Cloud9 and Team Liquid currently present an interesting case in terms of the LCS playoff race. The two teams are both near the top of the standings, yet neither had secured their spot in the LCS Championship bracket coming into today’s head-to-head game. Today, that playoff race got even closer, with Cloud9 dealing a significant blow to Liquid in a back-and-forth 37-minute thriller.
Liquid and Cloud9 came into today’s match sitting directly on top of one another in the LCS standings, with Liquid in third place before today’s match and C9 in fourth. The two teams above them in the standings, Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves, had both locked up their playoff berths, making C9 and Liquid the proverbial gatekeepers to the upper echelon of the standings.
C9 and Liquids’ close proximity on the league’s ladder gave today’s face-off extra playoff implications. Both squads only have five games remaining on their Summer Split schedules. Heading into those final two weeks, C9 and Liquid are now tied for third in the LCS following today’s game.
C9 and Liquid went blow-for-blow throughout the early-game of today’s contest, with neither team permitting the other to gain a significant lead in gold. Across the first 20 minutes of gameplay, neither team secured a gold lead of more than 1,200. It wasn’t until the 25-minute mark when C9 swept the map, claiming a Baron buff and Ocean Soul, while winning a two-for-zero teamfight shortly after. C9 continued to mount a lead in objectives throughout the game, taking all five dragons and both Barons, which in turn facilitated their gold advantage and eventual outright victory.
The last time C9 and Liquid played each other, C9 was forced to play with a fractured roster, as their bottom lane combination of Berserker and Zven was not present during the team’s week one loss to Liquid. Today, the two stars played a massive role in Cloud9’s victory. Together, they pooled their efforts together for a combined scoreline of 9/2/17. Berserker alone finished 8/0/6 on the day, while accounting for 21 percent of C9’s total damage.
Following today’s win, C9 have now won four games in a row. They’ll look to extend that streak next week when their schedule continues to heat up with more games against top-half playoff contenders in 100 Thieves and CLG.
Liquid will attempt to bounce back next week with a game against FlyQuest.