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The NA LCS Betting Odds and Predictions For The 2018 Season

There’s no denying that the NA LCS has gone through some pretty significant changes throughout the years, especially considering that several major brands like OpTic Gaming, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Golden State Warriors are beginning their campaigns in the competitive scene for the 2018 season.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the teams in the region, the odds and predictions for each team, and which teams I think will succeed. Will Team SoloMid keep their title as the North American king, or will the Golden Guardians overthrow their reign? What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Team SoloMid

  • Chances of Playoffs: 90%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Third Place

Team SoloMid has always been a strong team throughout the years, considering their legacy of success. They’ve qualified for the World Championship every single year since they became a team. Not only are they one of the most proficient teams, but they know how to remain consistent and clutch out performances when needed.

During the 2016 Spring Split, despite a shaky regular season, Team SoloMid managed to qualify for the finals, upsetting several highly favored teams that were expected to qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational.

They’ve had dozens of highly talented players, some of which have made themselves into international superstars. Their mid laner, Bjergsen, is considered to be the best North American mid laner, and one of the top international players.

Their jungler, MikeYeung, has become one of the top junglers in the game at the ripe age of eighteen. Their top laner, Hauntzer, dominated the 2016 and 2017 Split, and the bot lane duo of Zven and Mithy is considered to be one of the best tag-teams in the world.

With such a strong arsenal of players and a rich history of success, there’s no denying that Team SoloMid will be a strong contender for a top spot in the regular season and a first-place finish during the playoffs.

Cloud9

  • Chances of Playoffs: 88%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Second Place

There’s been one team that has consistently been a threat to Team SoloMid and their dominance. This team is Cloud9. What makes them so strong is their ability to clutch wins and make even the most impossible situations seem easy.

However, even with the team considered to be one of the best performers in North America, their one shaky run in 2015 has put both amazement and hesitation in the fans of Cloud9. During the 2015 NA LCS regular season, Cloud9 was almost put into relegations, largely because of their terrible weekly performance.

Though they barely managed missed the Summer Promotion tournament, which could have put them into the Challenger Series, they were unable to participate in the playoffs. Luckily for them, the regional qualifier was their last chance at making it to the 2015 World Championship.

Despite what all the critics said, Cloud9 managed to upset several top-tier teams, including Team Liquid and Gravity Gaming, and qualified themselves for the World Championship.

Cloud9’s resilience and push-through mindset has made them a team that has left Team SoloMid on edge.

Cloud9’s 2018 roster will consist of Licorice, Svenskeren, Jensen, Sneaky, and Smoothie, making them one of the most formidable teams out there. Licorice has become a solo queue star. Svenskeren made himself known during the 2016 World Championship, matching up against Chinese and Korean superstars alike.

Jensen has become an internationally famed mid laner largely known for his aggressive style. Sneaky has become the icon of Cloud9, and standing by his side is the infamous Smoothie. The team’s ability to stay in the game no matter what has become the playstyle of the Cloud9 brand.

Several times over, their opponents were ahead in every single aspect of the match, yet somehow Cloud9 still managed to make their way to another victory, something that very few teams have ever been able to do once in their lifetime. Cloud9 does this daily.

Cloud9 will always be a North American threat. They’ve defeated Team SoloMid before and are one of the most consistent World Championship qualifiers for North America. Not to mention that they’re also the only North American team that can consistently qualify for the Knockout Rounds, no matter how difficult the Group Stage.

You’ll want to keep your eye on Cloud9 and their 2018 Season. They already have a rich history of success behind them, and this year, accompanying them into the fields of battle will be a roster that can perform to the 2018 standards.

Team Liquid

  • Chance of Playoffs: 75%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: First Place

There’s rarely been a time where Team Liquid has become a top-notch performer, mostly because of their history of choking away leads, especially when it mattered. In 2015, Team Liquid finished first in the regular season of the Summer Split. However, they were quick to fall to Team SoloMid during playoffs.

In 2016, they pulled off a solid fourth place finish during the regular season of the Spring Split. However, in the semifinals of the Spring Split, Team Liquid yet again choked their lead in a crucial fifth game that would decide the finalist for the Spring Playoffs.

