The name Immortals implies never dying. Which is especially true when Cloud9 faced Immortals on the Rift during Week 2. Only difference is Cloud9 were the ones not dying, finishing the game ahead in kills 15 to 3. At times Cloud9 were just running from objective to objective with no resistance from Immortals. Even Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent on his signature Thresh could not hook a lead for Immortals, or land a hook on any Cloud9 member for that matter.
After pick/ban phase the teams looked very even, with Cloud9 drafting a mostly Attack Damage (AD) composition. Immortals opted for a heavy Ability Power (AP) draft. However, neither team took advantage of this and only one resistance-type item was completed for each team.
Once the game started, Cloud9 promptly stood out as the stronger team. Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer took advantage of the rookie midlaner Jérémy “Eika” Valdenaire and secured First Blood for Cloud9. This lead only grew for Cloud9 as they maneuvered from kill to objective slowly wearing down Immortals. As with the previous week, Immortals attempted to stall the game, but Cloud9 was too aggressive. Immortals’ Nexus fell just before the 30-minute mark, assuring Cloud9’s 3-0 start.
100 Thieves Unable to Steal One
100 Thieves entered this match fresh off a victory over struggling Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). Cloud9’s aimed to prevent Cody “Cody Sun” Li-Yu from dominating the bottom lane. They also needed to keep Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho in check in the top lane. This job normally would fall on the Jungler to create an advantage in lane. This time Cloud9’s solo laners, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie in the top lane and Nisqy, consistently created advantages without the help of Blabber. Allowing Licorice to effectively take Ssumday out of the game early. Nisqy feasted on the rookie midlaner Tommy “Ryoma” Le both via trading and out-farming him.
Once the mid-game started, Cloud9 started their targeting strategy. Every teamfight seemed to leave either Jungler William “Meteos” Hartman or Support William “Stunt” Chen dead, giving Cloud9 a significant advantage for taking objectives.
Cloud9 bottom lane carry Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen absolutely stood out this week and this game was his masterpiece. He shut down Cody Sun and by the time mid-game started Cody Sun was not ready for the onslaught Cloud9 had prepared. Around the 18 minute mark Licorice engaged on William “Meteos” Hartman and caused three members of 100 Thieves to disappear from the map. Immediately after, Cloud9 took a Wind Drake which not only sped the team up, but sped up the eventual defeat of 100 Thieves. They tried stalling but Cloud9 was too strong and destroyed the Nexus with a 32 minute victory.
Cloud9’s Week 3 has them slated to play the two biggest surprises of the split so far, FlyQuest followed by Team Dignitas.
FlyQuest has been seen as a bottom 5 team by a significant amount of fans. Veteran Lucas “Santorin” Larsen in the jungle, who has had success in the past but with other stars at the forefront of the team. This year is the exception, as Santorin and Omran “V1per” Shoura have established amazing synergy, combining for 21 kills, 29 assists and only 5 deaths in their first two games.
Both Cloud9 and FlyQuest share strengths in both Top and Jungle. The other three positions Cloud9 has a definite edge. Nisqy is far and away the more consistent mid but Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage is having a solid year. PowerOfEvil was tested by Jensen in Week 2 but has only faced weaker mid-laners outside of that game.
In order for Cloud9 to win, they simply have to continue their soul crushing play. Punish mistakes, if FlyQuest gets a tower then get an objective right back. Blabber visiting bottom lane and establishing a stronghold in FlyQuest’s bottom jungle is a key. Zven is absolutely on fire and looks to continue his deathless streak with superior Marksman play against Jason “WildTurtle” Tran this week.
Dignitas Looks to Unseat Cloud9
As with FlyQuest, Team Dignitas were seen as a mid to bottom tier team entering the season. Henrik “Froggen” Hansen in the midlane and Support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black turned back the clock and have been on an absolute tear this split. Add Seung-hoon “Huni” Heo’s undeniable skill in the top lane and bottom lane carry Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen’s go-button the size of Russia equals a team that lives in the face of their opponents.
Both teams will face their first tests of the season with no clear advantage. Cloud9 will aim to control Huni’s effect on the map by banning out Rumble, one of Huni’s signature picks. Licorice and Huni will duke it out top lane while Cloud9 looks to exert control over the map.
Dignitas will have to not give into the kill fiesta Cloud9 creates during their games. Dignitas will also have to take advantage of the jungle in order to surprise Cloud9 and gain advantages that way.
Featured photo courtesy of @Zven on Twitter
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