The 2021 LCS Lock-In semifinals are right around the corner which means that a couple of predictions are in order — this time we’ll focus on Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses! Now, coming into 2021, you’d be excused if you thought that a fight between these two teams wouldn’t amount to much. After all, Evil Geniuses fell off a cliff performance-wise as 2020 went along, and it didn’t seem like they stood much of a chance of ever correcting course. But ever since the 2021 LCS Lock-In tournament began, they quickly rose to prominence and made the region take notice. It only took them a couple of games to send a clear and concise message: they are not to be trifled with.
And they started things off with a one-sided beatdown of Cloud9 — the one team many folks considered as the biggest favorite to win the 2021 LCS Spring Split, including the first-ever Lock-In tournament. That kind of win is what you need to get people’s attention. Simply put, Evil Geniuses performed way above expectations. And, to make things even better, their wins weren’t flukes or any kind of flash in the pan. Instead, they just “clicked” in the best possible way. They’re not exactly the most stacked line-up in the LCS, but they’re far more cohesive than anyone expected, and they’re fighting for every inch of the Summoner’s Rift with baffling amounts of vigor.
Whether they should be deemed as a Top 3 team or not is a question for another time and place, but you could definitely make a case. Opposite them, however, stands a team that’s stacked with record amounts of talent and potential — Team Liquid. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most potent line-up ever assembled on North American soil and, well, they’re all but guaranteed to leave a mark.
Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses Predictions
Based on what we’ve seen from TL thus far, it’s impossible to consider them anything less than a frontrunner to win the whole split. And sure, they might not be better than 100 Thieves at this point in time, but they’re not far-off either. In fact, the gap between them could easily shrink in just a couple of weeks’ time. After all, this version of TL has only been playing together for mere days so it’ll take a bit of time before they can synergize and get on the same page. Once that happens, though, we’ll have to consider them as the absolute favorite based on name value, experience, and sheer talent.
Now, these two teams have vastly different playstyles. Team Liquid is like the LCK giant of yore — macro-oriented, somewhat slow (depending on the team comp), and at times passive. They can, of course, trade heavy blows if it’s that kind of game, but they prefer doing things “by the book.” Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, prefer chaos — they revel in it. They don’t show constraint all often, and that’s good, especially in today’s meta. They’re confident, bravado-fuelled, and more than talented enough to go for crazy plays and actually pull them off. Of course, that kind of volatility is a double-edged sword, and they know it. When it works, they look like a bona fide titan. When it doesn’t, they’re nothing more than an inherently flawed challenger who’s throwing wild haymakers hoping to connect.
All of their players are performing exceptionally well, but it’s not like Team Liquid looked any worse. Far from it, actually. They’ve been dominating non-stop with the only exception being that one loss to 100 Thieves. Barney “Alphari” Morris, in particular, has been killing it in the top lane. Heck, he made Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho look like a scrub — he’s that good. And he’ll need to be that good if TL intends on containing Impact. The former SKT T1 alumnus has been dominant beyond measure lately, although most of it stems from his Renekton play — a champion that’ll surely be banned out. Either way, he’s hungry to prove himself and to take Team Liquid down. After all, he’ll be facing the man he was replaced with — how’s that for motivation?
If you’re into mouth-watering narratives and top-tier play, this Best of 5 is basically as good as it gets.
A Highly Competitive Affair
Predicting the outcome with confidence, therefore, is extremely hard if not impossible. Team Liquid is favored and there’s a very good reason why, but they’re not staggeringly better than EG at this point in time. They might have more weapons to work with but the gap between them isn’t as huge as most people think.
It feels as though Evil Geniuses sort of just took over the spot most of us expected Team SoloMid to land in.
Heck, you could even make a counter-argument and say that they’ve done a whole lot more than Cloud9 which would, indeed, slot them right behind 100 Thieves and Team Liquid, respectively. Either way, they’re a talented contender and they’ll surely start this Best of 5 off in an aggressive, highly confident manner. In the end, though, we’ll have to go with the former four-time LCS champions on this one as it’s the only logical option. They might not be perfect (especially not in the mid game), but they’ve done more than enough to warrant our trust.
Either way, this Bo5 should be an absolute barnburner, and you do not want to miss it!