The LCS 2019 Spring Split starts on January 27 with the thrilling Team Liquid vs Cloud9 matchup! Can the reigning LCS champions stand up to the 2018 Worlds semifinalists? If Team Liquid’s off-season roster changes are of any indication, they’re certainly going to try. In the past, they lived and died by their bot lane, but they’ve since evolved into an explosive multi-threat lineup. Combine that with the sheer amount of competitive experience on this roster, and Team Liquid present a massive challenge to just about any League of Legends squad in North America.
Of course, Cloud9 are no pushover either. Their 2018 World Championship run cemented them as the strongest team in North America, as they’ve fully embraced the high-tempo carry meta. They also enjoy the benefit of having one of the craftiest pick/ban phases in the league, making them very tricky to face in the draft. However, the loss of Jensen will definitely be noticeable, and it remains to be seen whether Cloud9 can perform on the same level without their superstar mid laner.
Team Liquid vs Cloud9 Match Breakdown
Top Lane Matchup
If there’s one thing you can say about TL Impact, it’s that he’s always been rock-solid. No matter how hard he’s targeted by the enemy team, he always finds a way to hold his own in lane and make his presence known in teamfights and skirmishes. That said, the carry-oriented meta doesn’t suit him. And while Impact has a couple of aggressive picks in his arsenal, he performs much better on tanks and bruiser.
Meanwhile, C9 Licorice couldn’t be happier with the current state of the game. His champion pool is as wide as an ocean and, despite being a relatively new player, he has the skill to put most veterans to shame. Combine that with Cloud9’s tendency to play around the solo lanes, and Licorice is already looking set to overtake his top lane opponent in this Team Liquid vs Cloud9 LCS match.
VERDICT: C9 Licorice secures a lead in the top lane.
TL Xmithie is the living proof that knowledge and experience trump talent. His success doesn’t come from mechanical prowess or spectacular outplays. Instead, Xmithie is one of the smartest junglers in the LCS, and he’s made a name for himself by outmaneuvering his foes around the map and appearing in the right place and at the right time.
C9 Svenskeren is his polar opposite. It wasn’t long ago that he was considered a giant question mark, and his aggressive playstyle was seen as brash and inefficient. His time on Cloud9 has shifted this perception. Nowadays, Svenskeren routinely overwhelms his opponents with relentless ganks and never-ending ganks, and even someone as deft as Xmithie will have a hard time avoiding him.
VERDICT: C9 Svenskeren reigns supreme in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
The mid lane will be the tipping point of this Team Liquid vs Cloud9 match. TL Jensen is about to come up against his old teammates, and he isn’t going to make it easy on them. His razor-sharp mechanics already make Jensen a force to be reckoned with, but it’s his natural game sense and vast champion pool that really push him into a league of his own.
Cloud9 have a duo of mid laners to oppose him. The first one—Goldenglue—has made brief appearances in the 2018 Summer Split, and while he had a couple of solid performances on Malzahar, he doesn’t have much else to show for his efforts. The other mid laner—Nisqy—is more interesting. Hailing all the way from Europe, he established himself as a clutch player that’s particularly fearsome on mages and AP assassins. Still, neither of them has the skill set to oppose the monster that is Jensen.
VERDICT: TL Jensen takes over the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
The bot lane follows a similar narrative. Team Liquid’s Doublelift is renowned for being the best marksman in the region, and his exceptional mechanics and relentless aggression instill fear into the hearts of his opponents. He’s also supported by CoreJJ—a former World Champion with the perfect combination of skill and game knowledge to make his AD carry shine.
Cloud9’s bot lane isn’t as accomplished. Sneaky has always been up there with the best teamfighting marksmen, but his lane presence leaves a lot to be desired. And while Zeyzal had an explosive debut last year, his initiations and teamfight positioning are rough around the edges. That’s not to say Sneaky and Zeyzal are bad. On the contrary, they could give any other LCS bot lane a run for its money. But as far as the Team Liquid vs Cloud9 match goes, they will spend the majority of it on the back foot.
VERDICT: TL’s Doublelift and CoreJJ win the bot lane standoff.
Team Liquid vs Cloud9 LCS Match Prediction
Team Liquid hold the edge where it matters most—in the carry positions. Combine that with the fact that they’ve made sizeable roster upgrades while Cloud9 have parted ways with their star player, and the outcome of this match is all but decided. Our prediction is a convincing victory for Team Liquid!
You can bet on TL winning the Team Liquid vs Cloud9 match for odds of 1.41 at ArcaneBet.