Week 9 – LCS NA Spring Split 2016

Week 9 is the last week of the regular season before the top 6 teams advance to the NA LCS Spring Playoffs, where the teams are fighting for Championship Points for the 2016 World Championship and one ticket to the MSI in May 2016.
A 70% prediction rate for week 8 left us a bit unsatisfied but did you see those games? Teams were pulling out the performances of their lives and we’re certain to see more coming for week 9! We’ll be focusing on 2 games per day as usual which will be Team Impulse vs. Renegades and Counter Logic Gaming vs. NRG Esports on day 1 which will be followed by Renegades vs. Echo Fox and Team Liquid vs. Cloud 9 on day 2. This way we get to see if the recent performances by a few of these teams were a fluke or if they can really keep it up and have solidified their improvements. Don’t forget to tune into the live games, they’re sure to be amazing, on March 19th and 20th!

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Schedule and Results – 2016 LCS NA Spring Split Week 9

LCS NA Spring Split 2016 – Week 9 | Day 1

Match #1: Team Impulse - LCS NA Team Logo Team Impulse vs. Renegades - LCS NA Team Logo Renegades    0   1  
(March 19, 12:00 PM PDT/ 03:00 PM EDT/ 08:00 PM CET)

Match #2: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo Counter Logic Gaming vs. NRG Gaming - LCS NA Team Logo NRG eSports    1  0  
(March 19, 01:00 PM PDT/ 04:00 PM EDT/ 09:00 PM CET)

Match #3: Team Immortals - LCS NA Team Logo Immortals vs. TSM - LCS NA Team Logo Team SoloMid    1  0  
(March 19, 02:00 PM PDT/ 05:00 PM EDT/ 10:00 PM CET)

Match #4: Team Dignitas - NA LCS team Logo Team Dignitas vs. Team Liquid - LCS NA Team Logo Team Liquid    0   1  
(March 19, 03:00 PM PDT/ 06:00 PM EDT/ 11:00 PM CET)

Match #5: Cloud9 - LCS NA Team Logo Cloud9 vs. Echo Fox - LCS NA Team Logo Echo Fox    1  0  
(March 19, 04:00 PM PDT/ 07:00 PM EDT/ 12:00 AM Next Day CET)

LCS NA Spring Split 2016 – Week 9 | Day 2 

Match #1: Renegades - LCS NA Team Logo Renegades vs. Echo Fox - LCS NA Team Logo Echo Fox    1  0  
(March 20, 12:00 PM PDT/ 03:00 PM EDT/ 08:00 PM CET)

Match #2: Team Liquid - LCS NA Team Logo Team Liquid vs. Cloud9 - LCS NA Team Logo Cloud9    1  0  
(March 20, 01:00 PM PDT/ 04:00 PM EDT/ 09:00 PM CET)

Match #3: Team Impulse - LCS NA Team Logo Team Impulse vs. Team Immortals - LCS NA Team Logo Immortals    0   1  
(March 20, 02:00 PM PDT/ 05:00 PM EDT/ 10:00 PM CET)

Match #4: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Dignitas - NA LCS team Logo Team Dignitas    1  0  
(March 20, 03:00 PM PDT/ 06:00 PM EDT/ 11:00 PM CET)

Match #5: TSM - LCS NA Team Logo Team SoloMid vs. NRG Gaming - LCS NA Team Logo NRG eSports    0   1  
(March 20, 04:00 PM PDT/ 07:00 PM EDT/ 12:00 AM Next Day CET)

Tiebreaker #1: Team Impulse - LCS NA Team Logo Team Impulse vs. Renegades - LCS NA Team Logo Renegades    0   1  
(March 20, 04:00 PM PDT/ 08:00 PM EDT/ 01:00 AM Next Day CET)

Notice: Outside US the matches are starting one hour earlier than normal due to US Daylight Saving Time.

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Preview and Predictions Week 9 | Day 1:

A 70% prediction rate for week 8 left us a bit unsatisfied but did you see those games? Teams were pulling out the performances of their lives and we’re certain to see more coming for week 9! We’ll be focusing on 2 games per day as usual which will be Team Impulse vs. Renegades and Counter Logic Gaming vs. NRG Esports will be our focus matches for day 1 with the remaining games being concluded quickly, I chose these games because Renegades new line-up have shown great potential and CLG vs. NRG is a match between 2 improving teams that will be doing what-ever they can to take the win. Don’t forget to catch the games live on the 19th March to watch the excitement as it plays out!

