Golden Guardians looked exceptional in their win against Team SoloMid, where they showed one of, if not THE best performance they had this entire split. It’s also worth noting that TSM looked bad that day so it’s fair to say that GG’s 3-0 win was a combination of their solid performance and TSM’s slip-up.
Now can Golden Guardians achieve the same level of success against Team Liquid? Perhaps, but there is no denying that TL are a much better team than TSM, are far more solid all-round, and also have a slow playstyle, which is usually hard to play around and exploit.
Having said that, there are arguments to be made Golden Guardians have their own advantages in this series. The bottom lane could easily end in GG’s favour since Victor “FBI” Huang has been looking very sharp as of late and while TL’s support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in is currently not only one of the best supports in the league but also one of the main candidates for split MVP, there is a world where GG go even or even win the lane.
The jungle match-up seems like a complete mismatch in my book and it definitely goes into GG’s favour. Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen has not been playing well for Liquid and while he is still a hyped-up player by most of the community, we have to look at the facts. He is one of the least impactful junglers in the entire league and while he does have his occasional flashy dragon/Baron steal, the Dane is just not playing very good and not nearly as good as Golden Guardians’ Can “Closer” Çelik.
As for the top lane, it seems like 50/50, but then again, I can’t forget to give some praise to Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell who had an excellent game against TSM despite the fact he received little to no help from his team.
The problem I have with Golden Guardians is their somewhat iffy mid-late game, as it seems like they don’t have a proper shotcaller. That could be a problem when facing Team Liquid, who are one of the best mid-late game team that is on top of that the least error-prone team in the LCS. Nevertheless, Golden Guardians have shown a lot of improvement in that aspect, as well as in their drafts.
Throughout the season we have seen GG opt for early-game compositions which did not work, but since then, they did not make the same mistake, so it’s fair to assume the Nidalee or Renekton picks are not something we can expect from them here – hopefully.
Even though I am excited to see Golden Guardians in action, I am still not confident they can win this game. The biggest problem I have with this matchup is that TL have solid laners which makes it incredibly difficult for Golden Guardians to forge a strategy to play around.
Against TSM, their main win condition was to shut down Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and that’s that. Against Team Liquid, however, they could focus on denying Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, but that leaves Edward “Tactical” Ra to do his own thing in the bottom lane or the other way around. That is the main reason why I have a hard time believing GG can pull put an upset win, but since TL have their weaknesses, and GG are not as bad as it may seem, they should win at least one map here.
Prediction: Golden Guardians +2.5 maps – 1.52