Vitality, 1.50 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Unicorns of Love

They were a team that thrived on mid-game skirmishes and messy teamfights. They are famous for their twenty minute mark mental switch as well as phenomenal late game team fighting. Why after so much success with a very singular playstyle are they trying to adapt and change it? Their intentions are admirable, however they are mind-boggling as the current meta is favoring their original playstyle. Team comps with tons of engage and teamfighting tools became the norm with the new patch. They shouldn’t try to fix what gave them arguably the only concrete edge they had against other teams.

It seems as though that after Rift Rivals they simply wanted to try something new and different. There is no time for that at the moment, as there are only three weeks left of regular season play and every single win counts.

Expect them to take the series against Mysterious Monkeys 2-0, as no matter how much they experiment they will still have the upper hand both individually and as a team.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.06 (odds @ Bet365)

Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. G2 eSports & ROCCAT

Much like the Mysterious Monkeys, NiP has a tendency to do something well from time to time, however those well thought-out moments are so sparse that you cannot really count on them. So much so that they’ve failed to secure even a single win during their 2017 Summer Split run. Last week’s match against Splyce wasn’t an easy one to watch as they got absolutely demolished. They were outdrafted to begin with, and fairly soon outscaled in-game. Looking ahead, avoid betting on NiP at all costs as they simply don’t have what it takes to compete at the absolute highest level.

vs. G2 eSports

The last two weeks were very crucial to G2’s return to form, as they have succeeded in beating Splyce, Vitality and even H2K without much trouble two weeks back to back. As illogical as it might seem, they’re a shoe-in for the second best EU team at the moment, and while their play doesn’t always speak that message, they’re slowly but surely getting there.

G2 are strongest when they set up plays as a unit, and the current meta fully enables them to do so. While they’re insanely talented individuals, they weren’t always in-sync during Summer 2017. Now that they’ve adapted to the meta and fixed their horrendous drafting issues, things are looking good for the “Kings of Europe”.

Expect them to outclass NiP in relatively swift 2-0 fashion. G2 are looking to further build on their momentum and NiP are a negligible block on the road.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.03 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. ROCCAT

As for ROCCAT, they remain an enigma. After losing both to H2K and Mysterious Monkeys in Week 6, they ended Week 7 with a very important upset against the Unicorns of Love. Betsy started performing like his Spring Split self, and Pridestalker did a ton of work from the jungle, almost hardcarrying a couple of games on the likes on Kha’Zix and Warwick.

Luckily for ROCCAT, NiP isn’t a team that will challenge them on a lot of fronts. Betting on ROCCAT would be the more logical choice.

Winner: ROCCAT, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. H2K

The toughest match to predict for sure, however the most fun one as well. Both teams are tied for first in their group, with the same win and loss record at 6W and 3L.

Historically, H2K have the tendency to beat Splyce. However something that became apparent over the last couple of weeks is the fact that Splyce are aware of the holes in their game and, more importantly, have shown constant improvement in their weakest areas. That essentially isn’t something that you could say for H2K. Choking when it matters? Still not fixed. Slow to adapt mid series? Still not fixed. Not always being on the same page in clutch moments? Still not fixed.

You get the gist.

Splyce’s proactive approach to the game allowed them to turn the tides against a very game Misfits squad last week and take the series in 2-1 fashion. They adapted, they realized their mistakes and fixed them as best as they could before entering another game. That isn’t something that H2K does well. Or at all even.

Essentially, it would be best if you simply skip this match. It’s too close for comfort. However if you do want to test your luck, bet on H2K.

They look amazing against mediocre teams, however against stronger opposition they mostly manage to put it together for a single win and they stop at that. Expect this series to be incredibly close and bloody, going 2-1 in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 1.50 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Fnatic

Last week was a smaller debacle for Misfits. They came out swinging against Splyce, winning the first game in incredibly dominant fashion. They capitalized on one mistake Splyce made and the game was over. Their second game was much of the same, until they lost in a foolish base race. When the third game started, it was obvious they were too tilted to function properly, which allowed Splyce – a team with much more experience to turn the tides and close out the series. Fans should have cause for optimism however as these are problems that can be fixed. Not in a week, but not in a whole split either.

