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Thursday Esports: LCS Summer taking shape

The major League of Legends divisions across the globe are up-and-running for their summer seasons and the standings in North America's LCS Summer are already starting to take shape.

Taking place at the Riot Games Arena in Los Angeles, the LCS Summer 2023 has a prize pool of $200,000 on the table and the top three teams from the event's playoffs - otherwise known as the LCS Championship - will qualify directly for the end-of-season League of Legends World Championship.

Additionally, the team which finishes fourth will feature in the World Championship Wildcard Qualifier.

But before the LCS Championship can commence, North America's finest will first compete in the LCS Summer regular season, which began earlier this month.

Heading into Thursday's matches, it is Cloud9 and Team Liquid who have taken the initiative at the top of the standings, while FlyQuest are rock bottom, having lost all four of their assignments.

TSM should not be written off against NRG

WhatNRG vs TSM
WhereRiot Games Arena, Los Angeles
When17:00 ET, Thursday June 22nd 2023
How to watchTwitch
OddsNRG -225, TSM +162

NRG, who formerly played under the banner of Counter Logic Gaming, are fancied at -225 to defeat +162 TSM in the LCS Summer on Thursday but punters should not rush to back them.

At that price, NRG look a little short given they have lost three of their opening four matches in the LCS Summer 2023, having slipped to defeat against Team Liquid in their week two opener.

As CLG, they managed to secure a top-four finish at the LCS Spring but they have not looked the same in the summer event and should be opposed against TSM, who are fresh from beating Immortals already this week and are in contention for the playoffs with a 2-2 win-loss record.

Golden Guardians should ease past Immortals

WhatGolden Guardians vs Immortals
WhereRiot Games Arena, Los Angeles
When18:00 ET, Thursday June 22nd 2023
How to watchTwitch
OddsGolden Guardians -275, Immortals +200

Nothing separates Golden Guardians and Immortals in the current LCS Summer standings ahead of their clash on Thursday, but one team looks more likely over the other at the Riot Games Arena.

Golden Guardians are expected to come out on top at -275 and although they have the same 2-2 record as Immortals, both of their defeats came against challenging opponents in Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses.

Looking back to earlier this season and Golden Guardians were also a force at the LCS Spring 2023, having finished sixth in the regular season but put on a show in the playoffs, reaching the Grand Final of the event before losing 3-1 to Cloud9.

Immortals, meanwhile, lost 14 of their 18 matches in the LCS Spring, are not as experienced as their opponents and should be opposed in this clash with Golden Guardians worth a bet at -8.5 on the kill handicap at -120.

Expect a comfortable performance from Cloud9 against 100 Thieves

What100 Thieves vs Cloud9
WhereRiot Games Arena, Los Angeles
When19:00 ET, Thursday June 22nd 2023
How to watchTwitch
Odds100 Thieves +200, Cloud9 -275

Two of the bigger names in the LCS Summer clash in Los Angeles as 100 Thieves take on Cloud9.

But despite both sides having decent pedigree in the event, it is Cloud9 who are a cut above their opponents, leading the way in the LCS Summer standings with four wins from four matches.

Cloud9 also dominated the LCS Spring earlier this year with 14 wins from 18 matches in the regular season before storming through the playoffs and beating Golden Guardians in the Grand Final to take the title.

They remain the strongest League of Legends outfit in North America and are also worth a bet on the kill handicap at -7.5, which is priced at -120.

Cloud9 have plenty of big-match experience behind them, having also qualified for the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year and reaching the lower-bracket quarter-finals of that event.

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