Liquid and Thieves looking for top seed in Week 4 – LCS Summer 2022
We are on our way from “a long break” in the LCS, but there are some solid games coming up in Week 4 of the LCS 2022 Summer Split. We take a look at two matches that should bring just enough action to bring us right back into the right mindset for the rest of the split.
Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid on an inspired run
From barely making it to the Playoffs with a 9-9 record in the spring, Evil Geniuses went on a giant-killing spree in the Playoffs. That they managed to lift the trophy through an inspired run in the lower bracket added to their aura. It’s this magic from earlier in the year that they have channeled superbly so far in the summer split.
They came into the tournament on the back of a series of results that weren’t earth shattering. But their run at the MSI made them battle ready. Going up 1-3 against the LPL and LCK before going on a run where they didn’t drop a single game against the wildcard regions got them into their groove and helped identify a template. It’s this they have carried forward.
Evil Geniuses the early pace setters
Table toppers heading into week four, Evil Geniuses currently lead with a 6-1 record. Their only loss so far came in week two when they lost to Counter Logic Gaming, but have bounced back since to record two wins on the bounce in week three. Their laning and mid-game play has been commendable so far, and are areas Team Liquid will have to be wary of.
Playing on blue, Evil Geniuses beat Golden Guardians in 29 minutes, with Poland’s Kacper “Inspired” Sloma leading the way with 7 kills, 1 death and 5 assists. This offset the damage done by Golden Guardians’ Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott who landed 3 kills, 3 deaths and 2 assists.
Liquid is on a Bull Run of their own
Elsewhere, playing on red, Team Liquid took all of 27 minutes to overcome Counter Logic Gaming (4-3), thereby displacing them from a tie for second place in the summer split standings. Denmark’s Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg stood out with his offensive proficiency, landing 6 kills and 9 assists, while Belgium’s Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau effected 6 kills and 4 assists.
In terms of personnel, Team Liquid have had it as intimidating as they come, especially the bot lane duo of superstar LEC ADC Steven “Hans sama” Liv who is paired up with multiple-time MVP support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in. They have been prolific for a while now and are showing no signs of slowing down. The lock-ins earlier this year allowed them to get some game time, with the newer members blending in and allowing meaningful game time. This worked massively to their advantage; they’ve been on a roll since.
This should make it an engrossing contest when two of the most aggressive sides in the LCS go head to head. The time for plotting and planning is over. It’s time for action. I wouldn’t want to be on the spot here with a prediction. This is a really tough one. Evil Geniuses have a slight edge but don’t count out Liquid.
Counter Logic Gaming and 100 Thieves on road to discover lost magic
Ever since they became trend setters in 2015-16, where they broke barriers and set a glowing example for teams from North America to emulate, Counter Logic Gaming started getting noticed not just within their region but around the international circuit. Two back-to-back LCS championships, a second-placed finish at MSI 2016 were among the results that pitchforked them into the limelight. This got them acclaim and recognition from the fraternity and the fans, elevating expectations from stakeholders and sponsors, among others.
While they’ve slowed down a bit, even struggled at times to get back to those lofty standards, they are slowly trying to climb the road uphill again. You didn’t need to be an expert to have one look at their roster and club them as a championship contender at the start of the year, not definitely when they had to compete against the likes of Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses. Yes, their players individually had potential but they hadn’t been able to drop it as a team for a while.
Slow Starters Trying To Climb Up The Tricky Hill
Up in Spring, they would be the first to admit they underperformed, losing twice the number of games they won to finish eighth. A horror show like that may have warranted structural changes, but CLG defied conventional wisdom and made just one change – the introduction of top laner Niship “Dhokla” Doshi. Of course, it wasn’t the same as Felix “Abbedagge” Braun signing with 100 Thieves or even a slotting in of ADC Edward “Tactical” Ra for Team Liquid. But the move seems to have worked both at an individual level and for the team.
They seem to have banished those form issues ahead of the summer season, having fought their way to the mid-table. They currently have four wins and three loses, and are joint-fourth. Against 100 Thieves, who are second within a win of the toppers, they will have the unenviable task of having to break a two-match duck.
100 Thieves are attempting to get to their third straight final. They have been mighty successful in their last two splits, having made two straight finals and a first-ever trophy in the organization’s history. This summer, it may not be an easy road to the final. They started the split as one of very few teams that had no player availability issues due to visas or covid. They’ve had to overcome a rough start, following a disappointing lock-in. In the bot lane, Victor ‘FBI’ Huang and Choi ‘huhi’ Jae-hyun formed the most prolific partnership last summer, but the same magic was missing this spring, one of the biggest reasons for their slowdown.
Can they surge their way back to the top? – The signs are promising, but they can’t rest easy just yet.