100 Thieves vs CLG
For our second match of the day we have a rather interesting clash between the second-placed Counter Logic Gaming, and the unlikeliest of challengers in 100 Thieves. No one expected this to be a premier match/up just mere weeks ago, and yet we're here.
Now, to be fair, "premier" might be stretching it a bit, but it's still a game that's, by all means, worthy of your time.
Both of these two teams are sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum. 100 Thieves isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they're in a dire situation, to say the least. They're currently sitting at a rather acceptable 7W-10L record. This win/loss tally isn't bad by any means, but seeing how we're currently on the brink of the very last day of the regular portion of the split, they're kind of praying for a Hail Mary.
Three teams are ranked above them, and all three have a slightly better record. They're not better by much, but just a single win or loss can end up being the deciding factor. In short, a lot has to go right for the 100 Thieves squad in order for them to get into the Top 6 and, by proxy, the playoffs. There's still a chance (mathematically speaking), but it's definitely not a big one.
All they can do, at this point in time, is fight their hearts out and win against Counter Logic Gaming. After that, they can only sit back and hope for the best.
Counter Logic Gaming, on the other hand, quickly rose to the very pantheon of the North American region. They're by no means perfect, but they don't need to be. They're very flexible and capable on every stage of the game. Furthermore, they're unexpectedly good at multiple different strategies and team comps. You just don't expect such versatility from Counter Logic Gaming at this point in time. They've been so mediocre for so long that no one expected... Well, anything from the former LCS champions. Too much time has passed for them to have any semblance of hype and momentum, and they've actually managed to turn things around when everyone least expected it.
How high they will eventually climb still remains to be seen, but they're a bona fide contender and they're only getting better with time. They might not exactly dethrone Team Liquid, but there's a good chance they can lock down a ticket to the World Championship if they continue developing in such a positive way.
All of that said, 100 Thieves lack the strength and grit which are necessary in order to tango with the very best. They might do some damage, make things somewhat competitive, but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, they're sentenced to being a mid-tier gatekeeper. Their abysmal start to the split was too monumental, and they're bearing the consequences. Had they started just a bit better, things would have been different. In the end, it just wasn't meant to be.
Counter Logic Gaming shouldn't have too big of a problem in taking 100 Thieves down. They need this win in order to lock down a playoff bye and you can expect them to fight until they're the only ones left standing. They have all the right tools in order to emerge victorious and should be more than capable of outclassing 100 Thieves from the very get-go.