Photo: Riot Games

We are on the verge of the sixth week of comeptitive LCS play. How is the LCS developing so far? Are we finally seeing concrete signs of improvement? In short — both yes and no. Regardless, we have finally entered the second half of the regular season, which means teams are starting to fight for playoff seeding. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but we’re approaching the point of the split where every single win matters.

That’s an overused statement, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Just a single win can be the difference between proceeding into the Summer Split playoffs and watching the action unfold on the sidelines.

To make matters even more interesting, the North American standings right now are in a state of flux. Yesterday’s games were, for a lack of a better word, chaotic.

The teams that should have won didn’t, and we were greeted with many upsets that simply boggled the mind.

So coming into today, betting is as dangerous as ever. No team is safe, and no verdict is set in stone. Not even close. In other words, if you’re betting on the LCS today, proceed with caution. Things might resolve exactly how we think — or they might take a turn for the worse and develop in a completely different direction.

Regardless, let’s take a closer look at the second day of LCS week 6 play!

Team Liquid vs. FlyQuest — This is where the trouble starts. FlyQuest are currently on a team, and Team Liquid has never looked this vulnerable. Now sure, they’re the defending champions for a reason and they have the cleanest and most insane macro in the entire region — but they can bleed, and they as vulnerable as they’ll ever be.

Across them stands FlyQuest. A team that was once at the bottom of the standings has now improved leaps and bounds and are coming in hot after outclassing the Golden Guardians yesterday. They are on a tear and have racked more wins in a row than you would believe.

Regardless, they’re against Liquid at this point, and even though they definitely have a puncher’s chance, they shouldn’t be able to continue their dominant win streak. That said, expect absolute chaos on the Summoner’s Rift.

Winner: Team Liquid, 1.25 (odds @ Betway)

Team Solo Mid vs. Cloud9 — The North American el clasico. The most exciting clash in North America, and one that’s been entertaining us for the longest of time.

This time around, both teams are located near the very top of the standings and are fighting with two spectacular line-ups. They’re not perfect, but they’re improving with each passing week and have more than enough tools in order to make this into one heck of a fight — as they always do when they face each other on the Rift.

We’re siding with Cloud9 on this one. Even though they dropped a game to Echo Fox yesterday, they’re far more cohesive and flexible at this point in time, and they want redemption after their shocking loss to the worst team in the region. That doesn’t mean they’ll attain it with ease, but they should be able to get the job done regardless.

Winner: Cloud9, 1.75 (odds @ Betway)

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Golden Guardians — Yet another exciting clash, but perhaps only if you’re siding towards the Counter Logic Gaming side.

The Guardians have lost all of their hype and momentum after subbing in FBI and Huhi — a decision that is simply abysmal regardless of the way you look at it. They’re not playing any better and the team-wide cohesion is suffering as a result.

They’re dropping games and that’s a luxury they simply don’t have at this point in time.

Conversely, the Counter Logic Gaming bunch is doing everything it can in order to lock down a playoff spot and are basically a full fledged contender — a team that, while still not perfect, is growing and improving at a staggering pace.

Now, their game against Liquid yesterday wasn’t their best, but they did a lot of things right and will surely bounce back sooner rather than later. We’re going with CLG on this one. They have more tools to work with and will surely best the Guardians once all is said and done. That said, this might not be as clean of game as some people expect. The Guardians never go down without a fight, and Counter Logic Gaming is far from a macro behemoth, so expect absolute chaos.

Winner: Counter Logic Gaming, 1.60 (odds @ Betway)

100 Thieves vs. Echo Fox — This is far from a must watch, but it should provide ample entertainment regardless. It’s easy to write both of these two teams off and say that they don’t play high level League of Legends, but that’s not a fair assessment. We all know what Echo Fox are capable of and the fact that they just took down Cloud9 yesterday (a team that was tied for first) tells you more than enough: they’re a dangerous dark horse that will improve when you least expect them to.

100 Thieves, on the other hand, has been racking up wins at a shocking pace. From the perennial last place team to an actual playoff contender. They just took down OpTic Gaming and have the opportunity to end the week 2-0 should they beat Echo Fox as well. They’re making all the right moves in order to reach the playoffs, and if they continue playing at such a solid level they should be able to reach the Top 6 sooner rather than later.

Winner: 100 Thieves, 1.50 (odds @ Betway)

OpTic Gaming vs. Clutch Gaming — And finally, to close out the day, we have a fight between OpTic Gaming and Clutch Gaming. This is by no means an exciting skirmish. And there’s really no silver lining either. OpTic Gaming are ranked fairly high but they haven’t displayed a seismic amount of skill over the last couple of weeks. They live and die by their mid laner, and if Meteos fails to impact the early game they’re not as competitive as they would be otherwise.

They’re a great gatekeeper, but they don’t offer anything new nor overly exciting. As for Clutch Gaming, well, they’re Clutch Gaming. Toss a coin. They might get out the gates swinging and upset the number one team in the region, or they’ll implode trying. Either way they’re an exciting bunch to watch, but they’re simply not improving quickly enough in order to lock down a playoff spot.

For them, this is do or die. For OpTic, this is a chance to get yet another “easy” win and improve in the standings. They need every win they can get, especially after dropping a game to 100 Thieves yesterday. There’s no more room for error on their side, and they know it.

Winner: OpTic Gaming, 1.65 (odds @ Betway)