There have been some changes to the LCS schedule this year. Rather than have five games on Saturday and five games on Sunday, the LCS is experimenting with Monday games. For the 2020 LCS Spring Split, we will see four games on Saturday, four games on Sunday, and two games on Monday, as North America attempts to draw in viewers from around the globe since no other region is playing at that time. We’ll see whether that works in due time, but people are already very excited about the new format. That means we won’t see Team SoloMid or Evil Geniuses in action on Saturday, but the two storied organizations will be in action on Monday night.
2020 LCS Spring Split Week 1 Betting Odds (Courtesy of BookMaker)
Team Liquid -125
We still don’t know who Liquid’s jungler will be in Week 1, but we know it won’t be Broxah. The star jungler brought over from Fnatic is still dealing with visa issues, so Liquid will be somewhat shorthanded in the first match of the 2020 LCS Spring Split. It appeared that former mid laner and current assistant coach Pobelter would move into the role until Broxah was cleared to come over, but academy jungler Shernfire might be playing that role instead as his visa issues have been resolved.
Despite these concerns, Liquid is still a slight favorite per the League of Legends betting odds against Cloud9 in the season opener. Liquid have four of their other five starters in place after winning four straight LCS titles, and there’s little doubt that this team is the most talented squad in the region.
Cloud9 have a brand-new bottom lane in 2020, parting ways with long time AD Carry Sneaky. Former TSM bottom laner Zven has replaced Sneaky in that role, and Vulcan was signed after Zeyzal left to become the support for Evil Geniuses. Cloud9 gave Liquid more of a run for their money than any other team in North America last year, so they can pull off the slight upset with Licorice and Nisqy back for another season.
Counter Logic Gaming -230
Team Dignitas +179
It’s great to see Dignitas back in League of Legends, but they left something to be desired with their roster construction. They signed a lot of old veterans that have seemingly lost their touch over the last year, with the possible exception of Froggen, and paired them with an untested bottom laner in Johnsun. Aphromoo is not the support he once was in the past, Grig was demoted to TSM’s academy team last year, and Huni is a hit or miss top laner at this point in his career.
Meanwhile, CLG certainly improved with the addition of Crown in the mid lane, as the former world champion has reinvented himself in North America. He dragged Optic Gaming across the finish line multiple times last season, and if that’s the Crown we see again this year, CLG could make their long-awaited resurgence.
100 Thieves -175
Golden Guardians +139
One of the sharpest minds in League of Legends was hired to become 100 Thieves’ general manager, and we will see the early returns of his moves on Saturday. PapaSmithy took some risks with this roster. He made the decision to bring in an untested mid laner from the OPL in Ryoma, and his decision to play Stunt at support is a curious one given what we have seen from the veteran in recent years. However, the acquisition of perennially underrated bottom laner Cody Sun was a great move, and re-signing Ssumday should make the Thieves competitive.
Golden Guardians are hoping to strike gold with the same formula they used to construct their team last season. For the second straight year, the Guardians have signed veteran castoffs that many consider past their prime in top laner Hauntzer, mid laner Goldenglue, and support Keith, but similar moves worked out last year for the team. It took some time for things to come together though, so the Thieves are the pick on Saturday.
These are two of the biggest wild card teams in North America this season. Immortals mid laner Eika is taking a big step up in competition after playing in EU Masters for the last three years, and no one knows what to expect from top laner sOAZ after a very disappointing season with Misfits Gaming in 2019.
FlyQuest have a roster that can make some noise, but there are potential chemistry issues. Mid laner PowerOfEvil has long been one of my favorites, but he likes to go it alone far too often, and top laner V1per is cut from the same cloth. With that in mind, I’ll take the underdog at this price.