Week 9 | Day 1 – Match #1: Team Impulse - LCS NA Team Logo Team Impulse vs. Renegades - LCS NA Team Logo Renegades

Head to head record: Team Impulse 1:0 Renegades
Start Time: March 19, 12:00 PM PDT/ 03:00 PM EDT/ 08:00 PM CET

Renegades have been picking up the pace after their line-up changes, the new and improved Renegades team managed to easily take down Team Solo Mid both mechanically and with their macro management. Team Impulse are going to need to keep up here as Renegades have made significant improvements but TiP have shown that they can be quite a dominant team if they gain a lead.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team Impulse Team Impulse: After a difficult 2 loss week, TiP is going to need to come into week 9 with a level head and ready to roam. Their opponents here have shown that their lane swapping and macro management can be phenomenal so they’re going to need to be punished as quickly as possible, something TiP should be able to pull off.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team Renegades Renegades: A few minor changes to the team has set them up for a grand showing, they may have only taken 1 win from week 8 but their game against Cloud 9, that they lost, was closer than most people were comfortable with. Renegades kept positive scores, were fairly controlling and had a lead for a significant amount of time but failed to be proactive with their lead to push for the win. They’re going to need to be confident and decisive here if they want to take another win.

A lot of people may be surprised but I think Renegades are at an advantage here, they may not have the head to head record and they may be lower in the standings but after their recent changes they’ve proven to be a difficult team to deal with, especially in the earlier stages of the game which are arguably the most important stages. Team Impulse is going to need to watch out in the early game and only fight when the time suits them.

Team Impulse are going to want some early game strength drafted with enough in their composition to cover the later stages of the game if it ever gets that far. Their early game strength can come from their middle laner and jungle, a burst mage or assassin such as LeBlanc could help carry the earlier stages of the game; especially if it’s paired with an aggressive jungler such as Elise or Nidalee. Their bottom lane has had a preference for Sivir, falling back onto Lucian and I expect to see it paired with a Braum or Bard. Their top lane has stuck to champions with the ability to push, split and survive, we could see another Graves appear for TiP but I’d like them to pick up the Nautilus or Malphite that they’ve shown before. Once they’ve drafted they’re going to want to skirmish with their jungler and middle laner early, even if it means only gaining a small advantage it will all come into play when the time to fighting comes. A line of vision across the river, preferably by the entrances of the enemies’ jungle, will notify them of any aggressive movements but the issue will be the lane swapping. TiP might want to try and find the standard lanes to avoid the early pushing and the map quickly opening, they’re more likely to come out on top if they force skirmishes that they choose carefully.

Renegades are going to want to stick with what’s worked for them recently, a 1-3-1 style composition with synergistic abilities that can assist in team fighting or skirmishes. Their top laner has shown a liking to Graves, so we could see more of him appear; if not then we’re likely to see the tanks that make often appearances up there. Their jungler is versatile and has shown comfort on a lot of champions, with a champion pool so deep he should be able to adapt to their win condition, I’ll be looking for a Gragas or Nidalee to make an appearance. Their middle lane will probably pick Lissandra or fall back onto utility mages such as Zilean or Lulu. Their bottom lane has proven to be troublesome and have deep champion pools, their most recent performances included a Bard and Caitlyn however I’ll be looking for more of a Braum and Lucian combo. After their drafting they’re going to want to find the lane swap, execute it with precision and then run the rift herald buff to the lane with their duo, quickly attempting to gain a tier 2 turret without answer. Gaining such a tempo lead should give them opportunities to force objectives like early Dragons or rotating around the map to destroy more structures. This will give them a necessary lead which can be used to finish the game with proactive moves.

Prediction: Renegades Victory. Their performances recently have been similar to those of the teams near the top of the ladder and if they keep it up, making subtle improvements, they should be able to close the skill gap in no time. It’s a shame it’s near the end of the split because this line-up looks promising for them and I expect it to pan out nicely, this game will be an example of the improvements.

