The North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split 2016 is quickly coming to a close, with the Semi Finals happening this weekend and the Grand Final, as well as a battle between the third and fourth place teams for the all important points, which might help them qualify for Worlds, set to take place on the last weekend of August.
Immortals vs. Cloud9
When Cloud9 burst onto the scene several years ago, they dominated the regular season, just like Immortals did in the Spring Split of NA LCS 2016. Unlike C9, however, Immortals didn’t manage to actually take the title to go with their regular season domination, falling short against TSM in the Semi Final. Since then, Immortals almost repeated their regular season success from the last split by only losing series to TSM, while C9 had a little bit of a harder time of it, losing six best of threes to Immortals’ two. Still, they managed to end the regular season comfortably in third place, just behind Immortals.
Speaking about the specific matchup in the first Semi Final of the Summer Split, I can’t see C9 winning the series, to be honest. Pound for pound, or position for position, I suppose, Immortals are stronger than C9, with a possible exception of Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi, who could be called Jason “WildTurtle” Tran’s superior due to his stability and lack of gungho shenanigans, which provide highlights when his team is ahead but could go horribly wrong when behind or even, associated with WildTurtle. For the rest of the comparison between Immortals’ and C9’s roster, IMT players win, the only thing that varies is the degree to which they are better.
TSM vs. CLG
In the Spring Split, TSM was having massive cohesion problems. As a result, they finished the regular season in an unusually low place for them. Even then, they did beat Immortals, which tore up the opposition in that split, to make it into the Finals. Once there, they faced Counter Logic Gaming, their eternal rival. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, the long-time star of CLG, was on TSM this time, replaced by Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes before the season started. It was Stixxay, who decided the winner, admittedly with a lot of babysitting by the rest of his team in the laning phase. After the Spring Split was over, Bora “YellOwStar” Kim was replaced by Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. With their new Support, TSM found their stride in the Summer Split, finishing the regular season with a 17-1 score, having lost only to relegation-bound Phoenix1, while CLG struggled all season long, finally finishing the Split in fourth place.
In the Semi Final match between TSM and CLG, the hype will be extremely strong. With that said, I do not think that CLG will manage to win against the top team of the Summer Split. Last Split, TSM was stronger on paper, the only reason they didn’t clean up then was issues with cohesion. While the addition of Biofrost was supposed to bring down TSM’s power on paper, the rookie Support only brought them together, gelling with Doublelift and the rest of the team seamlessly and acting as a true force multiplier, just like a Support is supposed to. Granted, CLG is a very very strong team, especially when it matters, TSM should be able to win the series, unless CLG gets a better read on the meta, while TSM misses it entirely. With the Quarter Final matches already played, however, that shouldn’t happen. There’s enough info to make educated decisions about what’s strong, in my opinion.