They are prone to enter playoffs as a dark horse, however they probably would have liked to have an easier Week 8 after their Splyce match. That isn’t happening as they will fight the best European team at the moment – Fnatic. The former “Kings of Europe” are coming in hot after a strong victory against the Unicorns of Love.

Expect it to be somewhat close, with Fnatic closing it out 2-1 with confidence.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.30 (odds @ Bet365)

CONTINUE READING

European LCS – Summer Split 2017 – Week 7 Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

July 18th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Unicorns of Love vs. ROCCAT & Fnatic

The Unicorns managed to put a very important win on the board last week, as they managed to take down Misfits in a close 2-1 series. The Unicorns that we will watch in a couple of days time are no different than the Unicorns pre-Rift Rivals. They’re still wildly tenacious and hectic. They still show all their strengths and weaknesses in just a single series. Exileh is still feeding at times, and Vizicsacsi is the casualty of insane jungle pressure for two weeks in a row now. Unfortunately, he rarely comes out alive as he is always the aggressor. However if there is one thing that became apparent last week, it is just how consistent Samux is. He is without a doubt their biggest asset at the moment, as no matter how bad the game starts, they can always count on him to pull through in the late game.

vs. ROCCAT

As predicted, ROCCAT failed to put a win on the board last week. It is somewhat strange watching them play. For every good step, they often make two or three awful ones. If we take a look at the team on an individual level, almost every member is underperforming to a degree. Betsy and Phaxi are the main suspects, as their play often leaves a lot to be desired. Hjarnan and Wadid are hit and miss and Pridestalker, while a good player in his own right, has a disgustingly exploitable champion pool. When all is said and done, ROCCAT is no longer a team that poses a threat. They have pop off games from time to time but they’re too few and far between. When they’re behind they look lost, and when ahead – they rarely rarely do anything well enough to keep their lead.

Against UoL, that simply isn’t going to work.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.16 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Fnatic

After a heartbreaking showing at this year’s Rift Rivals, the former Kings of Europe came back into Week 6 swinging. Against Team Vitality, it was like another day at the office. Broxah was the early aggressor, being at the right place at the right time, enabling his laners to create small but eventually noticeable advantages.  As the twenty minute mark came, they accumulated quite the gold lead. Eventually it all ended by the book.

However the most important thing we saw was their willingness to play different strategies. While it is still too early to tell for sure, it seems like their Rift Rivals losses affected them in the best possible way.

Rekkles was a target of heavy online scrutiny for his single-minded approach to the ADC meta, always reaching for Kennen even though the champion went through multiple nerfs. The meta changed enough so that his pocket picks no longer packed a punch. That seems to have changed. His solo queue account is filled with meta champions, and he played Sivir and Varus in his two games against Vitality. We all know he has the depth and the skill to play anything, it seemed like his approach was the only thing that needed to change.

Caps had two amazing games on Syndra and Taliyah, always on the verge of danger but retaining the ability to dish out tons of damage and disrupt with his CC. It was good seeing him get back to form after heavily underperforming just a week earlier. He is surely one of the best mids Europe can offer and with time has the potential to do some great things.

This clash between Fnatic and UoL will surely be a spectacular one. Both teams are fighting for regional dominance. This will be the first time they will meet so far in the Summer Split and expect fireworks to ensue.

No matter how strong the Unicorns are when the late game comes, Fnatic have the tools to counter it. Expect this to be an insanely close 2-1 series, ending in Fnatic’s favor.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.66 (odds @ Bet365)

G2 eSports vs. H2K & Team Vitality

It seems like the Kings of Europe finally returned to form last week against Splyce, as they looked and played like vintage G2, the team that dominated the region for so long. Looking ahead, they still have to prove their worth, and this week’s match is the place to start.

vs. H2K

H2K had one of their best showings so far last week against ROCCAT. Fans can finally be cautiously optimistic for H2K. While they have often found a way to disappoint, one can still expect good things to come. They needed just a bit over 50 minutes (that’s for two games) to completely dismantle ROCCAT. We saw the return of the First Blood King – Jankos, and Febiven still retains his spot as one of the most consistent mid laners in Europe.

