2018 NA LCS WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS — Part 1

The schedule for the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series has been revealed and the 10 teams that are now part of the league are getting ready to show off their brand new rosters this year. Today, we’re taking a look at matches taking place on the very first day of the NA LCS, Saturday, January 20, and coming up with solid predictions of how the league will be looking early this year in eSports.

 Team Liquid vs. TSM

Despite being known for spending money unwisely when it comes to rosters, Team Liquid has gathered what could possibly their best roster in NA LCS history, featuring jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park among other top talents. Even TSM’s founder, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, has stated that Liquid is likely to do extremely well early in the split. On the other hand, TSM’s current roster is pretty much a western all-star team featuring their fresh new imports in Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez. We got to see a bit of what the TSM roster could look like at the 2017 All-Stars event where the NA lineup had 3 of TSM’s current players and their current coach, Kim “Ssong” Song-Soo. Admittedly, Mike “MikeYeung” Yeung didn’t look as sharp as he did during the 2017 summer split and considering that the league is now running a Best-of-1 format, it is very likely that Team Liquid with start things off with a powerful upset over fan-favorite TSM.

Date: January 20, 2018, 5:00 PM ET
Stream: Twitch.tv/nalcs1
Prediction: Team Liquid

100 Thieves vs. OpTic Gaming

Two new teams will follow up day 1 action as Nadeshot’s 100 Thieves faces their natural rivals in OpTic Gaming. While 100 Thieves have gathered some top talent and players with a lot to prove, OpTic Gaming seems to be lacking when compared to the rest of the league. Keep an eye out for Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage who could possibly pop off and carry OpTic to victory in this match. Otherwise, 100T’s high-octane bottom lane in Cody “CodySun” Sun and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black is sure to stop the green wall’s dream of taking their first win on day 1.

Date: January 20, 2018, 6:00 PM ET
Stream: Twitch.tv/nalcs1
Prediction: 100 Thieves

Clutch Gaming vs. Golden Guardians

Okay, we have to give it to Riot for this schedule. It’s spectacular. The third game of the day is the Houston Rockets-operated Clutch Gaming going up against the Golden State Warriors-operated Golden Guardians. Two teams with strong affiliations to the NBA extending their traditional sports proto-rivalry onto the rift is more than anyone could have asked for. Now the question is, who’s taking the first win in what is sure to be a long-lasting rivalry? Most definitely Clutch Gaming. Not only is their roster far superior, but their staff has proven time and time again to be taking spring split extremely serious. Golden Guardians are definitely going long-term with what they’ve put together in terms of roster and coaching staff. Either that or they got out-scouted by other teams in the league. Whatever the case may be, trust Clutch to whitewash the Guardians here.

Date: January 20, 2018, 7:00 PM ET
Stream: Twitch.tv/nalcs1
Prediction: Clutch Gaming

Echo Fox vs. FlyQuest

Rick Fox’s own Echo Fox has done a better job with their roster this year than ever before but it still looks subpar when compared to other lineups in the league. Luckily for the foxes, their day 1 opponent in FlyQuest doesn’t have a great roster either. Both of these teams look like middle-of-the-pack squads who might pull an upset here and there but we’re giving this one to the sheer power that Heo “Huni” Seung-Hoon, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, and Johnny “Altec” Ru provide Echo Fox. If any of these players have a successful laning phase, it seems very likely that they can shut down FlyQuest early.

Date: January 20, 2018, 8:00 PM ET
Stream: Twitch.tv/nalcs1
Prediction: Echo Fox

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud9

The battle of the blues closes out day 1 of the 2018 NA LCS spring split. Both of these rosters are actually pretty good and will surely come strong out of the gates. Our main concern for CLG is that C9 has many advantages on the matchup. For starters, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Andy “Smoothie” Ta have been working together for a while now and should easily overcome Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang in the bottom lane. Second of all, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen is coming into the league with a lot to prove and a victory over Kim “Reignover” Yeu-Jin and CLG would definitely be a perfect start for him. Pay close attention to the top lane where Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya could easily take over and snowball in favor of CLG, but other than that, Cloud9 is likely to come out victorious.

Date: January 20, 2018, 9:00 PM ET
Stream: Twitch.tv/nalcs1
Prediction: Cloud9

Day 1 is sure to be an amazing demonstration of competitive League of Legends but keep in mind that the following day brings us 5 more matches to look out for and some of them are equally as good. We’ll take a look at those encounters in part 2 of this article. Until then, enjoy the rift!