Week 9 | Day 1 – Match#2: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo CLG vs. NRG Gaming - LCS NA Team Logo NRG eSports

Head to head record: Counter Logic Gaming 1:0 NRG Esports
Start Time: March 19, 01:00 PM PDT/ 04:00 PM EDT/ 09:00 PM CET

Counter Logic Gaming have done a few questionable things, Yasuo top lane, but it’s been working out for them in the long run as they’ve been performing quite well against teams across the board and netting themselves an 11:5 score in comparison to the 8:8 of NRG Esports. NRG are going to need to bring out some niche picks or abuse their early game skirmishing skills to gain a lead that will open up the game for them.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team CLGCounter Logic Gaming: Their main focus should be their top lane, this meta has heavily favoured good macro management and split pushing so far and getting their top laner on something that can carry will really open up the win conditions for CLG. Jax, Fiora, Graves, just something that has pushing potential that can also have an impact in a team fight. They’ve got fantastic mechanics I just don’t think they’re playing with the confidence required to really pull off those destructive games.

NRG Esports - NA LCS team LogoNRG Esports: Their ability to skirmish early, pull out niche champions or builds and their capabilities in team fighting are what they’re going to need to utilise to really take a hold of this game. Sure, they’re behind slightly on the ladder but we’ve seen significantly bigger upsets come out and this could be the chance NRG need to push forward during this spring split.

I think CLG are coming into this with an advantage, their strategies and win conditions are enhanced by the meta and their ability to adapt to their opponents win conditions and capabilities has been shown throughout the split. I would consider CLG for the #2 team in NA but it’s a close call, they’ll be facing off against a lower ranked team who are yet to perfect the follow ups to the lane swaps, which could set them at a drastic disadvantage.

Counter Logic Gaming are going to want to get a hold of a strong duellist for the top lane, Fiora and Jax have been played by their top laner previously and he has had strong performances on both of them, often carrying the game. If they can pick either of those champions up then I would highly suggest it. Their jungler is going to want something with early strength and mobility to influence the lanes and rotations,Udyr or Gragas are their most likely choices. Their middle laner has stuck with champions that have burst potential and mobility, having the chance to influence the side lanes and rotate quickly around the map, so I’ll be keeping my eyes out for a LeBlanc or Twisted Fate, with the possibility of Corki. Their bottom lane has shown great proficiency on Ezreal so I hope they stick with it and pair it with Bard or Braum. After they’ve drafted they’re going to want to force the lane swaps, freeze the bottom lane wave for their marksman to scale off of, get some pressure in the middle lane with the roaming top laner and hopefully influence the game through tempo and map pressure. The map pressure will be necessary because as their top laner slowly scales they’ll be able to apply pressure to multiple objectives at once, which should be their plan. Once they’ve farmed up to a point where their top laner can survive his laning opponent they’re going to want to gain deep vision of the enemy jungle and patiently force objectives, they’ll lose the objective and either win the fight or destroy a structure leading into the enemy base or get lucky and claim both the objective and structure which will give them a gold lead and tempo advantage to make proactive plays to take the game.

NRG Esports are going to want to pick a team with early strength and abilities that will assist in drawn out skirmishes. A tanky top laner is likely as that’s been one of their biggest comforts so we’ll be likely to see a Poppy, Nautilus or Trundle show up there which will be assisted by an early pressure focused and mobile Elise or Gragas entering the jungle. Their middle laners Is likely to pick something that can wave-clear, burst and roam so a Zed or Twisted Fate seem likely to make an appearance. Their bottom lane might want to consider bringing back the Sivir pick but I’ll be looking for another Kalista to show up being supported by a Braum or Trundle. After the drafting is completed they’re going to want to gain lane vision as soon as possible to avoid the turret trading scenario, they’ll play better in standard lanes where they can utilise their early game champions and mobile jungler to pressure the outside lanes. After they’ve pressure they’re going to want to use their tempo advantage to take the rift herald or dragon and slowly whittle down the middle turret. Once all outer turrets are down, which should be after successive rotations, they’re going to want to get deep jungle vision so they can start forcing small fights and picking off opponents. This should gain them a small lead which can also lead to taking more structures and expanding their lead. They could become an unstoppable tower diving force if they can play this out in their favour.

