Week 4 of the 2019 LCS Summer Split moved into Day 2, with Counter Logic Gaming facing off against Cloud9. While CLG had the better record coming into the game, Cloud9 made number one in TGH’s power rankings coming into the week. C9 Coach Reapered said he would need to out-draft CLG in their match-up, and it felt like he actually did. Cloud9 won the game pretty convincingly, evening both teams’ records to 5-3, along with TSM and OpTic Gaming.
The oddness of the draft started in ban phase one, with C9 banning Sivir, Renekton and Yuumi, while CLG banned Sona, Karma and Yasuo. CLG did not want to give C9 two overpowered enchanters or Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer’s signature Yasuo. However, C9 highly prioritized removing an ADC and an Irelia counter-pick, along with Yuumi. They followed that up with first-pick Sejuani, which CLG responded with Trundle and Tahm Kench. Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin has enjoyed the Trundle pick the last several games, and his Subjugate works incredibly well against Sejuani, but the Tahm Kench goes against Vincent “Biofrost” Wang’s mage support style so far this split.
C9 locked in Irelia and Braum to round out phase one. The Sejuani-Irelia duo is very powerful, as they can both crowd control at Level 3 and engage fights with their ultimates. Braum is Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam’s best champion, and works fine in lane into Tahm Kench. He also brings crowd control and engage. CLG rounded out their phase one with Ezreal for Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes.
For phase two, C9 banned Rumble and Kennen, while CLG banned Varus and Leblanc. This reduced the top lane pool, as well as a strong ADC and mid lane assassin. CLG drafted Orianna, one of Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage’s comfort picks. C9 answered with Akali and Kai’Sa. Gangplank was CLG’s final pick, rounding out a scaling composition with strong peel and poke. C9’s composition would be more present in the early game, looking for duels and skirmishes, as well as hard engage post-level-6.
The first action happened when Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen ganked bottom lane. Utilizing Sejuani’s Red Buff, passive stacks and Arctic Assault, as well as Zeyzal’s Flash, CLG’s bottom lane used three of their Summoner Spells and barely survived. Shortly afterwards, Wiggily ganked bottom lane, too, helping Biofrost secure the kill on Zeyzal. Then, just before 7 minutes, both mid laners hit level 6. Nisqy baits Orianna’s ultimate out of PowerOfEvil, prompting Zeyzal to roam to mid lane. CLG’s jungle and support answer the roam, but Svenskeren surprises them in the bush, resulting in deaths for Wiggily and Biofrost, and kills for Svenskeren and Nisqy. C9 also secured Cloud Drake.
Svenskeren killed Wiggily again, when both junglers postured towards mid lane. Nisqy engaged onto CLG’s mid and jungler with Vanguard’s Edge, and Svenskeren and Zeyzal followed up with Flashes. C9 also took Mountain Drake. CLG could not get much in response, despite using Cannon Barrage and Trueshot Barrage. Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min Teleported to bottom lane to help stave off Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Zeyzal, so C9 rotated top to secure Rift Herald. Stixxay did secure a kill on Zeyzal, and they blew Sneaky’s Flash, but Nisqy also solo-killed PowerOfEvil near mid lane, and C9 dropped Herald top-side. Despite C9’s tempo advantage, the gold remained even at 15 minutes.
Ruin and Sneaky killed each other in bottom lane, with Ruin being caught out by C9. A scuffle mid lane results in Mountain Drake for CLG, with no one dying on either side. But the game really blew open around 23 minutes, when C9 decided to engage with all members onto CLG at mid lane. Nisqy engages first with Vanguard’s Edge hitting three members, followed by Arctic Assault from Svenskeren, Killer Instinct from Sneaky and Flawless Duet stunning two. Eric “Licorice” Ritchie flanked from bottom-side to zone PowerOfEvil and kill Stixxay. Svenskeren was first to die to Biofrost, and PowerOfEvil’s Shockwave landed on two members, but Nisqy Bladesurged to kill Ruin and Sneaky sniped PowerOfEvil. The three-for-one gave Cloud9 another Cloud Drake and a 2,000 gold lead.
C9 engaged on CLG behind Baron pit, but PowerOfEvil’s Shockwave disengaged four members. Ruin and Licorice Teleported to join, and Licorice solo killed Stixxay right next to Ruin. C9 secured Baron and nearly killed PowerOfEvil. With Baron buff, C9 sieged down several turrets and pushed engagements onto CLG, but no one died. The gold lead grew to 6,500, so C9 was well in the lead. C9 secured the second Baron with no contest, and took the rest of the base to end in 35 minutes.
Both teams’ compositions did what they were supposed to, but once C9 secured Baron buff, there was little CLG could do to stop the bleeding. None of CLG’s champions offered great engage to stop a siege or start fights. Gangplank, Trundle, Orianna and Ezreal work best when the enemy pushes into them and gets turned on. C9 was able to push their champions to the limit to finish off key kills in the mid-game. The answers CLG brought were unable to actively turn the game back in their favor without the opponent stalling or failing to execute–a solid C9 win.
Images from Riot Games’ LCS broadcast