Team Liquid vs Cloud9
This is where things get spicy — for better *and* worse. Which of these two teams will emerge victorious is nigh impossible to predict. They're both phenomenal and downright mediocre both at the same time. It really depends on the day and their preparation. We know what they're capable of (greatness, in short), but they haven't been performing all that well ever since the Summer Split began.
In the case of Team Liquid, it's easy to understand why: internal struggles and absolute chaos behind the scenes. Without Alphari and Santorin, they're a pale shadow of their former selves. They're still a capable challenger, mind you, and pretty much a shoo-in for Top 3, but that speaks more about the North American LCS than it does about Team Liquid. Moreover, Jenkins and Armao have definitely delivered and are by no means unworthy of sporting TL's legendary emblem. In fact, they've performed incredibly well thus far, given the circumstances, so credit where credit is due. Team Liquid are unfortunately riding a two-game losing streak, so it's not like they're the hottest team around.
Cloud9, on the other hand, had struggled even more than TL, but have looked a lot better lately every since they've decided to incorporate Zven back into the starting line-up. They're still nowhere near as good as they were back in Spring, but they still have more than enough time to correct course and leave a mark in the grand scheme of things.
So all of this begs the question: will they be able to take down TL? No one knows, and there are no guarantees whatsoever. You could make a case for both teams, but they're so darn volatile and inconsistent that it'll really boil down to the draft and early game execution. Cloud9 are favored, but they're all that much better than TL, if they're even better at all. As previously mentioned, Liquid have lost their last two games, but it was against 100 Thieves and Team SoloMid, so they have nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the contrary, in fact. One could argue that they played a lot better than expected given the circumstances, so they are by no means a pushover. In the end, though, we'll side with Cloud9 and hope for the best. They have all of their intended starting players, and even though most of them haven't been performing all that well, they should still be more than capable enough to get the "W" tonight — assuming they put their best foot forward and execute to the best of their ability.