Hey everyone, it's Toxin! I’ve been pretty busy lately with a lot of things IRL, but I’m here to give you a quick rundown of each of the playoff matchups in round one and who I think is going to win! Let’s get into the matchups! Twin Spirits (East 2nd) vs. Limitless Chaos (West 3rd)
For our first matchup, we have Twin Spirits taking on Limitless Chaos in what should be an intense series. On one hand, you have the 2nd Seed in the East Division, led by their fearless leader Vanquish Riv60 in the bot lane. On the other side is the 3rd Seed in the West Division, led by their solo laners Yung Natz and TheFireOfTheFox1. This definitely the tale of two cities, as both teams have vastly different playstyles and win conditions. For Limitless Chaos, this team is a mid centric team; they rely on TheFireOfTheFox1 to be ahead or else this team falls flat on its face. For Twin Spirits, the win con is in the bot lane with the dynamic duo of Vanquish Riv60 and Woo am I. If Riv gets ahead, he will carry the game, plain and simple. That being said, it’s not like the teams around these win cons are any slouches either. I think that Smittyeh and Emperor do a great job of getting early leads off of each other and transitioning that into the bot lane. At the same time I think that Yung Natz is a ticking time bomb in the top lane for Limitless Chaos that if you let him scale, he WILL win the game for you. I think this series comes down to who is able to utilize their carries better. For Twin Spirits to win, I think that their bot lane needs to show their supremacy early in the series. If they just sit back and try to avoid the lane phase, they will be playing into their opponent’s hand. I think they should be able to 2v2 kill their opponents if they put their mind to it, which will go a long way towards their victory. For Limitless Chaos to win, they need to play through their solo laners. I think that they have the better player in both lanes, and if Flatzoner can effectively get them leads, they will be able to shut down Riv60 in teamfights. However, if the bot lane snowballs out of control, I think that this team will find a hard time coming back. Prediction 3-1 Limitless Chaos Personally, I think that the win cons for Limitless are a lot easier to achieve than for Twin. Riv will win them a game but I think Natz will be a huge difference maker in the series.
Collective Cosmic (West 2nd Seed) vs. Trying for Third (East 3rd Seed)
In our next matchup, we have Collective Cosmic taking on Trying for Third. To be completely honest, this matchup is probably the most one sided of all the matchups in the playoffs. At the same time, I think there is a decent chance that there can be an upset here. First off, we have Collective Cosmic which, much like their name, is a collective effort. It seems like there really isn't a standout player on the roster in the sense that they all share time in the limelight. I would say that SayJoe tends to be the biggest carry on this roster, but both ADISHAWN and Habloufough have proven in some series to be able to carry as well. Then you have the newly renamed Trying for Third, which has a name change that already suggests that they don’t think they can win it all. The carry on this team is Feathers and Fur. Period. Feathers is a monster and was the main reason that their season turned around in the second half. This series will come down to the strength of Feathers’ back and the Collective’s ability to respect their opponents. I think that on paper, the Collective have multiple ways that they can choose to win this matchup. They can stick to their tried and true method of letting SayJoe get the kills and carrying the game. They also could work around bot lane pressure and win through dragons. I also think that with enough attention topside, they can shut down Feathers and make the series a cake walk. That being said, this team has also lost to a far worse team in Silverline this split by being overconfident and thinking they were getting a free win. Trying for Third can certainly take advantage of this and capitalize on this by counterganking or getting advantages topside that will allow Feathers to 1v9 this game. If they can win the first game, there’s a very strong chance that the Collective will start to tilt and beat themselves, leading to their downfall. Prediction: 3-0 Collective Cosmic Ultimately, I think that this matchup is pretty one sided. There’s a strong chance that this game ends in three quick victories for Collective and this series is the first one over in the night.
