Week 10 is upon us, and it is a key week for both the teams at the bottom and the ones at the top when it comes to the North American LCS post season seeding. Unfortunately for the teams at the bottom, in order to improve their position they will have to take down the teams at the top. Here is an overview of the playoff system:
The playoffs in LCS are very similar to that of the NFL. The top six teams will play in the playoffs, with the top two teams getting a first round bye and the other four playing in the wildcard round. The two teams that win the wildcard round move on and the playoffs continue as normal, while the losing teams play for fifth place. The team that loses here will join the two that failed to make the playoffs in the LCS Promotion Tournament, where they will face the top three teams from the NA Challenger Series. The top three teams to emerge from this tournament will participate in the summer split of the NA LCS, which will begin at the end of May.
Unlike the upset heavy European LCS, North America has liked to play by the books and the higher ranked teams win. Will there be any surprises this week? Let’s find out.
Saturday 3 pm EST
Team Dignitas (9-13) vs Evil Geniuses (6-16)
I’m going with Evil Geniuses in this one. Dignitas is coming off of a brutal loss to Team SoloMid last week and may struggle to come back from that. EG has been falling deeper and deeper into a slump recently, and in order to avoid relegation (they are tied for last place) they need to break out of it. I expect them to step it up and grab the win in this one.
Counter Logic Gaming (14-8) vs Team SoloMid (19-3)
TSM. There is no way I’m going to pick against them with how they have been playing all season, especially the last few weeks. Last week their KDA* as a team was 15, which is way higher than their league leading 6.6 average for the season. Expect CLG to put up a good fight along the way, but with the play of Bjergsen in the mid lane TSM will remain hot.
*KDA is Kills to Deaths Affected, or at least I believe. No real consensus, but it is (Kills+Assists)/Deaths.
Team Coast (7-15) vs XDG (6-16)
Despite the bad records, this game has the biggest playoff implication on Saturday. XDG finds itself tied with Evil Geniuses for last place, and Coast is holding on to the six seed in the playoffs a game ahead of them. Coast should take this one, because unlike XDG they have shown flashes of being better than their record. XDG looks like a team that deserves to miss the playoffs, so they will.
Curse (9-13) vs Cloud 9 HyperX (18-4)
Like TSM, Cloud 9 is too strong to fall here. They haven’t lost since their close loss to XDG on March 1, and I don’t see Curse being able to pull it off. I expect this one to be close, however, but Cloud 9 will win in the end.
Sunday 3 pm EST
Counter Logic Gaming vs XDG
After what I expect to be a strong showing against TSM, CLG should come out and handle XDG pretty easily. Like I said before, I haven’t seen much life out of XDG to pull this off. CLG should go 1-1 this week, and XDG should go 0-2.
Curse vs Team SoloMid
TSM will win this one. They are too much to handle, and unless they can slow down Bjergsen they won’t have a chance. It will be interesting to see who they ban*, if they focus on mid lane or if they try to slow multiple lanes. Curse should go 0-2 this week, while TSM should go 2-0.
*Teams can ban three champions each before champion select, and the six champions banned cannot be chosen by either team.
Cloud 9 HyperX vs Team Dignitas
I believe there may be an upset here. Dig is coming off of a game I predict they will be upset by EG, so I expect them to come out against Cloud 9 looking to recover. Cloud 9 is strong and playing well, but if LemonNation gets slowed down like he has in their losses Dig has a chance. I expect another close, long fought game with Dig getting the upset. Cloud 9 and Dig should both go 1-1 this week.
Evil Geniuses vs Team Coast
This game could be a tossup. Like the XDG match up, Coast once again plays a team on their heels looking to take the six seed. If things go how I predict on Saturday, look for EG to come out and continue what they did the day before. I think the Evil will prevail and take this game. EG should go 2-0 this week, while Coast should break even at 1-1.