Week 3 showed signs of life for Golden Guardians in the 2020 LCS Spring Split. After a comeback fell short versus TSM on Saturday, they pulled off an impressive victory versus Team Liquid on Monday Night League. The 1-1 weekend puts GGS in a tie for 7th place, joining the majority of the LCS in a pack separated by only one game. With matches against CLG and Dignitas coming up, the team will look to build on this week’s momentum.
Team SoloMid vs. Golden Guardians
Result: L (1-4)
Team SoloMid started the game off with a bang as they had a last-minute swap in draft. They placed Qiyana in the top lane against Aatrox with Bjergsen piloting Ornn in the mid lane. Thanks to Ornns passive, Bjergsen was able to rush the upgraded Abyssal Mask item, ensuring that Goldenglue’s Zoe never had a chance to kill him without jungler intervention. On the top side, the more volatile matchup was tilted in the favor Broken Blade with early jungle attention. This culminated in a level six dive to set Hauntzer permanently behind. However, good objective play and several key picks allowed Golden Guardians to claw back from close to 2.5k gold down and make it competitive.
In the end, several players were once again caught out by TSM leading to a 30-minute baron and the destruction of the GGS nexus. While they had some good moments, repeated isolated deaths plagued Golden Guardians from beginning to end. TSM was able to get good solo lane matchups and utilize their strong team fighting ultimates to prevent the comeback.
Team Liquid vs. Golden Guardians
Result: W (2-4)
Team Liquid entered the weekend with Jungler Broxah finally joining them in the United States. However, substitute jungler Shernfire remained in the lineup for Monday night’s game as the full lineup had limited practice. Golden Guardians coach Inero expressed his confidence in support Keith in a pregame interview, emphasizing that while he did not have a free pass to run it down every game, the staff does understand the role he plays on the team and that they believe he will continue to improve.
Keith responded to the vote of confidence with a strong performance on Thresh. Within 10 minutes, he had a kill to help secure FBI a lead and a roam mid resulting in two more kills. The deciding moment was a 24-minute baron sneak by GGS, putting Team Liquid permanently on the back foot. After getting caught out several times in the game on Saturday, Hauntzer bounced back with an impressive showing on Aatrox including several clutch kills in the game-deciding team fight.
Counter Logic Gaming (1-5)
After a strong 2019 season ended in a gauntlet heartbreak, Counter Logic Gaming has come out flat in 2020. Most people would have considered the additions of Crown and Smoothie as at worst a side-grade; however, the team has yet to click in the Spring Split. With the bottom half of the league so close, this is a must-win game for Golden Guardians if they want to start to prove themselves as a contender. Goldenglue has had some struggles in the last few games, and World Champion Crown will not be a pushover. However, if Keith, FBI, and Hauntzer play like they did against Team Liquid, this should be a GGS victory.
A team that combined proven veterans with young talent, Dignitas’ hot start 3-0 start has dropped to 3-3. Star players Huni and Froggen started the season off strong and will look to bounce back against GGS. Huni has one of the best GD@15 stats in the league, while Hauntzer is in last place. Froggen has dominated his whole career with strong laning and control mage team fighting and will look to capitalize on the mistakes of Goldenglue, who was repeatedly caught out this weekend. If Closer isn’t able to dominate in the jungle and the solo lanes are struggling, then Golden Guardians will have a hard time getting the win versus Dignitas.
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