In the 2017 Season, Team Liquid found themselves at the bottom of the barrel. With poor performances coming left and right, there seemed to be no solution to their problems, even when Team Liquid brought in Doublelift, Adrian, and Cain.

However, 2018 could be their year, especially considering that Team Liquid will have one of the most stacked rosters since their beginning in 2015. They’ll be bringing in Impact, Xmithie, Pobelter, Doublelift, and Olleh.

What does this bring to the table, though? For one, the synergy will definitely be there. Xmithie, Pobelter, and Doublelift all played for Counter Logic Gaming the year they won it all, and Xmithie, Cody Sun, and Olleh had experience together during their times on the now-deceased team Immortals.

Meanwhile, for Impact, his top lane performance is rivaled only by those in the Korean and Chinese servers, while the rest of the team has certainly proven themselves to be formidable in both North American and international countries.

We can expect a lot from Team Liquid. They’ve brought in tons of potential since their start in 2015, and with the team bringing in five of the top players from the NA LCS, it seems like Team Liquid could be going to the Mid-Season Invitational and the 2018 World Championship if they play it right.

Counter Logic Gaming

  • Chance of Playoffs: 80%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Fourth or Fifth Place

Counter Logic Gaming is a strong team, and their past history proves this. In 2015, they upset every single major team in the NA LCS by winning the Summer Split, and then, in 2016, they dominated the Spring Split to bring themselves to a Mid-Season Invitational where they managed to make it to the finals, a feat that no American team had accomplished until their arrival.

What makes Counter Logic Gaming tick? In 2015, they were considered the only team that had any chance at taking down Team SoloMid, and they did it with fair ease. This was largely due to their ability to make the risky plays without error.

While most teams are afraid of committing, Counter Logic Gaming does this without hesitating. Their systematic success has built them to become one of the largest teams in the North American franchise, and this year, you can expect to bring them to a close fourth/fifth place finish.

Last year, they barely missed the 2017 World Championship due to Immortals’ spectacular performance, but this year, it seems like Counter-Logic Gaming will take it all home. They’ll have a roster that has proved themselves over and over again, along with a strong strategy to take home the gauntlet.

With a team consisting of Darshan, Reignover, Huhi, Stixxay, and Biofrost, it seems impossible for a shaky performance by the former Spring and Summer Split Champions. Reignover has been a consistent jungler in both the regional tournaments and international tournaments.

Stixxay solidified himself as an AD Carry threat during his 2016 Mid-Season Invitational Run. Biofrost gained international fame due to his performance alongside his former teammate, Doublelift, and Huhi and Darshan are formidable opponents to anyone in their way.

Why do I put Counter Logic Gaming at such a high standard but place them at a fairly low position in the regular season standings? This is due to a history of Counter Logic Gaming giving a mediocre performance during the regular season, but putting on a truly exceptional performance during the playoffs.

With so many talented teams coming into the NA LCS this year, Counter Logic Gaming will have more competition than ever. However, knowing Counter Logic Gaming, they’re looking forward to every match ahead of them.

100 Thieves

  • Chance of Playoffs: 80%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Fourth or Fifth Place

If there’s one rookie team that is expected to make a strong performance coming into the Spring Split, it’s 100 Thieves. Their entire team is filled with a strong array of experienced veterans and talented players.

Their arsenal consists of Ssumday, Meteos, Ryu, Cody Sun, and Aphromoo. All of these players have made themselves grade-A players, and this is due to their performances on other teams that they’ve played on.

Aphromoo was the heart and soul of Counter Logic Gaming when they won the Spring and Summer Split in 2015 and 2016. He was also a large part of CLG’s (short for Counter Logic Gaming) success when they made it to the Mid-Season Invitational.

Ssumday has had experience in both Korea and North America, making him an internationally acclaimed player. Meteos has been a major threat in the jungling aspect of League of Legends, and his aggressive play has brought his former teams Phoenix1 and Cloud9 outstanding success during his stay.

Ryu, like Ssumday, has international experience. He’s played on KT Rolster, H2k-Gaming, and Phoenix1. In 2016, his mechanical prowess brought Europe’s H2k-Gaming to a semifinal appearance during the 2016 World Championship.

Cody Sun became an overnight sensation when he became a main reason as to why Immortals became such a threat during the 2017 Spring and Summer Split and then proceeded to help his team qualify for the 2017 World Championship.

