- The LCS Summer Split semifinals take place on August 17th and August 18th
- Clutch Gaming are still huge underdogs despite their surprise 3-1 victory over TSM in the quarterfinals
- Team Liquid chose Clutch Gaming as their semifinals opponent
Four teams remain in the LCS Summer Split playoffs and the semifinals begin on August 17th. Clutch Gaming pulled off the upset against TSM last weekend, yet first seeded Team Liquid still selected them as their semifinal opponent. Counter Logic Gaming made quick work of Optic in the quarterfinals, setting up an intriguing match-up against the second seeded Cloud9.
Betting Odds for Cloud9 vs. Counter Logic Gaming
|Team||Odds to Win at Bovada||Total|
|Cloud9||-385||O 3.5 (-225)|
|Counter Logic Gaming||+235||U 3.5 (+150|
*Odds taken 14/08/19
Breaking Down C9 vs. CLG
The 2019 Summer Split has been an incredible turnaround for CLG. They hit the 12 win mark in the regular season for the first time since 2017 and followed it up with an impressive 3-0 over Optic Gaming in the quarterfinals. Against Optic, the series started out rough for CLG. Optic Gaming was in full control for a large portion of the game as they picked up four barons. Regardless, CLG was able to stall with their late-game composition and eventually found engages to steal away the win.
The rest of the series was all CLG. Their bot lane of Stixxay and Biofrost have been playing at an incredibly high level as both players got voted to the 2nd LCS All-Pro Team. Their ability to either dominate with winning match-ups or turnaround tower dives, gave them a huge edge against Optic and should be an area of strength against C9.
A lot of criticism has been thrown to C9’s bot lane at times, and specifically Sneaky. Sneaky isn’t always the strongest laning AD Carry and CLG should prioritize their bot lane in an attempt to get them ahead. The big match-up in this series is between the junglers.
Svenskeren makes things happen for Cloud9 and is a leading MVP candidate for summer. He was also named to the 1st LCS All-Pro Team ahead of Team Liquid’s Xmithie. Opposing him in the semifinals is Wiggily, who is the most improved player of the split and was crucial in finding engages in their series against Optic. However, in the head-to-head match-up, the jungle advantage has to go to Svenskeren and his ability to get his solo laners ahead.
This series is very close on paper, and during the regular season, C9 had a 2-1 record over CLG which includes the tiebreaker win to lock up the playoff bye.
Cloud9 still has way more playoff experience and they normally have some surprise picks planned for playoffs. I’d expect Cloud9 to advance to the finals but it won’t be a clean sweep.
Picks: Cloud9 (-385), O 3.5 (-225)
Betting Odds for Team Liquid vs. Clutch Gaming
|Team||Odds to Win at Bovada|
*Odds taken 14/08/19
Can Clutch Pull Off Another Upset?
The second half of the Summer Split has been a huge upswing for Clutch Gaming. They won 5 of their last 7 games to make playoffs as the fifth seed, and then upset TSM in the quarterfinals. What’s more surprising, is that their win over TSM was very convincing, as this team has improved drastically and a large part of that is the play of their AD Carry Cody Sun.
In their three wins over TSM, Cody Sun went deathless with a KDA of 22/0/20. His stability in the bot lane has allowed the top side of the map to be more aggressive and wild, which suits the play-style of Huni and Damonte.
It should be said that although Clutch was impressive, TSM has a long list of struggles that have impacted them in the finals weeks of the LCS. They played the quarterfinals with a rookie jungler who joined the started roster in the final week of the regular season. TSM was still trying to find themselves and it showed in their loss to Clutch Gaming.
Team Liquid knows exactly who they are and have been dominating the LCS for multiple splits in a row. Liquid is looking to win their fourth straight LCS title and once again dominated the regular season with a 14-4 record. Four of their five members made the 1st LCS All-Pro Team. Simply put, this team plays incredibly clean, they minimize mistakes, and every player on the roster has the potential to carry the game. They also elected to choose Clutch Gaming as their semi-final opponents, and won both match-ups during the regular season.
Team Liquid’s top laner Impact often gets targeted as the weak link of the team, but he’s done an incredible job of absorbing pressure so that the rest of his team can take advantages elsewhere. His top lane opponent, Huni, is very aggressive and loves to push the boundaries. Sometimes that backfires and a team like Liquid should be able to capitalize on Huni’s over aggression.
Team Liquid won both games over Clutch during the regular season and I think Team Liquid will put Clutch Gaming in their place.
Pick: Team Liquid (-1400)
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