NA LCS FINALS PREVIEW: TSM VS C9, HEAD TO HEAD

Cloud9 vs. TSM is the dominant rivalry of the NA LCS. The matchup is maybe less storied than TSM’s older, more personal rivalry with CLG, which extends back to the pre-LCS years and is embodied by the colorful history between Reginald and HotshotGG, but while C9/TSM may lack that same level of animosity, it has featured much higher stakes: Cloud9 and TSM have faced off against each other in the last three NA LCS Finals.

Now North America’s two heavyweight franchises are set to meet in a fourth consecutive North American Final, this time with Championship Points and a trip to the Midseason Invitational on the line.

As we prepare for the Spring 2015 NA LCS Finals, let’s look at some statistics from the regular season and playoff games that both teams have played so far. We’ll explore each role matchup to get an idea of where each team’s advantages lie, and also compare some overall team stats.

These stats don’t tell the whole story, but they draw attention to some interesting facets of the players and teams which we might not otherwise notice. I’ve presented my interpretations based on these numbers, but as always, I encourage everyone to draw their own conclusions! Continue reading NA LCS FINALS PREVIEW: TSM VS C9, HEAD TO HEAD

NA LCS Third-Place Preview: TiP vs TL, Head to Head

Impulse and Liquid enter the Spring 2015 third-place match with chips on their shoulders, both teams eager to redeem themselves after Semifinals losses to Team Solo Mid and Cloud9, respectively. But more than pride is on the line: the winner of the third-place series will take home 20 additional Championship Points, which could make all the difference in earning a spot in the 2015 World Championship tournament.

Both teams have diverse international rosters: Team Impulse has two Korean players and a Chinese Mid laner, while Team Liquid also has two Koreans on its roster along with their Venezuelan Top. Even more intriguing is the World Champion pedigree on each team, with TiP’s Impact and TL’s Piglet sharing a World Championship victory in 2013 when both played for SKT T1 K in Korea.

Player nationalities aside, there are some very interesting head to head matchups to keep an eye on during the third-place series. Let’s take a look at some player and team statistics from the regular season and playoff games that both teams have played so far. We’ll try to get an idea of where each team’s advantages lie. Continue reading NA LCS Third-Place Preview: TiP vs TL, Head to Head

Cloud9’s Comeback: How Team Liquid Lost the Semifinals in Game 3

Team Liquid is fresh off a Semifinal loss to Cloud9 in a heartbreaking five-game series that looked to be well in hand after the first two games. Liquid had stormed out to a 2-0 series lead on the back of strong performances from Piglet’s 12-2-4 Lucian in Game 1, then FeniX’s surprising 9-1-10 Azir and Quas’s 7-2-7 Hecarim in Game 2. The team was riding high, and demonstrating their ability to carry from all three lanes.

A couple of hours later it had all melted away into bitter defeat after three straight losses, capped off by an opening skirmish in Game 5 that ended the game almost before it had even begun.

But long before Game 5 was decided in the first few minutes by LemonNation’s solo jungle harass, Team Liquid was mentally on the ropes. Cloud9’s Game 3 victory had given the higher-seeded team a surge of hope and a recipe for success, while on Liquid’s side the loss opened up old mental wounds, rekindling memories of the reverse sweep they suffered at the hands of LMQ in Summer 2014, a loss which denied them a chance to play at the World Championships.

Game 5 officially determined the winner of the series, but in many ways Game 3 was the deciding game. Continue reading Cloud9’s Comeback: How Team Liquid Lost the Semifinals in Game 3

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