The first finalist for the 2021 LCS Championship will be decided between Team Liquid and 100 Thieves when the two North American giants clash in an intense best-of-five series this weekend.
Both teams have had great showings thus far in the playoffs, with Liquid having played two rounds already and winning convincingly against Cloud9 and TSM respectively. These two wins have been important for Liquid, a team that is suddenly looking like a completely new contender compared to in the regular split.
For 100 Thieves, the team qualified directly to round 2 of the upper bracket on the strength of its performance in the split. This means that it has only played one match so far, which was a win against Evil Geniuses in a nail-biting five-game series.
Moving into this match, it will really be about who can better carry the momentum from last week’s matches. Liquid will likely be the team that everyone is looking at, as taking down both C9 and TSM is a big accomplishment. In those matches, Liquid showcased incredible team play and that all five players were able to show up on a high individual level when it mattered.
The team has looked completely different after jungler Lukas “Santorin” Larsen returned to the roster after sitting out for a long period of time due to health issues. Now that Santorin is back, Liquid once again looks like a unit and plays that way. The bot lane has been very consistent so far for Liquid while mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen had some great performances against both C9 and TSM.
This will make the match hard for 100 Thieves, despite the team coming into the playoffs as the second seed. Even though 100 Thieves beat a solid EG roster, there were some cracks in 100 Thieves’ armor that can be exploited. Right now, it seems that 100 Thieves needs a bit more star power in some of its games even though the team play is usually on point.
Jungler Can “Closer” Çelik has been a great and reliable facilitator for 100 Thieves and has some champions he can pop off on. If Closer gets some of those comfort picks, he might be the player that can step it up for 100 Thieves and help take down a giant like Liquid. If not, then it’s hard to see where a big carry performance would come from for 100T.
It’s clear that 100 Thieves has the ability to win this match, but it will be hard if Liquid shows up as strong as it did against C9 and TSM.
Team Liquid vs. 100 Thieves rosters
Team Liquid roster:
- Top – Barney “Alphari” Morris
- Jungle – Lucas “Santorin” Larsen
- Mid – Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen
- Bot – Edward “Tactical” Ra
- Support – Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in
100 Thieves roster:
- Top – Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
- Jungle – Can “Closer” Çelik
- Mid – Felix “Abbedagge” Braun
- Bot – Ian “FBI” Huang
- Support – Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun
Predicting a close match between Team Liquid and 100 Thieves
Based on recent performance, there is no doubt that Team Liquid will enter this match as the favorite over 100 Thieves. This could be a good thing for Liquid, a squad that has been very impressive so far this playoff, but it could also be dangerous as pressure will suddenly be on the backs of the Liquid players. That hasn’t been the case for most of this split.
100 Thieves might be able to utilize being an underdog to pull out an upset. Until the teams hit Summoner’s Rift, the safe option will likely be to bet on Liquid, but it could be a close series.
Being slightly favored according to the bookmakers, Liquid will give odds 1.74 for winning while a win for 100 Thieves gives odds of 1.96. With how the teams have been playing so far, fans could be looking at another five-game banger.
The match for a spot in the final between Team Liquid and 100 Thieves takes place on Saturday, August 21.