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The Deep Dive: Playoffs, Round 1

The playoffs are the time for star players to establish or cement their legacies. Each LCS team will be looking for a leader to usher them to success over the next few weeks.

Here is one player from each LCS playoff team who will be called on to carry in the Spring 2020 playoffs.

Vulcan, Cloud9

There are five good choices for “star player” on Cloud9 this split, but Vulcan has stood out as by far the most effective Support in the league, pairing excellently with Zven in the lane and working closely with Blaber to active around the map and make play after play.

Vulcan Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP VSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 7.9 66.0% 2.70 155 17.17
Rank 1 8 4 2 1

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

Vulcan hasn’t relied on suiciding for engages, as many weaker playmakers do. His 7.9 KDA is truly impressive, especially for a non-carry role. His contributions to the vision game, with a good vision score per minute of 2.70, help him to move into good positions and make good decisions about when and where to pull the trigger.

If Cloud9 deliver on expectations and take the Spring championship, Vulcan is sure to play a key role.

Ssumday, 100 Thieves

There may not be any team that relies more heavily on the star power of a single player. Ssumday is arguably the most talented player in the LCS, and he has found ways to show it despite never really slotting into a lineup with any other clear stars.

Ssumday Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP CSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 3.5 55.2% 8.2 402 16.82
Rank 3 7 2 5 3

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

By finishing third in the regular season, 100 Thieves have already heavily outperformed preseason expectations. For that, they earned a first-round meeting with Cloud9 in the upper bracket, with another chance to advance via the lower bracket if C9 defeats them.

To continue their momentum, 100 Thieves will need Ssumday to exploit Licorice, who, at times, has been C9’s only soft spot. Look for 100T to target that matchup, if not through the draft then certainly with Jungler pathing.

PowerOfEvil, FlyQuest

PowerOfEvil had a bit of a letdown in the last few weeks of the split, as has FlyQuest as a whole, and he’ll need to find his form back to give his team a chance of upsetting Evil Geniuses or surviving the losers’ bracket and advancing further in the playoffs.

PowerOfEvil Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP CSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 3.9 70.2% 9.1 571 21.59
Rank 4 4 2 1 2

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

Even with some quieter games, PowerOfEvil put together the highest DPM in the entire league, powering FlyQuest’s strong team fighting and helping them pick up multiple wins that they didn’t otherwise deserve. In many games, PowerOfEvil was a one-man wrecking crew. In others, he was a duo-carry with IgNar’s playmaking Support champions.

PowerOfEvil’s first test will come against Jiizuke of Evil Geniuses. You have to think the relative performance of the two Mid laners will tell much of the story of that series.

Bang, Evil Geniuses

When you look at Evil Geniuses and ask who their star is, it seems instantly obvious: Jiizuke is one of the most dynamic players in the entire league, and he always seems to be the focus of EG’s games.

But down in the bottom lane, Bang has been toiling away relatively quietly and putting together an excellent season.

Bang Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP CSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 9.1 72.6% 9.0 552 23.02
Rank 2 2 8 1 2

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

If Jiizuke has been the face of EG, Bang has been the spine. He’s allowing his solo laners to pick up more of the farm, but he’s heavily involved in their fighting and he’s been pumping out damage like crazy, leading all Bot laners in DPM and sitting only behind PowerOfEvil across all positions.

If you can tear your eyes away from Jiizuke’s side-laning hijinks during EG’s games, watch Bang and see what he does for this team in the crucial team fighting portions of the game.

Bjergsen, Team SoloMid

Broken Blade has been the pop-off player on TSM, and Dardoch has been a constant subject of discussion, for better or worse, but Bjergsen has been the team’s engine, whether he’s taking a back seat with a more supportive control mage pick or being granted an occasional Irelia to hard carry.

Bjergsen Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP CSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 5.3 70.8% 8.3 471 21.58
Rank 2 3 7 7 3

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

I dug into Bjergsen’s underrated spring split performance in more detail recently, and everything I wrote after Week 7 continues to hold true after the end of the regular season. TSM is a team with issues, inconsistencies, and strategic flaws, but they can always count on their Mid laner to play his role and do what he can to set his teammates up for success. He will need to go above and beyond to see TSM advance beyond their initial lower bracket match.

FBI, Golden Guardians

The Golden Guardians haven’t really played around FBI—just look at his low Kill Participation to confirm that observation—but they have very heavily relied on him to carry, putting up the second-highest DPM among Bot laners, and the third-highest DPM at any position.

FBI Stats, 2020 Spring Regular Season

  KDA KP CSPM DPM Ftsy Pts / Gm
Value 4.1 64.1% 9.4 539 15.64
Rank 6 10 5 2 9

2020 LCS Spring Regular Season – Ranks among LCS starters at player’s position

FBI has done this while first working with a newly role-swapped Keith at Support, and then swapping to a different Support partner in huhi part of the way through the split. With a more consistent lane partner, FBI might have been able to do even more this split. But the past is in the past; what matters is how well he and his team can perform in the best-of-fives going forward.

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