North America’s teams played week one of the 2019 LCS Spring Split last weekend, getting this year’s competition under way. As with any week of match-ups, certain players stood out above the rest. The Fantastic Four recognizes four different players from different teams that exhibited different strengths in their gameplay.
The Thing goes to the player who stayed strong and anchored his team in a win. They are usually holding down a lane in a losing match-up, sacrificing resources to enable teammates or otherwise remaining rock solid for the squad.
The Mr. Fantastic goes to whichever player made a big improvement since the last time they competed. This player stretched beyond expectations, proving that practice and training can net gains.
The Human Torch goes to whichever player really popped off in their games. This is the flashy “MVP”-style candidate that is probably already recognized by the broadcast and the fans.
Finally, Invisible Woman goes to a player on a losing team who still played very well. Losing teams and players rarely get much recognition, and this award hopes to shed some light on those individuals that did the best they could despite the loss.
The Thing – CG Damonte
Damonte brought stability to Clutch Gaming in both wins this weekend. Despite being down in gold and XP at 15 minutes, Damonte really turned on in the teamfights and finished 11-0-8. Versus his old organization, Echo Fox, Damonte brought a Galio that played a key role in every fight. Lira’s Camille and Vulcan’s Leona could dive FOX’s backline knowing Damonte would follow up. His flank near the Baron pit basically won Clutch the game.
Clutch drafted Damonte Akali against TSM, and he pulled through yet again. Broken Blade was dominating top side, but Damonte stayed patient, stayed safe and really turned on around 24 minutes. Clutch took a big fight near Baron, secured the objective and closed out the game.
Mr. Fantastic – FLY Pobelter
FlyQuest started their season off right with a 2-0 weekend, and Pobelter played a huge role in their victories, showing a different side than previous years. Paired with Santorin’s Camille, Pobelter played Galio versus Golden Guardians. They pulled off huge engagements, with Pobelter only dying once.
Playing against OpTic, FlyQuest drafted Lissandra for Pobelter. He matched up against Crown’s Zoe, which left him at a CS and gold deficit at 15 minutes. However, Pobelter’s expert usage of Lissandra’s crowd control and active items aided in FlyQuest’s comeback for the win.
Although Pobelter assumed the utility role in both games, FlyQuest clearly put a lot of faith in him to control fights. Golden Guardians and OpTic were able to draft mid laners in response to Pobelter’s champions, which is generally a disadvantage. He made sure to stretch the limits of Galio and Lissandra to start off 2019 right, and, following the off-season release from Liquid, Pobelter should show fans he is better than ever.
Human Torch – TL Jensen
Jensen is near the top of the standings in several statistics after two games, including KDA, laning differences and damage. Team Liquid’s first match versus Cloud9 stayed pretty close for the first 25 minutes, but Jensen’s first pick Cassiopeia kept up pressure the entire game. He finished with 10 kills, and showed exactly why Cassio currently has the highest ban rate across all leagues.
Drafting Lissandra on day two put Jensen in a different role, playing against Counter Logic Gaming. He and CoreJJ’s Rakan set up ally-oops from 20 to 30 minutes for Doublelift, Xmithie and Impact to dunk. Lissandra was Liquid’s last pick, and Jensen followed through with a solid performance. So far he looks like the biggest acquisition in the LCS off-season.
Invisible Woman – FOX Hakuho
In a league where so many fans are excited for CoreJJ, Hakuho actually seemed on a similar level in week one. Along with Apollo, he held down the bottom lane for Echo Fox against Clutch and Golden Guardians. They averaged ahead in both games, one with first round picks, one with Leona picked second round. Hakuho averaged similar KDA and kill participation stats to CoreJJ, too.
More importantly, Hakuho constantly set up his team for success with all of the crowd control, zoning and protection that Rakan and Leona bring to the game. From more nuanced disengage around objectives against Clutch, to an easy Solar Flare onto Hauntzer against Golden Guardians, Hakuho is setting the tone for 2019 with a solid pair of performances.
Images from LoL Esports Flickr
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