Coming out of the LCS 2021 Spring as the third-seeded team, Team Liquid will look to prove they’re the strongest team in the league on Saturday when they take on the regular season champions Cloud9. Being 3-0 up in the head-to-head with the boys in blue, Liquid will be confident they can win, but will that be enough to derail the main favorites to win the league?
Team Liquid vs Cloud9
Saturday, April 3 at 13:00 PST
Cloud9 look good on paper, but…
Cloud9 are a team that is easy to figure out, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. They have a completely different style to Team Liquid since they often win through Luka “Perkz” Perković and Robert “Blaber” Huang, who do most of the heavy lifting as the strongest 2v2 mid lane duo in the league.
This approach, however, is not optimal in the current meta, as already noted in some of our League of Legends European Championship (LEC) betting previews. That doesn’t mean C9 can’t win with this style, but it would certainly help if they had other options rather than just relying on Perkz and Blaber.
Top and bottom lane are just “meh”
While I don’t want to bash on Cloud9 and discredit their achievements this season, there is no denying that their top lane and bottom lane are not exactly the ones to decide the game, or better said neither of the three players have yet to prove they can carry C9 to victory. Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami is still a sub-average top laner, while I would have a hard time ranking Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme much higher than league-average.
Don’t get me wrong, all three are solid players, but they’re not good, and arguably not as good as Team Liquid’s counterparts. Some may disagree with that, but is Fudge really better than Barney “Alphari” Morris and can Zven-Vulcan really compare to Edward “Tactical” Ra and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in? I think not.
Team Liquid have options
There is no denying that this match will be a clash of two of the best teams in the LCS, but it’s also a clash between two completely different styles. As mentioned above, C9 win via Perkz and Blaber, whereas Team Liquid can technically win via all three lanes and with many different styles.
They can play around the top to expose C9’s weakness and get Alphari ahead, they can look to neutralize C9’s mid lane, or just put their resources into Tactical and work from there. This is also the main advantage Liquid have over C9 and one of the main reasons why I don’t quite agree with the bookmakers who have C9 as the favorites.
And let’s not forget to mention (again) that Liquid have much stronger outer lanes which they can exploit with a huge variety of picks and different team composition. Liquid are simply the most versatile and the cleanest team in the LCS which is very difficult to prepare for.
The numbers are very close
If we look at the numbers these two sides have been putting up, Team Liquid are slightly ahead in some metrics, but the eye test proves the gap might be bigger than what the numbers suggest.
As seen, Cloud9 are slower in accumulating leads in the early game, but are generally much better in keeping distance ahead of their opponents, largely due to their strong mid-late game and team fighting. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a slow team, but instead shows that C9 are not overly aggressive early on and instead like to slowly build their leads.
That said, the gap between them and Liquid is not that big and I would go even so far as to say that I am much more confident about Liquid’s mid-late game. That is largely because they can approach this game with many different compositions and strategies, which C9 will likely have a hard time countering.
Betting Tips for Team Liquid and Cloud9
Without trying to sound biased, Team Liquid come off as a better team overall. They have better players in the outer lanes and I don’t believe the Perkz-Blaber are that much stronger than Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen – Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen duo, or at least not to a degree where I would believe they can compensate for C9’s disadvantages elsewhere.
What’s more, Liquid are a team that – unlike Cloud9 – very rarely make mistakes and are extremely consistent. This is a situation, where C9 can only win if Liquid lose, and since I am confident in Liquid’s stability and consistency, I can safely say Team Liquid won’t lose, unless C9 show something we have yet to see from them – or if Liquid fail to show down Blaber in the early game.
There is this small chance where C9 get ahead in the bottom lane, and the only reason I can say this is because Tactical has had a few poor games this split. He was since very consistent, so I wouldn’t count on him underperforming again.
Prediction: Team Liquid to win – 2.01 at Pinnacle
Prediction: Team Liquid -1.5 maps – 3.19 at Pinnacle
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