Betting-Previews.com brings you a League of Legends coverage of the LoL Championship Series (LCS) lower bracket finals Championship bout between Cloud9 and 100 Thieves, who will clash on Saturday. August 28 for a spot in the finals.
2021 LCS Championship – Lower Bracket Finals – Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves
When: Saturday, August 28 at 14:00 PDT
Game: Best-of Five (Bo5)
Cloud9 are nearly done with their lower bracket run, having beaten Golden Guardians, Evil Geniuses, and TSM to lock in a spot at the 2021 LoL World Championship and a shot at their second LCS title. First, however, they need to make it past 100 Thieves, who edged out Evil Geniuses but fell short against Team Liquid (2-3) in the upper bracket finals.
Cloud9 Are Rounding Into Form
Cloud9 have improved significantly in the playoffs and now look much more potent than during the regular season. Of course, they lost against Team Liquid (1-3), which isn’t very inspiring; however, they have started to look better since.
Moving back to their loss against Liquid and scrappy showings over the season, it mostly had to do with Cloud9’s inability to adjust from their style from last year. Cloud9 were usually playing around their bottom side, which has worked for them, but the meta has shifted this season, and now it’s all about the top lane.
Cloud9 also seemed to lack the jungle-support synergy of other top teams, namely Team Liquid, yet even here we have seen some improvement of late. So if we draw a line, Cloud9 are trending upwards and look like a solid challenger for Liquid in the finals.
But first, they need to face 100 Thieves, who should present a tough challenge, even though I would rank Cloud9’s talent higher.
While less experienced, Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami is a better top laner than Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, who seems to be at the lowest of his career. That is somewhat weird to say since there was this narrative that Ssumday is a very good player but only needs a team around him to perform – that doesn’t seem to be the case.
In the mid lane, it would be hard to say which of the two is better. Still, we’re talking about Luka “Perkz” Perković, who is the most accomplished western player for a reason. His KDA stats might not be as flashy as many expected, but his other metrics such as kill participation, Gold Difference at 15 are some of the highest in the league, so it’s not like he is underperforming.
Moving to the jungle, there s realistically nothing that could set Can “Closer” Çelik apart from Robert “Blaber” Huang. Both are some of the best junglers in the league and have basically the same champion pool. Blaber has been getting a lot of hate of late (similarly to Perkz), but you can’t forget just how good he was in spring.
The mid-jungle comparison doesn’t give us an answer of which team is better. You could give C9 a slight edge due to Perkz, but that’s about it.
In the bottom lane, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen is not as good as Ian Victor “FBI” Huang even though he has looked better. On the other side, Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme is better than Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun, so again we have a 50/50 lane.
All in all, Cloud9 have slightly more talent on their team, but not enough for me to say that they’re undeniably the better team.
The biggest difference will be the top side, namely because I expect 100T to put Ssumday on tank duty. Cloud9 could exploit that and put Fudge on a carry and play around him, which is arguably the best way for C9 to approach this game in the given situation
100 Thieves Are Good But Can Be Sloppy
100 Thieves have an excellent roster and tend to have very strong early-game, but there is one very noticeable weakness. They don’t know how to close out their games.
If we go back to their series against Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves could have won 3-0 but were unable to do anything with their leads. Although EG severely underperformed, I’m not as concerned with the fact that 100T looked better than how they should have but with their poor decision making in the late game.
That is a big problem, especially when faced with a team like Cloud9. There are, two ways 100T can approach this game – either they keep with their plan and draft early game strength and hope to find holes in the mid-late game to close out the game, or they draft scaling and work on winning the game late.
The problem with those approaches are that the first leaves them vulnerable if they fall behind Cloud9 – who are as well excellent in the early game -, while the latter option isn’t optimal for 100T as a team due to their aforementioned struggles in closing out games.
This brings me to my next point about 100T. While they are very solid individually, 100T don’t seem to be as strong as a team. Some teams are greater than the sum of their parts, 100T are the complete opposite.
Instead of showcasing some intelligent play and trying to outsmart their opponents, 100T will often look to brute force their way to a victory. That can work purely off their talent, but it also opens them up for mistakes for which they can get punished.
Another big issue, which I have already touched on above, is their weak top side. If Ssumday can magically wake up and perform up to par, I’ll look at 100T differently, but as it stands now, they have a very noticeable weakness that Cloud9 will look to exploit. Still, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun and FBI are both excellent players, so it’s not like 100T are in a terrible spot.
What Should Happen?
If you go by the performances these two sides have produced over the entire summer split, 100T come off as a better pick, and I would give them just over 50% chance of winning. By that logic, picking them at 2.16 (Pinnacle) makes a lot of sense, but I am not as bullish on them for this bout.
Not only have Cloud9 improved since they dropped into the lower bracket, but it’s also 100T’s inability to close out their games efficiently that concerns me. They have the talent to win, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they do; however, as it stands now, Cloud9 look far more reliable.
The big difference will be the top side, where I have a hard time believing Ssumday will have a great time. He is likely getting put on a tank, which should help Fudge set himself up to carry the game – something like Irelia v Ornn is likely to happen – as long as C9 can recognise that they can win game via the top side.
The bottom lane matchup should favour 100T slightly, but not enough to say that 100T will win solely via the FBI. The mid-jungle matchup is in the air and will likely come down to the draft.
Regardless of how the individual matchup and regular-season performances look like, I have to put more weight on Cloud9’s showings over the playoffs. 100T might have the talent, but they aren’t as clean as they were in the regular season (similar to Rogue in the LEC). We could see five games today, but I have to side with Cloud9 for this one.
As much as I prefer C9 over 100T, I would need to see better odds to bet on them.