Magic Bullets: LCS Semifinals


TheScore esports posted their Staff Picks for the LCS Semifinals today. I’m not staff, so I’m not involved, but I tweeted out my picks anyways. It happens that I agree with Kelsey Moser and Emily Rand on every series!

Making predictions in a vacuum doesn’t allow for nuance, so here, briefly, are the reasons I’ve picked these four winners. (If you want some deeper insight into each team, check out my Win Conditions article from earlier this week.)

Immortals vs. Team SoloMid

Prediction: IMT 3-1

  • I don’t think this will be a stomp. TSM will look capable of winning the series for at least part of it. After this series, people will be talking about Immortals looking beatable for the Finals.
  • Meta shift towards tanky Top laners isn’t great for Huni, but he plays what he wants. I think he’ll be fine.
  • TSM will take one game, maybe two, on the strength of out-laning Immortals at Mid and ADC, and Svenskeren getting to play Graves/Kindred/Nidalee and then having them banned afterwards (or Reignover going full counterjungle and shutting Sven down).
  • If/when Yellowstar gets picked off on a warding mission, Immortals will punish it a lot harder than Cloud9 did last week.

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Liquid

Prediction: TL 3-1

  • Tanks in the Top lane don’t really fit what Darshan wants to do, and I think it will hold him back more than it holds back Huni.
  • CLG’s early game is all about setup and structure, and Team Liquid showed vs. NRG that they’re really comfortable subverting typical lane swaps and rotations. CLG will react better to that than NRG did, but Team Liquid are still going to find some creative early game machinations that CLG will struggle with.
  • Piglet+Fenix is a way stronger carry pairing than Stixxay+Huhi right now.

H2K vs. Origen

Prediction: H2K 3-0

  • Origen’s win over Unicorns of Love was super sloppy. Both teams played pretty badly. No real signs of a playoff surge for OG.
  • Origen lost the early game throughout their series against UoL, and H2K are a better early-game team than UoL.
  • OG’s biggest early-game strength is Zven’s laning, but Forg1ven can match him no problem, and H2K’s lane swapping is at least as good as their standard lanes.
  • If H2K drop a game, it will be because they play the mid game too slow and allow Zven too much time to farm up.

G2 Esports vs. Fnatic

Prediction: G2 3-2

  • Gamsu on tanks + Spirit on carries is a good look for Fnatic.
  • Kikis on tanks + Trick on carries is an even better look for G2.
  • G2’s losses will be due to their own mistakes as much as to good plays from Fnatic.
  • That’s not to say Fnatic won’t make any good plays. Don’t sleep on Febiven.
  • Jungle bans. Oh man, are we going to see a lot of jungle bans.

I expect I’ll get at least one or two of these wrong, but that’s the fun of playoffs! Can’t wait to watch it unfold.

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Tim “Magic” Sevenhuysen runs OraclesElixir.com, the premier source for League of Legends esports statistics, and writes for theScore esports.

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