Prediction: Counter Logic Gaming Victory. They’ve shown that they can play the turret trading scenario extremely well but also hold up nicely in standard lanes which will make things slightly more difficult for NRG. Their top laner should be able to stay relevant to the point where he can quickly solo-push lanes while the rest of his teams pressure objectives across the map. Small skirmishes can go in their favour as they often have excellent communication and reactions. I expect this game to fall into CLGs favour fairly early on but it’ll take time for those proactive plays to take place.

Week 9 | Day 1 – Match #3: Team Immortals - LCS NA Team Logo Immortals vs. TSM - LCS NA Team Logo Team SoloMid

Head to head record: Immortals 1:0 Team Solo Mid
Start Time: March 19, 02:00 PM PDT/ 05:00 PM EDT/ 10:00 PM CET

Immortals are still at the top of their game, only having taken 1 loss. They’ve recently had a rough game against Dignitas but being able to come back from a deficit is a feat by Immortals. TSM took an extremely tough hit, especially to their egos, when they lost a game handily to Renegades. Things could certainly spice up between these teams but I’m expecting a very decisive match.

Prediction: Immortals Victory. They’re significantly more consistent, their macro management is better and even their mechanical skill could be considered better. TSM have the potential to be a top team but they’re not suddenly that good overnight and it will take time for them to catch up. Immortals have a big advantage here and I see them taking an extremely decisive win here.

Week 9 | Day 1 – Match #4: Team Dignitas - NA LCS team Logo Team Dignitas vs. Team Liquid - LCS NA Team Logo Team Liquid

Head to head record: Team Dignitas 0:1 Team Liquid
Start Time: March 19, 03:00 PM PDT/ 06:00 PM EDT/ 11:00 PM CET

Dignitas have put on some of the best matches in the most recent weeks but that’s due to the phenomenal come-backs from other teams and the fact that Dignitas have failed to pull out wins even when they’re significantly ahead. They’re going to need to be more confident and proactive throughout the game, especially if they gain a lead, to take down Team Liquid who are standing on an extremely comfortable 8:8 score in comparison to the 4:12 of Team Dignitas.

Prediction: Team Liquid Victory. There’s quite a skill difference between these 2 teams and although Dignitas have shown that they can contest games for long periods of time they’ve also shown us that they have an extremely difficult time actually closing out a game regardless of how big their lead is, this gives a huge advantage to Team Liquid who most certainly know how to take a win.

Week 9 | Day 1 – Match #5: Cloud9 - LCS NA Team Logo Cloud9 vs. Echo Fox - LCS NA Team Logo Echo Fox

Head to head record: Cloud9 1:0 Echo Fox
Start Time: March 19, 04:00 PM PDT/ 07:00 PM EDT/ 12:00 AM Next Day CET

Echo Fox have been coming up strong ever since they managed to get their official line-up back onto the rift however a lot of the games have been close and extremely challenging for them. C9 can play a fast paced game and know how to punish their opponents when they have a lead so unless Echo Fox pull out the Anivia we could be look at an oppressive game, this is unless Echo Fox manage to sort out their early game issues. If Echo Fox have improved their early game then we could be looking at an extremely close and exciting game.

Prediction: Cloud 9 Victory. I believe in Echo Fox, I really do, but when it comes down to how well these 2 teams have been performing we can clearly see that C9 are ahead by quite a margin. They’ve got phenomenal shot calling and strong laning which can be difficult for any team to overcome, they’re a top quality NA team and I expect them to force a lot of fights as soon as they feel like they’re in the lead.

Predictions NA LCS Week 9 – Day 2:

After a perfect day 1 for our predictions we’re heading into day 2 with the hopes to achieve our perfect week just before the playoffs. For day 2 we’ll be focusing on 2 games of the day with the remaining 3 games being concluded in their own short paragraphs. The 2 focus matches will be Renegades vs. Echo Fox, because of how well Renegades have been performing in contrast to Echo Fox and Team Liquid vs. Cloud 9 because they appear to be the closest in skill level going head to head on day 2 so we can hopefully expect an exciting game! Don’t forget to tune into the live games on March 20th to see the games as they progress!

