The Golden Guardians had an impressive week despite going 1-1. They showed flaws, getting out pressured in the early game by 100 Thieves and hanging around in CLG’s base a tad too long after taking an inhibitor, but they still showed a willingness to take fights and some great rotations.
In both games Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung had his signature champion, Tahm Kench, banned away and went for Nautilus. While Olleh still played fine, the team definitely missed the champion’s presence. There were a few plays that felt like he could’ve saved his teammate or had more impact in a fight if he had the catfish instead of the titan.
First Match: Team Liquid
The Guardians have hit the gauntlet this week, and it starts with TL. While the reigning LCS champions have shown chinks in their armor, they are coming off their first 2-0 weekend and are looking to gain steam towards Rift Rivals. The matchup to watch for this game is going to be in the mid lane, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen against Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
If Froggen even wants to lane against Jensen depending on the matchup, with his team showing in their CLG matchup that they aren’t afraid to lane swap with Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell going mid lane. Regardless, this matchup should be interesting especially in terms of what GGS want to draft for Froggen. He has shown a propensity for Irelia, but if GGS want the best shot at winning they should give Froggen a control mage he’s comfortable on, Anivia or Lux, and let him roam around the map with Juan “Contracts” Garcia for kills.
Second Match: Team Solo Mid
The gauntlet continues with another team that will be attending Rift Rivals, TSM. This team is also coming off a 2-0 week and has seemed to have locked into Jonathan “Grig” Armao as their starting jungler for the time being, as he as started in both games last week. That position is what the Guardians should look to outclass if they want to have a chance at beating TSM.
Contractz and Grig are very similar style junglers, they aren’t so much aggressive early game as they are constantly active around the map, being pulled across both sides as their team needs. TSM has been putting Grig on easy-to-engage champions such as Gragas and Hecarim, while the Guardians have put Contracts on early power junglers like RekSai and Olaf or given him Sejunai. Whoever is the most active in the matchup early should decide which team takes the nexus.
This seems like an 0-2 week for the Guardians. These are both teams that can exploit the Guardians weaknesses, the early lane phase in bot lane and poor positioning at times in fights. There could be a world in which they beat one of these teams, probably TL, but going 2-0 this week seems like a longer shot than Caitlyn’s ultimate from the fountain.
Follow Declan on Twitter: @DickyMclaughlin
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