With the signing of Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, Cloud9 now features the most talented top laner in the NA LCS. Since his arrival, he has proved himself to be a solid replacement for Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. Some even say that Licorice is a far better player than Impact. He has the numbers to show for it as he has been crucial in the revival of the team.
Meanwhile, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell of Team SoloMid, is the veteran top laner of North America. Hauntzer has seen slip-ups in his form but he has a solid showing in the competitive circuit. He has been in the playoffs on so many occasions and knows how to co-op under pressure.
Verdict: Hauntzer may have the more experience in these stages of the competition, but at the moment Licorice is at his best form and will secure the top lane for Cloud9.
After the departure of Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia from the Cloud9 roster, the side has failed to find a decent jungler, even though he also had a fair share of problems in his role. Cloud9 is not used to relying on the jungle. They get their wins from mid lane domination. However, the meta does not favor the mid and the team knows it. So they have to rely on Robert “Blaber” Huang, who in a short time has adjusted well to the team. He has shown time and time again that the team can rely on him.
TSM has a very rich history of playing around their junglers. But at the moment Jonathan “Grig” Armao is failing to succeed in this role. This is the reason behind the struggles of TSM at the beginning of the season. It is a big weak spot for the team and could see them losing their place in Worlds.
Verdict: We know that C9 does not usually rely on Blaber. However, even if the match falls on his shoulders, he is more than capable to propel his team to victory.
TSM may not have the best junglers at the moment, but they are extremely comfortable in mid. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg is the best mid laner in the history of the team. At the moment, he is arguably the best mid laner in the entire NA LCS. From Danish origins, Bjergsen has an exceptional record in his lane. He has come a long way to be the player he is today. His incredible dominance in the lane has led TSM to many NA LCS titles.
If there is one rival to Bjergsen in the NA LCS, then Jensen is the name. Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen also comes from Denmark and has caused problems for Bjergsen. Some attribute Jensen to being the best individually talented player of the NA LCS. However, in 2018, Jensen lacks consistent performances. Both Bjergsen and Jensen have had their ups and downs this season. Both were a bit more unreliable for their teams. He is a replacement for Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer and started his career at the Academy. He has come a long way since then and shows glimpses of his incredible skill set from time to time. Both Glodenglue and Jensen have shown potential and C9 rotates them to their liking. We will know on matchday which one of them will be playing for C9 in the series.
Verdict: TSM, with the services of Bjergsen, should dominate in this lane.
Cloud9 3 – 1 Team SoloMid
Cloud9 1.48 – 2.46 Team SoloMid
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