Week 9 | Day 2 – Match #1: Renegades - LCS NA Team Logo Renegades vs. Echo Fox - LCS NA Team Logo Echo Fox

Head to head record: Renegades 0:1 Echo Fox
Start Time: March 20, 12:00 PM PDT/ 03:00 PM EDT/ 08:00 PM CET

Both teams have certainly improved a significant amount since the beginning of the season but who has improved more? The last time these 2 teams went head to head it looked fairly 1 sided in favour of Echo Fox but now that Renegades have changed their line-up slightly they’ve been bringing out their best performances and are sure to want to take that revenge victory to tie them up.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team Renegades Renegades: I can’t stress enough how the changes made to the team’s players has improved their overall skill; just having the new top laner has helped them improve significantly but with the new middle laner as well it is just letting this team thrive in the honeymoon phase. They’ve been taking victories after a long and difficult road but now’s their chance to prove themselves, can they take a win streak?

Echo Fox - NA LCS team LogoEcho Fox: They looked fairly strong for a while after the reformation of their original and intended players but they’re having a difficult time once again, their loss on day 1 was tragic as they didn’t even manage to pick up a single kill so they’re going to need to come into this with a well-rounded strategy, how are they going to shut down the Renegades who’ve been performing so well?

I think Renegades are at an advantage here, they’ve been taking down teams that were originally assumed to be way above their skill level and they’ve been doing it fairly confidently. The recent changes to their team have covered a large portion of their weakness, leaving their strengths to thrive. Echo Fox is going to need to shut down the duo lane of Renegades as quickly as possible but it’s going to be an extremely difficult task.

Renegades are going to want to stick with what they’ve been doing for the past 2 weeks, a split pushing top laner such as Graves or maybe even Lulu will give them pressure and wave clear in the earlier stages of the game and will give a lot of potential fighting power late game. Their jungler is going to want to stick with fairly mobile junglers who can pressure the map early and become an initiation tool in the later stages so a Gragas or Elise could do marvellous things for them. Their middle laner, being fairly new, is still quite difficult to figure out as he plays a large variety of champions however has great comfort on Lissandra so I’ll be looking out for it. Their bottom lane is going to want the Sivir if it’s available, falling back on Caitlyn if it’s not, paired with a support that can easily peel such as Braum or Trundle. After their drafting they’re going to want to take the lane swap, force the top side turret and roam down to the Rift Herald as soon as possible, taking the buff to the middle lane will apply a lot of pressure and opening up the map for their top laner to farm comfortably. After they’re comfortable with favourable tempo they’re going to want to force objectives and structures with their top laner split pushing, or even their middle laner if Lissandra was the champion picked. They should be able to force Echo Fox into situations that favour them and then capitalise on it with either a structure of an easily acquired objective. Following this pattern they should be able to comfortably close out the game as long as they stay confident and proactive.

Echo Fox are going to need to pick an extremely aggressive early game jungler such as Nidalee, straying away from early map pressure will stick them in a difficult situation where they are stuck making decisions they don’t want to make. A top lane champion that is tanky and can influence a team fight would be favourable so I’d like to see a Nautilus or Poppy show up. Their middle laner is going to want to pick something that doesn’t need to wait too long before it becomes relevant, a Twisted Fate or Corki are their best options in my opinion. Their bottom lane is going to want to deny the Sivir pick for Renegades and take it away, with Kalista or Lucian as their fall back picks, and they should pair it with a tanky support, they can’t apply much pressure on an under-levelled utility support because it’s just not working out for them, so I’d like to see the Alistar show up. After their draft they’re going to want to accept the lane swap but possibly roam to the enemy duo lane early, once Twisted Fate hits level 6 or Corki picks up a package they’re going to want to try and shut down the enemy duo. After they’ve applied pressure on the top side of the map they’re going to want to try and secure 2 dragons so they can siege safely. Once they acquire their second dragon the counter split pushing should start, holding waves and farming up until favourable moments is what they should look to do. Their composition thrives with surprise engages and picking off their opponents so they should skirmish when they find a favourable match-up, doing so will net them a few kills and objectives which can then be used to push structures.

