Photo: Riot Games

We are on the brink of the sixth week of competitive LCS play, and things really cannot get any more exciting. Things started off slow when it came to North America — as they often do. It was understandable, after all, seeing how many teams underwent serious change during the off-season. Everyone was trying to lock down an identity for the 2019 season, and some teams did a better job than others.

Five weeks in though, we finally have a good enough of a read on all ten teams that are competing. We have a better understanding on whether or not a team has the potential to reach the top, or if they’ll fight for scraps, watching the playoffs back from home like the rest of us.

Regardless, let’s take a closer look at this week’s games in order to see who’ll come out on top!

DAY ONE

Clutch Gaming vs. 100 Thieves — To start things off, we have a clash between Clutch Gaming and 100 Thieves. To be perfectly blunt, you can skip this game entirely and not miss out on anything. Both teams are tied for ninth place, and with good reason. They’re painfully inconsistent and volatile, and they simply don’t have what it takes to compete at the highest possible level right now. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have the tools within their disposal to fight back and make things somewhat competitive — because they absolutely do. Problem is, you never really know which version of these teams will come out and play. Predicting their games is downright impossible, as both teams are prone to smaller flashes of brilliance. Regardless, 100 Thieves haven’t shown anything on the Rift so far worth mentioning, so we’re going with Clutch Gaming on this one.

While it surely won’t be clean nor dominant, Clutch Gaming should be able to get the win.

Winner: Clutch Gaming, 2.10 (odds @ Betway)

Team Solo Mid vs. Echo Fox — This is where things get a lot more interesting, although this is also far from a must watch either. The people that will tune in, however, just want to see Team Solo Mid continue their dominant win streak, and instill a bit more confidence into their recent resurgence. They had a couple of exceptional games, they looked downright fantastic over the last two weeks, but we still need a bit more before we start to believe in their redemption 2019 storyline.

They’re currently the team to beat, and seeing how Echo Fox won’t be starting with their jungler Rush but instead with a sub, they should be a fair bit weaker. It’s not that Rush played well, but they had developed synergy as a five-man unit, and upsetting that set-up will surely affect their play as well. Either way, this one should be a fairly one-sided shellacking from TSM. They need all the wins they can get, and their road towards the top continues by taking Echo Fox down on Friday.

Winner: Team Solo Mid, 1.35 (odds @ Betway)

Golden Guardians vs. Cloud9 — This is where things get a lot more exciting, and that might even be an understatement. This is a clash between the number two ranked team in Cloud9, and a highly capable, albeit painfully inconsistent, up-and-coming contender in the Golden Guardians. This is a must-watch game, primarily because it promises a ton of fireworks from both sides. Both teams love to skirmish throughout the game and we’re surely in for a ton of action from the very get-go.

That said, even though the Guardians are entering this week on a high, they shouldn’t be able to compete with the likes of Cloud9. The boys in black and blue are far too synergized and flexible in all stages of the game, and should be more than capable at taking the Guardians down in relatively clean fashion.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.28 (odds @ Betway)

Counter Logic Gaming vs. FlyQuest — Much like the game before it, this clash between CLG and FlyQuest is incredibly interesting. FlyQuest are currently in sole possession of fourth place, and are looking like a very solid mid-tier contender. They’re the Splyce of North America — strong enough to outclass teams below them, and yet not capable enough in order to take down the teams above them. Counter Logic Gaming, however, are an unknown quantity even after five weeks of competitive play. We’ve seen enough, and we know that they have some potential, but just how strong they are remains to be seen. This will be a great test for everyone involved. If FlyQuest win, they will further separate themselves from the middle of the standings, whereas if CLG get the win, they’ll make yet another solid step towards reaching the playoffs after a painfully underwhelming 2018 season.

That said, FlyQuest have displayed far better synergy and cohesion across the board in their first ten games, and even though they have just a slightly better overall win-loss record, they have been able to take down far greater opposition in order to get here. While they’re far from world-beater status, they’re still a highly competitive and capable contender in the making. They also don’t have any glaring issues. They do make individual mistakes from time to time (mainly in the bottom lane), and they don’t always have the best early game, but they compensate through their stellar mental fortitude and late game team fighting.

We’re going with FlyQuest on this one, but it could be exceptionally close.

Winner: FlyQuest, 1.55 (odds @ Betway)

OpTic Gaming vs. Team Liquid — To close things out, we have yet another engaging clash between the defending champions Team Liquid, and a team that’s in a four-way tie for fourth place. The reason as to why this match-up is so exciting isn’t what you’d expect. Team Liquid are, by all means, favored and they should be able to win in relatively clean fashion, but OpTic Gaming is downright impossible to read right now. They’re still building synergy as a ten-man roster, and we are still witnessing growing pains. Regardless, they’re deceptively strong and they’re also pretty creative both in the draft phase as well as in-game.

Regardless, Liquid have the edge lane-by-lane and should be able to get the win. That said, it probably won’t be as one-sided and clean as many people expect. Liquid are vulnerable, and OpTic’s creative shot calling and underdog mentality could allow them to go blow-for-blow, at least for a good portion of the game.

Winner: Team Liquid, 1.22 (odds @ Betway)

DAY TWO

Betting on the second day of LCS play should be heavily influenced by how things resolved the day prior. Right now, we’re siding with the following teams based on what we’ve seen throughout the first five weeks of competitive play.

Echo Fox vs. Clutch Gaming — Clutch should have an edge throughout the game, although it’s going to be insanely close. If you’re betting on the LCS this week, then skipping this match would be for the best. It really can go either way.

Winner: Clutch Gaming, 1.95 (odds @ Betway)

100 Thieves vs. Golden Guardians — We’re going with the Golden Guardians on this one. While it should be pretty even overall, the Guardians deserve our benefit of the doubt after bouncing back from an abysmal start to the season. They have simply shown more on the Rift over the last couple of weeks and should be able to take 100 Thieves down, barring any mind-boggling drafting decisions that they’re somewhat known for.

Winner: Golden Guardians, 2.10 (odds @ Betway)

Cloud9 vs. Team Solo Mid — The perennial clash between two LCS champions and rivals. Predicting the outcome of this match is the stuff nightmares are made off, primarily because both teams have been playing so exceptionally well over the last couple of weeks. That said, we have to side with the 2018 World Championship semifinalists — Cloud9. They know how to close things out, they can easily snowball if they get a lead, and they’re also incredibly dangerous even from a deficit. They’re well-rounded and should be able to take TSM down. That said, this should be an insanely close game.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.60 (odds @ Betway)

Team Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming — Liquid should have an edge, regardless of how well CLG plays the day before. They have the better players in every single lane and should, by all means, be able to emerge victorious with relative ease.

Winner: Team Liquid, 1.15 (odds @ Betway)

FlyQuest vs. OpTic Gaming — Finally, we have a clash between two mid-tier teams. Both teams are looking to further distance themselves from the middle of the pack, but we simply have to go with FlyQuest. They’ve done and shown more over the last five weeks and should have an edge, even though this is far from a one-sided match seeing how OpTic Gaming stepped up over the last two weeks.

Winner: FlyQuest, 1.60 (odds @ Betway)