Photo: Riot Games

After nine weeks of incredibly competitive top tier play, we have finally reached the 2019 Spring Split LCS playoffs. While the regular portion of the split did have its highs and lows, the playoffs are the moment when we expect consistency, and a certain level of excellence and cohesion from everyone involved.

Teams had more than three months to get on the same page, adapt to the meta, and figure out an identity for themselves. While things were far from set in stone coming into the last couple of weeks, we can fairly say that we’re going to see some of the best LCS teams clash in the upcoming playoffs.

Those who deserved to get in the top six eventually did, and it was one heck of a ride – especially if you’re an Echo Fox fan.

So without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at the two upcoming LCS quarterfinal clashes!

FlyQuest vs. Golden Guardians

While this match-up might not seem that particularly interesting, it should provide a metric ton of entertainment and back-and-forth action regardless. Both teams are close in terms of overall strength, and they’ve been able to maintain a respectable level of play throughout the 2019 LCS Spring Split.

They are, however, somewhat different in their playstyle, and in the way they make mistakes. FlyQuest are a team fighting team, and that’s perhaps their best and maybe only avenue for success. Make no mistake – that’s not a negligible win condition, especially not in the current meta. But it does make them fairly one-dimensional, and rather predictable. They will draft a ton of engage, and a couple of late game insurance picks. Once the game reaches a later stage, they come online, reach their power spikes, and start flexing their team fighting prowess.

They’re not perfect, but they don’t make egregious mistakes either – at least not that often. They’re solid, well-rounded, and they know their way around the Summoner’s Rift.

The Golden Guardians, on the other hand, are a lot worse.

They can play a wider variety of team comps and styles, but one can argue that they’re nowhere near as good at any of them as FlyQuest are at their singular playstyle. The Guardians make a ton mistakes throughout the game, and it’s not really dependent on their opponent. Heck, you can let them play their own game without engaging them and they would still make mistakes – that’s just the way they are.

Thanks to Froggen’s renaissance, they’re deceptively capable and strong, and it really depends on how well they draft and start off. Regardless, we’re going with FlyQuest on this one. They’re simply stronger and more capable. They even took the Guardians down with a substitute in the jungle – it wasn’t a pretty win nor was it one-sided, but they got the job done. They’re just a more well-rounded team right now, and it shows in their play as well. That said, the Guardians definitely have what it takes in order to make this into one heck of scrap. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be a shellacking, but FlyQuest should get the job done regardless.

Winner: FlyQuest, 1.65 (odds @ Betway)

Team Solo Mid vs. Echo Fox

For our second quarterfinal clash, we have a fight between Team Solo Mid and the unlikeliest of challengers – Echo Fox. Regardless of your allegiance, you have to respect and admire Echo Fox’s recent resurgence. They went from a surefire bottom-tier dweller, to a playoff contender.

Not too shabby.

They’re definitely synced up, they have a ton of potential, and they’re finally playing to their strengths. It took them a while as well, but at least they came online in time for the playoffs. Are they strong enough to challenge an aggressive, playmaking Team Solo Mid? By all accounts – no. And it’s not a knack on Echo Fox either, they just had bad luck of the draw.

The boys in black and white are currently playing like the best team in the entire region. They’re the strongest, most flexible, and downright staggering – and they’re the only team that took Team Liquid down twice, and in pretty dominant fashion. They’re not perfect, but they don’t have to be. If they’re playing at this level just a couple of months into the year, one can only imagine their full potential.

They’re the biggest threat to the Team Liquid dynasty and they’re showing no signs of stopping. They won eleven out of their last twelve games, and even that one loss to Cloud9 was a game they could have easily won had they not made a single blunder in the bottom lane while trying to siege.

Watching their games is an absolute must, and Echo Fox is just the first challenger in their path to reclaiming their long-lost LCS trophy. That said, Echo Fox are deceptively strong right now, and they should not be underestimated. While this game could be a 3:0 blowout it could also go all the way if Echo Fox come out the gates swinging – as they’re prone to doing so often.

Winner: Team Solo Mid, 1.12 (odds @ Betway)