LCS Quarterfinal Weekend Rundown

After the opening weekend of playoffs in North America and Europe, we are down to the final four in both regions. Each team has a 25% chance to win playoffs and secure a birth at the World Championship at this point. Playoffs will continue this upcoming weekend with 2 semi-final match-ups in both regions for us to enjoy. The top two teams will end up playing for it all in Stockholm or Madison Square Garden. How did we get to this point? Let’s take a look at the opening weekend.

EU LCS Quarterfinals

(3) H2k vs (6) Giants Gaming:

In our first series this weekend H2k showed that they were as strong as we thought they were. They emphatically dismantled Giants in 3 consecutive games in order to secure a spot in the semis. Every member of H2K performed at the level we expected from them and their systematic map movements were too much for Giant’s late game strategies. H2k even had the luxury to use game three as a way to get their substitute jungler, betongjocke, some on stage experience. This was a pretty lopsided series, and H2K are now a staggering 10-0 against Giants all time. I predicted the 3-0 for H2k and it was one of the quickest sweeps if not the quickest sweep ever in LCS history.

H2k's coach Prolly prepping before the quarterfinals

H2k’s coach Prolly prepping before the quarterfinals

What next for H2k?

H2k will move on to face off against Origen in the semi-finals. Origen went 2-0 against H2k during the Summer split, and are the slight favorites in my eyes. Anyone that knows about the LCS, knows xPeke is a different animal come playoff time. The mid lane match-up between xPeke and Ryu will be very crucial in the match-up between these two powerhouse teams. I think Origen has a slight edge in the jungler and bot lane positions, so I am going to predict a 3-1 series win for Origen. H2k’s top laner Odoamne under-performed in his match-ups with Origen during the regular season. He will need to step up and out perform Soaz in order for H2k to advance to the finals.

(4) Unicorns of Love vs (5) ROCCAT

The second quarterfinal for Europe was the closest and most exciting series of the weekend. The Unicorns were confident all season long that they would perform when it came to playoffs, and the first two games of the series were very one-sided. The new addition of H0r0 in the jungle paid off in a huge way. His Rek’Sai was unmatched and put pressure all over the map those first two games. PowerOfEvil carried hard in game 1 and played well in game 2 and gave the Unicorns a 2-0 lead in the series. The turning point of the series was ROCCAT finally picking Kalista in games 3 and 4. MrRallez was able to put his team on his back and bring his team even at 2-2. Game 4 of the series was an insane game where ROCCAT where down 3 inhibitors, nexus turrets, and barons, but still managed to win team fights and ended up taking the nexus to force a deciding game 5. Game 5 was a Unicorn sided match from the start. Steve was bullied and camped by H0r0 which led to him being ahead of anybody on ROCCAT. The turret pressure was too much and Unicorns were able to finally clinch the series after 3 tries. I also predicted a 3-2 win for the Unicorns, so I was 100% when it came to Europe this past weekend (Self hype).

UOL

Where do the Unicorns prance next?

Unicorns have the dreaded task of facing off against the first place, undefeated, and defending champions Fnatic in the semi-finals. In a rematch of the Spring split finals, I do not see Unicorns hanging with Fnatic this time around. Both teams have a new player from the last time they faced off in the playoffs, and the Rekkles switch from Steelback is a much better move than H0r0 coming in for Kikis in my opinion. With that said, H0r0 looked great in his first matches with his team, but I do not think he is ready for the greatest  team to to ever play in the history of Europe.

NA LCS Quarterfinals

(3) Team Impulse vs (6) Dignitas

The first quarterfinal match-up was also a one sided series much like Europe’s first series. It wasn’t as dominant by one team as the H2k series win, but Team Impulse were by far the better team in their 3-0 sweep of Dignitas. The impressive thing about Team Impulse’s sweep of Dignitas is that they did not play the style that they are known for. No Sivir games for Apollo, no Nidalee or Lee Sin games for Rush, and no carry top laners for Impact. This series was not won by the outstanding top/jungle synergy that Rush and Impact have, it was won on the backs of Apollo and Gate. If anything, Team Impulse were able to hide future strategies because they got to play Shen and Elise every single game of the series. Apollo and Adrian looked extremely well throughout the series and they have the confidence against any bot lane match-ups for the future. I never really was a believer with Dignitas this season, and their lack of skill in the laning phase truly hurt this team. Team Impulse were the better team all round and their 3-0 sweep was more than enough proof of that.

TiP's jungler Rush getting interviewed after the series win

TiP’s jungler Rush getting interviewed after the series win

 

Who’s next up to bat?

Team Impulse will do battle with CLG in the semi-final round next weekend. Almost everyone believes that CLG fan’s hopes and dreams are safe this season, and they will find a way to win it all. I however am not so sure. Casters were quick to point out that CLG has an advantage in the mid lane and that Pobelter would be enough, but I feel that Impulse have a huge advantage in the jungle. This series will come down to Rush, and if he can make enough plays for his team. If not, than CLG fans will finally rejoice. I am predicting an upset by Team Impulse and a 3-2 series win for them however.

(4) Gravity vs (5) TSM

The final quarterfinal match-up of the weekend was between defending champs TSM and up and comers Gravity. Game 1 was extremely lopsided as TSM manhandled Gravity in all aspects of the game. Gravity did manage to come out strong in the following game and behind Hauntzer’s Shen play, they were able to even the series at 1-1. The remaining two games of the series however, Gravity had no answer for Dyrus. His Game 3 Olaf, and series clinching game 4 with Gnar were unstoppable. TSM finished the series looking really strong and gave them a 3-1 win and a semi-final birth. Gravity didn’t look like a contender down the stretch of the regular season, and looked even further from a contender in the playoffs. They did not adjust well to TSM, and their picks were questionable at times. Move continued his decline and will need to improve his play greatly in the gauntlet if Gravity want to make it past the first round.

DyrusMVP

What’s the last semi-final match-up?

A huge match-up with number 1 seed Team Liquid facing off against a surging TSM team looking to retain their title of North America’s best team. TSM has the confidence, as do Team Liquid. This is a tough series to call. I do think TSM has improved from the regular season, but I think Team Liquid are the number 1 seed for a reason. They are the most well rounded team in NA, and I think they will advance to the finals with a 3-2 series win over TSM. Both North American semi-finals could go either way, so I’m looking forward to some great series this weekend.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin