As the NA LCS Spring Split Playoffs approached, the pairings would not be set until the final day of the split. A testament to the parity of the league, the playoffs are likely to bring many surprises and exciting matches. With many of the teams having inconsistent performances over the past few weeks, it is hard to predict for certain who will emerge victorious.
A key difference for the playoffs is the move to a best of five series. While two games may not appear to be a huge difference, we have seen multiple past series in NA where a team has gone down 2-0 only to storm back and take the series. This also gives an advantage to teams who are able to adapt as a series progresses, and disincentives surprise strategies that may only work for a single game. Teams that struggle in the beginning of series (ahem, TSM) should benefit greatly from the extended series of the playoffs.
Looking across the field, an argument can be made for multiple teams claiming the championship. Most of the teams in the field have found success against one another at some point in the split, and if they can recapture that formula, any team could beat the other. While there does seem to be a definite top tier of teams that includes Phoenix1, Cloud9, and TSM, do not be surprised if the surging Team Dignitas or the ever present Counter Logic Gaming make a deep playoff run:
NA Spring Split Playoff Predicitions
With the playoffs approaching, CLICKON eSports predicts how they will play out.
Over the final few weeks of the Spring Split, FlyQuest have looked to be a bottom tier team in the NA LCS. With a series against Counter Logic Gaming looming, FlyQuest's run in the spring playoffs will likely be short lived. After a hot start to their season, FlyQuest will need to regroup to avoid a similar fall next split.
5th/6th: Team Dignitas
A team that has surged in recent weeks as their team chemistry has finally come together, Dignitas received an unfortunate draw facing Phoenix1 in the first round of the playoffs. While this should be a close and exciting series, Dignitas' continued inability to close games will likely cost them the series. Still, there are many positives moving forward for Dignitas, making them a very dangerous team for the summer.
4th: Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming is a team that always seems to play to the level of their opponent, a frustrating trait many of their members have commented upon. Coming into the spring playoffs, CLG have had a decent season that should lead them to an easy series victory over FlyQuest in their first series. Against their traditional rival TSM in the next round, it is hard to see them being able to find success over a five game series.
After a strong start to their season, early game issues have plagued Cloud9 over the past few weeks of their split. The most exciting potential match-up of the playoffs could be a series between Cloud9 and Phoenix1, a series that could go either way. After a razor thin loss to Phoenix1, expect Cloud9 to bounce back with a strong showing against CLG to secure third place.
Before stumbling in the last week of the split, Phoenix1 looked like a team that might challenge for the Spring Split crown. With the most difficult path to the championship ahead of them, Phoenix1 will be tested against both Dignitas and Cloud9. With TSM looming in the finals, Phoenix1 will likely come up just short of their first championship.
1st: Team SoloMid
After a few early struggles, Team SoloMid has once again reclaimed their place atop the NA LCS. While they have struggled early in series, TSM is a team who adapts well and is very talented across multiple lanes. In a best of five, no team will be able to stop TSM from securing another split championship.