Immortals’ backdoor win over Counter Logic Gaming in Week 3 has been one of the most exciting moments of the 2020 LCS Spring Split thus far. CLG had a gold lead throughout the game and they consistently held control around objectives. Around 39 minutes into the match, CLG turned to start their second Baron, only for IMT to rush mid lane and destroy the Nexus. How exactly did IMT pull this off?
Before breaking down the final mid lane push, check out the match at 34 minutes. CLG pushes in mid in preparation for the spawning Ocean Drake, which will provide the Ocean Soul, if secured. They also have Ruin pushing bottom lane, while Eika clears top lane and IMT group mid. CLG moves into the bot-side river, where IMT has no vision. Rather than contest, IMT pushed mid and cleared CLG’s vision between mid lane and river, while Ruin destroyed the top lane tier two turret.
After hesitating for a bit, CLG turned and rushed down the Ocean Drake, which prompted Eika, Altec and Xmithie to hard push mid lane. sOAZ and Hakuho tried to prevent CLG’s recalls, allowing IMT to destroy CLG’s tier two mid lane turret and kill Smoothie.
While this trade attempt still favored CLG, it showed IMT’s game plan that ended up winning them the game. They figured out that the skirmishes were not in their favor,. Instead of contesting the neutral objective, IMT used their superior pushing power to take mid lane, while the tanks tried to stop CLG’s recalls. This moment in the game demonstrated a shift in IMT’s priorities from skirmishing and fighting CLG around an area, to trading objectives.
The Game-Winning Play
Fast-forward to 38 minutes. CLG clears mid, moves into top-side river and starts clearing vision.
IMT responded by pushing mid back towards CLG, moving into the river (they had one ward in the river brush) and putting down some vision of their own. CLG turned off Baron to fight, but IMT disengaged. In the process, Altec made sure to clear the wave, which pulled CLG away from Baron.
CLG moved back to clear mid and try to wrestle away vision control of the river brush. Once they moved back into the river, Eika placed his Disc of the Sun at CLG’s tier one turret, preventing the wave from pushing. CLG started the Baron again.
Altec stayed mid, while the rest of IMT moved to contest Baron. As IMT closed in on the pit, Ruin and Crown pincered from above and below the river. But Altec did not follow Crown to the river. Instead, he pushed down mid lane to the inhibitor turret. Hakuho dies, while sOAZ, Xmithie and Eika fall back in three different directions.
This is when IMT makes the call to backdoor. sOAZ uses Call of the Forge God and Searing Charge to knock up several members of CLG. Eika channels his Teleport to join Altec deep in mid lane. Once CLG realizes what is happening, Ruin channels Teleport and Wiggily channels recall.
Xmithie Flashes forward and uses Cocoon to cancel Ruin’s Teleport. He also damages Wiggily to interrupt the recall. CLG tries to burn down sOAZ, but the Ornn is too tanky. No CLG member gets back to base to defend the backdoor. Eika and Altec destroy the turrets and the Nexus to end the game.
While CLG had control for most of this game, IMT showed they are willing to win outside of traditional means. They showed maturity in allowing CLG to take certain objectives, while trading for others. IMT also played towards their scaling composition, using tanks, waveclear and mid laner Teleport to their advantage. Throughout the game, IMT made sure to keep mid lane pushing, even if top or bottom were not. They also showed decisiveness and trust in one another to execute the backdoor. Unfortunately, CLG could not respond to the play, even though IMT had shown their hand once already.