100 Thieves vs Evil Geniuses
100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses will kick off the 2020 LCS Summer Split in what will be a true test for 100 Thieves, who have overachieved a bit last split, especially considering they have finished third in the regular season. To be fair, their strong season finish was more a by-product of other teams underperforming rather than 100T’s own strength.
Nevertheless, throughout last split 100T have shown some progress, namely because Ryoma improved to a degree where I don’t see him as a weak point of this team, but at the same time, he is also far from being the carry player of 100T. We can say something similar for Meteos. As for Cody Sun, he looked good and if Stunt can continue improving, 100T might have a competitive bottom lane, however, a lot of success of this team will (again) come from the top lane.
Unlike 100T who overachieved the last split, I can’t help but feel like Evil Genuises could have achieved much more. Well, they should have, but with Kumo’s inconsistency in combination with shaky performances of Jiizuke-Svenskeren tandem eventually led to EG’s underwhelming third-place finish.
As for my expectations, EG should be much stronger heading into this split. If Kumo can look as solid as he did towards the end of the split and if Jiizuke-Svenskeren come to realize they have to focus a bit more on the whole team instead of playing 2v8, this team should be set for another strong finish. EG also have Huni at their disposal, however, it’s unlikely he will get much playtime since this would require Bang or Jiizuke to be benched – not really optimal.
I really like EG and if they can improve upon their mistakes from the last split, they should win this match with ease. Having said that, I’m not too keen to take my chances and expect everything will go well. These opening matches are often very messy and considering both teams have players, who can have games where they die too much, the Over 22.5 kills line looks very appealing.
Prediction: Over 22.5 kills – 1.925 Pinnacle
Evil Geniuses vs Counter Logic Gaming
We have already said most of what is to say about EG, so what’s up with CLG? As a team, CLG disappointed last season with their 10th place finish and I can’t find any argument to say they did not deserve to finish the split where they did. There were many problems in this team from the start and while they did see some improvement with the signing of Pobelter who replaced Crown, CLG’s numbers were still somewhat iffy.
It’s not all bad for CLG, however. They have Wiggly and Smoothie who have shown their worth, as well as Pobelter’s experience and Ruin, who can have occasional strong performance, however, what CLG lack is a proper star player. Had they signed Kobbe when given a chance and bolster their bottom lane, this team would be capable of great things, but instead, they brought in Wind from their Academy roster…
Is there a potential for improvement for CLG? Sure! I still don’t see how they can make it anywhere near the finals since most other teams looked like they have improved in the off-season, but CLG should at least finish a bit higher than they did last split. Having said that, they’re still miles from EG, who should have no problems coming ahead with ease.
Prediction: Evil Geniuses -7.5 kills – 2.01 Pinnacle
Dignitas vs Golden Guardians
I don’t view Dignitas as the weakest team in the league, but they’re not far from it. With the departure of Huni, Dignitas managed to add Dardoch and JayJ which should add some much-needed flexibility to this roster, but still not enough for me to say this team can achieve anything noteworthy.
Dardoch and Akaadian competing for the starting role in the jungle is a plus, but that does not necessarily add the diversity Dignitas needed. A more utility-oriented jungler would be a better pickup, but who knows what Dignitas are going for. Having said that, the addition of JayJ to this roster is a plus in my book, solely due to his potential. Aphromoo is still a player I respect, but he wasn’t good for a very long time, so perhaps JayJ will strengthen DIG’s bottom lane and enable Johnsun to develop further.
Many people sleep on Golden Guardians, but this team is built to be a giant killer. With the addition of Damonte over GoldenGlue, GG should see a bit more stability in the mid lane which is a huge positive. What’s more, the arrival of Damonte, who is known to be very active around the map should enable FBI to shine. The latter is a very underrated player but with huhi next to him and Damonte’s occasional visit to the bottom male, I expect FBI to surprise many this split.
GG struggled in mid-late game last split, but I expect those issues will be solved, especially with the addition of Damonte and the off-season to reflect on their mistakes. As for DIG, without aphormoo, they will lack a proper shot caller and I don’t see how they can defeat GG without producing a huge upset.
Prediction: Golden Guardians to win – 1.74 Pinnacle – Best Bet
Team Liquid vs Team SoloMid
Yiliang “Peter” “Doublelift” Peng will get to clash with his old team on the opening match of the new split in what will be one of the most exciting and heavily anticipated fixtures of the opening week of LCS.
Apart from replacing Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup with Doublelift and Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett with Mingyi “Spica” Lu, TSM did not make any roster changes in the offseason and quite frankly they don’t need to. This team was capable of great things last split but fell flat because they did not have a proper shotcaller – they gained exactly that with Doublelift, who ironically left Liquid because they did not allow him to be the main voice in the team.
Liquid, on the other side, replaced Doublelift with Edward “Tactical” Ra, who already played with the team for a short stint last split. Although I would have like to see Liquid bring in another superstar ADC, which they (in theory) could, as they have the finances, they lacked supply. There are not many star ADCs in North America, which is exactly why Doublelift is one of the most valuable players any LCS team could have.
Nevertheless, Tactical has shown he has a lot more to give and his unknown potential is what makes following this team very exciting. There are a lot of IFs on both sides and although some may rank Liquid very low due to their Spring performances, they’re still a strong team that should see more success this split. As for TSM, they come off equally strong. It will all come down to how much will Doublelift improve this team and we can be sure Liquid will do all in their power to deny Doublelift to carry here.
Expect a close match and aggressive playstyle from both sides. This is a must-win match for many reasons which should inspire both teams to play aggressively which spells out kills.
Prediction: Over 20.5 kills – 1.81 Pinnacle
FlyQuest vs Immortals
I expect to see much of the same from FlyQuest entering this split as we saw in Spring, since they haven’t made any roster changes, however, they are likely to end this split a bit lower than they did in Spring. It’s not like this team has become worse – they remained the same, while the rest of the league improved, especially Liquid and TSM. Nevertheless, FlyQuest were a very consistent team and should finish this season amongst the top five with relative ease.
Immortals, I don’t rank too highly, especially for this match. As revealed by the organization, Potluck will replace Xmithie in the jungle for the opening week, which is just playing with fire. I’m not trying to undervalue Potluck, but losing the voice and leadership of Xmithie will be a problem here. What’s more, Immortals will field Altec and Gate instead of Apollo and Hakuno, which is another decision that makes no sense for me. Apollo is arguably a better ADC that Altec, albeit still not the star player this team needs. As mentioned last split, Immortals lack a proper star player (much like CLG) and without that X factor in the team, this squad is set for failure.
These opening matches are often volatile, but I can’t see how Immortals can win here. The last split they proved to be a solid mid-game team, but that was solely because they had Xmithie who is one of the best leaders in the league. I’m counting on FlyQuest’s consistency and superior quality here and if they don’t end up choking, this should be one of the easiest W they will pick up throughout the whole split.
Prediction: FlyQuest -6.5 kills – 1.90 Pinnacle