2017 NA LCS Sprint Split: Quarterfinals
This past weekend marked the launch of the NA LCS Spring playoffs. It featured two best of five series, in which teams competed for the opportunity to advance to the semifinals. Let’s look at the games and see how the teams fared.
Phoenix 1 vs. Team Dignitas
P1 came into this series as the clear forerunners. DIG managed to secure a place in the playoffs, but their struggles and inconsistencies left a lot of questions in regards to their performance. Those concerns were unfortunately solidified, as P1 swept them 3-0 in the series.
Of the three matches, only the first showed any real promise of going in DIG’s favor. They showed some of their strongest playmaking, but ultimately, it didn’t end in their favor. After taking the loss in game one, DIG seemed to have lost their stride, as P1 severely crushed them in games two and three of the series.
This sends P1 on a collision course with Cloud 9. After being soundly defeated in the final week of the split, P1 will have to step up their game to compete with the stronger team. One of their biggest strengths is in the return of Inori at jungle, but against C9, they can also sub Meteos to battle against his former team. On the flip side of that equation, C9 may also opt to sub in Ray in the top lane, who is a lot more aggressive, but not as polished, as the former world champion, Impact.
In any case, P1 will be entering the next series as the clear underdogs. They will have to work hard to advance, but only time will tell if they had what it takes to reach the finals.
Flyquest vs. Counter Logic Gaming
Fans and analysts alike speculated how this series would turn out. Both teams are well known for their decisive shot calling, but Flyquest took a hit due to the risky nature of Hai’s calls. To their credit, however, they also suspected that his shot calling would be exhausting to play a long series against, which might help them in the long run.
After two brutal matches, Flyquest dug in and delivered a reverse sweep, defeating CLG 3-2. Flyquest made several mistakes, such as allowing Huhi to run wild on Aurelion Sol in game one, which gave CLG a decisive win. They made more mistakes in game two, which also cost them a series. In game three, however, Flyquest came out with a vengeance, and delivered some payback of their own. For the rest of the series, Hai and Moon set up a lot of plays and helped to turn fights to their favor.
With their victory over CLG, Flyquest now find themselves in the crosshairs of TSM. Not only are they the #1 ranked team in the NA LCS, they are also well known for their playoff record. Flyquest enters the next stage of the playoff tournament at a significant disadvantage, as they are competing against some of the best laners the NA LCS has to offer.
Flyquest has two hopes to work to their advantage. First, given that TSM is a very meta based team, FLY can try to capitalize on that catch TSM off guard with flex picks. Second, TSM hasn’t shown the decisive bot lane this split without Doublelift as their ADC. Wildturtle has done well, but their bot lane duo isn’t as polished. If Flyquest uses that, it could give them some wins.
With the finals growing nearer, we are down to only four teams competing for the championship. Though it seems likely to see a TSM/ C9 final, it would be foolish, at this point, to underestimate P1 or Flyquest. In fact, if either team rises to the occasion, a new team could find themselves securing the championship, which would be a great morale boost to new teams entering the LCS in the coming seasons.