The top-seeded Cloud9 will clash with the fourth-seed 100 Thieves on Sunday, March 21, in the second Winners’ Bracket fixture of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Mid-Season Showdown. It will mark their third meeting of the season, all of which ended in favor of Cloud9.
Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves
Sunday, March 21 – 13:00 PST
Cloud9 have already beaten 100 Thieves three times this season, which includes a narrow 3-2 victory in the LCS Lock-In semi-finals, as well as two fairly convincing victories during the regular season. Being 0-3 down in the head-to-head, this will mark 100T’s last chance to prove they can compete with the best LCS teams and that their remarkable run through the LCS Lock-In was not merely a fluke.
Cloud9 eyeing their fourth LCS title
Cloud9 entered the 2021 season billed as the main favorites to win the title and even though they failed to end the regular season with a perfect record, they’ve still proven they’re a class above everyone else. That said, I don’t necessarily believe C9 are much stronger than Team Liquid and TSM, but more on that some other day.
Before we get into what makes Cloud9 the mani favorites to go all the way and lift their fourth LCS title, we must first touch on their weaknesses. Starting in the bottom lane, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme can have games where they look very shaky and while they don’t necessarily lose games with their iffy showings, they certainly don’t do much to help their team win.
The other obvious weakness on C9 is their top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami, yet even he hasn’t been doing too poorly this split. Although he had some growing struggles early into the season – as expected for a rookie player – he has done well enough to earn my respect and had, in fact, performed to a degree, where I would go even so far as to say 100 Thieves won’t have a huge advantage in the top side.
All the eyes for this match will be on the mid lane, and not necessarily because C9 field the most successful Western player in the history of LoL in Luka “Perkz” Perković, but largely because this series will likely be decided in this lane.
For all other lanes, I could argue 100T have the needed talent to go toe-to-toe with C9, but looking at this match-up, you simply have to favor Perkz over Tommy “ry0ma” Le. That’s not to say Ryoma hasn’t exceeded my expectations and hasn’t done well as a replacement for Tanner “Damonte” Damonte, but he has yet to show anything that would lead me to believe he can compete with Perkz.
100 Thieves hoping to cause an upset
100 Thieves looked very good during the Lock-In tournament, but have not impressed with their performances throughout the LCS regular season. Although they’ve picked up a few notable wins against Team Liquid and Evil Genuises, 100T seemed to be on the decline as the season went on and haven’t really shown anything of late that would inspire confidence.
That does not necessarily mean they can’t defeat Cloud9, but their chances are extremely slim. If 100T come out with better drafts, they will be in a position to cause some damage, but even then, most of their players will have to perform to the best of their ability only to be up to par with C9’s roster.
100T best-of issues
Watching 100T play this season, they don’t come off as a team that will do well in a best-of series. They seem like a very tilt-prone team, meaning that if they lose the opening match of the series, 100T will likely fall apart, which is a problem that becomes that much more concerning if we consider C9 are the complete opposite.
Another problem I have with 100T and something that I’ve touched on earlier in the season is that they got figured out by other teams. As noted before, 100T looked very good early into the split, but their playstyle seemed to lack flexibility, which has turned around to bite them and I don’t believe they had enough time to address that issue ahead of this bout.
Talking about their playstyle, 100T might be in a better spot to defeat C9 had they kept Damonte on the team. That’s not because I feel like Damonte was a much better player than Ryoma, but rather because of his roaming playstyle – aking to FunPlus Phoenix at the 2019 World Championship.
Had 100T kept Damonte and polished their style from earlier in the season – when they were a bot-focused team with both jungler and mid laner camped the bot side – 100T would likely look much stronger now. Instead, they have Ryoma, whose playstyle is nowhere near that and is instead required to win his lane – which is unlikely to happen against Perkz.
Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves Prediction
Although very one-sided series are rare in upper bracket matches, the quality and stylistic gap between these two sides are just way too big for me to believe this match can end in any other way. In some way, it would be fair to say Cloud9 should win this match as long as they don’t beat themselves.
On that note, there are a couple of scenarios where 100T can steal one map. Although I am impressed with Fudge’s improvement, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho is still a more experienced player that should be winning his lane, as long as C9 don’t focus too much on the top side. Another thing that could potentially work in 100T’s favor is Zven’s tendency to choke in important games, so I believe there is a world where 100T can win one map, but outside of that, it’s hard to make a case against C9.
Expected result: Cloud9 to win 3-1
Prediction: Cloud9 -1.5 maps – 1.714 Pinnacle