Echo Fox

King of the Hill: Echo Fox VS Cloud 9

With Week 4 of the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split over, it’s time to take a look at who is dominating the standings. At the top, we have Echo Fox and Cloud 9 tied for first at 7-1.

Both of these teams are coming off the back of a 2-0 weekend. Cloud 9 having taken down the other contender for first in Team Liquid and also the newly revitalised Flyquest. Echo Fox having defeated The Golden Guardians, who have finally made it on the scoreboard, and Team Liquid whose place in the middle of the pack has been cemented.

Let’s take a look at the key games for each of these teams that put them in the position they are in.

 

Echo Fox

Courtesy of Riot Games

 

Cloud 9 VS Liquid

Cloud 9’s superstar bot lane duo of Andy “Smoothie” Ta and Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi continued to prove they are the best duo in NA. Even up against Team Liquid’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, who is currently the best ADC in the league stat-wise, they dominated. This gave Smoothie the ability to roam frequently and snowball his other lanes on Alistar. However, the real story here is about rookie top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie being able to trade blows with the best.

With the assistance of an early roam from Smoothie, Licorice was able to completely crush the opposition. This was no easy feat as Team Liquid’s top laner, and former Cloud 9 member, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is highly seasoned. Even in a hyper carry vs hyper carry situation, Licorice just continued to outshine Impact, eventually leading to Cloud 9’s win.

 

Echo Fox

Courtesy of Riot Games

Echo Fox VS Liquid

Echo Fox. What is there to say about this team that hasn’t already been said before. They are an absolute powerhouse who have defied all expectations. Last night’s match against Team Liquid was no exception. Liquid had messed up right from the draft stage by giving over Zac to Fox’s Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett.

Dardoch has shown many times throughout the split just how proficient he is on this champion. Never thinking twice about his slingshots and picks, he dives headlong into the action and gets picks for his team. This is especially true when up against immobile champions who have no way of getting out of harm’s way when such a dive occurs.

It just so happened that in last night’s match, Double was on one of these aforementioned immobile picks. Not just any immobile champion mind you, but the epitome of immobility, Kog’Maw. Even though Double gave over no kills in these situations, he had to constantly use his summoners to avoid them. This left him at a disadvantage during team fights as he would have to stay far away to avoid being caught out. Therefore, making him less relevant.

Eventually Double began to scale up on Kog’Maw to the point where he could delete enemy squishies. However, it was pointless as by the time it came to a team fight, Liquid was always a man down due to Dardoch’s continuous picks. Thus, allowing Echo Fox to steamroll the match and win.

 

Next week we will finally see the stalemate broken as on day 2 Echo Fox will face off against Cloud 9. Finally, the best team in the NA LCS will be decided. Who will come out on top?

 

CREDITS

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games

NALCS logo Doublelift Aphromoo

New homes for Doublelift and Aphromoo

The off-season saw Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black go from Counter Logic Gaming to 100 Thieves, and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng move from Team SoloMid to Team Liquid. Since then there has been much speculation: How would the former members of the once famous “Rush Hour” duo fare? After an exciting Week 1, and several wins since, fans of both players can breathe a little easier.

Week 1

Team Liquid

Team Liquid Logo Doublelift

Courtesy of Team Liquid

Rejoining the organization he spent two months with last spring, Doublelift took on his former team and recent replacement, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen in the first game of the season. Zven and his lane partner Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez have played together for several teams, starting with Origen in 2014. Since then they have been inseparable, moving first to G2 Esports and now to the NA LCS. The pair have produced consistently dominant performances, leading many to call them the “Best in the West.” This is a title that Doublelift referenced with a smirk in his post-game interview, after going 5/0/5 in Team Liquid’s 28 minute, 11-1 rout of the defending NA Champions.

After the typical early game spent farming and feeling each other out, Doublelift engaged aggressively onto the enemy bot lane. Timing Tristana’s Rocket Jump perfectly with Taric’s Dazzle, he stunned Zven’s Kalista long enough to get the kill and chunk mithy’s Alistar down to half of his health. Without hesitation, Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung used Taric’s Cosmic Radiance. This protected the members of Team Liquid as they rushed past the enemy tower in pursuit. A flash/stun combo from Olleh secured the double kill for Doublelift, and sparked “Let’s go Liquid” chants from the traditionally pro-TSM crowd.  Team liquid took this early lead and ran with it to secure a resounding victory to start off 2018.

