Cloud9 entered Week 4 with a 6-0 record and looked to stay undefeated with matches against Team SoloMid and Evil Geniuses.
Cloud9 Defeats the “SoloMid” Lane
Team SoloMid (TSM): 4-2
A matchup between a clear number 1 and a possible number 2 came with all the fireworks expected, just most of them on one side. The match started off a bit shaky for Cloud9 as Robert “Blaber” Huang caught sight of Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett in the river and engaged on him. Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer rotated up in support and led to a quick 2-0 kill lead for TSM with both kills going to the dangerous Bjergsen. While 1,000 gold down, Cloud9 baited TSM into a fight at Rift Herald and quickly killed Bjergsen, Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup and the Rift Herald, erasing the gold deficit. From then until the end of the game, Cloud9 routed TSM.
As well as Cloud9 played, TSM had a few crucial mistakes. First, and the most glaring, is Kobbe’s very poorly placed Miss Fortune’s Bullet Times and poor plays around those Bullet Times. On two separate occasions, Kobbe would place the Bullet Time and Dardoch would use Explosive Cask to push Cloud9 out of Kobbe’s attack. Another issue is their inability to punish Cloud9’s aggressive plays. Cloud9 sent four members to the bottom lane to kill Bjergsen, leaving Nisqy alone near midlane. Biofrost, Kobbe and Dardoch all collapsed on Nisqy and TSM did no damage to Nisqy while Dardoch was forced to use his Stopwatch. Let me reiterate that, TSM failed a 3v1 without even damaging their target.
Player of the Match: Phillipe “Vulcan” Laflamme
Even with Vulcan gaining attention as one of the best offseason moves, he is still insanely underrated. Early in the game TSM attempted a gank on Zven and Vulcan. Vulcan soaked up all the damage while Zven fired away at the three TSM members. While Zven did not kill anyone, Nisqy appeared during one of his signature roams and was able to kill one of the three. Later, while Cloud9 was marching down top lane they arrived at the tier 2 tower, but TSM met them and attempted a flank from the jungle. Vulcan zoned all five members of TSM away from the rest of Cloud9, eventually leading to the destruction of their Nexus.
Cloud9 Out Smarts Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses (EG): 3-4
EG entered this game as the second biggest disappointment, after Team Liquid, and left dazed and confused.
Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, Colin “Kumo” Zhao and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam faced their old team for the first time and looked to show Cloud9 they made the wrong move. EG struck first during the Pick/Ban phase doing what no other team has tried, banning Tahm Kench and Nautilus from Vulcan, forcing him onto Leona. Good strategy, but Vulcan’s is just too good.
Cloud9 feast on disjointed and singular team play, coincidentally that is what EG brought to the table. Jiizuke pursuing Nisqy early on after Svenskeren was already walking away is one example of poor team synergy. Later in the game, Svenskeren catches Nisqy alone and engages. The only help he received was a max range Equalizer and Zeyzal, who lacks damage, and led to both Jiizuke and Svenskeren being killed. Again, Jiizuke and this time Kumo attempt to catch Licorice alone, but Kumo starts the fight too early and Licorice stays out of range of Jiizuke’s attacks until the rest of both teams show up. This time only one EG member died, but it allowed Cloud9 to setup crucial vision for their Mountain Dragon Soul. The soul was the final nail in the coffin for EG and soon the Nexus fell.
Player of the Match: Nisqy, Cloud9
Nisqy played the role of garbage man this game, cleaning up teamfights. He finished with a 8/1/7 stat line and countless roams and random appearances. His play is reminiscent of Gandalf in The Two Towers, showing up late and destroying the enemy on sight. Except instead of a white wizard on a white horse, there was a…Gorgon. Nisqy earned Player of the Week honors for Week 4 through sheer dominance in this game coupled with his shutting down of Bjergsen in the game prior.
Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals Incoming
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG): 1-7
This season so far has been sub-optimal for CLG. From having the worst record in the LCS to being on the short end of the shortest game so far this year. In order to shake up things, CLG is bringing back Eugene “Pobelter” Park, replacing Lee “Crown” Min-ho. Before becoming a journeyman of the LCS, Pobelter won the North American LCS Championship with CLG in 2015. If CLG hopes to win they will have to play around and through Pobelter. The team has proven they cannot consistently win with their lineup, and Pobelter has the skill and experience to change that.
This matchup is heavily in Cloud9’s favor. CLG’s main strategy will be to weather the onslaught Cloud9 brings and then hope to catch Zven or Nisqy out of position and send them back to the fountain spawn. Although this strategy seems improbable at best, this iteration of CLG does not match up well against Cloud9.
Player to Watch: Pobelter, CLG
Pobelter has proven he can win with a decent team around him. Stixxay and Smoothie have shown glimpses of above-average gameplay and hope Pobelter can take pressure off them. As long as CLG doesn’t fall far behind, the game may last longer than 30 minutes.
Prediction – Cloud9
Having played every team once, this game starts the second half of the season. In this rematch, Immortals look to avenge their one-sided loss to Cloud9 on February 1st. Immortals picked to try to scale against Cloud9 in their first game. That decision backfired as Cloud9 does not let games last long enough to allow scaling champions to hit their peaks.
In order for Immortals to have a fighting chance, they have to put their solo laners on lane bullies. Pantheon, Renekton or Fiora should see some play in this game for Immortals. Last time they played each other Nisqy’s Pantheon wreaked havoc on Immortals rookie midlaner Jeremy “Eika” Valdenaire. Immortals must also allow Jake “Xmithie” Puchero to gank as often as possible, helping his lanes gain much-needed leads. Immortals have to execute their game perfectly and hope for multiple Cloud9 mistakes to win.
Player to Watch: Nisqy, Cloud9
Last time they met Nisqy was on the lane-bully, roaming menace Pantheon. He used Pantheon to push in Eika and exert so much pressure on him, preventing his Yasuo from gaining relevance. Of course Nisqy looks to do this again and continue his unopposed reign as King of the Midlane. Nisqy will smash Eika for a second time, unless Immortals uses all 5 bans on Nisqy. Allowing the rest of Cloud9 to pressure their own lanes because Xmithie will be on “protect the mid” duty.
Prediction – Cloud9
“From Our Haus to Yours”