2021 League Championship Series Mid Season Showdown
The LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown replaces the Spring Playoffs of previous years. LCS champion will be crowned and will be sent to represent NA at the Mid-Season Invitational.
2021 League Championship Series Mid Season Showdown Betting Tips
Team Liquid (-1.5)
Team Liquid (-1.5)
Team SoloMid (-1.5)
The 2021 LCS Mid-Season Showdown is finally here and, by the looks of it, it’ll be one heck of a ride! Now, first things first, don’t fall prey to the marketing: this is quite literally the LCS Spring Split playoffs. Why Riot has decided to rebrand it — despite retaining its age-old structure — is anyone’s guess at this point. Still, we’re mere hours away from it commencing, and it’s hard not to get hyped for what’s to come!
The six best teams from the 2021 LCS Spring Split — Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, Dignitas, and Evil Geniuses — will all compete in the double elimination format. This means there’s an upper half of the bracket and a lower one as well.
You can check out the full bracket down below:
Team Liquid and Team SoloMid will first face off against each other, with Cloud9 and 100 Thieves taking the stage just a day later. The losers from both of these Best of 5s will then slot down into the lower half of the bracket and face off against Evil Geniuses and Dignitas, respectively.
How things will pan out is still impossible to predict with confidence. Team Liquid and Cloud9 are obviously favored, but that means very little given just how inconsistent all six teams have been throughout the regular portion of the split. Some, of course, were more dependable than others, but we’re still talking nuances here. Still, such volatility will undoubtedly result in a lot more entertaining Mid-Season Showdown — or so we hope, at least.
As the playoffs develop, we’ll update our preview accordingly so you’ll always have up-to-date information as to who’s favored and why.
For starters, let’s go over the four best teams as they’re the ones who’ll first take the stage!
1. Cloud9 [13W-5L]
The boys in white and blue have had quite a memorable Spring Split thus far. It was by no means perfect, but they still did more than enough to warrant a spot atop of the LCS. As a team, though, they’re somewhat of a mixed bag. Most of Cloud9 is downright amazing, but their new top laner — who just so happens to be a former OCE champion and Academy LCS standout — still isn’t pulling his weight. Or, conversely, he is, but in an entirely different way than most of us expected.
Fudge is not Licorice 2.0, and it’s hard to ascertain whether that was Cloud9’s plan all along, or if they’re just giving him a bit of leeway and room to grow and develop. Either way, he’s not going to dominate in lane nor will he blow anyone’s mind with sensational teamfighting. Instead, he’s serviceable — nothing more, nothing less. He can play weak side fairly well and is often being used as a sacrificial lamb to get Cloud9’s bottom lane duo ahead. If you’re expecting him to dominate his lane opponents, however, you’re bound to be left wanting.
He was outclassed and/or bested by nearly everyone he faced. So if there’s a huge point of weakness and a kink in Cloud9’s armor, it has to be the top lane.
Then again, the rest of the team is so darn amazing that it’s hard to criticize them — Blaber, in particular, has been dominant beyond measure and has single-handedly hardcarried Cloud9 to victory on more than one occasion. He’s an absolute jungling behemoth and will no doubt prove his worth yet again over the coming weeks. And it’s not like the rest of his team is slacking off either; Perkz has stepped up immensely after dropping the ball in the LCS Lock-In and is currently one of the best-performing mid laners in North America. It took him a while, but at least he finally delivered, to the delight of everyone involved. Plus, he’s bound to impress even further once the Best of 5 format comes around. That’s when Perkz shines brightest — once things go down to the wire, his resilience and ability to clutch things out are second-to-none.
Still, there is one team that Cloud9 has yet to beat, and that’s Team Liquid. Fortunately, they’re up against 100 Thieves first. That’s a pretty easy match-up when compared to the former four-time LCS champions, and Cloud9 shouldn’t have too big of a problem in taking them down. They’re better lane-for-lane and should, by all means, be able to outclass 100 Thieves without breaking much of a sweat.
2. Team SoloMid [12W-6L]
This perennial North American giant is nowhere near as easy to read as Cloud9, and we don’t mean that in a particularly good way. They’re inconsistent, both individually as well as a five-man unit. When they get on the same page and play to the best of their ability they’re definitely capable of trading blows with anyone in the region. But that doesn’t always happen, and there’s very little rhyme or reason as to when it happens. Sometimes they draft like a bunch of amateurs and force themselves into a corner even before spawning on the Summoner’s Rift. Other times they telegraph their each and every move which, in turn, allows the best teams in the world to capitalize and punish.