As for their series against G2 eSports, it’s incredibly difficult to predict. These teams are so inconsistent that you never really know what will happen. H2K however had an additional weeks time to prepare for the patch since they didn’t go to Rift Rivals and are looking in peak form at the moment. It’s hard seeing G2 beating a game H2K – right this moment. While it’s far from impossible, they still made tons of uncharacteristic mistakes last week which means H2K will, in theory, be able to exploit enough weaknesses to swing the games in their favor.

Expect it to be incredibly close, ending 2-1 in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 2.25 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Vitality

Over the course of last week, Vitality showed a good idea of what they wanted to do on the Rift. Problem was, when facing Fnatic they were outnumbered and outrotated in almost every stage of the game. That was expected, as they were playing against arguably the best European team at the moment.

In their second game against Fnatic, they went even for a good portion of the game. Small midgame decisions and map movements eventually swung the game in Fnatic’s favor. However they’re playing better with each passing week. So much so, that we cannot realistically gauge their skill level at the moment. They took down Ninjas in Pyjamas without much trouble. Djoko’s top priority paid off fairly quickly as they accrued a lead at the top side of the map first. As the game went on, they acted without hesitation whenever they smelt blood, which is not something that you could say for Vitality just a few weeks prior. In their third game against NiP we saw a glimpse of the potential that this team has. It was over in just a bit over 25 minutes, ending with a pentakill for Nukeduck on Corki, with 15 kills to 2.

The question still looms in the air – will they be able to win against G2 eSports? No. If G2 come in prepared as they did last week, they will surely steamroll through Vitality. They make too many mistakes in every stage of the game that it would be impossible for G2 not to capitalize on them.

Expect this one to be fairly one-sided, however Vitality surely won’t go down without a fight, and after all – Nukeduck is one of the best performing midlaners at the moment. At least they have that going in their favor.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.08 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Splyce & Mysterious Monkeys

Misfits are a team that has fantastic potential. To be fair they had the chance to win against the Unicorns, they’re just not ready yet – in terms of team cohesion and experience. But one day they will be, and when that they comes they will be a force in the region. If we take a look at them on an individual level, most members are shining bright. It cannot be overstated how well PowerOfEvil played last week. Whether it’s his 10/0/4 Orianna game, or his 7/4/6 Syndra game, he is almost always at the right place at the right time. Hans Sama and IgNar are still an incredibly formidable duo, with Maxlore being a clear upgrade in comparison to KaKAO. However Alphari, even though he had a couple of good games last week is heavily underperforming. He will wear a heavy target on his back for the rest of the Split, as teams look to capitalize on Misfits’ weakness in the top lane.

vs. Splyce

Splyce looked lost last week. They were dumbfounded by the speed G2 reacted and made in-game decisions. Even though they put up a good fight, they were almost always on the back foot, responding instead of being proactive. While they have the tools to make this a very close 2-1 series, it will most likely go in Misfits’ favor.

Winner: Misfits, 1.53 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

While the Mysterious Monkeys don’t look like world beaters by any stretch of the imagination, they’re finally playing like a somewhat cohesive team. They have a basic grasp on the meta and they pack a punch at unexpected moments. It won’t be enough though as Misfits are coming in strong. They have the edge in every stage of the game, so expect this one to go in their favor. However don’t be surprised if the Mysterious Monkeys put up a better offensive than expected.

Winner: Misfits, 1.20 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

Regardless of how bad Splyce played last week, they are still leaps and bounds ahead of NiP in almost every element of the game. It isn’t fair to bash on Splyce too much as they had an incredibly tough schedule for Weeks 5 and 6. However the thing is – this is a team that has always shown tons of potential. Whenever they look good they seem like a Top 3 team, however that hype doesn’t last for too long – often for reasons unknown. Their teamwork and team cohesion fluctuates for some reason, which is the main reason why they weren’t able to crack Top 5 in Spring. A similar thing happened this time around. They got a new coach and started beating teams left and right, until they faced harder opposition.

