Cloud9 vs. 100 Thieves is at once both the most hype match-up of the 2022 LCS Spring Split playoffs and the most frustrating. Predictions for it will surely be all over the place and, well, we’re not quite sure what to think or whom to favor.
For weeks on end, Cloud9 were atop the North American region, seemingly unassailable and towering over their less capable peers. The things they did and the plays they made blew our minds. There’s no other way to say it. They could do no wrong, it felt like.
The fashion in which they were demolished by 100 Thieves took us all by surprise and, frankly, we’re still somewhat shellshocked from the whole ordeal. They were blown out of the water, outclassed, outgunned, just flat-out destroyed by a team obviously far more capable and adept at the game. Their subsequent loss to FlyQuest only further added insult to injury.
Cloud9 have actually lost three of their last five games. That’s… incredibly worrying, to say the least.
What exactly occurred and whether they’ll be able to correct course still remains to be seen, but we’re not all that optimistic.
What a tremendous fall from grace, and most unexpected one, too. And so we cannot help but wonder: was this just a one-off thing? Or, perhaps, a sign of what’s to come? A dramatic foretelling of their impending downfall?
We’ll find out soon enough.
A Clash of Equals
This clash could really go either way. Of that much we’re certain and that’s frankly the only thing we’re certain of. We simply don’t know what’s happening at the moment, behind the scenes; we don’t know how well they’re practicing, whether or not they have a good enough read on the meta, whether they’re motivated or have, conversely, lost a bit of steam.
Had you asked us a mere three weeks ago how this Best of 5 would’ve panned out, we would have sided with Cloud9 without any hesitation whatsoever. But so much has changed in the intervening weeks.
They are no longer considered the best team in North America, nor is anyone really expecting them to claim the LCS throne. Their most recent losses have been that dramatic and have, naturally, created a ton of lingering doubt.
They’re still astonishingly talented, mind you, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that their stock took a pretty big dive. A gargantuan one, in fact.
A Wholly Fascinating Match-Up
Park “Summit” Woo-tae has been their most important catalyst, but his last few performances have been pretty darn dreadful. Heck, one could argue that he’s been somewhat “figured out.” He’s a “feast or famine” kind of player, and it seems that the other shoe has finally dropped.
Summit, when forced off his comfort picks and matched up against a tank, is nowhere near as dominant as we’ve come to expect. His aggressiveness, too, ends up making him vulnerable and wholly susceptible to ganks.
He’s still an absolute behemoth, mind you, but so is Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho. We can also say the same for Blaber and Can “Closer” Çelik, too. These four players are all in the running for the highly coveted MVP award.
100 Thieves, however, have what many consider as the best and most dominant bottom lane duo in North America — or, at worst, Top 2, second only to Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in. They haven’t been as commanding as we thought they’d be, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with and are surely motivated beyond measure to find a bit of redemption and once again etch their names in the history books.
The reason why we’re mentioning this is rather simple and yet wholly vital: 100 Thieves have more tools to work with and more potential avenues for success. They might not be as flexible or versatile as Cloud9 (or, perhaps, motivated), but they have been a lot more consistent lately, and that’s something worth keeping in mind.
The defending champions have won seven of their last eight games and that, while not necessarily a surefire indication of their might and prowess, still means something. And, well, they’ve successfully picked up steam as the split progressed and are currently in top form — not as good as we thought they’d be, granted, but not far off either.
Are they better than Cloud9, though? That’s the million dollar question and, frankly, you could really argue both ways.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 29, 2022
2022 LCS Playoffs Betting | Cloud9 vs. 100 Thieves Predictions — Reasons to Watch
No matter who ends up winning, a skirmish-heavy spectacle is all but guaranteed. This series will probably go the five-game distance, too — we simply cannot envision a world in which either of these two stomps the other; they’re simply too capable for it to be a blowout.
Both of them are incredibly capable but also mighty flawed, too, and it’ll all boil down to the way they draft and execute in the early game. 100 Thieves do have more tools to work with, so we’ll give them the nod on this one and hope for the best.
We might be blinded by a bad case of recency bias, but betting on Cloud9 after their most shocking regression simply wouldn’t feel right.