And the thing is, you never know what’ll happen before they step foot on stage. They’re still fairly inexperienced as a team and the fact that they’ve finished so high up the standings is nothing short of miraculous — but their biggest issues and inherent flaws cannot be ignored.
They’re also somewhat weak and pedestrian in the early game. They don’t want to fight much nor are they capable of eking out any noticeable advantages through the laning phase. Instead, they focus on the right objectives and fighting around their most important power spikes. And sure, that’s a perfectly logical way of playing the game but it’s also somewhat one-dimensional in nature. And, of course, it’s easy to read. You don’t have to think twice when it comes to how TSM want to play things out, and if they’re up against a versatile opponent, their tendencies can easily become the bane of their existence.
Still, there’s more than enough talent within their ranks and they’ve also improved far beyond what anyone expected in a staggeringly short amount of time. They’re practicing round the clock and the hard work is obviously paying off. Whether it’ll be enough in the grand scheme of things, however, still remains to be seen.
Will they be able to beat Team Liquid in the opening match of the Mid-Season Showdown? Probably not, but they’ll still pose a serious threat and could, potentially, make a comeback through the lower half of the bracket — much like they did last year in Summer. In any case, they should not be underestimated whatsoever.
3. Team Liquid [12W-6L]
Next up, we have none other than the four-time LCS champions Team Liquid. This line-up, in particular, needs no introduction. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most capable and talented group of players ever assembled on North American soil. They’re also the first-ever LCS Lock-In champions and are about as good and potent as expected.
Still, there is some trouble in paradise. Tactical, in particular, has been pretty dreadful overall — especially considering just how well he played last year and how good of a team he has around him. The mistakes he’s making? Inexcusable. He simply hasn’t been delivering and the fact that Liquid even managed to finish in the Top 3 without a well-performing marksman (in today’s meta) is a true testament to the talent and potential of his teammates — the ones who’ve been doing all the hardcarrying.
We have finally shifted from Best of 1s to Best of 5s which, in all fairness, should benefit Team Liquid the most. Their breadth of experience and downright mental staggering fortitude are unmatched. They can play a myriad of different styles and team comps and should, by all means, be considered as the biggest favorites coming into the 2021 Mid-Season Showdown.
If they take down TSM — arguably their most dangerous opponents from a stylistic standpoint — they shouldn’t have too much trouble in beating everyone else as well and ultimately hoisting the LCS trophy for the fifth time.
4. 100 Thieves [11W-7L]
Finally, to close things out, we have 100 Thieves. Just a couple of weeks ago, they were universally deemed as a shoo-in for Top 3. But that whole prediction didn’t last long. In fact, it barely lasted for just a couple of weeks before 100 Thieves imploded in the most random fashion imaginable. There’s just nothing to commend them for and nothing to praise seeing how they’ve regressed and deteriorated in every which way. Can they still pack a punch? Absolutely, but they’re nowhere near as capable or dangerous to truly compete with the three teams ranked above them.
They’re up against Cloud9 first which, for all intents and purposes, is a one-sided beatdown in the making. They might be able to make things a bit more competitive than most people expect, but sooner or later, they’ll make an egregious mistake and Cloud9 will punish them much like they always did throughout the regular portion of the split. They’re out of their depth and the problems they’re facing cannot be solved in a couple of weeks’ time. Instead, they should start focusing on the near future and what they can do to ensure a much more favorable position once the Summer Split comes along.
The road ahead of them is paved with uncertainty, but at least they’ll get a shot at redemption.
2021 LCS MSS | Losers' Bracket Preview
The 2021 Mid-Season Showdown continues as planned, and before us we have two fairly exciting Best of 5s — although nowhere near as momentous and important as those of last week. The Losers’ Bracket is rarely as enticing as the Winners’, and there’s a good reason why. Explaining such a reality feels pretty redundant, so we’ll carry on with our preview.
