2019 LCS Summer Split Week 2 moved to Day 2, and Counter Logic Gaming matched up versus Team Liquid. No one seriously thought CLG could take down North America’s Mid Season Invitational representatives. TL came into the match 2-1, winning Saturday against 100 Thieves. However, CLG were able to come out on top on Sunday, putting both teams at a 2-2 record over the first four games.
CLG and TL targeted the flex power picks less than most other LCS drafts. Irelia and Ryze got banned, but Xayah, Yuumi, Sona and Rumble were the other four. Akali, Sylas and Aatrox got through round one, with the latter getting first-picked by CLG. Therefore, TL drafted Sylas and Sivir as their first picks. CLG opted for Sejuani-Lux to round out their first draft phase, while TL locked in Olaf.
For the second round, CLG limited mid lane bullies Leblanc and Akali. TL banned Lucian-Kai’Sa, targeting Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes, and followed up by picking Karma. CLG responded with their bottom and mid laners–Caitlyn and Viktor. TL rounded out their composition with Kennen. CLG’s champions seemed slightly favored in the lanes, while TL would need to rely on Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero’s early game tempo on Olaf to get things rolling.
First Blood went according to plan, as Xmithie ventured to the top lane while Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min did not have his Flash. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Xmithie knocked Ruin down, and CLG responded by taking the Ocean Drake. Shortly thereafter, Xmithie ganked Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage to punish his lack of Flash, resulting in a kill for Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. Along with Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s 20 CS lead, TL pulled ahead to a 2,000 gold lead at 7:30.
CLG got their first kill on the board when Xmithie invaded Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin’s blue buff, but ended up getting caught out by him and PowerOfEvil. Wiggily then moved to top lane to set up a dive, but got caught out with Ruin and killed. TL eventually chased down Ruin and killed him all the way in their blue side jungle. With two CLG members down, TL decided to secure the second Ocean Drake, but Wiggily forced a Flash engage that combined with Vincent “Biofrost” Wang’s Final Spark to take down Xmithie and Jensen. By 13 minutes, CLG closed the gold deficit to less than 1,000.
Wiggily dropped CLG’s Rift Herald in the mid lane to secure some turret plates. Stixxay and Biofrost also took first turret in the bottom lane. Both teams moved towards the Infernal Drake, which CLG ultimately secured. From there, CLG took mid and top turret with little defense from TL, earning their own 1,500 gold lead. The map control allowed CLG to secure the third Ocean Drake, while TL tried to take their first turret top. PowerOfEvil was able to force them off.
CLG tried to pressure Baron, but TL spotted them and forced them away. PowerOfEvil was able to solo kill Jensen in top lane, which allowed CLG to go back to Baron. When Xmithie, Doublelift and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in cleared vision and tried to contest, CLG engaged and killed the jungler and AD carry. Impact and Jensen tried to contest again, but were ineffective. After taking Baron, CLG pushed for a nearly 7,000 gold lead and pressured TL’s bottom inhibitor.
Doublelift activated On the Hunt and Impact Flashed into CLG’s backline for a Slicing Maelstrom Double Kill. The rest of TL took down CLG’s solo laners, ending in a four for zero fight. In a matter of seconds, CLG’s gold lead dropped to roughly 1,500. CLG moved to establish vision near the third Infernal Drake, while TL opted for Baron vision. They met mid lane, with TL engaging, but CLG came away with two kills for none by immediately killing Impact and Xmithie. CLG took Baron, and TL stole the Infernal Drake from Ruin. With the Baron buff, CLG split-pushed top and bottom and ended the game at 36 minutes.
CLG were visibly confident in this game. Wiggily on Sejuani, in particular, pushed for engages with no fear and walked deep into enemy territory to solidify vision. The Caitlyn-Lux for Stixxay and Biofrost seemed like they were in their pocket. Ruin showed why Aatrox is pick-or-ban. They also got a bit lucky that Xmithie opted for the damage-heavy build, making it easier for CLG to repeatedly force his ultimate defensively. Once CLG regained control of the reigns, it became difficult for TL to engage around Viktor and Caitlyn’s zoning.
Images from Riot Games’ LCS broadcast