2019 League of Legends LCS Summer Split Quarterfinals Preview

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The playoffs are here, and six teams are vying to win the LCS Summer Split and clinch an automatic spot at the World Championships. Team Liquid are the overall favorites as the winners of the last three split titles, and they are the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season 14-4. Cloud9 won a tiebreaker against Counter Logic Gaming to earn a first-round bye, and they are the No. 2 seed for the second straight split. The winners of the two series this weekend will face off against those teams next week for a spot in the Summer Split Finals.

2019 League of Legends LCS Summer Split Quarterfinals Betting Odds (Courtesy of BookMaker)

Team SoloMid -175
Clutch Gaming +139

TSM were the hottest team in North America at the end of last split, but this was a frustrating season. They went 1-1 in eight of the nine weeks, and just when you thought they might be ready to turn a corner, they would let you down. The most decorated organization in North America is rightly favored over Clutch Gaming per the League of Legends betting odds, but the relatively low price is indicative of the lack of trust oddsmakers have in this squad.

The biggest problem has been in the jungle. TSM have used Grig, Akkadian, and now Spica in the jungle this summer, but the synergy just hasn’t been there between any of the junglers and the rest of the team. Akkadian has been better at setting up ganks with a 74.8 percentage per Games of Legends, but he lacks the playmaking ability you see in top junglers. Grig can make plays, but he is too overaggressive at times, and that can lead to opponents snowballing TSM if he gets caught out. It’s too early to definitively feel a certain way about Spica, but his performance last week was not great.

We know what Clutch want to do. This is a team that wants to skirmish and play for the late game. Mid laner Damonte likes to play assassins, and he has had some nice performances on Irelia and Qiyana. Top laner Huni has been very strong on Akali and Irelia, although he prefers to default to his pocket Rumble pick, and Cody Sun almost always takes AD Carries that scale well into the late game.

Although they have had their issues, TSM are far more versatile than Clutch, and that’s why I’ll back them here. Bjergsen is still one of the most talented mid laners in the region, and he has dunked Damonte in their previous two meetings this split. Additionally, Zven is a solid AD Carry even though he is sort of the European version of WildTurtle because he will occasionally make a fatal misstep that costs his team the game.

My main concern is in the jungle for obvious reasons, but I don’t have the trepidation that others have with Broken Blade because of his match-up. Huni continually defaulting to Rumble when he is certainly not in the top lane meta is something both he and TSM can exploit.

Counter Logic Gaming -375
OpTic Gaming +277

We’ve seen an impressive turnaround from CLG this split. Although they have to be gutted for missing out on the No. 2 seed, they finally toppled rival TSM and their third-place finish ensures they will have a spot in the qualification for Worlds.
CLG took on OpTic last Saturday in a game that was closer for a lot longer than people expected. It was close to even around the 30-minute mark when CLG won a big team fight, secured Baron, and snowballed to a win from there.

What we have seen from CLG is unorthodox in the grand scheme of things, but it has worked. PowerOfEvil is taking the champions he feels comfortable on regardless of meta, and the bottom lane of Stixxay and Biofrost has been superb.

OpTic don’t have a bottom lane that’s nearly as strong with Arrow and Big. For the Green Wall to celebrate on Sunday, Crown will have to come up big in the mid lane. Crown is so essential to everything the team wants to do, and his damage output is insane. He is the reason I believe OpTic have the chance of pulling off the upset.

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