Prediction: Renegades Victory. I think they’re going to take the win to tie out the head to head. With their recent roster changes they’ve been performing on a significantly better level and have taken victories against teams that have better standings that Echo Fox so they’ve shown that they can certainly pull it off. It could be long and drawn out but I’ll be looking for explosive fights.

Week 9 | Day 2 – Match #2: Team Liquid - LCS NA Team Logo Team Liquid vs. Cloud9 - LCS NA Team Logo Cloud9

Head to head record: Team Liquid 0:1 Cloud 9
Start Time: March 20, 01:00 PM PDT/ 04:00 PM EDT/ 09:00 PM CET

Team Liquid have been very hit or miss, when they’re on their best performances they’re able to take down teams who are on a similar level to Cloud 9 however they’re often having trouble unless advantages are just handed over to them. They do however have recent victories against those higher standing teams and have shown a vast amount of improvement as we get close to playoffs. Cloud 9 is going to need to watch out as TL is looking to tie the head to head record.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team LiquidTeam Liquid: They’ve been winning the majority of their games recently, 3/4 of their most recent matches, and this would be due to the visible improvements we have seen. They’ve been playing more proactively and confidently which has given them the necessary tools to take advantages when the opportunity arises. They run into a bit of trouble and often don’t take an early lead but they know how to work the later stages of the game.

Logo of LCS NA Season 6 Spring Split Team Cloud9Cloud 9: With Hai continuing in the support position the Cloud 9 squad shouldn’t run into too much trouble during the later stages of the game as they have the mechanical skill and shot calling to hold their own against even the strongest of teams. They’re going to need to watch out for any missteps in the earlier stages of the game however and should utilize their ability to react quickly and collapse on enemies to try and gain that early lead.

Cloud 9 appear to be at an advantage here, they hold the head to head record along with being in a significantly higher position on the ladder in comparison to Team Liquid. Cloud9 sit comfortably on a 12:5 score whereas Team Liquid, still above average, sit on 9/8 score. This on its own goes to show us that Cloud 9 have been the overall better performing team of the split but just how well will they hold out against the week 9 and significantly improved Team Liquid?

Team Liquid wants that late game strength that they’ve shown they work extremely well with, scaling champions being covered by an early game and aggressive jungler should be their goal. Sticking a Lee Sin or Elise in the jungle to pressure the lanes as soon as possible will assist their lanes to farm up and scale which will be extremely important if they want that Vayne or Lucian, paired with a Janna or Braum, to scale into the later stages of the game. Their middle laner should opt for wave clear and utility so I’ll be looking for another Lulu pick but if it’s unavailable, which is likely, then a Corki is a comfortable pick-up for them. Their top lane can flex to get a favourable match-up however I feel like a tank in the top lane is their most likely pick so I’ll be looking for that Poppy or Nautilus. After their draft they’re going to want to take the lane swap, funnelling as much gold onto their marksman as possible, and with a bit of jungler assistance they should be able to slow down the pushing of Cloud9. If they manage to gain a tempo advantage they’re going to want to rift herald and move it to the middle lane to siege, or pass it over to their jungler who will then assist their top laner to keep him relevant. Team Liquid are going to want to avoid any complete team fights until they have a few item power-spikes, this is because their late game scaling champions will thrive as the game progresses. If they can hold out they should be able to slowly take control of the game in the middle or later stages and secure their victory.

Cloud 9 are going to want to turn on the aggression, an early game jungler such as Nidalee or Lee Sin will help punish the champions on Team Liquid who need to scale. Picking up Jhin should be a priority for Cloud 9 as they’ve proven to have fantastic performances on this champion if it’s paired with a Morgana support. Their middle lane is going to want to pick something with burst damage such as LeBlanc however we’ve seen them opt for a Varus pick recently which could make another appearance. Their top lane is going to want a tank as the rest of the team is fairly squishy. A Trundle or Poppy seem like their best options and will give the team some extra control during team fights. After their draft they’re going to want to get early vision in the jungle of TL, having their jungler counter as often as possible to gain a small advantage. With the vision control and having their jungler slightly ahead they’re going to want to skirmish and pick off opponents of TL as often as possible, bullying their jungler will give them a huge advantage when the mid game arrives as he’ll be set behind quite far. Cloud 9 should force fights whenever they find the opportunity to engage as a team, due to their earlier scaling champions they’ll be at an advantage even before the gold is in their favour. If they manage to successfully find their fights they should be able to build a large enough advantage to make the structures on the opponents base whittle down as they control the map and take the objectives, leading up to them taking their win.

