In less than four days, the race for the LCS Summer Playoffs will begin. With the conclusion of the regular season Sunday, six teams are left to contest the title — and Worlds 2019 spots.
The semifinals seeding is exactly like season. Team Liquid came out as the definitive winners of the season with 14-4 record, followed by Cloud9 at second place with 12-6. From the rest of the teams, however, only Team SoloMid repeated playoffs appearance, finishing fourth. Counter Logic Gaming, Cutch Gaming, and OpTic Gaming all failed to make playoffs last season, but will make a run for the title now.
The pairings and re-seeding rules can therefore set up a very similar scenario to next year. Given their record from the regular season, TSM are favorites against CG, having beaten them twice in the round robin already. As last season, Team Liquid will likely not want to pick TSM, given how close their Spring Finals series actually got. With Worlds spot within grasp, TL won’t risk a dangerous semifinal.
If TSM win the CG semifinal, they will likely move on to play Cloud9, a rematch from the Spring semifinals and yet another chapter in the old NA rivalry. For TL will then remain the winner of CLG and OpTic — a match which favors CLG slightly, even though the two teams went 1-1 between each other in the regular season.
In the end, it’s hard to not favor TL for their fourth consecutive title. The CoreJJ/Doublelift bot lane has been stellar for Liquid and their solo lanes top the standings as well: Impact is leading in KDA and GD@15 among top laners, and Jensen’s hardest competition comes from C9’s Nisqy.
The LCS Summer Playoffs will be played over three consecutive weekends, ending with the grand final face-off on Sunday, August 25.