Things to Watch: 2018 NA LCS Summer Semifinals Primer - Upcomer
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With TSM’s victory over Echo Fox and 100 Thieves’ sweep of FlyQuest, the NA LCS Summer Semifinals have been set. Team Liquid has chosen to face 100 Thieves in the next round, while TSM will have to take down Cloud9. The banter is already underway, and whether you think Doublelift is scared of TSM or not, these next matches will be nothing short of amazing. However, let’s first take a look at the teams participating this weekend.

Every team is looking for something specific. Whether it’s redemption or affirmation, they all want to prove that they are the best in North America. We will see how the storylines play out, and who will come out on top!



After their abysmal start to the season, Cloud9 is looking like the best team in the league. Their rise from rock bottom has been slow but steady, with Jensen and Sneaky helping right the ship back into first place. Even after choosing to go with rookie support Zeyzal instead of Smoothie, they have been looking very in-sync as a team. Their macro has been some of the best in the NA LCS, even going on an eight-game winning streak. Also, they would take down Team Liquid, FlyQuest and 100 Thieves in that span.

The only problem we can see with their matchup against TSM is the meta returning to normal. With Bjergsen now playing aggressive champions and TSM playing at a way more proactive rate, they will need to rely on their macro more than ever. TSM individually is arguably better than Cloud9. If they wish to move on to the next round, they need to play as one thinking mind. If they falter in any sort of way, it could be all for naught for the boys in blue this semifinals.


TSM Victory

We will see if the hot streak TSM has been riding will continue marching forward into the semifinals. Bjergsen and co. might have found their stride late in the season, but a rising TSM is a scary TSM. Even though they have been struggling this split, they still have the talent to compete with the best of the best. Grig, who has been a weak point of the team, now has playoff experience under his belt. Hopefully, this will help calm his nerves heading into this semifinals series with Cloud9.

There is a big difference between the Echo Fox series and this semifinal Cloud9 matchup though. Instead of Grig staring at the barrel of a gun aimed by Dardoch, it’s a gun aimed by rookie jungler Blaber. In fact, a lot of Cloud9 are rookies, while TSM has a plethora of talented, veteran players. Bjergsen is looking like the best mid laner in North America again. The whole team is playing together for the first time in a long time. They will need to use their experience and individual skill to take Cloud9 to the limit.

Team Liquid

TL Cain

Is Doublelift afraid of TSM? He calls them boosted, and yet Bjergsen stomped them on Akali. Yes, most of what the pros say is banter, but it’s hard to deny some truth to the copypastas. However, I don’t think Team Liquid’s choice to face 100 Thieves is set in fear. I think it is out of respect and logic. Right now, facing off against a TSM that has some new-found confidence may not be in their best interests.

With Bjergsen slowly becoming the dominant mid laner we know he can be, it may not be beneficial to pit Pobelter against him. If they can find some success against 100 Thieves, it could help put Pobelter on the right track. Also, 100 Thieves does seem to be the easier matchup to get to the Finals. If I were Steve and Team Liquid, I wouldn’t jeopardize the first NA LCS Finals appearance in the organization’s history.

100 Thieves

100T Ssumday

It’s gonna be the Ssumday and Aphromoo show this weekend for 100 Thieves. They were able to handle FlyQuest last weekend without having to rely on Ssumday too much. In fact, it was Aphromoo’s shotcalling that was the decisive factor in most of the matches. However, they aren’t facing FlyQuest this weekend, they’re facing the best team in the NA LCS. Team Liquid will not step off the gas pedal like how FlyQuest did. So not only will 100 Thieves require Aphromoo’s legendary shotcalling again, but they will have to call upon their NA LCS MVP candidate for a performance of the ages. He will have to dominate Impact and affect the rest of the game because Team Liquid will be coming at them with everything they have and more.

Final Thoughts

Although Cloud9 has been looking like the powerhouse team of old, I do think that with a head of steam, TSM can take this matchup. It will be close, as all TSM vs. Cloud9 matchups have been. However, I say that if Bjergsen can remain on aggressive assassins and the rest of the team can stay focused and proactive, they can move on to the Finals. With Team Liquid and 100 Thieves, I’ll be going with the favorites.

Team Liquid simply has too many weapons available to them, from Xmithie’s consistent play to Doublelift playing at his best. This could easily be a sweep for Liquid if 100 Thieves get flustered early in the series. Also, I can see Team Liquid focusing on Impact and the top lane, to nullify Ssumday’s effect on the rest of the map. No matter which way this semifinals weekend goes, it should be an exciting one to watch for fans.

What do you think of the NA LCS Summer Semifinals matchups? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more NA LCS coverage, check us out here!