A shift at the top of the standings, a securing of playoff hopes for multiple teams, an upset and a continuing attempt at the last remaining playoff spots.
This would be the last stretch for all of the teams in the penultimate week of the League of Legends Championship Series’ 2020 Summer Split. Squads in the middle of the pack like FlyQuest, Evil Geniuses, and Golden Guardians were looking to secure their playoff spots and possibly knock on the door of the top two in the standings. While teams like 100 Thieves and Counter Logic gaming were trying to survive the onslaught of other teams — keeping their own playoffs hopes intact.
With only four matches remaining in the LCS, Team SoloMid tied their longtime rivals, Cloud9, at second place putting the fate of their playoff bye in their own hands, Evil Geniuses secured their spot in the playoffs and 100 Thieves, as well as Counter Logic Gaming, inched closer to securing their own. The top six teams in the playoffs go into the upper bracket while the bottom two go into the lower bracket — winner moves on, loser gets eliminated.
Day 1 — Friday Night League
Team Liquid vs. Dignitas
This season, Dignitas has been the very definition of inconsistency - compared to Team Liquid’s perfecting of the opposite. Team Liquid has been on their A-game in the second half of the split, only losing one game in their last nine.
To start off the game, Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong, on the Shen, began his top lane matchup zoning off Omran “V1per” Shoura on the Renekton — gaining him a lot of value. Alongside this pressure, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen would get a clean gank onto Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, with Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen showing off excellent patience utilising his LeBlanc chain after Fenix flashed. These two plays were the perfect exhibition of what would come for the rest of the match for Dignitas as Team Liquid nearly perfect-gamed them. From start to Finish Dignitas seemingly played into Team Liquid’s hands as they were indecisive and didn’t offer a clear path forward.
Evil Geniuses vs. Team SoloMid
In one of the bigger matches of the week, both Team SoloMid and Evil Geniuses were looking to solidify or better their spots in the upper bracket for playoffs. Team SoloMid were looking to prove that they were a top-two team as they had the current top two teams in Cloud9 and Team Liquid as well as the two 7-7 squads in Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians remaining in their schedule.
Team SoloMid would be the first team to pick Caitlyn this week as she received buffs in the latest 10.15 patch. This match was defined by Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s superb Zilean play as they would extend their team fights, as well his excellent Teleport usage — alongside his teammates. Although Evil Geniuses managed to fight back, Team SoloMid ran laps around them culminating in an elongated team fight that showcased their teleport usage and kitting abilities.
100 Thieves vs. FlyQuest
This would be the battle of the 1v9 top lane carries as both Colin “Solo” earnest and Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho have had their fair share 1v9 carries this season. FlyQuest were looking to continue Week 7’s momentum.
FlyQuest continued that said momentum from last week and made quick work of 100 Thieves. It was domination from top to bottom — especially bottom. Statement win towards the end of the Split for FlyQuest as they showed versatility and cleanliness, so much so that 100 Thieves coach was just left with disappointment in tweets.
Cloud9 vs. Golden Guardians
Golden Guardians have been having better early games, and this would be a great opportunity for them to showcase that against a top-two team in Cloud9, who is having a rough go at it in the second half of the split boasting a losing record.
This match felt positioned like a classic dominant Cloud9 victory but Golden Guardians prevented that as it was Tanner Time. Tanner “Damonte” Damonte posted a 12.0 KDA, setting up his team for success and spreading his lead across the map. Golden Guardians beat Cloud9 at their own game in definitive fashion — locking in a playoff spot.
Team Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming
With one of the easier remaining schedules in the LCS, Team Liquid would continue their consistency versus Counter Logic Gaming.
The game began with an attempted solo kill dive from Counter Logic Gaming’s Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min failing as Impact’s kill onto him netted him enough experience to level and remain alive. This would be a good synopsis of the game as - like their game in Day 1 - Team Liquid would also make quick and decisive work over Counter Logic Gaming.
- Read More - How To Dominate With Yone
Dignitas vs. Immortals
In a battle of the last-placed squads both Dignitas and Immortals are trying to claw their way into the final playoff spot as 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming attempt to pull away.
Joshua “Dardoch” Harnett began the game in classic fashion, three buffing Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and later punishing him at every turning netting Dignitas a First Blood. Although the rough early, Immortals managed to claw themselves back in a sloppy bottom of the barrel game finishing the game after an Ocean Soul take.
Golden Guardians vs. Counter Logic Gaming
This was the legendary battle between two teams fighting for playoff standings. Golden Guardians lock in an upper bracket start in the playoffs with a win here while Counter Logic Gaming keep their playoff hopes alive as well as keep the teams under them at bay.
Golden Guardians would continue their momentum from upsetting Cloud9 and steamroll through Counter Logic Gaming off of the back of Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell stellar Kennen play. Golden Guardians had complete control from start to finish topping it off with a quadra kill from Hauntzer.
Team SoloMid vs. Cloud 9
In a battle for the second playoff bye, Team SoloMid faced off their longtime rivals in Cloud9. Both teams were looking to keep a distance from the middle of the pack teams.
Like their previous match this week, Cloud9 seemed to be back on form - but it was short-lived as Team Solomid pulled out all the stops. The one shining spot in Cloud9’s fall from grace in the second half of the split, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie would be completely outplayed in every facet of the game by Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik. Broken Blade had a monstrous cs lead, forced him to flash and coordinating near-perfect ganks with Bjergsen. Team SoloMid ultimately out positioned and outplayed Cloud9, executing at a high level. It culminated with a Cloud9 dive onto Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, in return Team SoloMid would turn the fight around finishing the game.
Evil Geniuses vs. FlyQuest
This would be a potential playoff preview in the coming weeks as both teams are close to each other in the standings.
It was a quick start to one of the closer affairs in this LCS week as FlyQuest’s Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun roamed to the mid lane but Evil Geniuses ended up with two kills. FlyQuest continued their two-week-long momentum even with that early game flub netting them a fourth straight win.
100 Thieves vs. Immortals
100 Thieves have the easiest strength of schedule remaining out of all of the LCS teams in the league. The bar for playoffs is at five wins as both 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming have at least five wins when the bottom two teams, Immortals and Dignitas, sit at four.
The thieves would do a complete 180 after their disappointing performance versus FlyQuest on Day 2. With quick early game plays, 100 Thieves showed that they are the best looking out of the four teams that could or could not make playoffs — handly defeating Immortals.
What to expect from Week 9
Week 9 is the last week before playoffs, teams like Team SoloMid and Cloud9 look to obtain the second playoff bye as both have the power to control destiny — if both teams win out, there will be a deciding tie-breaker match. The top six teams are a lock-in while the bottom four still have a chance at playoffs. Teams like 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming look to maintain their weak hold of the remaining two playoff spots.
With two matches remaining in the LCS, team final playoff seeds will be decided this coming week.
Images via lolesports