The first Best of 5 of the week does have a bit of potential, though. Evil Geniuses vs. Team SoloMid might not be the clash of titans we all yearn for, but it’s not half-bad either. In fact, there’s a very solid chance we’ll be entertained beyond measure, so there’s definitely a reason to tune in. The thing is, whenever a team competes in the lower half of the bracket, it tends to play without hesitation and reserve. That’s their one and only shot at leaving a mark, after all. If they fumble and fail now, then their Spring Split is quite literally over. They’ll pack their bags, go on a short vacation, and then reconvene right in time for the 2021 LCS Summer Split.
So, there’s quite a lot on the line, and all four teams competing in the Losers’ Bracket are aware of it as well. This means they’ll surely fight their hearts out and leave nothing to chance. Normally, these things result in quite entertaining League of Legends, so if you’ve got the time, make sure to tune in! You (almost certainly) won’t regret it!
6. Evil Geniuses [10W-8L]
This peculiar five-man line-up had quite a solid luxury this time around — they could observe and analyze their upcoming opponent Team SoloMid from afar, and have surely made good use of this reprieve of sorts. That’s arguably the only good thing about competing in the Losers’ Bracket: the fact that you get more time to prepare for just a single opponent. Evil Geniuses, while far from a top-tier behemoth, are better than most people think, and can definitely do a lot of damage — given that they prepare well and don’t implode at the most random moment imaginable.
That’s sort of been their schtick. It’s a comic routine, really, one that pairs perfectly with Benny Hill music. You never know what to expect nor how well they’ll perform. Heck, they don’t know either, it seems like. Some days they’ll dominate and blow everyone’s mind. Other days, however, they’ll fumble and fail in every conceivable fashion — which will also blow everyone's mind, albeit for all the wrong reasons.
Still, it’s hard not to tune in. It’s like when an accident happens — you can’t help but watch the chaos unfold no matter if you have the stomach for it or not.
Do they have a shot against Team SoloMid? Well, that depends on whom you ask. Some people will argue “yes” with others claiming it impossible. There are too many intangibles for us to actually predict with confidence. Both teams are as volatile as it gets and you never know whether or not they’ll deliver or implode on that given day. Fun? Absolutely? A nightmare for betting? You bet. (pun intended)
They’re both tied 1:1 in their head-to-head record, but that means very little in the grand scheme of things. The way Team SoloMid lost to Team Liquid certainly affected their overall stock (not to mention confidence), so it’ll be interesting to see if they have the resilience and mental fortitude to mount a comeback and pull off a solid run in the Losers’ Bracket. The odds certainly aren’t on their side, though, and Evil Geniuses will do their utmost to stop the boys in black and white from advancing.
If we had to make a prediction, we’d side with Evil Geniuses, although that’s always a double-edged sword. If Jiizuke comes to play and is given enough agency then sure — EG can definitely beat TSM without much issue. But we’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We know EG cannot sustain a high level of play for long, so it’ll all boil down to how well they’ve prepared and whether or not their players will deliver once it’s go-time.
5. Dignitas [11W-7L]
This ragtag group of players is still as impossible to read as ever. On the one hand, they feel like the cliché overperforming gatekeeper — you know the ones who go on an unexpected win streak, end up in the playoffs, and then implode at the first sign of trouble? It’s fair to assume that Dignitas is nothing more than one such specimen. Now, this isn’t necessarily all that bad. Pulling off such a thing requires talent, dedication, and a fair bit of talent. If it didn’t, everyone would be doing it.
Dignitas, by the looks of it, had three very capable “rookies” (or Academy standouts, to be more specific) and have paired them with the absolute perfect mentors: Dardoch and Aphromoo. Now, these two are by no means compatible with any run-of-the-mill Academy player, but they’ve managed to click supremely well with these three in particular and have, therefore, hit the ground running.
They all want to play the game out in the exact same fashion which, of course, results in some quite entertaining League of Legends. They’re aggressive, always willing to skirmish (for better or worse), and have more than enough mechanical prowess to back up any of their crazy ideas and engages. They’re not perfect, mind you, but they’re a feisty bunch, which is commendable, to say the least. No one gave them much thought coming into 2021, so to see them perform so darn well after such a short period of time is praiseworthy.
They’ll face 100 Thieves next which, in all fairness, isn’t all that stiff of a test. On the contrary, even. We haven’t seen Evil Geniuses or Dignitas in action thus far and yet it feels like they’re both better and more cohesive than 100 Thieves at this point in time. The way 100 Thieves got outclassed by Cloud9 was not a good look whatsoever. C9 made them look like a bunch of scrubs so it’s only natural that they lack any kind of hype or momentum coming into their Losers’ Bracket Best of 5.