100 Thieves

100 Thieves Logo Doublelift

Courtesy of 100 Thieves

 

While Doublelift came into Week 1 ready to prove himself to TSM, Aphromoo went into Sunday’s game against CLG with as much to prove to himself as anyone else. He made it clear in preseason interviews that while leaving CLG was one of the toughest decisions of his life, it was ultimately his choice. He had spent nearly 5 years with CLG, becoming the main shotcaller and a fan favorite. “…I thought that would be my home forever.” he said in a preseason interview with LoL Esports, “…but here we are.” Not only was Aphromoo leaving his longtime friends and teammates, he was also transitioning from an established team to one that was brand new to the NA LCS. He seemed apprehensive about the change, and maybe a little homesick.

If Aphromoo had any lingering loyalty for CLG and former lane partner Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes, it didn’t last long. By 4:30 into the game, he had already set up the perfect gank, flashing forward as Braum to get stacks of Concussive Blows onto both Stixxay and CLG’s new support, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. The resulting stun secured a a kill on the latter for his ADC, Cody “Cody Sun” Sun. 100 Thieves steadily increased their lead as the game continued, and Aphromoo racked up eight more assists while only dying once by the time the CLG nexus fell. As he walked down the line, hugging old teammates, he looked perfectly content in his new home.

Continued success

Now, three weeks in, both Aphromoo and Doublelift are still going strong, and their new teams sit above their old in the NA LCS standings. Doublelift is playing as cleanly as ever with a league-best KDA of 19.3. This is more than double that of Altec, the ADC who is his closest competition with a 7.5 KDA. He is in good company, with a team of veterans and some former teammates that looks like they have been working together for years. They have dominated all but one of their opponents, racking up kills and objectives in a style that is simultaneously exciting and methodical. Now tied for first with five wins and one loss, Doublelift looks poised to lead Team Liquid to the postseason.

Sitting just behind them in the standings with a record of 4-2, 100 Thieves quickly made their mark. While they have faced criticism for barely securing victories in some close games, it may very well be this ability to close out tough contests that will carry them to success later in the season. Additionally, they are the only team to have defeated Team Liquid so far this split.

Arguably the biggest question mark on the team coming into the season was young ADC Cody Sun. He entered the NA LCS only last year, and seemed to struggle before finding his groove in the Summer Split. However, he has never looked better than he does with Aphromoo by his side. Currently boasting 742 Damage Per Minute and 39% of his team’s total damage, he is #1 in both among ADCs. Aphromoo’s team-high 38 assists is only a small part of his contribution to the success of both Cody Sun and 100 Thieves, as his shotcalling and positive energy are what have made him one of the top supports in the league.

As they head into Week 4, there is still a long way to go this split. Though it looks promising, it remains to be seen if these two veterans can lead their respective teams to the level of success they are each striving for. If they both continue to perform, it is possible that we will see them both at Worlds again in 2018.

 

 

If you would like to contact me or keep up with things I like, find me on Twitter: @buttsy11.  For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

 

Other photos courtesy of  comicbook.com

Locodoco

Golden Guardians Fire Locodoco After Innapropriate Comment

On Friday, the Golden Guardians fired their Head Coach, Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-Seop after only two weeks of play. Following on from this, ESPN has reported today that his early termination came about after he made an inappropriate remark directed at a female member of Riot’s Esports staff.

According to ESPN’s report, Locodoco took part in an interview with Riot that was to be broadcast during an NA LCS live stream. Before the interview, he made a comment off camera which, both Riot and The Golden Guardians deemed unacceptable. This was in violation of The Golden Guardians parent company, The Golden State Warriors, strict zero-tolerance policy. The Warriors went onto fire Locodoco on Friday.

In his stead, the Guardians have promoted assistant coach Tyler Perron to Interim head coach. They are now actively looking for a replacement head coach. When found, Perron will return to his original position as assistant coach.

Golden Guardians are currently sitting at the bottom of the NA LCS standings at 0-5. They are the only team that has yet to win a game. The question now is will a change of coach help the Guardians position, or will they continue on their downward spiral.

CREDITS

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

To continue enjoying great content from your favourite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

 

NA LCS

The Champs of the NA LCS Week 2

With Week 2 of the NA LCS behind us, Riot has released an infographic detailing the stats for the week. The Infographic contains all sorts of information, ranging from the match results to the best players of the week. However, one thing that specifically jumps out are the champion presence and win rate stats. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Champion Presence

Over the last week of play, there were many champions who were either picked or banned for almost every match. However, in the case of three champions, they had presence for all 10 matches. The most prolific of these champions being Zoe, the aspect of Twilight. Zoe has an incredibly strong kit, ranging from CC to insane burst damage. To make matters that much worse, she has the ability to do half your health at level 1. With that in mind,  you can start to see why she was banned 9 times out of 10, slipping through the ban phase only once.

