Despite mustering only four wins in the second half of the season’s round robin, C9 still finished in second place and earned a bye for the playoffs. After a week of not playing, C9 will likely try to prove that their practice since they were last seen has been effective and their less-than-stellar last half of the summer was just a fluke.
On the other side of the matchup, FlyQuest reached the second round of the LCS playoffs by beating Evil Geniuses on Aug. 14. While FlyQuest almost won the series in a commanding 3-0 fashion, they picked up the 3-2 victory after halting EG’s reverse sweep efforts. A win this week would show that FlyQuest can stifle C9’s chances at winning back-to-back LCS titles.
During the 2020 Summer Split regular season, C9 won both of their games against FlyQuest. C9 stylistically has an advantage over FlyQuest, which adds to their case of being favored in this League of Legends matchup despite their performance during the latter half of the summer. C9’s style of high risk early plays and snowballing is strong against FlyQuest’s style of slow and methodical play.
C9 will be looking to capture a commanding match victory to instill faith in their fans and players. Getting to the semifinals with a feeble win would only add to the narrative that C9 don’t look as strong as they did in the spring and the first half of the summer.
During the 2020 season, C9 have cemented their identity as an early game and snowball-heavy team. They’ve found resounding success when they’ve had a ridiculously high CS or gold lead 15 minutes into their games. Once C9 obtains early tempo over an opponent, whether it’s through Blaber’s pathing or strong laning performances, victory has been sure to follow this year.
While Blaber could be considered an all-or-nothing factor in C9’s quest for success, the team’s bottom laner, Zven, needs to perform well in this match. Zven has been a steady and consistent player, usually serving as a primary carry whenever Blaber has been unable to quickly snowball on his own.
In all of their victories during the regular split and playoffs, FlyQuest’s vision control has been paramount to their success. During the regular split, their wards cleared per minute was higher than any other team in the LCS, according to League esports stats site Oracle’s Elixir—and they’re second in this stat during the Summer Split playoffs so far. Their wards placed per minute was also second in the league during the regular season. This allowed them to have a potent objective control rate over Baron, even slightly edging out C9 in this stat.
Transitioning this vision control into halting Blaber at the start of the game will be the main goal for FlyQuest. If FlyQuest can collectively prevent facing a large early-game deficit against C9, then they’ll have a better chance to keep the mid game steady and win in the late game.
Another win condition that FlyQuest can consider is attacking C9 through their top lane. While C9’s top laner, Licorice, has put up impressive damage per minute numbers, a lot of that was achieved when he wasn’t the focus of enemy teams. If he’s put under a ton of pressure, Licorice could fall behind. This would leave FlyQuest’s top laner, Solo, with an opportunity to build an impressive lead that can be brought to the entire team.