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Golden Guardians go into this match as the clear favorites, and we think it’s best to stick with a safe pick for this match. Golden Guardians were runners-up last season despite having an inconsistent league campaign; they haven’t had too many issues in the league this season.
In contrast, 100 Thieves were excellent in the league last season but incredibly poor in the playoffs; they don’t seem to have picked themselves up since getting knocked out early in the playoffs.
There isn’t a lot of value in picking Golden Guardians for this game, but nor is there much value in picking 100 Thieves. Golden Guardians have built a head of steam early in the season, and a patchy 100 Thieves don’t look like the sort of team that’s going to stop them in their tracks.
Something has changed within the Golden Guardians since their memorable run to the finals last season. Despite losing 3-1 to Cloud9 in the finals, their playoff run will live long in the memory of every LCS fan. They beat an in-from 100 Thieves 3-2, destroyed perennial achievers G2 Esports 3-0, and last season’s league leaders FlyQuest 3-2 in Round 3.
More importantly, they’ve used that experience and kicked on this season. They’re currently sitting in third place on the league table, but with a few wins, they could even go on top of the league table.
They know all about 100 Thieves after knocking them out last season, but they should keep in mind just how tight that game was; 100 Thieves aren’t in the best of form currently, but there isn’t a massive gulf in quality between the two sides. Golden Guardians’ two losses this season have come against the top two sides in the league currently: Cloud 9 and Even Geniuses; everyone else in the league has been swathed away.
Another reason for their rise has been the form of bot laner Stixxay. He has averaged an incredible 4.82 kills per game, 2.2 deaths per game, and 4.02 assists per game this year. You can’t ask much more from your star player. Everyone else in the team is there to ensure that Stixxay plays his game.
Gori, the mid laner, has also been in decent nick with 3.04 kills per game, 2.38 deaths per game, and 5.64 assists per game this year. If he ups his game a bit more, there’s no reason why Golden Guardians can’t win the league this summer. Of course, they shouldn’t be looking that far ahead. We think they’ll get the job done against 100 Thieves.
100 Thieves haven’t been the same team since their 3-2 loss to Golden Guardians in last season’s playoffs. Some might argue that their slump began after losing 3-0 to FlyQuest in Round 1 of the playoffs last season.
It seems like most LCS fans and experts overestimated how good they were in the league last season. They finished third on the league table but had a win rate of 56%, which is decent but not extraordinary – they still lost eight of their 18 games. Of course, everyone was expecting them to go up a level in the playoffs, but that never came to be.
This season, they haven’t even performed well in the league, and a loss here could put them in danger of not qualifying for the playoffs. Of course, there’s a lot of time, but the games come thick and fast; before you know it, there won’t be enough games to play catch up.
100 Thieves are in greater need of a win here, so it’ll be interesting to see if they rise to the occasion or crumble under pressure. They have players in the squad who are quite capable of changing the dynamic of a game on their own.
For example, Doublelift has averaged 5.03 kills per game, 2.32 deaths per game, and 4.61 assists per game this year; no one in Golden Guardians can claim to have such impressive stats. 100 Thieves’ staff have to do a better job of leveraging Doublelift’s talent and forming a cohesive unit.
Another thing to keep in mind: 100 Thieves have had some difficult opponents at the start of the season, like Evil Geniuses, Cloud 9, and Team Liquid. Of course, there are no easy games in the league, but they are capable of getting something against Team Liquid, and the loss against NRG was unacceptable.
There isn’t actually a lot between Golden Guardians and 100 Thieves in terms of quality; in fact, some experts argue that 100 Thieves have got more quality, but momentum is a massive factor in every sport, and the former have it, whereas the latter don’t.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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