By: Colin Rhoads
LCS Lock In 2022 Finals Weekend Preview
The LCS Lock-In-tournament for the Spring 2022 season wraps up this weekend. LCS fans are in for a treat this weekend, as NA’s top teams compete for the preseason trophy. There have already been some crazy matches and upsets in both the group stage and the quarterfinals, but I would bet North America is not done yet. The action starts Friday, January 28th at 4:30pm where Team Dignitas will start their uphill battle against the four-time champions Team Liquid. Evil Geniuses’ stacked roster plays Cloud 9 at 3:30pm on Saturday, January 29th. The Finals will premiere Sunday, January 30th at 2:30pm(all times in CST).
DIG vs. TL (Friday 4:30pm)
Prediction: TL 3:1
Dignitas had a massive upset over reigning champions 100-Thieves winning 2-0 in a decisive fashion. The addition of Dongwoo “River” Kim over the offseason was a major factor in their upset over 100-Thieves and will have to be again if they want any shot at beating TL. “River” played for PSG Talon in the PCS(Pacific Championship Series) and had an astounding performance at Worlds and MSI where he led his underperforming region to the semi-finals. However, I do not think “River”, nor any amount of hope, will be enough to take three games off TL’s expensive roster. There was shakiness around TL’s performance at the beginning of the Lock-In-tournament with Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in’s green card being delayed. However, after seeing this incomplete roster already begin to mend, I think a lot of people are sold.
Evil Geniuses vs. Cloud 9 (Saturday 3:30pm)
Prediction: EG 3-1
Evil Geniuses is the only Lock In team to remain undefeated. Cloud 9 has the strength to take off at least one game but Evil Geniuses controlled playstyle will triumph over C9 this early in the season. C9 has struggled through the Lock In tournament dropping a game to CLG through mere mistakes. C9 finished 3-1 in groups but the only really well put together team in their group was 100-Thieves, who they lost to. This new C9 squad has yet to be really challenged yet and I don’t think they can jump right in and take more than a game off EG. Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami has yet to stand out to anyone as a great mid laner yet and still makes some rookie mistakes on stage in his new role. On the other hand, EG’s new roster has proved to be a perfect mix of veterans and rookies and has meshed well together to be undefeated up to this point.
Finals: Evil Geniuses vs. Team Liquid (Sunday 2:30pm)
Prediction: TL 3-2
This matchup is who most analysts predicted we would see in the finals on Sunday. Last time these two teams clashed the game was a 40 minute slugfest with EG barely destroying TL’s nexus even while TL had the Elder Dragon buff. TL had the lead throughout the game but EG’s support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, paired with 17-year-old rookie star Joseph “Jojopyun” Joon Pyun, found engage after engage to bring the game back. EG knows exactly what they want to do and exactly how to do it at every stage of the game, which is why this series could go either way. The only reason I put TL winning this match is their experience which really matters when it comes down to the resilience you need in a best of 5. TL’s veteran mid laner Soren “Bjersen” Bjerg and marksman Steven “Hansama” Liv have countless experience in a best of 5 over their rookie counterparts, which is why TL will win game 5 if the series goes long.