As for NiP, they’re still as mediocre and lost as they were for the entirety of the split. While they did have a couple of standout moments in their series against Vitalty, it was too infrequent. When they do manage to look good or even take a game, it’s mostly off the back of Shook’s early game influence and Nagne’s strong play. Regardless, their good games are so few and far between that you simply cannot count on them doing well – in general. They are dead last in Group A, with 0 wins and 8 losses. It seems like they might even end the split without a single win.

Betting on Splyce to win this 2-0 is the only logical choice.

Winner: Splyce, 1.20 (odds @ Bet365)

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European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Week 6 Preview, Odds & Betting Tips

July 12th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

The European playstyle that has been developed over the year wasn’t as successful as many hoped. With each passing day, Rift Rivals was the perfect opportunity for every League fan to see just how outmatched Europe was in comparison to their North American counterparts.

North America had a far greater understanding of the meta and macro game. They were cleaner in their executions, more focused in what they wanted to accomplish and how they wanted to do it. Europe was outgunned and outnumbered in almost every stage of the tournament, and other than a couple of standout UOL games, Europe didn’t stand a chance.

Looking ahead, Europe has the second half of the Summer Split to regroup and to see what actually went wrong.

Let’s take a closer look at Week 6 of the EU LCS:

Team Vitality vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas & Fnatic

While it is still to early too say anything positive for sure, Vitality does seem to have figured out some kind of a playstyle for themselves. They managed to make their Week 4 match against Misfits very close, and even managed to take down Roccat without much trouble. Nukeduck was the MVP for sure, as his Corki and Kog’Maw plays completely picked Roccat apart. They showed signs of life and completely outdrafted Roccat.

Ninjas in Pyjamas on the other hand showed little to warrant any kind of support or praise. Their series against Mysterious Monkeys was sloppy, and even though they did some thing right, they still lost and rightfully so. They’re entering Week 6 without a single win behind their belt.

They don’t have what it takes to contend against Vitality.

Winner: Team Vitality, 1.36 (odds @ Bet365)

Betting against Fnatic, even though their performance at Rift Rivals was abysmal is still not advisable. While their weaknesses were on full display just a week ago, there hasn’t been a European team that has managed to deconstruct them as NA teams did. Will they be able to? Seems like they will, however probably not in a week’s time. While Vitality is coming off a strong showing against Roccat, they probably won’t be able to do much.

They always drafted predictably, played losing lanes in hope of winning late and never really contested any objective on the map. Their individual play was highly questionable, with Caps and Broxah underperforming, and their bottom lane being incredibly lacklustre. They were expecting on Rekkles to carry however that simply never came to fruition. His eagerness to play Kennen – a pick that simply doesn’t do as much as it once did for them – is quite mind boggling. Paired with sOAZ on tank frontline duty, they didn’t show anything worth mentioning.

Still, with Fnatic’s performance one has to be doubting their ability to continue their dominance, so expect this series to be closely fought.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.12 (odds @ Bet365)

Roccat vs. H2K & Mysterious Monkeys

With a 2W-4L record, Roccat seems to be a solid middle-of-the-pack team. They have ups and downs, and you can never really know what awaits in the upcoming week. When they come to play they can tango with the absolute best. Problem is, they don’t come to play that often. They were completely picked apart by Vitality in Week 5, and with some glaring issues they probably won’t come into Week 6 with any momentum.

H2K is coming off a big win against Misfits, and much like Vitality have shown a hunger that wasn’t present at the beginning of the split. They outfought Misfits and made fantastic split-second decisions that showcased why everyone expected more from them. Their veteran status finally showed, as Misfits weren’t prepared to answer. Expect even better things from H2K, and Roccat is just a small, miniscule block on their road to playoffs.

Winner: H2K, 1.22 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Mysterious Monkeys, they seem to be on an upward trajectory. The addition of Kikis and Amazing is an incredible boost in experience and in-game shotcalling, and it showed the second they stepped on the LCS stage. They managed to take their first win against NiP just two weeks ago and now have a chance to get their second one as well.

