NA LCS Playoff Predictions

My Power Rankings are up here. However, Power Rankings are based on recent results. My playoffs predictions are slightly different, largely because some teams have better playoffs performance. Read below for predictions

If it isn’t clear, every one of the matches that doesn’t involve C9 or LMQ could honestly go either way, so the playoffs look to be extremely exciting.

Quarterfinals – #3 TSM vs #6 DIG  (2-3)

TSM is currently 1-3 this split vs Dignitas, not to mention a combined 8-12 vs the top teams in the playoffs. They are the #3 team only thanks to an 8-0 record against Complexity and Evil Geniuses. Dignitas has looked shaky in recent weeks, but they’ve had plenty of time to practice and get better. TSM is good at stomping the lower teams, but struggles against top competitors. Dignitas has a winning record vs only two teams: TSM and EG. Look to see them continue that trend. Dignitas’ choice to take Red side in Games 2 and 4, should let Shiphtur counter-pick in every game, and I look to see him take control of games.

Crumbzz has been camping for ZionSpartan recently, and that Jungle-Top tandem was what allowed C9 to crush TSM in past playoffs. However, Amazing is a much stronger jungler, so it’s fully possible that he’ll be able to turn the tables. Bot lane is a toss-up with nobody having seen enough of Lustboy and WildTurtle to really judge them. The pressure will be on in the mid lane, with two extremely good players, Bjergsen and Shiphtur, facing off. Shiphtur has been slumping recently, so it’ll be up to him to shape up and put pressure on the map for Dignitas. Locodoco has impressed me as a coach, so I think it will be extremely close, but I’m looking to see a 3-2 win by DIG. If TSM manages to take the first game, Dignitas’ historic lack of success in tournaments could hurt them, as TSM has currently competed at every World Championships.

Quarterfinals – #4 CRS vs #5 CLG (2-3)

It’s hard to imagine Curse not making 4th place in a split, but for once, I’m betting against the Curse curse of 4th place. CLG was one of the top NA teams for most of the split, and they essentially took an 0-4 Super Week so they could train in Korea. CLG is currently 1-3 vs Curse Gaming, but one of those losses was during the Super Week with a ringer roster. After their training in Korea, I expect to see them come back better than ever. I’m honestly about 50/50 on this, as Curse has looked *extremely* good in the final weeks of the split. Curse is actually also tied for 2nd place with LMQ in games vs the playoffs teams: 11-9.  I’m calling this one 3-2 for CLG, but it’s very close.

Semifinals – #1 C9 vs #5 CRS (3-1)

Curse has looked like the second strongest team in NA in recent games. If any team has a chance of beating them in a series, it’s Curse, and I expect to see Curse go to Worlds. However, it is Cloud9, and I can’t root against them in the playoffs against their 10-0 playoff record and 67-17 season record.

Semifinals – #2 LMQ vs #6 TSM (3-0)

LMQ is 4-0 against TSM. It’s hard to imagine such a strong turnaround in the playoffs.

Finals – #1 C9 vs #2 LMQ (3-1)

Cloud9 has yet to lose a playoff game in the NA LCS, and I’m not willing to bet against a history like that on a team that hasn’t changed rosters in over a year.

Third Place Match – #3 TSM vs #4 CRS (2-3)

I actually think Curse could take this, with how strong they have been recently. However, they are currently 1-3 vs TSM, so it would be a huge turn around, especially given Curse’s traditional dismal playoff performances. I’m rooting for it anyway.

Fifth Place Match – #5 CLG vs #6 DIG (3-1)

CLG has one of the most talented bot lanes in the game, and I expect that pressure to roll up through every lane.

8 Comments on “NA LCS Playoff Predictions

  1. So I waited to post this comment until the results of the TSM/C9 series, but I’ve felt this way for a long time: you haven’t given TSM the credit they’ve earned in the last two years. I get it, you’ve said it before, you don’t like the TSM “bro” atmosphere. That’s fine. But as an analyst you consistently underestimate TSM’s tournament consistency. I hope that after this series you’ll finally hold off on the bias. I think it would really broaden your analyst expertise. Yes, I am a TSM fan, but I’ll admit any day that TSM can and is weak on many occasions. But when it’s close, I’ll usually put my money on them in a tournament. That’s just based on history and results.


    • I think more importantly, TSM has made a number of roster moves that changed their game. The TSM that played through Week 9 with Gleebglarbu was *not* the same TSM that showed up to these playoffs.

      I think this season’s victory shouldn’t be put on the last 2 years of TSM’s performance, because in the previous 2 splits, TSM was leagues below Cloud9. The credit for this season’s victory should go to well executed roster changes, from Xpecial -> Gleeb -> Lustboy, to the acquisition of EU superstars Bjergsen and Amazing.


      • So you would say that you’ve been fair to TSM as an analyst over the last two years despite being wrong about their tournament play?


        • I’ve only been covering NA LCS for 3 splits, and they’ve come in 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd in the seasons, followed by 2nd, 2nd, and 1st in the playoffs.

          Now, you could argue that they perform better in the playoffs than in the season (moving up an average of 1 spot), and I would agree. But when they were dominant (Seasons 2/3), they failed to take any major victories off of international teams. They have always been a consistent team, but they have never been a remarkable team.

          TheOddOne was an extremely lackluster jungler (I’ve played against him in solo queue and find him to be both unimaginative and easy to put on the back foot), and Reginald had to go as a mid laner.

          Interestingly enough, those were the players (in addition to Gleeb) that I didn’t like on TSM, and are the players I’ve always heaped my blame on. I believe I called Amazing “the best jungler in Europe” when he was on CW, Bjergsen “the best mid laner in North America” last split, and Dyrus “the second-best top laner in North America” last split (in my infographics on those three lanes).

          Now, I have definitely underrated them compared to CLG, but I argue that that’s due to factors beyond analysis. CLG has repeatedly said during their slump that they *don’t know* what it is that they’re doing wrong, while TSM made a last minute roster swap that secured them their performance. CLG, CRS, TSM, and DIG all seemed a tossup (and given the number of 3-1 and 3-2 series in the NA LCS playoffs, I think that’s a valid statement).

          Ultimately, I didn’t bet on TSM because I’m not going to gamble on a roster swap. In retrospect, yeah, Lustboy was a good pick. But he could have been another Gleeb, and then we’d be talking about how Regi is micromanaging his team too hard and needs to step back and let Locodoco coach.

          Trends matter, not specific occurrences, and only one NA team has ever had *any* international success since Season 1, and that’s Cloud9. I can’t imagine TSM at the time taking a game off of OMG or Fnatic at All Stars, especially if they’d had to sub out Bjergsen for Link.


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