Betting-Previews.com brings you a League of Legends betting preview for the LoL Championship Series (LCS) Championship. Today, we look at a match between Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses, who will clash on Thursday, August 19, in the second round of the lower bracket.
2021 LCS Championship – Round 3 – Evil Geniuses vs Cloud9
When: Saturday, August 19 at 15:00 PDT
Game: Best-of Five (Bo5)
The loser of this match will be eliminated from the 2021 League of Legends World Championship race, which is quite shocking since either Cloud9 or Evil Geniuses won’t be travelling to China this year. On the one hand, it’s reasonable seeing one of the top dogs fall out, given how competitive the LCS was this season; however, Cloud9 not making it to Worlds after all the investments they’ve made or EG not making it there after a phenomenal season – neither scenario looks very good.
LoL World Championship On The Line
I’ve been very bullish on Evil Geniuses this season, and while they failed me in their bout against 100 Thieves, we still have to look at the greater picture and recognise their performances throughout the entire season. EG’s showing against 100T wasn’t that great, but it’s very easy to spot where things went wrong.
First of all, we have to acknowledge Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, who had a monstrous performance across the entire series. He was a clear MVP, and it’s very hard to doubt EG if he can continue playing at the same level.
On the other side, we saw Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro had a disgustingly poor performance. While I am aware that he can be a bit of a hit-or-miss at times, you could argue that had he performed even slightly better; Evil Geniuses would have won with ease. There were some other issues, namely EG deciding to play with their academy jungler and not playing around Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, who has had a solid performance on the day but wasn’t put in a position to carry.
We must also address the elephant in the room, which is Evil Geniuses putting Danny on Ziggs in the final map of the series. Many people started complaining about EG’s coaching staff and their decision to not let Danny play a “proper ADC” for the series decider and how that lost EG the game. That might be the case, but we have to remember that Danny was one of the first ADC players to play Ziggs, so it’s unlikely that he was forced to use the pick – which wasn’t that terrible, to begin with.
As with any game, it’s fair to look at the lane matchups, figure out which team has an edge in each position and start from there. In this bout, there are a few key differences, albeit not drastic enough to change my perception of which team should do better. Regardless:
The top lane seems evenly matched. Although you could make a case for either Impact or Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami as the better top laner, there really isn’t a lot to set them apart. They are arguably two of the best top laners in the league (behind Barney “Alphari” Morris), and there is no way we will see any of the two dominate their lane.
It will likely come down to counter picks and how the teams like to play, which would suggest that Fudge will enjoy playing the series more; however, it’s unlikely for Cloud9 to focus too much on the top side given how strong EG’s bottom lane is, which brings me to the next point.
Evil Geniuses should enjoy a huge advantage in the bottom lane. If we look at the performances of C9’s and EG’s bottom late duo over the entire season, Danny and Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun have been much better than Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme. I expect to see a bit of a “bot diff” tonight.
Last but not least, we have the mid-jungle matchup, where I should respect Cloud9 a bit more. Most of it comes down to which jungler Evil Geniuses will use for tonight’s series and whether Jiizuke can perform the same way he did throughout the season.
From what we have seen, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen is a much better player than Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia, and I still have no idea why EG decided to play Contractz in their series against 100 Thieves. He can have his moments, but I would prefer Svenskeren even though he hasn’t been playing with EG since July.
This jungle dilemma, however, is a huge red flag. You’re either getting a suboptimal jungler or someone who hasn’t been playing with the team. Either way, Cloud9 should have an advantage.
The easiest way to beat Cloud9 is to deny them their early game. If you can gain early leads and snowball of that, Cloud9 will crumble, which is something we have seen before in C9’s games. At the same time, you could use the same approach against Evil Geniuses.
Across LCS Championship
As evident, Cloud9 have been performing better over the playoffs, although we should remember that they were also playing against Golden Guardians. As 100 Thieves have shown, if you eliminate Jiizuke from the game early, Evil Geniuses will struggle; however, with the performance Danny has had, Cloud9 now have to deal with two threats. The top side will likely be evenly matched with both teams working towards not letting the opponent’s top laner getting too far ahead since they’re both capable of carrying the game – again, it will depend on the drafts.
I can imagine Cloud9 trying to put Fudge on a carry top laner and work around him since their bottom lane will likely struggle. Whereas Luka “Perkz” Perkovic has been playing more of a supportive role in this team rather than being the go-to carry for Cloud9.
If we draw a line, Evil Geniuses have been performing better this season and deserve to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose. In fact, no result would surprise me, except for maybe a 3-0 sweep of Cloud9.
Cloud9 aren’t very good, but they are improving and have a very high ceiling. On the other side, Evil Geniuses have been much better over the season but seem to have stagnated, and I can’t say I was impressed with their showing last time out. And it’s not even about the individual blunders, but mainly EG changing up their playstyle and drafts (Impact on tanks…).
Cloud9 are priced as 1.588 (Pinnacle) favourites, while Evil Geniuses are priced at 2.39 (Pinnacle). There is some value with EG at this price, but not enough for me to pull the trigger.
Betting Odds are correct as of Thursday, August 19 at 19:40 CEST