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North America LCS Week Six Matchup Previews

Half of the North American LCS Spring Season is behind us, and the path to the second half of the tournament remains wide open. No team has fallen far enough behind to lose all hope just yet, but the bottom four teams will need to step up their game if they want a guaranteed spot in the Summer LCS. Week 5’s harrowing upset of compLexity Gaming over Team Dignitas gives the underdogs proof that they can keep up with the juggernauts, and compLexity will get a chance to prove it again as they face off against Dignitas once more in Week 6. Elsewhere, meeting for the first time since the thrilling opening match of the LCS, Team Solomid will clash with Counter Logic Gaming in a desperate struggle to keep pace with Dignitas and Curse Gaming.

Team SoloMidlogo std.pngTeam SoloMid vs. Counter Logic GamingCounter Logic Gaminglogo std.png
Months ago, hype was building for the upcoming LCS with fans locked in a heated debate over who was the best team in North America: Team Solomid or Counter Logic Gaming? The spring season opened with a stunning display that resulted in a decisive victory for CLG, but it’s been six weeks since that matchup and things have changed. Now, Curse Gaming and Team Dignitas occupy the top two positions in the rankings, with TSM and CLG trailing close behind. Neither one of these two seasoned teams can afford a loss, but one of them will take the hit this Friday, March 22, at 8:00 PM EDT.

Ever since that impressive opening game, CLG’s season can best be described as up and down. They have not been able to establish a steady stream of momentum, and have struggled to keep their win percentage over fifty with a current 8W-6L record. They have shown the capacity to beat the juggernauts in one match, and in the next match they have gotten upset by one of the underdogs -- all the while playing as if they were two entirely different teams. With Team Vulcun a hairsbreadth away from the top four, CLG needs to get a win just to keep above water.

TSM’s steadier journey has netted them a solid 9W-5L record. However, they seem to have developed a pattern of beating teams they “should” beat while never beating teams above them in the rankings. Outside of their triumph over Dignitas in the first week and the upset victory of Team MRN in the Super Week, this trend has not broken. While this is good enough to get them a spot in the playoffs, they will need to find a way to pull off upsets over the more consistent teams.

For all intents and purposes, TSM and CLG are coming into this as equals. So, what differences will lead one team to victory? The answer is not as obvious as in some matches; this match will likely come down to the little details. From champion selection, to minion farm, to map control -- a single misstep by one team could propel the other to victory. Last time, CLG’s early aggressiveness was that difference, but TSM will not fall for the same technique twice.

CLG would be well served to focus on getting Doublelift farmed well enough to pull off his usual late game heroics. Assuming TSM does not take away his stellar VayneSquare.png Vayne in the banning phase, Doublelift has the ability to single handedly turn the tide of a battle that would have otherwise been lost. Whether or not they ban Vayne, it will be up to Chaox, TheOddOne, and Xpecial to not only interrupt Doublelift’s farm, but make sure Chaox has him thoroughly beaten.

In the middle lane, both Reginald and LiNk have been responsible for the sudden rise in popularity of XerathSquare.png Xerath and SyndraSquare.png Syndra, respectively, due to their superior play with the unusual champions. The two are evenly matched in most aspects, and this lane will come down to jungle intervention and champion selection. The same could be said in top lane, as Dyrus and HotshotGG both enjoy farming lanes. It would not be surprising if CLG tries to initiate a switch lane and send the Doublelift/Aphromoo combo to overpower Dyrus while putting faith in Hotshot to hold off Chaox and Xpecial.

In a game that neither can afford to lose, it will be the smallest details that will bring victory home to one of these teams. With Curse and Dignitas threatening to pull away in the top two spots and the upstart Team Vulcun threatening them from behind, it is guaranteed that both CLG and TSM will bring nothing short of their best to the latest chapter in their ongoing rivalry.

Complexitylogo std.pngcompLexity Gaming vs. DignitasDignitaslogo std.png
Closing out Week 6, at 11:00 PM EDT on Friday, will be a rematch between compLexity Gaming and Team Dignitas, who showcased a stunning display of League skill last week in a close game that was only decided by the final teamfight. compLexity’s upset will have far reaching consequences for both teams in the coming weeks, with compLexity gaining ground and Dignitas in a precarious position that affords them no room for losses.

After dropping their matches against compLexity and Team Vulcun, Dignitas now find themselves at 11W-4L, trailing behind Curse Gaming by a single game. While second place is nothing to scoff at, both Team Solomid and Counter Logic Gaming are jumping at the bit for a chance to climb into one of the top two positions in the ranking. Dignitas has no more room for error as all three of their rivals will capitalize on every single misstep.

compLexity, who clock in at 3W-9L, managed to prove two important facts last week: one, the difference in skill between the first and last place teams in the rankings is minimal; two, they are far from finished in this tournament. The challenge for them now is to not let their Week 5 loss to TSM kill whatever momentum they had started to build. What separates good teams from great is the ability to shake off tough losses and come out strong, and compLexity will have to prove their mental fortitude this week against a Dignitas that is craving revenge.

Last week’s most valuable player has to be compLexity’s jungler, Lautemortis. His incredible positioning and quick reaction time gave him an early four kills and zero deaths in coL's Week 5 match against Dignitas. Moreover, his plays came when Dignitas was experimenting with an usually aggressive style. In fact, it was that constant aggressiveness from Dignitas that ultimately cost them a match; they overextended while chasing down compLexity, who reversed a teamfight and caught Dignitas out of position. There is little doubt that scarra will call a more reserved game this week in order to keep Lautemortis in check and get his team back into their winning groove.

Without Dignitas offering the opportunities by overextending, compLexity will have to make their own chances for success. This will start in the champion select, where they should focus on forcing one of Dignitas’ members outside their comfortable champions. scarra’s pool of champions is deep. Crumbzz has shown comfort in choosing unusual junglers. Imaqtpie and Patoy have synergized with different ADC/Support combinations. This leaves TheRealKiWiKiD, who has been phenomenal this LCS season by carrying his team multiple times with EliseSquare.png Elise. compLexity will be well served in taking that option away from Dignitas.

compLexity will have to take every single opportunity they can find to get ahead this game because Dignitas will likely not make the same mistakes they made last week. If Dignitas pull away at any point early, it is unlikely that compLexity can catch up. Additionally, with a revised strategy, Dignitas will have the advantage in an even game as it transitions to the late phase. As such, if compLexity can once again find ways to surprise Dignitas early and often, they will have a good chance of pulling off the second upset in a row. Otherwise, Dignitas look come away with a clean victory.

Written by Joshua Pelletier
Edited by Marissa Moody Kuo.


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