TSM (8/11 with William Hill) vs. NRG (EVS with bet365, Betfair and William Hill) – 1:00 PM LOCAL
TSM’s revived season has derailed as of late, and they have not had a 2 – 0 week since week 5. Losing to Renegades last week was a disappointing result for TSM, even if Renegades are looking improved with the new roster. Fortunately for TSM fans they have already secured a playoff spot, and at this point the only thing up for grabs is seeding. NRG have gone 1 – 1 in their last three weeks and are the current mid table mediocrity team in NA, but a win last week against Liquid saw them close the gap between 6th and joint 4th to only one game, and could nab a better seed in playoffs with a good week this week.
The big downfall for TSM has been incredibly poor lane swaps, they simply don’t seem to understand the criteria for making decisions in the lane swap, such as when to fast push, who to put where to soak up experience and so on. NRG could look to take advantage of this to get Altec rolling with a good amount of gold into the midgame, as this season Impact has actually looked better in the low econ role than Hauntzer, who has been more of a carry top for TSM. GBM continues to impress with off meta picks and builds, such as his tank Zed against Liquid that went 9 – 2 – 7, and we actually fancy NRG to have enough about them to beat an ailing TSM squad.
Cloud 9 have emerged as the second best team, in terms of ceiling, in NA in recent weeks. 2 – 0 weeks in week 6 and 8 see C9 sat 2nd in the table with CLG, 3 games clear of the nearest contenders. Cloud 9 comfortably dispatched Renegades and Impulse last week in one of the easier weeks they will see all season, but Liquid will be a sterner test as one of their closesy rivals below them in the standings. Liquid’s season has been one of highs and lows, starting off 1 – 3 in the first two weeks being a real low but recently, in weeks 7 and 8, a 3 – 1 record makes them look one of the in form teams coming into the last week and playoffs. An impressive win against CLG last week will give Liquid confidence coming into this game vs C9.
Fenix is going to need to have a good game to keep Jensen in check, who has been Cloud 9’s stand out performer so far this season with some incredible individual outplays. Laning has always been Fenix’s strong point over his team fighting, and Liquid will hope Fenix can keep the pressure on Jensen and keep him down in the lane phase to give Liquid a chance in the mid game. If this doesn’t happen, we expect Cloud 9 to roll over this game as they have a more talented roster and better macro play. C9 should take this one.
Cloud 9 to win at 2/5 with bet365, Betfair and William Hill (1.40)
By: Arron “King Dempz” Dempsey – @arrondempers