Team Liquid will have a chance to make history on Sunday afternoon. No team has won four straight LCS titles, and Liquid is looking to become the first team in North America to accomplish the feat. They have defeated 100 Thieves, Cloud9, and Team SoloMid to win their three previous league titles, and they will face Cloud9 once more in the 2019 LCS Summer Split Finals. Cloud9 are out to win their first title since 2014 Spring.
2019 League of Legends LCS Summer Split Finals Betting Odds (Courtesy of BookMaker)
Team Liquid -197
There is good news for both teams ahead of the finals in Detroit. Liquid and Cloud9 have already qualified for the World Championship in Europe in October, as they have been the two best teams over the course of the year.
Liquid have consistently gotten the better of Cloud9 over the last two years. They swept C9 3-0 in the 2018 Spring Split Playoffs, and they repeated the feat in the 2018 Summer Split Finals. Cloud9 did win both of their games against Liquid in the Summer Split regular season to clinch the No. 2 seed, so they are hoping they can use that to reverse their postseason misfortune, or at least win a game.
Top Lane Match-Up
This is where Cloud9 have their biggest advantage from a talent perspective. Licorice has been very good once more despite dealing with a nagging wrist injury, and his stats on Aatrox have been solid. Aatrox is the best tank top laner in the game right now, and the champion is a routine fixture in compositions . Licorice has the talent to win a skill match-up against Impact too, so I believe they will ask him to carry at least once.
Svenskeren has taken over as Cloud9’s primary jungler. While his stats are very similar to those of Blaber, he has better synergy with Nisqy in the mid lane. However, Xmithie has been the best jungler in North America this split. He posted a 6.4 KDA per Games of Legends, and he found success on each of his champions.
Mid Lane Match-Up
Normally, I would just give Jensen the edge in this match-up and wax poetic about his mechanics, but his play against Clutch Gaming in the semifinals last week wasn’t great. He ended up posting a 4.4 KDA in the series, but he made some mistakes and showed traces of the overaggressive Jensen of old.
Nisqy has looked great over the last month. He has showed an ability to flourish on assassin champions, dominating on both Irelia and Akali, and his mechanics have been strong. I still think Jensen has an edge over him, but it’s not as big of an edge as I believed a month ago.
Bottom Lane Match-Up
CoreJJ and Zeyzal are the two best supports in the league. Both are great playmakers that support their AD Carries very well, and they have been instrumental to their teams’ success. CoreJJ is very strong in the laning phase, continually keeping Doublelift safe, while Zeyzal has been more important in the teamfighting phase.
When it comes to the AD Carries, there’s no question that Doublelift is a more talented player than his counterpart Sneaky. Doublelift shines on your traditional AD Carries, but Sneaky is likely to have one surprise pick up his sleeve in order to try and turn the tables.
Will Cloud9 be able to turn the tables on Liquid and finally beat them in a playoff series? I doubt it.
Liquid looked flawed in a 3-2 win over Clutch Gaming last week, but I think some of those struggles were because they wanted to save certain strategies for this series as they believed they would simply steamroll Clutch. I expect them to show us something new, and for once, I won’t just default to saying that Reapered will give C9 the strategy edge.
The underdogs will take one game in this series, but I don’t think they’ll win more than that. Liquid are just too strong on an individual level, and they will be able to adjust and win their fourth straight title.