It's hard to believe there are only two weeks left in the LCS Summer Split regular season, but it's even harder to believe that 100 Thieves could end up in playoffs at the end of it all. This weekend, they'll clash with Golden Guardians in a battle for sixth place, while Team Liquid and Cloud9 heat things up at the top of the table.
Somewhere between adding jungler Maurice "Amazing" Stückenschneider to the team and swapping Aaron "FakeGod" Lee and Ryu "Ryu" Sang-wook into the starting roster, 100T started producing legitimate results in the LCS. They've won three of their last five games, and things are looking to be in their favor against a GGS fresh off an 0-2 weekend.
Both teams have a fairly difficult schedule over their last four games of the split. GGS will have to play OpTic and Cloud9, while 100T still has to play TSM and CLG. Whichever team wins here could very likely punch a ticket to the playoffs.
GGS have had fine early games, but have been struggling tremendously in the second half of the split to properly close out a game with a lead. Their solo laners are flat out better than 100T's, so their ability to properly use the advantages they gain in lane will once again be put to the test.
The biggest mismatch here comes from the jungle. Compared to Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia, Amazing would much rather control the map and commit to making team-centric plays around their winning side. 100T will have the best shot at coming out ahead early on if they commit to playing hard and fast around their veteran bot lane.
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Liquid's 11-3 record gives them a comfortable lead over their opposition within the LCS's top six. Normally we'd see them taking it easy and experimenting after locking in their playoff spot, but Liquid have been running on all cylinders since the beginning of summer.
Comfortable doesn't mean complacent for Liquid, though. After having their first bout of international success in the 2019 MSI Finals, their eyes are set on worlds. To go far there, they'll need to have the most dominant domestic run possible.
Meanwhile, Eric "Licorice" Ritchie is back in the Cloud9 starting lineup, and with his return, they've regained a major top side threat and important presence within the team dynamic. It feels like Liquid have been finishing games quicker than ever this split, so having a strong and experienced solo laner is crucial for Cloud9 to have more options in the mid game.
Winning this wouldn't do anything for either team in the standings, but it's a very important test of both teams' power levels heading into the post season. As the top two teams in the league, C9 and Liquid are on track to receive playoff byes, and are aiming to meet in the finals. Scores don't matter anymore. It's all about the momentum.
GGS plays 100T on Saturday July 27 at 4 p.m. PDT, and Liquid faces off against C9 on Sunday at 2 p.m. PDT.