The North American LCS starts on the 15th of January. Unlike other regions, the LCS will have a “roster lock in period” lasting until the 31st of January. Within this period, teams will compete for “bragging rights, money, charity, and side selection”. The prize for the winners in this short tournament is nothing to scoff at, $150,000 directly to the winning team and $50,000 to the charity of their choice.
Ultimately, these three weeks will be crucial to evaluate the strengths of these teams for the official start to the 2021 Spring LCS Split on the 5th of February.
1. Evil Geniuses vs. Immortals
The revamped Evil Geniuses roster is stacked with many big names, with the only exception being EG’s promising academy player, Deftly. This follows the team’s strong re-entry to the LCS at the start of 2020 and later disappointing performance in the Summer season. On the complete opposite spectrum, Immortals have taken a massive gamble, heading into 2021 with two Oceania players.
Prediction: Evil Geniuses 78% l Immortals 22%
2. Golden Guardians vs. Team SoloMid
Golden Guardians have opted for a complete roster overhaul, signing a totally new starting line-up. The individual skills of players in GG’s 2021 roster looks comparatively weaker than their line-up in 2020. GG will need some serious synergy and team play to outmatch their opponents. This is especially so considering TSM are the reigning 2020 LCS Playoff champions.
Prediction: Golden Guardians 18% l Team Solomid 82%
3. Fly Quest vs. Cloud 9
Fly Quest are entering 2021 following one of their best years yet, having a top 3 finish in the 2020 LCS Summer Split and Playoffs, along with a quarterfinals finish at the 2020 League of Legends World Championships. However, their future is uncertain having failed to keep any of their 2020 line-up, instead deciding to build the team around Licorice with a handful of unproven players. Cloud 9 retained most of their roster and signed top EU superstar, Perkz, making the team an extremely strong force once again.
Prediction: Fly Quest 24% l Cloud 9 76%
4. Immortals vs. Dignitas
After a shockingly poor 2020 aftering fishing last in the Summer split, Immortals have replaced four of the starting members, retaining only “Insanity” in the mid-lane. IMT have built the team around EU import Xerxa, surrounding him with two former academy players, and two former OPL / Oceania players. Dignitas look promising, with two veterans, Dardoch and Aphromoo, leading three academy talents.
Prediction: Immortals 40% l Dignitas 60%
5. Counter Logic Gaming vs. 100 Thieves
Both Counter Logic Gaming and 100 Thieves struggled in 2020, placing amongst the lower tier teams. However, the two teams made major roster changes, both signing some of the highest performing players in the LCS. The match will be close, however, 100 Thieves are favoured as they completed destroyed North America’s famed Team SoloMid.
Prediction: Counter Logic Gaming 45% l 100 Thieves 55%
1. Cloud 9 vs. Immortals
Cloud 9’s only weakness would be top laner Fudge considering this is his first appearance in the LCS. IMT will face an uphill battle considering C9 splashed out on Perkz and are outclassed in terms of individual laners. However, as games are a Bo1, IMT have a very slight chance of victory.
Prediction: Cloud 9 87% l Immortals 13%
2. 100 Thieves vs. Team Liquid
While it is expected 100 Thieves to turn their fortunes around and advance to a mid-tier team, they will likely fall short to Team Liquid. Team Liquid went all out, getting top tier talent who have all had their fair share of glory.
Prediction: 100 Thieves 26% l Team Liquid 74%
3. Dignitas vs. Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses are favoured due to their more experienced line-up. Despite so, this by no means counts out Dignitas if Aphromoo can successfully take the mantle of in-game leader and show direction towards his teammates.
Prediction: Dignitas 22% l Evil Geniuses 78%
4. Team SoloMid vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Team SoloMid without a doubt choked on their first game despite having a roster stacked with world-class talent. The long-term rivals, CLG, can increase their chance of taking down TSM if they secure, powerful roaming picks to catch SoloMid off guard.
Prediction: Team SoloMid 42% l Counter Logic Gaming 58%
5. Team Liquid vs. Golden Guardians
This should be a clean win for Team Liquid considering TL not only has superior individual players but by simply looking at the overall gameplay between both teams. The only way Team Liquid loses this is through GG’s complete early game dominance with a handful of cheese strategies.
Prediction: Team Liquid 89% l Golden Guardians 11%
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