NRG (5/4 with bet365 and William Hill) vs. Liquid (4/7 with bet365 and William Hill) – 1:00 PM
NRG and Liquid come into this game with 1 match separating them in the NA LCS standings, making this a must win for both teams if they want to have a chance at nabbing themselves a better seed for the playoffs. With a win here Liquid can keep the pressure on TSM and C9 above them, whereas NRG would bring themselves level with Team Liquid with victory and possibly force a tiebreaker for the 5th seed come the end of the split.
This game will be fairly evenly matched, and the jungle matchup could be where the game is decided. Dardoch was stellar in Liquid’s suprise victory over CLG in their first game this week, going 3/0/8 on Lee Sin and providing huge amounts of early pressure that CLG just didn’t have an answer for. Moon has been looking more solid as of late, but giving up first blood still seems to be a tendency of his, even on strong early junglers (take his death against Renegades last time out for example). Liquid would be smart to try and abuse Moon in the jungle early and put him in a position where he is unable to act as a front line for Altec in the late game, and put the game firmly on the shoulders of Impact and GBM. Both have been inconsistent in their ability to playmake for NRG, hence their mid table standing, and Liquid should be able to take a victory if they can fulfil these win conditions.
Team Liquid to win at 4/7 with bet365 and William Hill (1.57)
Echo Fox (7/4 with bet365 and William Hill) vs. Counter Logic Gaming (2/5 with bet365 and William Hill) – 4:00 PM
Echo Fox probably thought they had seen their playoff hopes ended in week 7 with an 0 – 2 week, but they still somehow only sit one game behind NRG in the standings after a miracle win against Dignitas that ended in spectacular fashion, with a support backdoor. The fact that they struggled so much against Dignitas, and only won because of an incredible teamfight from Froggen followed by a clown fiesta backdoor, really doesn’t bode well for this team if they do make it into playoffs. Their early game is looking more solid, but the late game was aimless and they struggled to find any way of closing out or making plays to end the game. CLG will be licking their wounds after being comprehensively beaten by mid table Liquid, but knowing they are locked in for the playoffs will take some of the pressure off as they fight for the 2nd seed.
Echo Fox don’t have the benefit of a strong early game jungler to pressure CLG, which is what saw them crumble against Liquid, and thus will have to look to the mid lane for a real hope of taking an advantage in this game. Froggen is a more established mid laner than Huhi, who has shown an inconsistency that has plagued his time in NA; pressuring Huhi and taking a big CS lead into the mid game could be where Echo Fox find a victory. Unless this happens though CLG are more solid all over the map, and have shown much better macro than Echo Fox so far this season. We expect CLG to find a win here.
By: Arron “King Dempz” Dempsey – @arrondempers