LEC and NA LCS Spring Split Semifinals Saturday
The four magnificent S words. Spring Split Semifinals Saturday.
Both western competitive regions in League of Legends are hosting their semifinals this Saturday. In the North American LCS, FlyQuest is meeting Evil Geniuses for a place in the Spring Finals. In Europe, MAD Lions will challenge champions G2 in a rematch that has Finals as stake.
G2 vs MAD Lions
The first semifinal is a the rematch everyone except MAD Lions was looking for. The rookie squad absolutely dominated G2 in their first match-up, and probably did not want to face an angry G2 again this split. Yet, the bracket system destined the two squads to meet once more in a match with the weight of Finals on the line.
The first time they met, the rookie squad came up clutch in a close 3-2 series and was literally one auto-attack away from losing the game. Now we said: “they absolutely dominated G2”, and that was not an understatement. We were yet to see a team beat G2 in a series in Europe, and when we thought of a viable contender, MAD Lions was not on our minds.
Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao thought otherwise however. His Game 5 Olaf pick brought MAD Lions a much needed lead that ultimately brought them the series.
For the first time in EU, we saw G2 bleed. And they bled immensely. Left right and center, G2 wanted to prove they can outfight MAD Lions and ended up short handed. This was the defining characteristic of the series, as MAD proved time and time again they can best G2 in their aggression.
Casters, analysts and coaches alike agreed that G2 needs to take things slower and they can easily beat MAD Lions. The sentiment was proven correct by Fnatic a week later as they didn’t rush into every fight head-on and totally dismantled MAD on macro.
For the Saturday rematch there are two main takeaways. Shadow cannot be allowed to thrive in Jungle, and G2 has to learn when to stop aggressing. They might be the better players, but every fight is not a guaranteed victory. If we talk about picks and bans, Aphelios has to be off the table for G2, especially after the Caps showcase against Origen last week.
While this match has all the marks of a G2 stomp as it was two weeks ago, we might be proven wrong once again by MAD Lions. I think everyone is hoping for a Fnatic vs G2 final however.
FlyQuest vs Evil Geniuses
Over in North America we have another re-match as well. FlyQuest attempts to get back at EG for losing in the Playoffs opener, while EG focuses on getting a rematch against Cloud 9.
During the entirety of the LCS Spring Split, we have witnessed all the faces of Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest. EG was a 4W8L team up until Week 6, and hardly looking like a Playoffs Finalist. Fly went on a split Split (pun intended), winning and losing every other match, almost scripted. Both teams failed to impress against Cloud9 and are not looking like a decent match. Both squads made it to Playoffs however. EG really skyrocketed in performance, while Flyquest has kept to the same performance. Their first match-up was a dominating run by EG, who on the day looked like the better team.
Coming up into the rematch, both squads are coming in with very different mindsets. Fly won a thrilling series against TSM and booked their place in semis after grueling 5 games. EG on the other hand, had their asses handed to them by Cloud 9 and had to settle for a single win in a best of series. In their rematch, we can expect at least one “salty runback”, and hopefully one clash of aggressive vs passive mid-lane pick. If Jiizuke gets the upper hand against PoE, the series is done and dusted. But if PowerOfEvil retains mid control and scales back EG’s split push potential, we might have an interesting series.
If we break down the draft, PowerOfEvil needs to be kept off Azir, and Bang off Aphelios. Additionally, Santorin playing Trundle or Svenskeren playing Gragas should be a No-No in both scenarios.
Cloud9 is happy with either opponent. They have proven the better opponent against both squads for the entire split. I chose EG however. They do seem like the squad with better chances of challenging c9 in a series.
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