Cloud9 will face off against Team Liquid in the opening game of the 2019 LCS Spring Split. The last time these teams met was in the 2018 NA LCS Summer Finals at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. The series was a dominant 3-0 sweep from Team Liquid, who retained its domestic crown with ease.
Since then, Team Liquid has only gotten stronger, adding former Gen.G Support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-In to form the mostfearsome Bot Lane in the west with Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng. Cloud9 Mid Laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen shocked fans of both teams by defecting to TL, seeking domestic success that has eluded him for the entirety of his career.
Cloud9 replaced Jensen with Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer. Nisqy, originally known for strong performances in the EU Challenger Series on Fnatic Academy, made his debut in the 2017 NA LCS Summer Split with Team NV. After spending the past year playing Mid Lane for Splyce in the 2018 EU LCS, Nisqy was the obvious candidate to replace Jensen.
All signs on paper point towards an advantage for Team Liquid, but there are a few important factors to consider regarding the timing of this match. Cloud9 may have downgraded individually in the Mid Lane, but their core and overall playstyle has remained intact.
Team Liquid has the highest ceiling of any team in North America, but has added two new players. The amount of time it can take for a team to gel, especially when a team is formed by established veterans, can often lead to slow starts in the Spring Split. These slow starts can often be emphasized by the Best of 1 format in the LCS, which allows teams less time to develop synergy on stage when compared to the Best of 3 format in the LPL or LCK.
Team Liquid should hold the top spot in the LCS by the end of the spring split. As far as tomorrow is concerned, Cloud9 should come in far more comfortably and have little issue besting the recently formed Team Liquid.
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