2020 Spring Split LCS Week 9 Matches to Watch: Part 1
The last week of the 2020 LCS Spring Split is finally upon us after a tumultuous period for the league due to the coronavirus and boy is it going to be a doozy. With Team Liquids loss to Evil Geniuses, the team is now just one loss for themselves, and one win for 100 Thieves, away from failing to make playoffs, the first time a previous split champion has failed to make it in the following split. With many teams jockeying for the last playoff spots, it’s anyone’s game this weekend. Every team will be putting they’re all on the line to win it.
In fact, this weekend is so important, we’re going to be dividing up the matches to watch piece into two, one for each day. So tune back in tomorrow for our matches to watch Sunday. In the meantime, enjoy Part 1, Saturday, right below.
2020 LCS Week 9: 100 Thieves vs. Team SoloMid
Our first 2020 LCS Week 9 match to watch is the first match Saturday, 100 Thieves vs Team SoloMid. With Team Liquid having to play the nearly unbeatable Cloud9 this weekend, 100 Thieves needs just win to secure themselves a playoff spot, while TSM needs this win to continue fighting for a top-four finish this Split and not get got caught up in the slew of tiebreakers we’re sure to get near the bottom of the cutoff.
With so much on the line here, expect both teams to give it their all and put a lot of focus on their strongest points this match, one of which forth both teams lays in the top lane. Broken Blade and Ssumday have been tearing it up on the upper side of the Rift all Split long and are coming into this match as the highlight match-up of the game. Expect these two titans to slug it out for top-side control there, with some support from their junglers as they look to establish dominance in the lane.
Meteos won’t be able to spend too much time up there, however, as he’ll need to work on keeping Eika from getting run over by TSM star Bjergsen in the mid lane. Bjerg has been on fire over the last couple of weeks, and while Eika has been looking a bit better lately, he’s still highly outclassed by the long-time TSM veteran. Meteos will need to keep a close eye on the lane to make sure Bjerg doesn’t pick-up some early kills and snowball out of control, and that starts with preventing him from getting some of his iconic mid carries in the draft, such as Zilean, Syndra, and Irelia.
TSM, meanwhile, will need to keep an eye on the bottom lane and the surprise potential of Cody Sun and Stunt have been steadily climbing up the ranks this split as a duo and could prove the x-factor 100 Thieves needs if they get ahead. Kobbe and Bifrost are going to have to play safely in the lane to make sure they don’t give over several kills, but also TSM is going to have to focus in the draft on not allowing Cody Sun to get some of his big picks for the split, such as Miss Fortune and Aphelios.
Watch for a lot of early skirmishes to break out is both teams try to gain a lead as well as a rather quick transition to team fighting given their preferred champions as both teams try to snowball the lead and take control of the barren and drake pits. Whoever gains the lead by around the 20-minute mark is likely to take this match, so expect a lot of action in the 10-minutes prior.
Can 100 Thieves lock themselves into the playoffs? Will TSM leave them fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday?
FlyQuest vs. Team Liquid
A must-win game for Team Liquid, their second to last match-up of the Split sees them take on the struggling FlyQuest as they look to claw their way towards the playoffs. FlyQuest has had a pretty rough time in the last couple of weeks, with the team having gone 2-4 since Week 6 and looking rather lost in their mechanical play, especially on the top side of the map. V1per has had an incredibly rough Split so far this season, with the worst stats of any top laner in the league. His replacement for this past weekend, Solo, performed even worse and it looks like the team is not going to be able to have their situation figured out by the time playoffs roll around which could prove disastrous given the strength of the top laners across the rest of the playoff teams.
That’s not to say this is going to be a cakewalk for Team Liquid, however, as the team has struggled horrendously given the talent on their lineup. The four-time reigning league champions are on the cusp of getting eliminated from the playoffs, and will surely be so if they lose this game here with their last game being against the single loss Cloud9. Their bottom lane has been looking lost between having Doublelift rotated out for sickness/lack of motivation, and CoreJJ’s sudden regression closer to his Dignitas form from back in the day. The rest of the team hasn’t been fairing that much better either, and the whole squad has been playing incredibly uncoordinated.
It’s going to be a tough fought battle for both these teams as they look to right the ship heading into this last week of play, and a lot of the focus is going to be on the only spot both teams have managed to maintain form in, the mid lane. PowerOfEvil has been on an absolute tear this Split and still is looking like one of the best mid laners across the region, while Jensen has been the solid rock that his team can play around in the few wins they have garnered. Expect a heavy focus on this lane from both teams as they try to snowball their mid laners ahead, with an exceptional amount of jungle pressure coming for both Santorin and Dardoch as they look for opportunities to come into for a kill.
It’s going to be a rough match giving both teams struggling macro lately, so expect a lot of very messy team fights as the game stretches out, and a slow close to the game even if a team manages to get a decent lead early on. With so much on the line expect heavy focus around the drake and Baron pits as both teams fight over neutral objectives there to find another advantage. Tt’s still unknown which top laner FlyQuest is going to run this week as well but, depending on how they perform, they could be the difference-maker in whether the team is victorious or defeated if they can find a lead on Impact top side.