Oasis Nail and Day Spa (North 2nd Seed) vs. CB Royal (South 3rd Seed)
In what should be the streamed match of the week, we have Oasis NADS going up against CB Royal in a banger of a series. I think that these two teams are both evenly matched and this series should easily go to 5 games. For Oasis NADS, you have a powerhouse roster centered around the bot lane of ClassyTrux and Bliss. Sure this roster also plays around the innate synergy between Classykru and warhead852 and the dominance put forward in the mid lane by ClassyNatsu, but the major wincon for this team is their bot lane. Despite that, I think the area that this team really shines is in their macro decision making and their teamfighting. Individually, this roster doesn’t always seem to be the best in lane phase. But once you enter the mid game, there’s no other team that can take over an even game than Oasis. Their opponents are CB Royal, which can also be considered an upgraded version of the Goon Squad Sigma roster that made it to the semi-finals of ZGG. A lot of the players from that roster are the same, including Vandrahl, ThatDeckerGuy, and S10 Survivor. That being said, they instead have BTG as their new mid laner, which should be a huge upgrade. Personally, I think he should lead this team to reaching greater heights.
In this matchup, I think there are some very key matchups that need to be pointed out. Firstly, the most important matchup in this entire series is the mid lane matchup of ClassyNatsu versus BTG. We saw on stream in Week One what will happen if Natsu gets shut down early on; he was unable to really get back into the game and the game was lost very quickly afterwards. This seems to be the easiest way for CB Royal to win the series as they have one of the highest performing mid laners statistically in the league in BTG. If they can start Natsu onto the tilt train early on, I think the series will go favorably for them. On the flip side, I think that Oasis NADS should stick to their guns and attack the bot lane. On paper, the bot lane seems to be a weak point for CB Royal, mainly because I’m not sure who their starting adc will end up being, which plays directly into the wincon of Oasis. Let the top lane be a farm fest, help out Natsu when needed, and devote your time and attention towards the dragons and the bot lane. If Oasis can go even in their solo lanes, I think they are favored in this matchup. Prediction: 3-2 CB Royal Honest to god this matchup can go either way. I would give the bot lane advantage to Oasis, the mid lane advantage to BTG, and the top/jg matchups are relatively even. I think that this series may come down to whoever tilts out first. CB Royal is known to be a roster that will mental boom, as evidenced by their two major roster shake ups throughout the season, so if they lose two games in a row I fully expect them to lose the third. At the same time, I can definitely see Natsu tilting out of a series if he’s camped in multiple games in a row, which will turn the games into a 4v5. I think the more likely outcome is for Oasis to win, but I’m holding out hope that my team will face all three CB teams during the playoffs this split.
Crimson Dolphins (South 2nd Seed) vs. Imperial Gaming (North 3rd Seed)
This matchup between Crimson Dolphins and Imperial Gaming is another one where I think the games can be extremely interesting. The Crimson Dolphins are entering the BOL playoffs for the first time and have looked like the best team in the South for a majority of the season. The bot lane duo of Ablazxe and Frozxen has been a bright spot on this roster, completed by the overall dominance put forth by their top laner Synirr. What I'll find interesting heading into this series is if they will stick to their tried and true drafts despite their inconsistent results, or will they adapt to the team they are going up against? For Imperial Gaming, look no farther than HowIMetYourTable as the 1v9 champion of this roster. Keep him far away from Sivir, or the series might be over before you can blink. Surrounded by strong complimentary pieces in Actual Bird and Azurexfire, this roster looks like a contender on paper. What’s interesting about this matchup is that both teams play towards the same win conditions. Both teams play primarily around their AD Carries and their top laners, with the jungler and the support stuck on picks that can engage. I think that Imperial has a better chance of winning if they put their eggs in the HowIMetYourTable basket and camping bot lane. While the Dolphins’ duo has been strong, I think that Imperial X factor will prove to be too much for them to handle if played around. Speaking of the Dolphins, I think they should spend their time playing around their top laner. I think that 1v1, Synir is the better top laner of the two. If he gets a lead, I think that he can shut down Table in a mid game team fight and lead his team to success. Prediction: 3-2 Crimson Dolphins
One thing that really scares me about picking Imperial Gaming is that they can never just 2-0 a team. Every single week they either 2-1’d their opponent or they threw a series 1-2 after winning a game. On paper I think they are the better team, but with how coinflip this roster has been throughout the season, I can’t in good faith pick them to win. I think that the Dolphins will figure out what picks they will need to ban from Table and Actual Bird after one loss and turn the series around with two straight wins. Imperial Gaming will probably rally together to get one more win, but in a game 5 scenario I think the Dolphins take it home. Call me biased, but Dolphin SZN baby!