100 Thieves was already a class-A threat for the NA LCS when they signed Ssumday, Ryu, and Meteos, but it was Aphromoo who really closed the deal. There are very few teams that have made themselves known to be major players in the competitive scene during their rookie years, but by the looks of it, 100 Thieves could be one of the few.

OpTic Gaming

  • Chance of Playoffs: 66%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Sixth or Seventh Place

OpTic Gaming has taken over many video game industries, including CS:GO, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. Now they’ll be coming into League of Legends with some of the top names from across the globe, but some wonder if it’ll be enough to turn the tide in the NA LCS.

While the team certainly did pick up several top players from across the globe, OpTic Gaming does have some weaknesses, by the looks of it. Currently, they have the starting lineup at zig, Akaadian, PowerOfEvil, Arrow, and LemonNation.

Their top laner and jungler may be the weakest points of their game, and this could be the key of whether they make playoffs or they miss the playoffs.

Zig and Akaadian have been around on the scene of NA LCS, but they haven’t made a large impact.

Zig and Akaadian both have experience from playing on the competitive NA LCS scene. However, during their time on their respective teams, they both found difficulty in performing to the standards needed so that their teams could climb up the rankings.

Akaadian’s time on Echo Fox saw him as being one of the best junglers on the scene during his debut, but it wasn’t enough to bring them to a spot for playoffs. As for zig, his experience branches from Team Dignitas to Phoenix1.

Despite zig’s wide variety of teams that he’s played on, it still hasn’t been enough to propel his career into any newfound success. He’s proven viable on certain champions, but despite this, he still has nothing to his game that can truly benefit his time.

If OpTic Gaming truly wants to succeed, they’ll have to look to their mid laner, AD Carry, and Support. These players are PowerOfEvil, Arrow, and LemonNation. All three of them have made themselves notable threats throughout their history on the competitive scene.

Last year, during the 2017 World Championship, PowerOfEvil matched South Korea Telecom’s Faker in mechanical skill and game knowledge. Arrow has been notorious for his AD Carry skills in both Korea and North America, and LemonNation created a legacy during his time on Cloud9.

If OpTic Gaming wants to truly succeed in the NA LCS, then they’ll need to focus around their mid laner, AD Carry, and Support. They’re the strong areas of the team. Focusing on them would be much more beneficial than working on bettering the top lane and jungler, who are not weak points. They just have nothing to give.

OpTic Gaming has the potential to become a really strong team. However, it all depends on how they utilize their players. OpTic Gaming could become the next Team SoloMid, or it could become the next big flop.

Golden Guardians

  • Chance of Playoffs: 55%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Sixth or Seventh Place

One of the largest NBA franchises has finally transitioned into the esports world. However, the team will face a large number of obstacles before they can become anything truly remarkable. Though they have the talent, they’ll have to have the game before they can make anything happen.

Currently, the team holds a roster of Lourlo, Contractz, Hai, Deftly, and Matt. The team holds a lot of young talented players, but lacks the experience needed to truly excel. Lourlo was a standout player on the Team Liquid squadron during his time there. However, his playstyle failed to aid in helping bring Team Liquid out of its grim state during the 2016 and 2017 season.

Contractz quickly became a standout jungler on Cloud9, making himself a North American and international threat. However, his rookie status has brought him some instability when it comes to performing.

Hai, being the most experienced on the team, has had his fair share of success. He’s brought Cloud9 to several World Championship debuts and was a key factor in transitioning FlyQuest from a rookie NA LCS team to an actual threat.

Deftly is a talented AD Carry whose success came mostly from his time on Challenger teams like eUnited and Denial eSports. However, because his experience mostly resides in the NA CS, he’ll need to take his game to the next level so that he can perform well against his opponents in the NA LCS.

Lastly, Matt has become known for his signature Bard, as well as his Janna and Alistar. He excels in shot-calling, and during his time on Team Liquid, he was able to pull the team out of the abyss during the 2016 Season to a fourth-place finish during the Spring Split.

Golden Guardians have a lot to live up to. They have the talent, but they’ll need more than talent to take down some of the top teams in the NA LCS. If Hai and Matt can come together and lead this group of talented young players, then they just might make the playoffs.

