Considering how things turned out last weekend, I am pretty happy with my predictions. I essentially got the FlyQuest versus 100 Thieves series note for note, as each of those three games had FlyQuest swinging and missing. I may have stumbled pretty hard after TSM walked away victoriously, but I can’t account players getting sick and potentially changing the results. I am not going to rant about that quite yet though, because we have some exciting semi-finals matches. The history of the Cloud9 versus TSM goes back quite far, and both teams are hungry to return to the throne. Team Liquid and 100 Thieves may not have been direct contenders for the crown for long, we do get the pleasure of seeing a rematch of the spring finals. As exciting as these story lines look though, they should be pretty straightforward predictions.
Cloud9 vs. TSM
9/1, 5:00pm EST
TSM’s fans might be excited about their team’s victory over Echo Fox, but I want to temper those expectations. The Echo Fox series did after all go to 5 games and I think it is safe to say if Huni had not been sick, TSM would not be here. TSM continue to have the same issues lacking a major sense of proactive playmaking. Yeah, you can put Bjergsen on an assassin and make the rest of TSM feign greatness, but that is far too one dimensional. When compared to Cloud9, TSM are nearly outmatched in everyrole. If things do look questionable or if Cloud9 wants to keep TSM on their toes, Goldenglue and Svenskeren will be sitting in the shadows waiting to prove their worth. I find it highly unlikely TSM will be able to find a strategy beyond waiting for late game or letting Bjergsen carry, before the weekend.
I did have a thought though, involving a way to inject some life into TSM. What if TSM took advantage of an open alternate roster slot and brought MikeYeung into play. Don’t get me wrong, Grig has done a fantastic job at doing what everyone thought TSM needed. Grig’s stable play and ability to control objectives is great, but Grig has never really been a source of pressure to propel the game forward. In the past, there was a great deal of criticism toward TSM junglers, due to their over aggressive tendencies resulting in disadvantages. I want to argue that maybe TSM needed those past aggressive junglers to actually make something happen in their games. I don’t expect for Grig to have any kind of breakout performance, but we do know MikeYeung has carried games successfully in the past. This might be a longshot, but it could be something worthwhile. In the end though, Cloud9 would still probably have everything they need to win. Perhaps a TSM fan can take a grain of satisfaction knowing Team Liquid did not pick them as an opponent in the semi-finals..
Prediction: Cloud9 3–0
Team Liquid vs. 100 Thieves
9/2, 3:00pm EST
Predicting 100 Thieves to win 3–0 last weekend was a simple affair and predicting Team Liquid to win 3–0 is just as easy. 100 Thieves haven’t changed anything about their play style and they are out of time. Their is obviously a reason Team Liquid chose 100 Thieves as their semi-finals opponent. While bringing up Team Liquid’s record against 100 Thieves is already valid data, you can ignore that and still draw the simple conclusion for this match. Team Liquid have had a lot of time to figure out a way to take down 100 Thieves and will absolutely have strategies ready to take down the late game menace. 100 Thieves are going to get routed and dominated by Team Liquid.
The only potential route 100 Thieves could take is just copying Cloud9’s strategy against Team Liquid, and camping Pobleter. Although Ryu is not known to have consistent carry performances, now is the time for that to happen. If 100 Thieves can forge a lead in the midlane and then accelerate the game before Doublelift gets a chance to exert pressure, a game victory is possible. Notice how, i used the word “If” and “game” in that last sentence. Not only is getting a lead through midlane for 100 Thieves circumstantial, I still only think it could result in a single game win. It just happens though, my standards are actually well below thinking 100 Thieves can even get a win though.
Prediction: Team Liquid 3–0