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NA LCS Week 5 Staff Picks: Mid-Season madness

by theScore esports Staff Jun 30 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games / Riot Games Flickr

theScore esports' League of Legends experts have tapped into their inner oracle for the fifth week of the North American LCS Summer Split and offer up predictions for each of the games.

2016 NA LCS Summer Season Records: Kelsey Moser (30-10), Emily Rand (31-9), Tim Sevenhuysen (29-11)

FRIDAY RAND MOSER SEVENHUYSEN
C9 vs. TL C9 C9 C9
FOX vs. NV NV NV NV
SATURDAY RAND MOSER SEVENHUYSEN
NRG vs. CLG CLG CLG CLG
P1 vs. TSM TSM TSM TSM
IMT vs. APX IMT IMT IMT
TL vs. NV NV NV TL
SUNDAY RAND MOSER SEVENHUYSEN
CLG vs. TSM TSM TSM TSM
FOX vs. NRG FOX FOX FOX
APX vs. P1 APX APX APX
IMT vs. C9 IMT IMT IMT

Cloud 9 vs. Team Liquid

Emily Rand: C9 has been a pleasure to watch over the past few weeks. They're not perfect by any means, but they have been improving by the game, with the roster showing visibly stronger communication each series. This is what should propel them over TL, although I expect it to be a 2-1, as C9 sometimes still makes mistakes and doesn't push their early advantages enough. Cloud9

Kelsey Moser: This is a surprisingly difficult choice. The AD carry swap has turned TL into a less defined team, but in some ways it has given them a few more options, whereas C9 still seem somewhat confined to doing well in standard lane scenarios. Ultimately, I think C9 are more likely to get the setup they want, but TL removing Rek'Sai as an option for Meteos could reverse that situation. Cloud9

Tim Sevenhuysen: Team Liquid can steal a game off Cloud9 if Dardoch goes off early, but they'll have a hard time winning the laning phase otherwise — even if Piglet is back. Jensen is one of the few NA mids who can match Fenix in lane, and he's much stronger than Fenix outside of the laning phase. As Jensen goes, so goes Cloud9, so I'm expecting them to take the series. Cloud9

Team Liquid vs. Team Envy

Emily Rand: For now, I'm sticking with nV, although this week will be another tough test for them this week. Their communication during mid-game objective trading and rotations has looked off, with Procxin having a fairly poor week after what now seems like a one-off strong performance on Elise against CLG in Week 3. Team Envy

Kelsey Moser: I do think we're seeing the bottom falling out on NV to an extent. They're somewhat reliant on solo lane performances, especially with a jungler with inconsistent thinking. Despite this, Team Liquid are still finding their stride, and EnVy have a lot of momentum in terms of their synergy. Team Envy

Tim Sevenhuysen: I love a good clash of play styles. EnVyUs' slow, macro-based play will be tested by Dardoch's aggression, and the mid lane will be a crucial pivot point. Fenix will likely dominate the laning phase, but the big question will be whether he and Ninja can avoid making any costly mistakes. If Piglet is back in Team Liquid's lineup, that will be another point in favour of their talent advantage. Either way, I see this as a Team Liquid win, as long as they don’t throw too hard. Team Liquid

Immortals vs. Cloud9

Emily Rand: After their defeat at the hands of TSM, Immortals are the next challenge for Cloud9. For now, I think Immortals will win out, but I tend to go with the more consistent and proven choice. C9 have the talent and capability to beat Immortals, the question is whether they can maintain that high level over the course of a series against a top tier opponent. Immortals

Kelsey Moser: It really comes down to Reignover's creativity and decision-making, which gives Immortals a larger variety of ways to play the map. If they initiate a lane swap against C9 and deny the Rek'Sai pick, we might see how C9 adapts to new situations, but given that Immortals play around Reignover, I have more faith in them having multiple solutions. Either way, it could easily go 2-1. Immortals

Tim Sevenhuysen: Immortals boast a much stronger jungler and more consistently coordinated teamfighting, and their tenacity is hard to match. Cloud9, though, has a head-to-head advantage in mid and bottom lane, so Reignover will have his work cut out for him to overcome his team’s skill disadvantage in the laning phase. I have faith in Reignover’s ability to do exactly that, so I’m predicting an Immortals win, but I think this will be a 2-1 series either way. Immortals

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