That time was during the Echo Fox vs TSM game, as soon as Zoe was on the table Echo Fox snapped it up for their mid-laner Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun. TSM choose not to ban it thinking they could counter it should the pick come out, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Fenix proceeded to absolutely demolish, going 8/1/13 in an almost hour-long match.

 

NA LCS

Source: Riot Games

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Ezreal. Ezreal was picked in 9 of the 10 NA LCS matches, being banned only a single time. Ezreal is a very popular pick, not only in the NA LCS but also in solo queue. According to Champion.gg, he is the 3rd most picked ADC with an 11.82% play rate, being surpassed only by Vayne and Tristana, both of which are late game powerhouses.

Ezreal rose to the top of the meta with the release of the reforged runes system, being one of the best abusers of the Kleptomancy keystone. Kleptomancy for those who don’t know grants gold for landing an auto attack after using an ability. It also gives the chance at a random consumable when this auto attack lands. You may now be asking why Ezreal is able to use the rune to greater effect than many other champions. The answer, his Q. Ezreal’s Q applies on-hit effects, meaning in the case of Klepto, his Q counts as both the spell and the auto attack. Combine this with his Q’s low cooldown time and you have a recipe for klepto spam.

Champion Winrate

Moving onto champion win rate, the infographic only included champions that had been played in more than 3 games. The infographic shows late game powerhouses such as Tristana and Azir, who if left to their own devices will completely demolish their enemies. However, what is interesting here is that the only 2 champions with a 100% win rate are champions who come online earlier in the game. Gangplank comes online mid game, and Taric is good during the lane phase.

The question here is why they exhibit higher win rates compared to the late game carries who are essentially a guaranteed win should the match last long enough. There are two reasons for this, average match length and champion kit. Let’s start with match length, the average match length during week 2of the NA LCS was around 42 minutes. At an average of 42 minutes champions like Tristana who aren’t as good early game don’t fully come online. This is especially true vs early game damage dealers who can continuously poke them out of lane and deny CS.

NA LCS

Source: Riot Games

Secondly, we need to take a look at champion kit. First up is Mr. Fabulous himself, Taric. Taric is a great laner, this is due to his stuns and passive armour increases. He is able to set up kills an keep his team safe with relative ease, making him a very well rounded pick. Not to mention the fact that he has one of the best ultimates in the game, potentially making his entire team invulnerable.

Gangplank, on the other hand, is rather weak during the early lane phase in terms of skirmishing potential. However, this remedied by the combination of his Q and Kleptomancy. That’s right Kleptomancy is back for a second round. Similarly to Ezreal’s Q, Gangplank’s Q applies on-hit effects, but to make it that much sweeter, his Q grants bonus gold if it kills a unit. This allows Gangplank to be ahead of the enemy laner by an entire item at about 20 mins. This happens even if they go even in lane.

To take a look at the rest of the infographic, which includes lots of interesting information about the week, click here.

CREDITS

Featured Image: LoLUniverse

Other Image(s): LoL Esports

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

To continue enjoying great content from your favourite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

 

Echo Fox

Echo Fox remains undefeated

At the end of Week Two of the 2018 NA LCS, Echo Fox, a team that was placed in the middle of the pack on most pre-week one power rankings, is the only team to remain undefeated.

After failing to meet expectations in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Echo Fox had to show that they were a team worthy of being in the LCS and if the start of the 2018 season is anything to go by, then they have definitely proved they are worthy.

Echo Fox have shown how amazingly dominant they can be. They have continuously shown how they can snowball games early and proceed to stomp on their opposition. They begin to bleed their enemies of XP and gold, building the advantages up over time. These advantages eventually convert into entire item leads that allow for Echo Fox to completely take over the map with relatively little opposition.

 

Echo Fox

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Even in matches where Echo Fox has been severely behind, they have shown just how good they are. They have shown they can win team fights even when the enemy team has the advantage. At no time was this better shown than in the game against Team SoloMid on Saturday in which they were behind by 10k gold. With Fox on the ropes, TSM moved in to secure the win, Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung dove the bottom Inhib turret with the rest of his team on his heels ready to respond. The play was very much unnecessary due to the huge amount of pressure they had on Echo Fox’s base, yet nonetheless, they went for it. Echo Fox was able to capitalize on the dive by immediately locking TSM between a Gangplank ultimate and the turret, allowing Echo Fox to turn the tide of the game and eventually win the match.

