The 2021 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) 2021 Championship continues on Sunday, August 8, with the second upper bracket bout between last split finalists Team Liquid and Cloud9. Here are our betting preview and picks for the match.
2021 LCS Championship – Round 2 – Cloud9 vs Team Liquid
When: Sunday, August 8 at 13:00 PDT
Game: Best-of Five (Bo5)
The 2021 LCS Championship continues with the second match of the upper bracket, featuring Cloud9 and Team Liquid. These two LCS teams produced an exciting LCS 2021 Spring finals in April and now promise another closely contested bout on Sunday.
Cloud9 lead Team Liquid in the head-to-head (3-2) on the summer season and will now look to make it 4-2, as they chase a spot in the second round of the summer playoff, where they’ll clash with TSM.
Yesterday, we backed Evil Geniuses with a -2.5 map handicap, yet they dropped the ball in game two to end the game with a 3-1 victory. EG were clearly the superior team on the day and should have easily won with a clean sweep, but they were a bit too confident and paid the price.
It’s worth noting that Evil Geniuses were priced at 1.08 to win the second map, but a few misplays on their part turned the game upside down and allowed Dignitas to claim the consolation point. An unfortunate situation.
Cloud9 Have Looked Better… But
Cloud9 enter this match as 1.704 (Pinnacle) favourites, which might seem like a fair price. They have been playing better than Team Liquid over the season and are expected to do well tonight.
Having said that, the gap between these two sides isn’t as big as it may seem at first glance. If we compare their performance metrics, there isn’t a lot to separate them – at least not enough to justify a bet on Cloud9 at the offered price.
What’s more, Liquid have improved of late, largely thanks to Barney “Alphari” Morris and his ability to accumulate large gold leads in the early-game. For the sake of this quantitative comparison, we will look at only the metrics from the last nine outings.
|Team/GD||GD@15||Early-Game Rating||Mid-Late Game Rating|
If we compare the teams’ Gold Percent Rating (GPR) and Average Gold Spent Percentage Difference (GSPD), there is again not a lot to set them apart. Team Liquid average 1.50 GPR (1st) and 4.8% GSPD (4th), whereas Cloud9 averaged 1.11 GPR (3rd) and 9.3% GSPD (1st).
For those who haven’t been following our picks through the entire season and don’t know what GPR and GSPD mean, here’s a short explanation to give some context to the numbers.
GPR and GSPD are two metrics that allow us to evaluate teams’ performances on a deeper level than just looking at their wins/losses. It essentially shows you how good the teams were in their games, regardless of whether the match ended with a win or a loss.
Gold Percent Rating (GPR): Measures the average percentage of the total gold (in any game) the team held throughout the entire match. With GPR, you’re essentially trying to figure out whether a team plays from behind or ahead.
A higher GPR means a team usually plays their matches from ahead. Lower GPR means that they usually play from behind.
Average Gold Spent Percentage Difference (GSPD): Measures the average margin of victory at the end of matches based on how much gold teams spent.
Higher GSPD shows that a team has spent more gold by the end of the match, thus were ahead of their opponents, whereas lower GSPD indicates that the team usually performs poorly and end their matches in a worse situation than their opponents.
I don’t want to rant too much on this section. The main point is that there isn’t a lot to separate Liquid and Cloud9 if we look solely at the performance metrics across the last three round robins.
Team Liquid Are Back With Their Original Lineup
It’s very easy to view Team Liquid as a weaker team here, and while they haven’t been performing too well over the season, we have to keep in mind that Liquid weren’t playing with their “original” roster for a large portion of the summer split.
With the return of Alphari and Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen, Liquid are now back to fielding the same team that reached the LCS 2021 Spring finals, so you have to show them a bit more respect.
I wouldn’t like to bash on Jonathan “Armao”Armao and Thomas “Jenkins” Tran, who did a fine job throughout the split, but it’s very obvious that Santorin and Alphari are massive upgrades.
Not only does the return of Liquid starts improve the team’s quality, but it also provides Cloud9 with a tough challenge. Throughout the season, Cloud9 played through the top side and relyed on Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami as their main carry; however, running it back with the same approach here might be a bit more complicated.
Fudge is an excellent top laner, but I wouldn’t say that he is better than Alphari. In fact, you could make a case for Alphari as the better player of the two.
Will Cloud9 manage to shut Alhpari down and force their preferred playstyle is anyone’s guess. They might be able to do it, but I wouldn’t count on it. Santorin has played only a few games with Liquid this season, so it’s hard to say how he will fare in the jungle matchup, but I don’t believe he’ll struggle.
As noted above, Cloud9’s might struggle to execute their main win condition tonight, which could be a problem, especially if other players don’t step up. Luka “Perkz” Perković could be the go-to man for Cloud9 as their main carry tonight, but he hasn’t been playing too well over the season.
Although the Croatian LoL superstar is known for shifting into a higher gear in the playoffs and important matches, I can’t work with the assumption that he’ll do well. I need to see some improvement first before I can be confident in his ability to lead C9 to glory.
I don’t believe Cloud9 should be priced as low as they are. Although it’s an undeniable fact that Liquid struggled against top teams this split, we have to keep in mind that they weren’t playing with their “original” roster in those games, so results will obviously be worse.
It’s extremely tough to say how this match will go since we don’t have a lot of film on Team Liquid with their current roster. In theory, they should be better, but having put together their lineup back on such short notice should make you wonder whether they had the time to gel together.
If you need a bet, take Team Liquid at 2.170 (Pinnacle), but I won’t be on this match. Another bet that could be interesting is Liquid to claim the first turret at 1.90 (Bet365), which is a very generous offer if we consider Liquid have managed a 70% First Turret rate to Cloud90s 37%.
Alternatively, you can also back Cloud9 on the First Blood Market (1.80 at Bet365). C9 have averaged the league’s highest 70% FB rate across the last nine outings, whereas Liquid have managed only 41%.
Betting Odds are correct as of Sunday, August 8 at 12:30 CEST