But that, perhaps, is where the biggest — or most deceptive — problem lies. They’ve often been better than most of their peers, but they’re nowhere near as good to compete with the few teams ranked above them. So you watch them play against Cloud9, for instance, and think they’re absolutely dreadful. Then they take on someone who isn’t a shoo-in for the LCS Mid-Season Showdown finals and they look quite impressive. That’s what’s most confusing when it comes to 100 Thieves — they’re neither a top-tier team nor a gatekeeper, but something completely out of place, out of the hierarchy as we know it. They’ve also beaten Dignitas on both occasions throughout the regular portion of the split so it’s not like they’re unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Then again, they were far from landslide victories, and they came back when Damonte was still their starting mid laner, so take that as you wish.
This particular Best of 5 is truly a toss-up. There is no favorite whatsoever which means you’d be wise not to put your hard-earned money on the line. Both teams have an equal shot of emerging victorious and that, in short, is not what we want when it comes to betting. 100 Thieves might be slightly more favored on paper, but they’re by no means all that better than Dignitas — if they’re even better at all.
Updated Remarks — Team SoloMid [Lost to TL, 1-3]
Where does one even begin with Team SoloMid? It’s mighty hard given the fashion in which they just lost to Team Liquid. They’re a capable bunch, of that we’re all aware, but they just didn’t look all that good throughout that entire Best of 5, and it’s hard to give them our benefit of the doubt going forward. They are by no means the underdog in their match against Evil Geniuses, but their play leaves so much to be desired that no one should be overly surprised if they end up losing. It would certainly be an upset, but the writing’s on the wall, and it’s impossible not to mention it.
On the other hand, Evil Geniuses are by no means as layered a threat as Team Liquid. Their players aren’t as good — although, in all fairness, they’re not all that far off — and they have a much lower skill ceiling. Plus, they’ve been as inconsistent and volatile as humanly possible throughout the entire 2021 LCS Spring Split. Their fickle nature will surely creep up yet again in their Losers’ Bracket run, so it’s impossible to side with them without reserve, despite how bad and out of place Team SoloMid looked against the four-time LCS champions.
Finally, Team SoloMid have the tendency to bounce back after crushing defeats. That, in fact, is one of their biggest strengths and has allowed them to not only mount a comeback in the past but also grow and evolve as a five-man unit. They always go back to the drawing board, take their losses in stride, work on their issues, and come back stronger. Whether that’ll be enough to take down a very aggressive, bravado-fuelled Evil Geniuses still remains to be seen, but we’re inclined to think so. Although, in all fairness, you can never be too certain given just how wildly inconsistent both of these teams have been recently.
Updated Remarks — 100 Thieves [Lost to C9, 0-3]
If Team SoloMid looked bad or out of place against Team Liquid, then it’s fair to say that 100 Thieves got demolished by Cloud9. Heck, they couldn’t even come close to the boys in white and blue — it wasn’t even a competitive affair. Does this mean they’re “washed up” as certain members of the community are claiming? Well, not exactly. Losing to Cloud9 — arguably the front-runners to win the whole split or, at the very least, end up in Top 2 — is by no means something to be ashamed of. Heck, it was to be expected.
Still, given what we thought 100 Thieves could accomplish coming into 2021 and where they’re at right now, it’s impossible not to be disappointed. And, frankly, we’re putting things quite mildly here — they’re abysmal compared to what was expected of them at the start of the split. They are by no means a bottom-tier dweller but they’re just not good nor cohesive enough to compete at the highest of levels. Right now, as things stand, they’re more of a top-tier gatekeeper (if such a role even exists) than anything else which, in all fairness, isn’t all that bad of a position. It is, however, indicative of their long-term potential (or lack thereof), and the fact that they won’t be able to accomplish much in the grand scheme of things.
Whether they’ll beat Dignitas doesn’t even matter at this point, and they know it. They’re just not good enough to compete with the “big dogs” and there’s no way whatsoever they’ll be able to shore up their biggest weaknesses and mount a comeback — that’s just not in the cards.
It will be played on a Double-Elimination Bracket all matches are best-of-five series. The winner qualifies for the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.