Echo Fox

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Ultimately, the reason why Echo Fox is proving to be so dominant is due to their opportunistic and aggressive playstyle. They are a team that is never too afraid to pick a fight and are able to commit to a play within seconds. This gives them a distinct advantage over other teams that aren’t as quick on the trigger. Whilst some may say that committing to plays so quickly could be a recipe for disaster, Echo Fox continues to do so. They understand that sometimes in order to be the best, you have to take risks. With the way Echo Fox has been performing, they could quite possibly become the best team in the region, and perhaps even bring NA to the world’s finals, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

CREDITS

Featured Image: LoL Esports Flickr

Other Images: LoL Esports Flickr, LoL Esports Flickr

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

To continue enjoying great content from your favourite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

Huni

Huni’s dominant return to the NA LCS

The History

It’s been around one and a half years since Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon left Immortals and with it, the NA LCS. Many League fans remember the day that Huni threw the match against Team SoloMid by picking Lucian top. It was deemed by many to be a random pick that cost Immortals the match, their perfect scoreline and their chance at Worlds. They had one more chance to qualify by playing CLG. Alas, even after winning the match they were beaten out by Counter Logic Gaming for the 2nd place seed at the 2016 World Championship by a mere 10 championship points. Disgraced, Huni left for Korea to join SK Telecom T1 where he has played for the last year, improving his skills. After the massive upset at Worlds where the SKT dynasty was ended at the hands of Samsung Galaxy (now KSV), Huni was set to play in NA again after being picked up by Echo Fox.

Throughout Huni’s entire career many have said that he is a bad player who is extremely overrated. Now as Huni returns to the NA LCS he has set out to prove to all those people that they are wrong. What better way to accomplish this than by picking up where he left off, with his infamous Lucian top. Despite the heavy criticisms, Huni was determined to show to the world that he was a top-tier player and so, on January 20th, he walked onto the stage, full of confidence and delivered the ‘Huni special’, instalocking Lucian and riling up the crowd.

 

Huni

Source: Riot Games Flickr

how did huni perform?

Huni started off the match by playing as expected. He went for pokes to force his enemy laner in FlyQuest’s Lee “Flame” Ho-jong out of lane so he could gain a CS advantage. He pushed this advantage further by buying a second Doran’s Blade and a Vamp Scepter on his first back to stack lifesteal. These purchases allowed him to go for aggressive trades that would always come out favourably for him. This resulted in him getting a 30 CS advantage and a solo first blood tower at a mere 10 minutes into the game.

It was due to Huni’s massive gold lead that he managed to gain lane priority. It was incredibly important that he gained this advantage as it not only allowed him to make the split-second decision to teleport into the team fight at 12:46, but it also meant that Flame had no teleport as he was forced to use it to get back to lane to stop the growing CS lead. Upon Huni’s teleport in, he instantly flashed away from Jang “Keane” Lae-young’s Cassiopeia Miasma and used his ultimate to not only pick up a kill on William “Stunt” Chen but also to disperse FlyQuest, allowing for easy picks. Echo Fox ended the fight with four kills plus first blood. Thus, allowing them to take vision control of the enemy jungle and begin to slowly bleed them of gold and experience.

Later in the match at 18:45 FlyQuest make the mistake of walking into complete darkness. This allowed for Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett (on Zac) to slingshot in and isolate Stunt with his ultimate. The rest of Echo Fox moved to collapse onto FlyQuest, However, FlyQuest had no answer. Huni, due to his lane priority, had forced Flame to walk the long way around to the fight. This meant he couldn’t get to the fight in time to do anything, securing an Echo Fox victory in the fight. With the end of this fight finally came the conversion Echo Fox was looking for, beginning to pull ahead of FlyQuest by entire items.

With Echo Fox now having a firm lead, they were looking for an opportunity to end, and at 24 minutes into the game, they found just that. As Jason “WildTurtle” Tran (on Varus) tried to stun lock Huni with his ultimate, he was met with his own unfortunate demise as Huni QSS’ed the ult and proceeded to blow up WildTurtle. This converted into a Baron dance that was eventually won out by Echo Fox.

 

Huni

Source: Riot Games Flickr

The Result

The match was over after the very first team fight as Echo Fox slowly began to seal FlyQuest’s fate, ending after they were unable to recover from failing to stop Echo Fox getting Baron. Huni ended the match with a very impressive 4/0/6 KDA, cementing himself as a top-tier player and silencing the naysayers once and for all. The best part? He did it all with a smile on his face.

 

CREDITS

Featured Image: LoL Esports Flickr

Other Images: LoL Esports Flickr, LoL Esports Flickr

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

To continue enjoying great content from your favourite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon