- The LCS Summer Split Playoffs Begin on August 10th, with the winner earning an automatic spot to Worlds 2019
- TSM are heavy favorites over Clutch Gaming despite their late season struggles
- Optic sneaked into the playoffs after winning two do-or-die tiebreaker games
Following nine weeks of the LCS Summer Split regular season, the playoffs begin on August 10th and August 11th with two best-of-five quarterfinal match-ups: TSM vs. Clutch & CLG vs. Optic. The winner of the LCS Summer playoffs automatically qualify for a spot at Worlds 2019 as the no. 1 seed from North America.
Betting Odds for TSM vs. Clutch
|Team||Odds to Win||Total|
|TSM||-385||O 3.5 (-225)|
|Clutch||+235||U 3.5 (+150)|
*Odds taken 06/08/19
Too Much Confidence in TSM
The odd makers seem to have a lot of confidence in TSM. A lot more confidence than they currently deserve. The entire summer split, TSM has been trying to figure out which jungler to use. They’ve bounced back and forth between Grig and Akaadian but in week 9 they brought up Spica from their academy team. TSM also brought up their academy coach who excels in early game situations.
TSM vs Clutch Tale of the Tape
|10-8 (4th)||Standings||9-9 (5th)|
|34.7 (9th)||Avg. Game Time (Minutes)||33.7 (5th)|
|-131 (6th)||Gold Differential @15||+757 (2nd)|
|39% (8th)||First Tower Rate||78% (1st)|
TSM’s early game has been one of their weaknesses for most of 2019 and they made some last minute changes to try and fix that for playoffs. Still, TSM hasn’t won back-to-back games since week 3. Somehow they’re still big favorites over Clutch. TSM’s quarterfinals opponents seem to have found their stride in the last couple of weeks. Clutch Gaming has won 4 of their last 5 including a crucial victory over the Golden Guardians that clinched their playoff spot.
The only thing they’re lacking is a win over a top four team. All of their wins this season are against teams currently below them in the standings. Clutch Gaming is a much more aggressive team than TSM, and early leads will be the key to their success in the quarterfinals. However, led by Bjergsen in the mid-lane, TSM will probably come out on top of this series. With that said, there’s no reason to believe that it will be a 3-0 sweep. TSM just hasn’t been very dominant down the stretch.
Picks: TSM (-385), O 3.5 (-225)
Betting Odds for CLG vs. Optic
|Team||Odds to Win||Total|
|CLG||-265||O 4.5 (+175)|
|Optic||+170||U 4.5 (-265)|
Keep Your Eyes on Optic
The second quarterfinal match-up has the chance to go the distance. At the beginning of Summer, no one thought that CLG would go 12-6 and finish in third place. They hadn’t made playoffs since 2017 and just last split they finished seventh. Their turnaround came from the power of their solo laners and the much improved play by Wiggily.
CLG vs Optic Tale of the Tape
|12-6 (3rd)||Standings||8-10 (6th)|
|33.1 (3rd)||Avg. Game Time (Minutes)||34.4 (8th)|
|754 (3rd)||Gold Differential @15||612 (4th)|
|68% (2nd)||First Dragon Rate||40% (8th)|
Going into week 9, CLG had a chance to lock up a first round bye but they lost to 100 Thieves and then dropped a tiebreaker to Cloud9. If not for their final week results, CLG would be largely favored over Optic Gaming. Optic on the other hand had to fight tooth and nail to squeak into playoffs. They lost four straight games to close out the summer split but salvaged everything with two straight tiebreaker wins to give them the sixth and final playoff spot.
I think CLG is a much better team than Optic and the odds have been affected by a little bit of recency bias. Sometimes CLG loses their identity, but over the course of a five game series they’ll be able to regroup. Ignoring the tiebreakers, Optic only won two of their last seven games whereas CLG won five of their last six. This match shouldn’t be as close as the odds make it out to be.
Picks: CLG (-265), U 4.5 (-265)