Betting on Mysterious Monkeys would be a bit better idea, however be prepared for a fiesta as both teams struggle with late-game shotcalling.

Winner: Mysterious Monkeys, 3.00 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. G2 eSports

A tough match to predict. While Splyce lost decisively against Fnatic’s aggressive macro and teamfighting, they showcased incredible potential in every week prior. Looking at this series specifically, G2 don’t look too hot at the moment. Their Rift Rivals showing was disappointing even though no one expected much, however they do have the ability to pop-off in a game or two every series. When that happens, they’re pure, vintage G2 that dominated the scene for so long. They know that they’re playing beneath their level and are looking to fix it, however they need more time.

Betting on Splyce would be a bit better, however expect it to be a very close series as G2 don’t plan on going down without a fight.

Winner: Splyce, 3.40 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Unicorns of Love

After a lackluster showing in Week 5, Misfits are surely looking to come in strong. Sadly for them, they have arguably the best European team at the moment standing in front of them.

They completely choked when it mattered the most, which is excusable to be fair. They’re a young team with inexperienced players that lost to a very strong H2K. The only thing that was expect was from them to put up a bigger fight.

The Unicorns seems to have fixed their Week 5 problems heading into Rift Rivals, and are looking as strong as ever. While Misfits pack quite the punch with their current roster, it shouldn’t be enough to take down the Unicorns of Love.

They have carries in all positions, and even though Exileh is the worst midlaner in the EU LCS at the moment, they still have too many strengths for Misfits to handle. With their superior late game teamfighting, Misfits shouldn’t stand a chance.

Expect it to be an extremely fun series ending 2-1 in UoL’s favor.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.57 (odds @ Bet365)

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Rift Rivals – EU vs. NA – Preview, Betting Tips & Odds

July 4th, 2017

Photo: Riot Games

Rift Rivals

The second international tournament of the year is upon us, and while it does lack competitive integrity it is by no means less exciting. With trash talk on an all-time high, teams are coming into Berlin fighting for regional pride and bragging rights.

Let’s take a closer look at the teams competing and their chances to raise the inaugural Rift Rivals trophy!

Tournament Info:

Location: EU LCS Studio in Berlin, Germany

Date: 5th — 8th July, 2017

Teams: Team Solo Mid (1st NA seed), Cloud9 (2nd NA seed), Phoenix1 (3rd NA seed); G2 eSports (1st EU seed), Unicorns of Love (2nd EU seed), Fnatic (3rd EU seed)

Format: Double Round Robin (lasts three days), Best of 5 Finals (fourth day)

Europe

Photo: Riot Games

Fnatic

After a phenomenal late surge in the 2017 Spring Split, Fnatic came into Summer swinging for the fences. It seems to have paid off as they are currently first in their group. They do however have a couple of problems that could get heavily exploitable.

Regardless, they are without a doubt the best European LCS team. The reasons are a-plenty, however at times it seems like their play is fairly one-dimensional. They’re incredible at a couple of things, and well-rounded at some others.

Individually they’re all phenomenal players. sOAZ is having a renaissance at the moment, with the newcomers Broxah and Caps carrying their fair share of the weight. Even Jesiz, whom Fnatic picked up for his mindset, his in-game voice and input improved leaps and bounds in terms of mechanics and is now an actual threat alongside his lane partner Rekkles.

Their weak points

  • Over-reliance on Rekkles — Regardless of the pick, Rekkles manages to put on a masterclass almost every game. With his pocket Frozen Mallet Kennen or Twitch, he is always in the frontline dishing out maximum damage. However, he is only one man. If the opposing team manage to take him down, Fnatic become considerably weaker.
  • Lack of diverse drafting strategies — so far their “protect Rekkles comp” has been working out great on home soil. While they’re individually all phenomenal players that can play a wide variety of playstyles, they don’t switch it up that often.

