As we approach week 3, the matches are becoming harder to call in a very competitive split.
by Ryan Payne | @Payney_94 | Jun 15, 2017, 9:45pm BST
We have lots of exciting match ups in week 3, as every team will be looking to start getting some consistent performances and wins with only Cloud 9 and Team Envy winning both their series in week 2.
In a summer split where everyone appears to be able to beat anyone (this was epitomized in Liquid’s win over the strong starting Dignitas), teams will be hoping to get themselves a lead in the standings early, as the race for play-offs look like they will be closer than ever.
Immortals vs Team Liquid
Immortals were unconvincing in week 2, losing out to Envy in their first series but managing to get over the line against Flyquest in the second. There have been claims that perhaps Immortals were hyped up too early and they aren’t the title contenders week 1 possibly showed them to be.
Team Liquid had a much better showing in week, picking up their first series win with a hard fought comeback against Dignitas, after losing out to Envy which on another day may have gone their way.
If Liquid continue to improve and keep building on the synergy Goldenglue and Reignover seem to be building, as well as effectively playing around Piglet as they did against Dignitas, this series should go all the way in a close 3 games but I expect Immortals to bounce back and just take the win, fixing some of the weak areas they showed during week 2.
Panye’s prediction: Immortals win 2-1
Team Envy vs Echo Fox
Team Envy are very much on an upwards curve right now, sitting at a 3-1 record and patching up the kinks they normally experience in the late game, continuing on from their impressive early game showings where they continue to build strong leads, leading the league in gold difference at 15 minutes with an impressive 1,190 gold. This lead is built mostly on strong CS control in the lanes and jungle and not giving kills away, Envy leading the league in least number of deaths, only dying 107 times in 11 games.
Interestingly, the team second in gold difference behind Envy are Echo Fox (who sit at 2-2), not much lower at 1,164 gold. However their leads come from different sources as they are second in the league in first blood percentage, picking up first blood in 67% of their games so far. Echo Fox are also one of the better teams at getting first Drake and first Baron.
The late game is where these two teams differ most. Despite not getting many objectives early, Envy are second in Drake control and Baron control, even though they often give the first ones away. Echo Fox aren’t bad at objective control, but their shot calling as the game extends is very often dubious, as they have either thrown or almost thrown a lot of their games so far.
I hope Envy stick with Pirean in the mid lane whilst they are on a good run of form, bringing Nisqy in, despite being a good player, good just knock the team cohesion and lead them back onto a downward trend.
I think this will be a very interesting series and could go either way, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say Envy take this in 2 games, continuing to improve their late game shot calling over one of the league’s wobbliest late game teams.
Panye’s prediction: Envy win 2-0
Team Liquid vs TSM
TSM have been up and down so far this summer, already losing more games than they did the whole of summer 2016, with a current record of 2-2. One game they look back to their best, the next they look all over the place. This is seen very largely in Svenskeren’s performances, as he continues to be hit and miss right now, with TSM’s result very much mirroring his own performance.
Because of this, TSM are over the place statistically, their early game objective control in towers and drakes being the area they are excelling in at the moment, dropping off as the game goes past 20 minutes, getting first Baron in only 30% of their games, the worst result in the league.
Liquid’s performance in this series could very much be affected by how their first series of the week against Immortals goes. But if we on my prediction that Immortals beat them, I think Liquid will have another 0-2 week, with TSM’s important win over CLG last week giving them the confidence to win in 2 games.
Panye’s prediction: TSM win 2-0
Immortals vs Cloud 9
Cloud 9 had a great week 2, getting two wins that took them to a more respectable and ‘Cloud 9-like’ 2-2 record. They’ve been very lane focused so far, playing around the bottom lane which has let them get the first Drake in 89% of their games so far, despite being the worst team at getting first blood. This is further shown by the fact they haven’t picked themselves up Rift Herald in any of their 9 games so far. As the game transitions late they’ve been very good at picking up Barons, although that stat could be bumpered up a bit from their hour-plus slog against Echo Fox from week 2.
This is going to be a series between two solid teams who will both be looking to push their way to a good position at the top of the table coming out of week 3, and I expect Cloud 9 to continue their improvements and take this in 3.
Panye’s prediction: Cloud 9 win 2-1
Flyquest vs CLG
If CLG had beaten TSM and were coming into this week at 4-0, I would be saying this is a formality and we could move onto the next series. However, with Dardoch still not really showing up too much for CLG as of yet, they do have cracks in their armor that TSM managed to show and use.