Can Team Liquid overcome FlyQuest and move that much closer to playoffs? Or will FlyQuest finally right the ship that had started the Split off so well and march into the playoffs with their head held high?
2020 LCS Week 9: Golden Guardians vs. Counter Logic Gaming
While this match doesn’t have any implications for CLG given they’re already eliminated from the playoffs, it will be do or die for the Golden Guardians after what is arguably the most confusing Split in LCS history. What started in the preseason with a lot of excitement turned into confusion after the team signed former C9 Academy ADC Keith as their starting support, then got even weirder when, after finally starting to show some strong progress in the role, the team benched him for former CLG mid laner turned support Huhi instead. The team has been an absolute mess this Split, and while there have been some positives in Hauntzer and Closer on occasion, the lack of consistency is still haunting them going into the last week.
CLG, meanwhile, is going to be using this to get more experience for their roster ahead of the Summer Split, and with nothing to lose on their end expect this match to show some zanier picks from them as they grab comfort picks for themselves to make the work on teamplay easier. We’ll probably see Pobelter get drafted Orianna or Syndra, while bottom lane gets a Caitlyn and Thresh for Stixxay and Smoothie respectively. Top side is anyone’s guess at this point, but the team’s recent focus on giving more bruisers and carries to Ruin up there may be an indicator of what we’re going to see.
Golden Guardians, meanwhile, with the focus on the top side of the map, will likely take a safe bottom lane for themselves and look to draft Fiora or Gangplank for Hauntzer, while Closer goes for a Gragas or a Pantheon to get the ball rolling early on. Bottom lane will likely go for safer picks here, so the likes of an Ashe and Tahm Kench could be on the table for them.
Expect a lot of focus top side and mid as both junglers look to get their traditional carries ahead, while bottom lane is left mostly to its own devices until the dragon comes a calling. The struggling macro from both squads means we’re going to see a lot of messy fights and confusing decision making here.
Can Golden Guardians keep their post-Split hopes alive, or will CLG play spoiler and leave one of the league’s most consistently struggling teams to miss the playoffs yet again?
2020 LCS Week 9: Dignitas vs. Immortals
Probably the most important match of the day sees Dignitas take on Immortals in a battle for one of the last playoff spots in the second to last day of regular Split play. Both teams have found themselves struggling in the past several weeks, particularly Dignitas and their failure failed to find a win until this past Saturday since Week 5. Immortals, meanwhile, has been dealing with consistent 1-1 weeks ever since their four-game losing streak between Weeks 4 and 6, and has shown a lot of sloppiness even in their wins. With Dignitas needing this win to even stay in the hunt for the playoffs, and Immortals needing it to stay ahead of and possibly eliminate Liquid from reaching the cutoff over them, expect these teams to go blow-for-blow as they try and get a leg up on their opponents.
In the case of Dignitas, the team is going to have to rely on their star mid-laner Froggen and ADC Johnsun to win this, as the rest of the team has struggled and found themselves sitting at the bottom of their roles in almost every stat. Johnsun has performed admirably given the situation he’s found himself in as a rookie ADC for this team, as his Miss Fortune, Ashe, and Kai’Sa play have looked rather good. Meanwhile, Froggen has found himself still standing near the top of the league in his role, with some of the highest KDA and kill participation amongst his role. The team will need to capitalize on if these two if they want to have a chance of winning here.
Immortals, meanwhile, has found itself in a similar, yet slightly different, situation to Dignitas, with their issues stemming from the mid and bottom lane and their strengths laying in the top and jungle. Eika has failed to live up to the hype the team tried to build around him in the preseason, and their ADC Altec has looked incredibly rusty and unable to keep up with other pros since coming back from his year hiatus. If this team is going to have any chance of winning here, it’s going to have to rely on its carries in SOAZ and Xmithie both of them have shown marked success despite their team’s issues. Xmithie is currently sitting in the middle of the pack amongst junglers in the league, while SOAZ is among the best top laners currently playing at the moment. If this team wants to win, they’re going to have to play through these two and try to get them in a nice early lead, particularly with Xmithie roaming up top to help SOAZ out.
Expect some rather sloppy team fights and early plays from both squads as they try to jockey for position and control around the neutral object like at Rift Herald and dragon, but also watch out for a pick to blow the game wide open and start giving one of the team’s a lead. Both teams have shown slow methodical play in getting their wins once they get a lead, so there’s a good chance that one of them gets a sizable advantage early on they end up pushing it all the way down for a win. However, given their inconsistency, this could also blow up in their face and they could give their opponents enough time to get back into the game with how slow and late-game focused they both are. This is going to be a slugfest of a match and one to watch on the second to last day of regular split play.
Can Dignitas claw their way into the playoffs, or will Immortals put an end to their hopes of success in their first Split back in the LCS right here?
That’s all we have for the first part of our 2020 LCS Week 9 matches to watch blog, thanks for reading. We’ll be back tomorrow with our second part for the Sunday matches, so stay tuned! And don’t forget to catch the first match of 100 Thieves vs TSM this Saturday, March 28 at 2 PM PST. It’s going to be a great day of games, and you won’t want to miss any of it!