Clutch Gaming

  • Chance of Playoffs: 50%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Sixth or Seventh Place

Clutch Gaming has brought together some of the finest players from around the world. This ranges from the NA LCS to the NA CS to the international leagues like the LCK and LPL. However, their mix of players could be what makes them great, or it could be their downfall.

Their roster consists of Solo, LirA, Febiven, Apollo, and Hakuho. Like Golden Guardians, they have their share of talented veterans and novice rookies. What makes them a threat is the signing of star mid laner Febiven.

Febiven has had a copious amount of experience in Europe and on the international level. He’s been considered the “European Faker,” and during the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational, he dominated his lane against Faker himself during their match against SKT (South Korea Telecom)

If Clutch Gaming wants to make an impact on the NA LCS and possibly qualify for playoffs, then they’ll want to utilize their jungler, mid laner, and AD Carry. Their jungler, LirA, has played for top Korean teams like Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster. He spent time on EnVyUs before their disbanding and made them into one of the top American teams during their time.

Clutch Gaming’s AD Carry, Apollo, has experience with Team Dignitas and Team EnVyUs as well. Because of this, Apollo will go into the NA LCS ready for the action, considering that he put up strong stats during his time on EnVyUs.

While their top laner and support may be Challenger prodigies, they’ll need to be ready for the NA LCS. The NA LCS is ruthless and has many differences from the NA CS. Hakuho and Solo have the potential to be strong players. We’ll just have to wait and see.

FlyQuest

  • Chance of Playoffs: 40%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Seventh or Eighth Place

FlyQuest started out as a rookie team made up of Cloud9’s former veteran players. However, with the loss of several strong teammates, FlyQuest will have to recuperate if they’ll want to become as good as they were last year.

This year’s roster will have Flame, AnDa, Fly, WildTurtle, and Stunt. Like Clutch Gaming and Golden Guardians, the players certainly have the individual talent. Flame was a Korean threat during his time in the LCK, and WildTurtle spent a season on Team SoloMid.

However, despite this, FlyQuest will most likely go into the split shaky. Flame may be a strong player, but at his role in top lane, he’ll most likely bring a minimum impact. If they want any chance at all, they’ll have to prioritize their mid laner, Fly, who has spent time on KT Rolster and Longzhu Gaming.

Despite this, there are too many things that could possibly break down the team. There are language barriers between Fly and the rest of the members, and WildTurtle has been notorious for being an on-and-off player, sometimes being the sole reason for his team’s loss.

If FlyQuest wants any chance of making it to playoffs, the synergy will need to be there on the very first week of the regular season. They certainly have what it takes to become a very strong team, but if they want to capitalize on their strengths, it will need to be a group effort.

Echo Fox

  • Chance of Playoffs: 35%
  • Estimated Regular Season Standing: Ninth or Tenth Place

Echo Fox has been notorious for flopping their matches and accumulating a terrible regular season standing. Despite a revamped roster, it looks like nothing is going to change this year. What do I mean? Let me elaborate.

Echo Fox will be bringing in Huni, Dardoch, FeniX, Altec, and Adrian. This seems like an extremely stacked roster, right? Wrong. Despite bringing in five extremely strong players, some of the names have been known to throw games or lack team communication.

Dardoch has been known to struggle when it comes to working with his teammates, leaving Team Liquid and Immortals at times due to his inability to play for his team rather than for himself. Huni has become an international sensation, but during his time on SKT, Huni seemed to deteriorate in both skill and performance.

FeniX may be an extremely strong mid laner, but like Dardoch, he has experienced troubles in communicating with his teammates. Echo Fox may have rounded up what seems like a talented group of players, but if they want to make a sixth-place finish, they’ll need a miracle.

Conclusion:

The NA LCS is starting soon, and that means that betting is going to be in full swing for the season. The 2018 year is going to be filled with an explosive amount of action, highlight reels, and surprising upsets. With all this happening, it seems a little overwhelming to keep up with everything.

However, thanks to the odds and predictions, you’ll be set for the Spring Split. Get ready to take on the regular season! These next few months will bring more excitement than 2017 ever did.

Get ready, because 2018 will be one heck of a ride.
Terry Owens :