CLG’s gun-ho play style sees them with the most kill and the most deaths in the league, 33 kills more than Dignitas and 15 more deaths than TSM (who are both next highest in the respective stats). This has lead to some fun to view games so far, but it brings into question whether CLG are able to play a more methodical game and just get the win they need.
Flyquest have played a more passive, tower taking play style, getting first tower in 89% of their games so far, and taking 3 towers first in 67%. Other than that, they have been far from spectacular. A team as experienced as this could be the kind of team that will know how to punish CLG for their aggressive approach, but unless they improve a hell of a lot, I think CLG will overrun them in the team fights.
Panye’s prediction: CLG win 2-0
Phoenix 1 vs Team Dignitas
Phoenix 1 sit bottom of the league at 0-4 coming into week 3, the only team left without a win. I don’t see that changing in this series against Dignitas.
P1 look disjointed, not sure whether to stick or twist with their game plans, not managing to pull off much at all, and quite frankly giving up mid series, picking Urgot top, Lucian mid and Kalista adc. Not something you really do when you’re facing 4 defeats in a row in the face.
Dignitas will be disappointed to have lost their first series against Liquid, also giving them their first win, coming into this week 3-1 and level at the top of the league. After game 1 where they looked so in control, games 2 and 3 were tough for them, as they were having to try and come from behind in both.
I think teams will start to focus on Ssumday in the banning phases, making the rest of the Dig line up show they can play as well when he isn’t on Fiora or Jayce. If Ssumday can reach further into his champion pool and still deliver the goods, the Dignitas will very much be up the top end come the split’s end.
Unless Phoenix 1 can show us something dramatically different in this series, this should be a 2 game series where Dignitas get back on track looking to reach the top.
Panye’s prediction: Dignitas win 2-0
Team Envy vs TSM
As someone who loves a good underdog story, I’m going to be controversial and admit I would like to see Envy turn over TSM.
As said earlier, Svenskeren seems to hold the key to TSM’s results. Coming up against a confident Lira that knows he has his team mates stepping up to his level to support him is where I think this match will be decided. TSM like to take objectives early, and Envy like to farm and not die. We could just see them do the same thing relatively peacefully, which means the late game becomes so crucial.
If any team can punish Envy if they do wobble late on, it’s TSM. I think this will go all the way to 3 games, but I have to say I’m struggling to say which way. My heart says Envy but realistically my head says TSM, bringing Envy back down to earth a little bit.
Panye’s prediction: TSM win 2-1
Phoenix 1 vs CLG
The leagues most all action team coming up against the leagues worst team currently. I think we all know which way this one is going, unless there’s the biggest shock so far. The last team that will punish CLG for occasional bad shot calling and over stepping is Phoenix 1.
I’d like to talk more about this one, but I don’t really see what else there is to say other than CLG take this in 2, and if Dardoch has started to click by this point, it could turn into a demolition.
Panye’s prediction: CLG win 2-0
Flyquest vs Cloud 9
3 fifths of the old Cloud 9 squad, up against the new guard and one of the originals in Sneaky. This is always an interesting match up.
These two teams are the joint worst at picking up first blood so far, only 33% of their games. This could be a slow starting series, with both sides not wanting to give too much away early, hoping to play the long game and take objectives in a safe style of play.
The bottom lane is most likely to be Cloud 9’s route of attack, focusing around Sneaky and Smoothie and trying to get Sneaky ahead of Wildturtle knowing they have chances to pick him off quickly and take the fights from there.
I think Cloud 9 win this one and finish week 3 with 2 wins, pushing them to 4-2, leaving Flyquest at 1-5.
Panye’s prediction: Cloud 9 wins 2-1
Team Dignitas vs Echo Fox
A lot of my predictions so far see a lot of teams winning 2 games this week, and lots losing 2.
This is the case in the final match of the week, as I see Dignitas getting their second win and giving Echo Fox their second defeat of the week. Dig’s late game around Ssumday once they get ahead can be incredibly scary, and as Echo Fox’ biggest weakness is their late game calls, Dignitas could run them ragged around the map with Ssumday’s split pushing.
One of the interesting plots will be whether Chaser and Akaadian are back in the line ups by this point, as Shrimp and Grig didn’t look bad, but weren’t at the same level as the players they were subbing in for. Froggen and Keane is another high standard match up to look out for in this one.
Panye’s prediction: Dignitas win 2-0
These predictions were hard to make, as you never know which way any series is going to go right now. If mine are correct, we’ll start to see a separation between the top half and the bottom half of the league. If I’m wrong, it could be even closer at the end of this week than it was coming out of week 2.
Either way, it should turn out to be another fascinating week of NA LCS, so make sure you check it out!