It will be tough for NA teams to fully acclimate to Fnatic’s playstyle as they don’t have anything like it at home. Many compare them to Unicorns of Love, but what Fnatic does is more refined, more calculated and yet extremely intense and bloody which makes it incredibly fun from a spectator’s standpoint. Their teamfighting is phenomenal and they know their way around every stage of the game. Their Kill-to-Death ratio is an astounding 2.16, meaning they take over two kills for a single death on average. The team beneath them is sitting at a “measly” 1.38. Their vision control is great and they also knock down any objective almost as soon as it spawns — leading in first Drakes and Barons.

Overall, Fnatic is looking like the team with the biggest chances to win the whole tournament.

With that said, if NA teams prepare well for Fnatic’s strategies, they will have a chance.

Look for Fnatic to be Europe’s bastion of hope on this year’s Rift Rivals.

Unicorns of Love

Much like Fnatic, Europe’s second seed from Spring is coming in strong. They have continued working on their issues from last split, and are currently the second best team that Europe can offer. They do however have some serious shortcomings.

Their strong suits

  • Late game teamfighting — almost every UOL late-game teamfight is filled with highlight moments. They know their way around a chaotic full-blown 5v5 fight. (“they were molded by it”) If a game goes the distance, they can take down anyone depending on how well they measure their punches.
  • The famous twenty minute ON switch — while it might seem miniscule on paper, this logic-defying phenomenom that is akin only to the Unicorns is a great tool to have. Teams that have been playing against or scrimming them for longer periods of time know what to expect more or less, but international teams don’t have that kind of luxury. Regardless if they’re behind or ahead, as the twenty minute mark hits they start playing like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Vizicsacsi — Spring Split MVP for a reason. He can hardcarry on a very broad range of champions and has shown a great understanding of the meta and patch during the first half of the Summer Split.
  • Other players — it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that every UOL member brings something unique to the table. Not only that, but their unique virtues could be the deciding factor in any game. Xerxe has a completely different jungling style and is always at the right place at the right time, Samux has started playing out of his mind over the last couple of weeks almost solocarrying every teamfight and has shown great proficiency on the likes of Caitlyn, Twitch and Xayah. Paired with Hylissang’s aggressive playstyle, they all mesh into a team like no other.

Their weak points

  • Awful vision control — they’re dead last in the statistics for warding, sitting at an abysmal 2.95 wards placed per minute. While a number like this means almost nothing, when you see their games you start to realize what is actually means. When the Unicorns are playing, the Rift is almost entirely covered in dark. This leads them to overextending, or going for plays that end very badly for them.
  • Exileh — Unicorns’ midlaner has been underperforming for the first five weeks of the Summer Split. One could say that he has even been feeding, however that might be debatable. He is leading in deaths among all midlaners at 58, even behind CozQ and Nagne. In comparrison, Perkz has 30 and Caps only 28. He is constantly giving up leads in his lane and only at times manages to be relevant in the late game. He is second in death share at 28.6% and his kill participation is also nothing to write home about. His CSD@10 is dead last at -8.6 and also earns and takes the least amount of gold out of all EU midlaners. Those are some abysmal statistics that could very well cost his team a good placement at Rift Rivals. What we do know is that he has the potential. After all, he won MVP of IEM Oakland where he beat Bjergsen and co-carried his team to victory. The question remains — which Exileh will show up at Rift Rivals?
  • Their last week’s performance was abysmal. While NiP to their right did a lot of things well, it cannot be understated how badly the Unicorns played. Exileh was once again getting caught out, but it was surprising to see how many times Vizicsacsi died — minute after minute to continuous ganks from Shook. While they did manage to win in the end, their win was far from deserved as any other team other than NiP would have been able to close out the last game. Will this level of play carry on to Rift Rivals? We will have to wait and see.

Overall, the Unicorns have the X factor. Their somewhat inconsistent play in Summer means you should avoid betting on them. They might be able to win when they shouldn’t but they will also probably lose when you least expect it.

G2 eSports

It’s tough giving the Kings of Europe any benefit of the doubt. Their current state is mind-boggling. They performed to the height of their ability at this year’s MSI, managing to beat China’s strongest team and even take a game off of SKT. However the team that came back to Europe is only a shadow of it’s former self.

