Cloud9 looked like the undisputed LCS champions this split, but they fell off hard as of late and now look only like a shadow of their former selves ahead of their most important fixture of the season. The biggest issue we have with Cloud9 is their lackluster team fighting, which has looked exponentially better through the regular season and will likely be their main weakness as they face TSM.
Another thing to note is that Cloud9 often fall apart when their jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang is shut down. That makes a lot of sense since C9 heavily relies on his pressure from the jungle to get them that early advantage which they then use to snowball into a victory. Even C9’s mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer has not been performing well as of late and without that mid-jungle power, C9 are simply not the same team they were a couple of months ago.
That is another thing that will work heavily in TSM’s favor since their mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has been playing exceptionally well as of late and is arguably the main reason why TSM even made it so far these playoffs. That brings us, however to another point which is TSM’s lackluster performance against Golden Guardians, where Bjergsen was the only player who did anything noteworthy on his team.
TSM’s bottom lane will likely be put under a lot of pressure this match since shutting down Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng will likely prove to be the main win condition for C9, who will look to get their ADC Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen ahead and in a position to carry, which again begs the question of how well are TSM prepared to respond to this style of play. Then again, Doublelift is used to getting pressured in his games, so it’s fair to assume TSM will do just fine.
Cloud9 are arguably still the most likely victors due to their much higher ceiling, which was somewhat lost in recent weeks, but then again, you never know when and where will Cloud9 return to their old form, at which point they can easily win the title. TSM, on the other side, have plenty of individual talent, but they have yet to show their true form, besides Bjergsen.
If we draw a line, this match could easily end up being much closer than what the odds suggest. I still believe Cloud9 will come out ahead, but I would not be shocked to see another five-map series.
Prediction: Team SoloMid +1.5 maps – 1.980 at Pinnacle