The 2019 LCS Summer Split continued Week 3 with Counter Logic Gaming facing off against Golden Guardians for Game 2. This was a tough win for CLG, with GGS leading most of the early game. Their draft scaled a bit better, and every member played a key role in the victory. CLG’s teamfighting won out in the end, a running theme so far this split.
For the first ban phase, GGS targeted key power picks–Yuumi, Sylas and Rumble. CLG did the same, banning Sona and Aatrox, but they also decided to take away Olleh’s signature Tahm Kench. GGS prioritized a flex pick Irelia first, which CLG responded with Ryze-Lux. Deftly locked in his Draven, and Sejuani for Contractz. To end first phase, CLG locked in Trundle for Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin.
For ban phase two, GGS shaved away Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes’ options–Caitlyn and Sivir. CLG decided to further limit the support pool, banning Thresh. They also removed Akali as another flex pick. Ezreal got locked in for CLG. GGS rounded out their composition with Nautilus-Neeko, while CLG finalized theirs with Viktor. Overall, CLG’s composition would probably cede a good amount of early pressure, hoping for a few Trundle ganks. Instead, CLG’s champions had better scaling. Both teams had opportunities for split-pushing and finding picks.
Things got interesting from the start, with GGS’ solo laners swapping, matching Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min’s Ryze against Froggen’s Irelia top, and Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage’s Viktor versus Hauntzer’s Neeko mid. Just like Saturday’s match against FOX, Wiggily made his first Gank top, forcing Froggen’s Flash and First Blood to the Trundle. Not long after, Hauntzer, Contractz and Olleh caught Wiggily out near mid lane, with GGS’ Jungler taking the kill. Immediately, both teams’ Junglers and Mid Laners roamed top in a one-for-one exchange of Top Laners. GGS led by about 500 gold at 8 minutes.
Deftly and Olleh’s bottom lane pressure resulted in Infernal Drake going to GGS. At 9:30, Contractz and Hauntzer revisited top, locking down Ruin and getting another kill for the Neeko. CLG responded with the same in bottom lane, with Stixxay killing Olleh. Top lane got a little dicey next, as Froggen went for the solo kill on Ruin, with Ruin turning it around and dying to Contractz instead. GGS also tried to invade Wiggily’s jungle, but first lost Olleh and finished Wiggily later when he overstayed. By 14 minutes the gold was back to even.
The first major fight happened, of course, at Top Lane, with Vincent “Biofrost” Wang locking down Contractz and Contractz stunning Wiggily. GGS won the two-for-one and turned onto Rift Herald, but CLG pushed them off. Froggen knocked down top for first turret, GGS took Rift Herald and CLG secured Ocean Drake. Most of GGS then rotated mid and dropped the Herald, rotated bot to kill Ruin and take the turret, then Hauntzer finished the mid Turret. GGS pulled ahead 3,000 gold by 19 minutes.
At 21 minutes, GGS sent four members to the Bottom Lane and dove Ruin. The kill and pressure turned into pushing down the inhibitor. They did overstay to secure the inhibitor, which CLG punished by killing Olleh and Hauntzer. CLG moved to Baron, killed Contractz and secured the objective. GGS took the Cloud Drake as remuneration, then moved towards top lane to try to catch PowerOfEvil. Although the initial engage whiffed, Olleh was able to layer crowd control onto Stixxay and shut him down. The fight ended two-for-two, and the gold was virtually even at 25 minutes.
After a couple of standoffs, CLG moved down to take Cloud Drake, while GGS pushed mid. Ruin cleared bottom lane, but GGS rotated to Baron. Ruin Realm Warped in to cut them off, and GGS backed off the objective. CLG pushed mid lane and took the tier two turret. One more big teamfight mid went in CLG’s favor, mostly from Biofrost’s Lux denying Contractz’ engage and focusing down Hauntzer on his Teleport. CLG pushed down mid and ended in 32 minutes.
Honestly, this game felt more like a GGS loss than a CLG win. The momentum and decision-making was in GGS’ favor until the Baron play just after 20 minutes. Wiggily pulled off a gank or two, but Ruin was struggling to find his footing in the early game. Luckily, PowerOfEvil and Stixxay held it together without ceding too much farm and no deaths for most of the game. They were able to punish GGS’ over-aggression and win the last key teamfights. CLG joins five other teams tied for first with a 4-2 record–a great start this Summer Split.
Images from Riot Games’ LCS broadcast