Prediction: Cloud 9 Victory. With how well they’ve been performing recently it doesn’t seem likely that Team Liquid will be able to overcome the strengths of Cloud 9 let alone abuse their weaknesses. It’s certainly not impossible but I expect Cloud 9 to gain an advantage early and expand it as the game progresses, giving them the lead they need to quickly push for the win.

Week 9 | Day 2 – Match #3: Team Impulse - LCS NA Team Logo Team Impulse vs. Team Immortals - LCS NA Team Logo Immortals

Head to head record: Team Impulse 0:1 Immortals
Start Time: March 20, 02:00 PM PDT/ 05:00 PM EDT/ 10:00 PM CET

Team Impulse hasn’t been able to put on remotely strong performances recently and now they’re going against the #1 team in the region. If they’ve done their research and have made the right preparations they might be able to surprise us all but it’s certainly a long shot as Immortals have still only take 1 loss this split and that was an extremely close game against the #2 team. This game could put Team Impulse in a really rough position.

Prediction: Immortals Victory. Team Impulse is currently #8 in the standings and look like they have barely been able to improve over the last few weeks, Immortals should be able to comfortably gain a lead just through their superior laning, lane swapping and objective control. This lead will expand as fights break out and Immortals will relentlessly push. I’ll be expecting this match to finish before 30mins.

Week 9 | Day 2 – Match #4: CLG - LCS NA Team Logo Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Dignitas - NA LCS team Logo Team Dignitas

Head to head record: Counter Logic Gaming 0:1 Team Dignitas
Start Time: March 20, 03:00 PM PDT/ 06:00 PM EDT/ 11:00 PM CET

Team Dignitas have been looking fairly strong recently, they managed to take a 10k lead over the #1 team in their most recent match and had a record breaking game against Echo Fox during Week 8 however they’ve shown a fundamental flaw in their abilities, they have a lot of trouble actually closing out a game regardless of their advantages. Counter Logic Gaming on the other hand look extremely strong and decisive most of the time and only ever fall when they pick outside of their comfort zone.

Prediction: Counter Logic Gaming Victory. This match seems fairly favourable for CLG, they’re a lot more assertive with a lead and know how to pressure the map during the earlier stages of the game to build that lead. Their rotations are extremely quick and confident along with their fearless tower diving. I expect CLG to pick up a fairly quick lead in the earlier stages and push for a win before 30mins.

Week 9 | Day 2 – Match #5: TSM - LCS NA Team Logo Team SoloMid vs. NRG Gaming - LCS NA Team Logo NRG eSports

Head to head record: Team Solo Mid 0:1 NRG Esports
Start Time: March 20, 04:00 PM PDT/ 07:00 PM EDT/ 12:00 AM Next Day CET

NRG have been in a bit of a rough patch, only taking 1 win from their past 4 games but this here is a chance to break that trend and take yet another victory. Only 1 win separates these 2 teams in the standings and NRG are looking to equalise them. Team Solo Mid might be slightly higher in the standings but their most recent performances have had a lot of questionable things occur.

Prediction: NRG Esports Victory. I think NRG are the better performing team out of the 2, recently at least. TSM have made some extremely questionable movements that have cost them advantages and have given away games. NRG should be able to capitalise on these mistakes from TSM during the later stages but they should also focus on pressuring the early game to take advantages off of the overconfidence and miss-positioning of TSM. Possibly the slowest game of the day but I’ll be looking for a lot of excitement with a lot of skirmishes breaking out.

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*.) Odds may have changed by now – no guarantee! The predictions are the opinion of the author. 

Addam ‘Canvas’ BurrowsAbout The Author: 
Predictions by Addam ‘Canvas’ Burrows, English Literature and Journalism student of 2013. Diamond League Marksman. Contact Addam ‘ Canvas’ Burrows on Twitter!