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Evil Geniuses beat Counter Logic Gaming 3-0 in the first round of the LCS Spring playoffs. They won the title last spring and look set to do the same this spring.
Golden Guardians scraped past 100 Thieves 3-2 to enter the second round. They’ve got nothing to lose heading into this tie.
Evil Geniuses will go into this tie as firm favorites. Golden Guardian must have the game of their lives to come out victorious.
Pick: Evil Geniuses to win.
On paper, this looks like a pretty one-sided tie. Evil Geniuses have arguably been the strongest LCS side in the last couple of seasons. They are the defending spring champions and led the league in the summer. They’ve also dispatched Counter Logic Gaming 3-0 in the last round, and the odds table highlights that they’re overwhelming favorites.
Golden Guardians are a team on the up but not in the same bracket as Evil Geniuses; they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs last summer. Getting this far is a pretty significant achievement for the players and staff.
Despite having the odds against them, they could produce something memorable. They have beaten Evil Geniuses this season in a league game and will have to use a similar strategy to get something from this match. It’s imperative that they make a fast start in this match because playing catch-up against a dominant side like Evil Geniuses can be torturous.
The rewards for picking Golden Guardians are quite tempting, but it’s best to play safe in this tie. Evil Geniuses tend to turn up a notch in playoff games. They’ll be too strong for the Golden Guardians.
Evil Geniuses were a bit underwhelming in the league this season, with 10 wins and eight losses, but showed their actual ceiling in their first-round win against Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). CLG were coming into the match with a similar league record and a hard-fought loss to Cloud9 in the winners' bracket match, but they looked a tier below Evil Geniuses in the first round.
Evil Geniuses are always a bit hard to read. They can look average for weeks before turning up on the biggest occasions. Not turning up in all matches will catch up to them at some point, but it hasn’t so far. They lost their last three matches in the league season, which got fans and experts to start raising questions about their performances, but all the talk stopped after the win over CLG.
They are a terrifying side in full-flow. Only one player on the side has a KDA under 4.14. Bot laner FBI is the most dominant force on the side; he has averaged 4.95 kills, 1.89 deaths, and 5.31 assists per game this year. It’s difficult for teams to nullify him because the other members are no slouches.
Evil Geniuses will know that they lost one of their league matches to Golden Guardians this season. They can’t hand Golden Guardians too many opportunities in this match; they must go for the kill from the start. If they play to the best of their ability, they should win this match comfortably.
Golden Guardians put in one of their best performances in many a season to get the better of 100 Thieves in the first round. 100 Thieves came into the match as the third-placed side in the league's second-best league team in the summer season, but Golden Guardians didn’t cower and won the match 3-2.
Golden Guardians will need to put in a similar performance if they want to beat Evil Geniuses on Friday. Of course, Evil Geniuses are far more well-rounded than Golden Guardians as things stand, so Golden Guardians will also need some luck.
They’ll need Evil Geniuses to have an off-day and put in a solid display to go through. They’ve beaten Evil Geniuses in the league this season, but the playoffs are a different beast. This will be a best-of-five match, so having a few good moments won’t be enough; they’ll need to sustain a high level for long periods.
Bot Laner Stixxay will be Golden Guardians’ key player in this match. He has averaged 4.26 kills, 2.09 deaths, and 3.91 assists per game this season. The numbers aren’t as good as Evil Geniuses’ FBI, but he isn’t too far behind.
Golden Guardians have nothing to lose and must play this match with that mindset. If they start the match strongly, anything is possible.
Teams: Evil Geniuses vs Golden Guardians
Location: United States of America
Time: Friday, March 31, 2023
How to watch: Twitch
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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