The North American LCS Spring Split has advanced through the quarterfinals and semifinals with two match-ups remaining, the overall Finals and the consolation battle for 3rd place. The Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, is the site with a $100,000 1st place prize on the line.
FlyQuest eSports surprise
After securing the fifth seed heading into the playoffs, little was expected of FlyQuest moving forward. Not only did they somewhat stumble into the playoffs, but first round opponent Counter Logic Gaming have a consistent knack of turning it on at this stage. As such the quarterfinals for FlyQuest got off to a predictably poor start as they allowed CLG Mid laner HuHi to select his far and away best champion; Aurelion Sol.
ASol is almost universally banned against CLG and HuHi showed why in Game One, completely dominating from the start. Even after adjusting the pick and ban by banning Aurelion Sol (which they did for the rest of the series), FlyQuest struggled once again in Game Two, leaving them 0-2 down in the best-of-five series.
Underdogs adapt quickly
Once more an adaptation was required and this one, early picking the solo lanes, yielded much more success. With Rumble and Talon locked in during the second rotation of picks, FlyQuest secured themselves quality lanes across the map for Jungler Moon to assist. FlyQuest followed this game plan and picked up two wins to set up a winner-takes-all Game Five, with the victor squaring off against Team SoloMid.
This game was by the far the most intense of the series, with a single misplay by CLG costing them the series. Top laner Darshan looked for a pick onto FlyQuest’s LemonNation, but instead of picking up the kill, both Darshan and three other members fell for Counter Logic Gaming.
FlyQuest took advantage and never looked back, securing the Baron buff before ending the game shortly thereafter. While Team SoloMid decimated FlyQuest in three games in the semifinals, their victory over CLG was the shock of the tournament thus far.
FlyQuest match up with Phoenix1
FlyQuest will face off against Phoenix1 in the 3rd/4th place game this coming weekend. Phoenix1 saw both sides of a 3-0 romp in a single week as they lost to Cloud9 in the semifinals after defeating sixth-seed Team Dignitas in the quarters.
P1 come into their match against FlyQuest as a solid favourite, but much of the game will depend on which players Phoenix1 choose to use. The combination of Jungler Meteos and Support Stunt has seen the most success, yet Phoenix1 have consistently fielded a roster with Inori and Shady in the Jungle and Support roles respectively.
Many believe the best thing for P1 is to keep a consistent roster so star players such as Arrow and Ryu can develop chemistry with the unit. This is especially true in the case of Arrow, who has now played with three different Supports while trying to communicate in his second language. If Phoenix1 stay consistent with their roster, they have an excellent chance to walk away from their first split of the LCS in 3rd place.
Top two meet in the Final
Team SoloMid and Cloud9 will battle it out to determine the best team in North America. Neither outfit have the clear edge in this match-up as each comes off a solid 3-0 semifinal performance.
This final is filled with a myriad of exhilarating head-to-head duels, perhaps none more exciting than in the Mid lane. Considered the two best Mid laners in North America (which is ironic as both are European), TSM’s Bjergsen and Cloud9’s Jensen are everything to their respective teams. While Jensen offers less in terms of shot calling, his mechanical prowess this Split has been nothing short of sensational.
This Mid lane match-up, however, will most likely be decided by both Junglers and Coaches. Look for each team to emphasise the Mid lane in the pick and ban, while both Junglers will also focus on the Mid lane as they attempt to assist their star teammates within the game.
TSM and Cloud9 meeting in the Final comes as no surprise as the two teams were consistently the best sides during the round robin phase. Not surprisingly the rivals split their games earlier in the session although Cloud9 claimed a 2-0 victory in Week One and pushed TSM in Week Five before falling 2-1. The Final and the battle for 3rd place should therefore make compelling viewing.