The North American LCS spring split has come to an end, and no surprises as Cloud 9 HyperX cruises to victory in the playoffs. Here are the headlines wrapping up the split and looking forward to the summer split.
On Cloud 9
Yes, I use this saying as a heading a lot. How can I not with how Cloud 9 has been playing? They went a perfect 5-0 in the playoffs, sweeping both Curse in the semifinals and then Team SoloMid in the finals. Even when they had their backs against the wall and it looked like TSM had the better line up, they stayed patient and waited until the opportune moments to capitalize and come out victorious.
This isn’t the only Cloud 9 team that is hot, however. North American Challenger team Cloud 9 HyperX Tempest faces off against Evil Geniuses this Sunday for the promotion, and their European sister team Cloud 9 Eclipse faces Supa Hot Crew for promotion as well on Friday. When all is said and done, there very well could be three Cloud 9 teams competing at the highest levels of LCS.
The two sides of TSM
Team SoloMid has had a rough go of it lately, and that showed in the finals this weekend. They managed to get past Counter Logic Gaming in the semifinals, and looked like they could get back to their old ways and take down Cloud 9. That didn’t happen, at all. TSM had fast starts in the games and looked to be in control, but Cloud 9 sat back and waited for the right times to strike.
TheOddOne was shut down in the jungle, and Dyrus was unable to take advantage of his matchup in the top lane (Renekton vs Jax, Renekton is strong early game and Jax out scales him). Bjergsen wasn’t much of a factor, and it was an unfortunate time for the regular season MVP to be shut down. TSM has some work to do before the summer split in May, mainly being able to work as a team on objectives and solidify their team fighting.
This weekend are the promotional match ups, where the top three finishers of the spring Challenger Series playoffs are paired with the bottom three finishers in the LCS for each region. This is exciting, as it ensures the teams in the LCS are the best and deserve to be there. This is similar to how the Premiere League functions in soccer. I also have described it as if the top three Triple-A teams faced the bottom three MLB teams and the winners get to play in the MLB the next season. That’s how promotion works, and here are the match ups.
The first match up is XDG against LMQ, a very strong team that just switched from China to the United States to compete. They were by far and away the best Challenger team, and beat the aforementioned Cloud 9 HyperX Tempest in the final. It would be hard to imagine LMQ not advancing in this one given XDG’s lackluster play of late.
The second pairing is Evil Geniuses against Cloud 9 Tempest. This one should be interesting, but I think we see a second Cloud 9 in the LCS for the summer. Evil Geniuses should put up a fight, especially if all the starters are back for this weekend.
Lastly, we have Team Coast against Complexity.Black in the third match up. I was less than impressed with both Complexity squads (Red and Black) in the Challenger playoffs, especially in their quarterfinal match against each other. Team Coast should remain in the LCS for the summer and should even finish better than they did this spring.
Promotion games are Saturday at 3 PM Eastern ( XDG vs LMQ) and Sunday at 1 PM Eastern (EG vs C9T then Coast vs CB).