Everyone is underperforming, and everyone seems lost. They don’t have a good grasp on the meta, and they don’t know their way around the pick and ban phase as they once did. While the excuse that they had little time to prepare was fair for the first week or two of the LCS, they’ve been lost for five weeks now.

These are tough times for all G2 fans, as they don’t have a lot of time to get it back together. Luckily, things aren’t too grim as both the players and the organization know that they have a lot of things to fix and are surely working on it. As for their chances at Rift Rivals, it’s impossible to predict. As it is a double round robin, they will surely be able to take a couple of games. However they won’t stomp as was expected from them.

At the moment, they’re a strong dark horse in the tournament that can take a game off of any opposing team, but still lose to anyone as well.

North America

Photo: Riot Games

Cloud9

The second best NA team from Spring is having a very hot/cold showing so far. The fact that Jensen is hardcarrying his team cannot be overstated enough. His laning stats and overall effectiveness is mindblowing. His tendency to be at the right place at the right time regardless of the situation is one of the biggest reason why Cloud9 is still near the top of the standings. Even in their losses, Jensen averages only a death or two, at times not even that much.

Their shield and sword strategy with Impact and Ray isn’t panning out at the moment, as neither player is having a great split. Their impact (no pun intended) is negligible, with Impact being only a pale shadow of his 2017 Spring Split self. Sneaky and Smoothie are a very formidable duo that can stand toe-to-toe with the very best, but their lead (if any) is rarely translated over to the team.

Jensen cannot solo carry, even though he tries his hardest. Other members need to step up and carry the weight as well. Their early game has been improving steadily, however it is still nothing too spectacular. If they survive the early game then anything can happen. Through fantastic teamfighting and communication they can turn plenty of games around, especially in this tournament format.

If we judge them only by their Week 5 performance in the NA LCS, then fans can be cautiously optimistic. Individually they all played better, with Contractz being the highlight, even managing to completely shut down Svenskeren’s Lee with a pocket Nunu pick — played to perfection. He was essentially their biggest catalyst and performed on three different picks in three games, dying only once in their two wins.

Knowing how well he played when he first stepped foot on the LCS stage, he won’t have any jitters in Berlin when facing Europe’s finest. Expect him to lead the charge as Cloud9 seems like North America’s biggest hope — as unlikely as it might have seemed.

Team Solo Mid

Much like their friends in white and blue, TSM is also having a fairly passable split. While their second place in the standings (shared with Immortals) is nothing to scoff at, they’re still winning the majority of their games off of solid fundamentals and synergy that they already had down.

They’re talking about testing out different strategies and team comps during the regular season, however it seems as though they’re backtracking on those remarks as they have been playing the most TSM comps possible. Doublelift on Ashe, Bjergsen on Syndra and above all — Svenskeren on Lee Sin. Everyone knows that Sven has some of the cleanest Lee skills in competitive League of Legends. He dominated world class junglers last Worlds, however when not on the champion his impact on the game is negligible.

When they play their own playstyle that they know so well, they’re extremely dominant. The problem is — that playstyle (pick comp more often than not) is relatively one-dimensional and it never works against top tier teams around the world.

Will they have more success this time against Europe only? It’s hard to tell for sure. They’re still a force to be reckoned with, however this strategy is fairly simple to play around starting from the pick and ban phase. If the enemy team forces Svenskeren off his one or two comfort pick, TSM is already essentially a four man unit. Paired with Hauntzer’s inconsistency and Doublelift’s shaky teamfighting, they have a lot of holes in their game.

Their weak points

  • Svenskeren —His play has been all over the place during the first half of Summer. He still hasn’t adapted well enough to the meta and his play is in a single word — lacklustre. He is easily TSM’s biggest weak point, and when pressured will surely underperform.
  • Hauntzer’s inconsistent play — Much like his jungling teammate, Hauntzer has really been struggling this split. That said, there are some games where he plays out of his mind. Whether it’s due to meta changes or his team allocating resources differently we can’t know, but his effectiveness fell off hard. He has the second highest death share at 26% for toplaners and second worst for making first bloods. Regardless, his damage output and laning statistics are still top notch. TSM’s strength really depends on which Hauntzer shows up at Rift Rivals.

