Liquid, EG on opposing trajectories coming into LCS Playoffs Semifinals
Just two matches and three of the best teams remain in the spring split of the LCS. 100 Thieves have already made their way to the final after beating Team Liquid in the qualifying final. That has left Liquid and Evil Geniuses with one spot in the final to fight for.
How will the rest of this LCS pan out? We break it down.
Liquid and EG on opposing trajectories
Firstly, Liquid would have been a bit demoralized after their 3-2 loss to 100 Thieves in their qualifier for the final. The guys just couldn’t stay abreast with the aggression of 100 Thieves in that final map, which eventually proved to be the differentiating factor.
Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, have peaked at just the right time in this split. First, they won two straight regular season games to close out the split, which propelled them into the Playoffs. They took Liquid all the way in round 1 of the winners’ bracket. After being pushed to the losers’ bracket, they have not looked back, putting up consecutive wins, first against FlyQuest in round 1 before cruising past Cloud9 without dropping a map in round 2.
There are factors that need to be looked at in further detail but the form factor is certainly with Evil Geniuses. How have the players fared in the pressure of a playoffs situation?
As you would expect from a quality player like Hans Sama, he has stepped up his production. In fact, he is the only Liquid player to have a kill rate of over three in the postseason. He has averaged 4.1 kills, 1.9 deaths and 4.6 assists per map at a KDA of 4.58. Bjergsen, in the middle lane, has not quite been at his best but has still produced reliable results of 2.9 kills, 1.9 deaths and 5.9 assists per map at a KDA of 4.63 with a creep score of 271.9.
jojopyun to the rescue?
Bjergsen’s counterpart in the middle lane with be young rookie jojopyun, who has been quite strong in an offensive phase. He does have issues with defense and being overly aggressive but he will work these issues out with experience. He has averaged 4.17 kills and 3.17 deaths per map in the playoffs so far. “It seems like jojopyun is going to become the next big all-star of the LCS,” Riot Games play-by-play caster David “Phreak” Turley told Inven Global. “He’s already the best mid laner in the LCS in terms of laning phase, by far. It is ultra not close. As a 17-year old rookie, his mid-to-late game isn’t as good and he’s going to drop the ball in some cases. That has kind of been the case when he doesn’t convert on his lane leads as much, but this is the beginning of a very long career and he’s just going to keep going up.”
Evil Geniuses will be looking to exact revenge on Liquid after their tight result in the first round of the playoffs. And EG have improved a lot after starting the season a bit too slowly. They have now peaked, which is important, but they will come up against a charged-up Liquid team, who are capable of producing stunning team fights at any point, especially with Hans Sama in sprightly form. It will come down to the balance between finding those neutral objectives in the mid game and then pushing on with some aggressive team fights.
Phreak broke it down well in the end:
“Evil Geniuses certainly did a lot worse than I expected for a very long time. They ended the Spring Split barely north of .500 and that’s not the expectation, they were supposed to come out swinging even after losing to TL — without their full roster — in the finals of the Lock In, but they just kept being mediocre for a while. When you look at the roster, it feels clear that this team should be smurfing the entire league, and they weren’t. That was really a surprise. It seems like they’ve turned it on since then and it does seem like they’re actually a good team now.”
My bet is currently on Liquid despite several crucial factors, such as form and momentum pointing to Evil Geniuses. 100 Thieves will certainly not want to come up against Liquid, especially after beating them already in the playoffs.