You know the drill!
Cloud 9 has been a bit underrated this season, with all of their players trying new things week in and week out. The only lane where they have low versatility is bot, and — to be fair — so does every team’s bot lane at this point. LemonNation showed that he can play Annie, Cloud 9 just doesn’t prioritize it like other teams do. When they stick to their best plays, they seem pretty solid.
They should definitely beat XDG this week, and have a solid chance of taking TSM down without Bjergsen around.
TSM will be a bit weaker this week without Bjergsen, which unfortunately comes before their match vs Cloud 9. I don’t see this as affecting their power rankings, but not getting to play with Bjergsen for 2 weeks will make them a slightly less synergistic team.
Their matchup with Cloud 9 would be extremely close, but Reginald mid sways it in Cloud 9’s favor. They should probably beat Dignitas as well.
Imagine if CLG had had a full team all season! They’re not perfect, but they are showing themselves to be much stronger.
From here on down, it’s a mess:
I’m taking a risk, but I like Coast’s chances. They have 2 matchups vs weak teams, and going 2-0 would help to establish them as a team that can be taken seriously. Shiphtur is a top-tier mid, and should face off well vs Pobelter and Voyboy. However, they are 0-2 vs Curse despite good showings by Shiphtur. On the other hand, they’ve looked a lot better in recent weeks, even taking a game off of TSM.
I’m taking another risk here, but I think that Dignitas had early momentum, but is a weaker game than their schedule had shown. Their 5-2 start was a combination of an easy schedule and a random victory vs Cloud 9, and they’ve shown that since, going 2-5.
To re-establish themselves as a team this season, they need to 2-0 this week, because a win vs TSM will likely only be possible for them with Bjergsen away, and because losing to EG would only further concerns about their consistency. I don’t see it happening, though.
EG took down Dig last week, and if they can do it again, things look good for them. They face off vs Coast (against whom they are 0-2), so look to see that be a scary matchup.
I’m sticking to my guns with Coast and CLG, which means Curse has to go down. They’ve innovated a lot this season, but struggled to find consistency. Other than his first game, I haven’t liked what I’ve seen out of SaintVicious, though.
XDG has a ‘new’ roster, with Xmithie back in the jungle, Zuna back at ADC, and Sheep at support. Xmithie was part of ManCloud’s dominance last season, so I actually see XDG getting a bump from their roster.
Coast has an even schedule, playing every team twice from here on out. It’s all on them at this point. I like them for the #4 spot after their strong 2-0 in week 5 and their victory over TSM in week 6.
XDG has to show off their new roster this week. They play against C9 and CLG, so nobody’s expecting a 2-0 week, but they need to at least put up a struggle. But their upcoming schedule is not enticing. They have to play against TSM 3 times before the season ends, DIG once, and every other team only twice.
CRS has a relatively easy schedule from here on out, only playing TSM once, and getting 3 games against DIG (against whom they are 1-0 so far). They have to adjust to SaintVicious
DIG has to play against CRS 3 times, while only having one game vs XDG. It’s hard to make predictions about that, as XDG was a free win in the first half of the season, and we’ll have to wait to see how the new XDG fares.
EG also has an even schedule. They’ve showed signs of life with unusual compositions and strong play from their solo laners.
Any of these teams could take the #4 spot, but I think this week will be an important determiner, especially with TSM running Reginald, CRS acclimating to a new support, and XDG returning to a more 2013-like roster:
All of the games between these teams will be crucial. If XDG remains a pushover, Dignitas has the best spot at retaining the #4 spot, but if the new roster looks more like last season, Dignitas is suddenly in a scary position.
To place higher, CST needs to take some games off of CRS and DIG, against whom they are 0-2. On the other hand, to avoid relegation, they only need to maintain their dominance over EG and XDG. Again, a lot will depend on the new XDG roster.
If I have to pick an order, I’d go with:
Despite myself, I believe in the XDG roster.
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.
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