Overall, TSM is coming in fairly strong and will surely make their region proud. They don’t have the odds in their favor and rightfully so. They lost NA it’s first seed at this year’s Worlds due to their awful performance at MSI, and have been fairly mild so far on their home soil. (in comparison to the dominance and clean macro most expected from them)

Phoenix1

The biggest enigma of the tournament. After an awful showing for the first three weeks of split, they began to slowly turn things around. With the introduction of MikeYoung and Xpecial to the starting roster, they began winning games all up to week five when they actually managed to win two series in a row. To make matters even more interesting they won against Immortals who were at the moment the number one NA team. They had the cleanest macro, the biggest hype train behind them and yet a team that has failed to put a single win on the board beat them convincingly.

It’s impossible to look at P1’s strengths without highlighting MikeYoung and the impact he has had on the team and the way they play. While he has yet to show whether or not his playstyle is consistent, he is without a doubt their biggest catalyst and best performer at the moment. While his impact cannot be ignored, whenever he was targeted in the pick and ban phase he was more or less mediocre. His champion pool is still a big question mark.

Ryu has been really inconsistent overall, with Arrow having an absolutely awful split so far with some of the worst laning stats amongst the NA ADC player pool. Whether or not that’s due to the lack of synergy between him and Xpecial remains to be seen, however the losses he endures in lane transfer over against his team as well.

Regardless, their solid showing against IMT was far from a fluke. They mean business and are prone to climb the standings as the Summer split progresses.

If teams enter the pick and ban phase intelligently and force P1 off of their comfort picks then they shouldn’t have a huge problem handling them in-game.

Schedule

Wednesday, July 5 

TSM vs. G2 – 17:00 CEST / 8:00 AM PT

FNC vs. P1 – 18:00 CEST / 9:00 AM PT

G2 vs. C9 – 19:00 CEST / 10:00 AM PT

UOL vs. P1 – 20:00 CEST / 11:00 AM PT

C9 vs. FNC – 21:00 CEST / 12:00 PM PT

TSM vs. UOL – 22:00 CEST / 1:00 PM PT

Thursday, July 6

C9 vs. UOL – 17:00 CEST / 8:00 AM PT

G2 vs. P1 – 18:00 CEST / 9:00 AM PT

TSM vs. FNC – 19:00 CEST / 10:00 AM PT

C9 vs. G2 – 20:00 CEST / 11:00 AM PT

P1 vs. FNC – 21:00 CEST / 12:00 PM PT

UOL vs. TSM – 22:00 CEST / 1:00 PM PT

Friday, July 7

P1 vs. G2 – 17:00 CEST / 8:00 AM PT

UOL vs. C9 – 18:00 CEST / 9:00 AM PT

FNC vs. TSM – 19:00 CEST / 10:00 AM PT

P1 vs. UOL – 20:00 CEST / 11:00 AM PT

FNC vs. C9 – 21:00 CEST / 12:00 PM PT

G2 vs. TSM – 22:00 CEST / 1:00 PM PT

Saturday, July 8 

NA LCS vs. EU LCS (Bo5) – 18:00 CEST / 9:00 AM PT

Tournament Prediction

Overall, the general consensus is that Europe is coming in stronger, with a better understanding of both the meta and macro game. Those smaller nuances quickly add up to build a lead or playstyle that is unique to the region.

While NA has the tools to fight back, they probably won’t be able to win in the end. Do have in mind that this is a format that allows for crazy comebacks and unexpected things to happen. In other words, even though one region seems stronger, it is in a way a fairly even playing field.

To reach the Finals: Fnatic, 2.62 (odds @ Bet365)

To reach the Finals: TSM, 1.83 (odds @ Bet365)

Region of Winner: EU LCS, 1.33 (odds @ Bet365)

To Win Outright: Fnatic, 3.50 (odds @ Bet365)

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