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NA and EU LCS Spring Playoff Previews


19 March 2018 13:05

The NA and EU LCS group stages have drawn to a close as the top six teams from each league now progress to their respective playoffs. With Mid-Season qualification on the line, all teams have to now bring their A-game if they want to qualify for the maiden global event of the year.

NA

100 Thieves and Echo Fox topped the group stages, both posting a 12-6 record. A tie-breaker match was played to see who would take top spot, and 100 Thieves prevailed so take the formal #1 seed as both teams automatically advance to the semi-finals. Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Cloud9 and Clutch Gaming took positions three through six, all of whom finished the group stages on 11-7. A mini-tournament was basically played out to determine seeding positions for the playoffs, with Team SoloMid prevailing over Team Liquid for third place and Cloud9 taking the bottom seed after losing to Clutch Gaming.

This culminates in the quarter-finals having the same matches as the 3rd-6th place tiebreakers; Team Liquid vs Cloud9 and Team SoloMid vs Clutch Gaming. The lowest winning seed will go on to play 100 Thieves whilst the highest will play Echo Fox, with all matches being Bo5.

Topping the group stages was not something that was expected of 100 Thieves or Echo Fox after both began the split as 16/1 outsiders to win it all, yet now they sit in prime position to progress. Team SoloMid, the pre-tournament favourites, gave themselves a boost by becoming the number three seed but would go into matches against either of the top two knowing they can win after beating them both in the group stages. Clutch Gaming have made the playoffs in their inaugural season as a team but face an uphill battle against TSM as an introduction to the playoffs.

Team Liquid, although being second favourites at 9/4, are maybe a surprise inclusion in the playoffs considering they were in the relegation battle in both spring and summer of 2017. They face Cloud9, who perhaps had the strongest showing ever by an NA LCS team at the 2017 World Championships and came second at the spring split in 2017.

EU

The pre-tournament odds were correct; Fnatic and then everyone else. The UK-based team went 14-4 to top the group stages, with G2 eSports edging out Splyce in the tie-breaker to get 2nd place and the all-important quarter-final bye. Team Vitality, H2k-Gaming and Team ROCCAT finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively to also progress through to the playoffs.

The surprise feature of the playoffs is H2k-Gaming, who had the worst odds of any team to win the split at 50/1, yet now play Team Vitality, who were 20/1, in the quarter-finals. In the round, Team Vitality are the expected match winner at 2/5, with H2k-Gaming being 7/4.

In the other quarter-final, Splyce are favoured at 3/10 over Team ROCCAT at 12/5. Splyce fell in the quarter-final stage in both the spring and summer playoffs in 2017 so Team ROCCAT don’t have too much to fear despite having not featured in the playoffs themselves since 2015.

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Updated on: 2018-03-19

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