NA LCS tiebreaker Monday: A 4-way fight for playoff seeding

Playoff seeding in the NA LCS has been determined.

Photo via Riot Games

Echo Fox, TSM, 100 Thieves, and FlyQuest went head-to-head today to determine their seeding in the NA LCS Summer Split playoffs, which begin this weekend.

The competition is fierce, but there isn’t terribly much on the line. These four teams are caught up in a four-way tie for third place, which means they aren’t competing for a bye in the first round of knockouts or any remaining playoff spot. These games will simply determine their final spot in the standings of the regular season, as well as who they’ll face in the quarterfinals.

TSM’s momentum isn’t enough to beat Echo Fox

For the final few weeks of the regular season, TSM appeared ready to return to their roots as a top-tier team. After a horrible start to the split, they managed to build up some serious momentum heading into today’s tiebreaker game. Unfortunately for them, Echo Fox routed them throughout most of the game today.

Echo Fox, who have played below expectations lately, needed this win. Although this win doesn’t get them much, with their extremely poor performances recently, it’s a much-needed reminder that they can still play the game well heading into the postseason. TSM picked a highly-reactive team comp full of global ultimates on Ryze, Ashe, Tahm Kench, and Nocturne. Echo Fox’s strategy was blow up TSM players too fast for those global ults to even come into play, with high-damage champions like Cassiopeia, Rumble, Varus, and Trundle.

A lot of zone control and even more damage bled TSM dry too fast for them to wait around to react, and Echo Fox took the win. With that, Echo Fox move onto the top-four battle, which will be the fourth game of the night.

100 Thieves do the 100 Thieves thing

Since 100 Thieves’ inception as a team at the start of the 2018 Spring Split, their core strength has been their late-game power. Their roster is loaded with veterans in the mid, top, and bot lane, and they heavily rely on their instincts and experience during huge teamfights. Using that, they’ve come back from more deficits in-game than any other team in the league so far, winning most of their games after losing the early game and pulling together and out-maneuvering the enemy later.

Today’s game went just like that against FlyQuest. Fly had the game pinned down throughout the first 15 or so minutes, and it wasn’t until later, when Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho popped off (as he often does), that they were able to mount the comeback. The only worry moving forward is that 100T might not be able to utilize this strategy against a team that also favors the late-game, like Liquid or TSM, despite it working for them so many times before.

With this win, 100T will face Echo Fox for the third-place seed during the last game of the night.

TSM lock in the fifth seed

In the loser’s match of today’s four-way tiebreaker, TSM tossed aside FlyQuest to secure the fifth seed. With this win, they’ll face the loser of Echo Fox vs. 100 Thieves. In theory, that means they’ll have the easier game of the quarterfinals, but with how this season has gone so far, everyone seems to be perfectly capable of beating any other team. At the end of the season, that still seems to be true for the four teams playing today, so it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference who they faced in the quarterfinals.

Earlier today, TSM tried a reactive global-style team comp. That didn’t work very well, so they adjusted to a much more proactive style of comp in their game against Fly. They still had global(ish) ults on Tahm Kench and Ryze to be reactive if they needed to be, but more aggressive picks like LeBlanc and Trundle allowed them to force their own plays more often instead. At the end of the game, they had racked up an absolutely massive gold lead and total control of the map. FlyQuest have played well at the end of the split, but TSM were ready for them. Fly will play in the quarterfinals against the winner of Echo Fox vs. 100T.

Remember what we said earlier about 100 Thieves?

As if part of a perfect script, 100 Thieves did exactly what we said they loved to do against FlyQuest earlier today. They actually scraped together some early objectives and kills, but Echo Fox still pulled ahead of them during the mid-game. 100 Thieves actually fell pretty far behind, but because they’re 100 Thieves, they managed to force some fantastic plays as Echo Fox knocked on their base that allowed them to make key kills and eventually take a Baron.

As 100T climbed back into a lead once more, Echo Fox started to get desperate. They forced the Elder Dragon around 36 minutes shortly after getting dismantled by 100T in the Baron pit, and although Echo Fox actually managed to nab the dragon, 100T just cleaned them off the map right after. 100T bot lane carry Cody Sun earned an impactful Pentakill, and the rest was history. With this victory, 100T have landed a third-place finish for the regular season and a favorable seeding in the quarterfinals.