The 2019 LCS Summer Split moved into Week 3, and Counter Logic Gaming’s first match-up was against Echo Fox. The game was up and down, with both teams possessing large gold leads at different points. With a couple of Baron plays, CLG was able to win out in the end after 43 minutes of gameplay.
Specific powerful champions, rather than the standard flex picks, were the focus of this draft. Irelia was removed early, as well as Sona, Leblanc, Yuumi, Aatrox and Rumble. CLG decided to first pick Sylas, leaving Ryze-Sejuani for FOX, and answering with Xayah-Rakan. For Colin “Solo” Earnest FOX locked in Gangplank top to round out the first draft phase.
CLG targeted Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent’s champion pool by banning Morgana and Nautilus. Kennen and Rek’Sai saw the chopping block from FOX. Trundle and Syndra were the last lock-ins for CLG, which FOX responded to with Ezreal. Both teams brought quite a bit of scaling and teamfight potential. FOX’s composition revolved more around safe laning phases and splitting, while CLG’s composition would shine more in skirmishes and teamfights, particularly with all of the powerful ultimates for Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min to steal for damage (Gangplank, Ezreal), crowd control (Sejuani) or rotations (Ryze, Tahm Kench).
Early in the game both Junglers impacted the lanes. Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin drew Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun and Solo’s Flashes, while Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae Ganked bottom lane to force Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes’ Flash. The mid lane ended up getting punished first, with First Blood going to Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage’s Syndra. Shortly thereafter, Wiggily roamed top again and killed Solo with Ruin’s assistance from stealing Rush’s Sejuani ultimate. CLG took Rift Herald and dropped it in Top Lane around 11 minutes, giving Turret plates to the Sylas.
Both teams shifted focus to Bottom Lane, as Wiggily invaded FOX’s blue-side jungle. Ruin stole Solo’s Gangplank ultimate, pushing FOX away from the river, and CLG took the Cloud Drake. Despite the kills and objectives going in CLG’s favor, the gold remained even by 16 minutes. Top and Bottom Lane farm favored Solo and Apollo “Apollo” Price, plus the Ezreal chose Kleptomancy as his keystone rune.
A couple of fights broke out near Mid Lane, but no one died. CLG knocked down the Mid Lane turret and took the Mountain Drake, while Solo destroyed the Top Lane turret. At 22 minutes, Fenix solo killed Ruin under Bottom Lane turret while the rest of their teams were hovering top-side. As the second Mountain Drake was spawning, both teams approached the bottom-side river. CLG engaged onto FOX, resulting in deaths from Rush and Ruin. CLG ultimately secured the Drake, but FOX took bottom turret and pulled ahead 1,500 gold.
CLG started a chaotic fight in the bottom lane, with virtually every member of both teams coming down in waves. FOX got the better of it and made a B-line to Baron, where they met Wiggily and Ruin. The Sylas stole and activated Cannon Barrage, causing FOX to rush the objective, but they lost three members afterwards. FOX was able to take the second Cloud Drake, bottom and two mid turrets. They finally pulled ahead by 6,000 gold.
Another chaotic fight occurred in mid lane around 33 minutes, where CLG took down Rush and FOX just barely did not kill Wiggily. Apollo Arcane Shifted forward to finish the kill, but got bursted by PowerOfEvil. From there, Ruin stole the Realm Warp to chase down the rest of FOX, killing Fenix. CLG took a Baron of their own, as well as another Mountain Drake. Using the buffs, CLG knocked down the bottom and mid inhibitor to gain their own 2,000 gold lead.
After CLG moved to take the top inhibitor, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang attempted a dive under FOX’s nexus turrets with Rakan. FOX absorbed the engage, and Apollo secured a Triple Kill. After the reset, CLG took the third Baron, moved bottom and secured Elder Drake, then pushed up mid and ended the game at 43 minutes.
CLG continued to show proactivity in the early game, with Wiggily Ganking the solo lanes multiple times. The team was able to coordinate for early neutral objectives and turret plates. However, they continue to have issues cleanly snowballing their pressure. The passive laners out of FOX were able to successfully stall for a while, and eventually take a fight and the first Baron. Luckily, CLG played to the strength of their composition, continuing to look for fights using Ruin’s stolen ultimates to their limit. CLG moved to a 3-2 record, facing Golden Guardians for Week 3 Game 2.
Images from Riot Games’ LCS broadcast