Can Cloud9 break the Eastern dominance of the first two days of the MSI 2023 Bracket Stage?
It hasn’t been the best start for Western League of Legends fans to the Mid-Season Invitational. Despite G2 stealing one game from Gen.G, we saw two sub-20-minute defeats and two pretty one-sided series. Tomorrow’s Cloud9 vs BLG might be the best hope for EU or NA fans to get an upset in the first round.
Cloud9 vs BLG Preview
It’s becoming an LCS cliche to say “This is the best team we are sending to an international event,” but this year’s Cloud9 might actually be one of the strongest teams NA produced since the 2019 Team Liquid. The players on the roster are at the top of their roles and the team has shown they can execute both the early games and the late game scaling comps.
Cloud9 has two strong solo laners, and if they play to their full potential they have a chance to stand up against BLG solo lanes, who haven’t had the best tournament so far. But the biggest advantage C9 has over the other three Western teams right now is probably their ADC.
So far the MSI meta has been mainly focused around the bot lane, and Aphelios has been the key pick in the two previous EU vs LCK series. The inability to play the strongest marksman put the LEC teams in some tough spots, but Berserker displayed multiple times that he is proficient on the champion. One big worry is the laning phase against an on-fire Elk/On duo, which won’t be an easy feat for the LCS champions.
An interesting matchup for BLG in their first Bracket Stage series. They dropped a map against the LCS 2nd seed, and now have to face the 1st seed from the same region. But despite their one game loss against GG, BLG should feel pretty comfortable about the upcoming match.
The starts of the team during the Play-ins, Elk and On, absolutely smashed their counterparts during the GG series, and Stixxay/huhi duo was giving a lot of trouble to the Cloud9 bot lane during Spring Finals. If BLG’s bot lane can carry over their performances from the previous stage, the LPL reps are in a very good position to move forward in the tournament.
Although there are some doubts about their solo laners, neither mid nor top lane hasn’t been the main carries in the current meta. If these two players can step up their play just one bit, and they probably will, they shouldn’t have too many problems.
Cloud9 vs BLG Predictions
There are a lot of angles to argue for a Cloud9 victory against BLG, but both the previous two Bracket Stage series and the previous NA vs LPL matchups make it very hard to actually predict it. While we are expecting this series to be much closer, BLG should take it home 3-2.
How to watch Cloud9 vs BLG
Fans can watch the event on the official LoL Esports website for the chance to earn exclusive drops from Riot, which will be available throughout the whole event. Or you can catch the action on Riot Games Twitch channel and the LoL Esports Youtube channel.
For more of our coverage during MSI 2023, follow us on ESTNN.