In an unsurprising series of events, both Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses will be moving on to the LCS Spring Playoffs Round 2. After beating their opponents 3-0 and 3-1, respectively, the two higher-ranked teams have now secured a matchup against one another for the opportunity to make the finals against either 100 Thieves or Team Liquid.
While most analysts predict a rematch between 100T and TL in the finals, both C9 and EG have proven they can compete against 100T and TL. C9 showed promise in the spring split, where they had 1-1 records with both 100T and TL. EG, on the other hand, had an otherwise underwhelming split performance, but went 3-2 with TL in the first round of the upper bracket.
At the same time, rumors from numerous teams suggest EG is a terrifying team to play scrims against, indicating their stage performances are not a clear representation of the cumulative talent of the team.
C9 vs. GG
Although both matchups were pretty heavy stomps by both C9 and GG, there are some key takeaways from both performances.
After getting trounced by 100T in round one of the upper bracket, C9 showed incredible resilience and adaptability in their subsequent matches against Golden Guardians. While 100T demonstrated a serious exploitation in C9’s playstyle by shutting down Spring Split MVP Summit in the top lane, GG simply didn’t have the talent to mimic that strategy.
Critically, C9’s mid laner stepped up when they needed it the most. Renowned for exhibiting the “Fudge Factor” — the ability to perform and carry when needed — in his previous splits as a top laner, the 19-year-old prodigy proved his intrinsic “clutchness” is still alive and well.
While Summit was forced to play outside of his realm of comfort with Gangplank, Fudge came up incredibly clutch with his insane Viktor and LeBlanc performances. With a 25/1/23 stat line for the weekend, Fudge received a well-deserved Player of the Series award after nearly going deathless as C9 tore apart GG.
With C9 demonstrating they can play through mid, their series against EG next weekend will be even more interesting. Notably, Cloud9 hasn’t lost a spring split in two years.
Is it time for a new champion? Will 100T continue their winning streak and start a dynasty? Will Team Liquid reignite their 2018-19 dynasty? Or will Evil Geniuses win their first-ever split title? Only time will tell.
Learn more about the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs.
EG vs. FlyQuest
Unfortunately, EG’s performance against FLY was nothing short of expected. Although they dropped a match to FLY in Game 2, there is not much to discuss regarding their ability. C9 was put under serious scrutiny following their complete dismantling at the hands of 100T in the first round of playoffs. They needed to prove they could play through lanes other than top in their match against GG. And they did just that.
EG, on the other hand, had already demonstrated what many other teams and viewers had already speculated heavily about in their matchup against Team Liquid.
After repeatedly being touted as one of the scariest teams to scrim against in the regular season, EG had little to show for it prior to their TL matchup. They held 0-2 records against the top three teams (100T, C9, and TL) and finished the split with a 0.500 (9-9) record. Before their performance against TL, Evil Geniuses were not even in the finals picture.
However, after nearly beating the number one team in TL, EG have already proven themselves as a serious contender. Their series against FLY only reaffirmed that. Their loss in game two came off of a failed base race. After nearly winning the match three minutes prior and coming back from a 12,000 gold lead held by FlyQuest, FLY Kumo teleported into EG’s base and destroyed the nexus before any of EG’s carries could get back to stop him. The game could have easily gone in EG’s favor.
Regardless, the top four teams in the spring split are all that remain in the playoffs. With both TL and 100T duking it out on Saturday, one of them is guaranteed to make a finals appearance. C9 and EG, on the other hand, will fight each other to remain in the playoffs. The winner will have to win another match to even make it to the finals, while the loser will go home empty-handed.
Tune in next week for the most exciting matchups of the Spring season.