The Golden Guardians rebounded from their 0-2 week from two weeks ago, shout out Rift Rivals for the week break, and responded with a 1-1 week. They fell to an Optic squad vying for a top seed in the playoffs and triumphed over the last place Echo Fox. The Guardians also subbed in their Academy bot lane for the weekend, replacing the starting duo of Matthew “Deftly” Chen and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung for Ian Victor “FBI” Huang and Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun.
On Day 1, the Guardians faced off against a surging Optic gaming. With their new look bot lane, they picked a more aggressive duo, going for the Lucian and Yuumi. Finally utilizing the stronger mage supports and giving FBI a champion he is comfortable on in his LCS debut. The rest of the draft was standard for the Guardians, Sejuani for Juan “Contractz” Garcia, giving Henrik “Froggen” Hansen Corki for the second time this split and throwing Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell on a split push champion.
This game was the William “Meteos” Hartman game. He dominated the Guardians from the early game, triple buffing Contractz at the start and tracking his pathing with wards the whole game. At almost every gank Contractz tried to pull off, Meteos was there with the counter and turned it into a favorable trade for Optic. This all culminated in a Baron sneak by Meteos and the Optic mid laner that pushed the game out of the Guardians reach.
The Guardians bot lane struggled in their first game together on stage, FBI ate almost every hook the enemy Nautilus threw out. He did show proficient mechanics, even if he was over aggressive with his spells at times.
The lone bright spot for the Guardians was Hauntzer on Fiora. He won lane, with a substantial gold lead over his opponent 15 minutes into the game, he then proceeded to be a thorn in Optic’s side. He split pushed and even took one of Optics side-lane inhibitors, but It wasn’t enough to give the Guardians a win.
On Day 2, the Guardians struggled against the last place team, Echo Fox, but managed to get the win through superior drafting and late game decision making. Huhi also had himself a game, ending with a 24 KDA on Lux as if he were still in the mid lane. He did more damage this game than Echo Fox’s mid laner on Yasuo.
The Guardians started off hot this game, pulling off a two-kill bot lane dive in the first 10 minutes. Around the mid game Echo Fox had effectively stalled and eventually brought the gold in their favor after a few fights around the mid lane.
Echo Fox’s top laner Colin “Solo” Earnest made up most of the gold difference on Glangplank plank alone, duo to his passive gold generation and him smashing Hauntzer in lane.
The game came down to two team fights around Baron that the Guardians managed to successfully elongate and kite back, doing more damage. Echo Fox’s draft of Yasuo in the mid lane and Syndra in the bot lane meant that after their initial burst they had no way of doing more damage beyond Gangplank. The Guardians could kite back with FBI on Kalista, arguably the best kiting champion in the game, and whittle down Echo Fox until they were dead.
Week 5 Takeaways
The Guardians showed resiliency in both of their games, never letting a gold deficit dissuade them from trying to make a play. Whether that be taking a team fight seconds after just losing one in their game against Echo Fox or sticking to Hauntzers split push even when the enemy team is at the doorstep of their Nexus.
They also showed a spark in the bot lane that wasn’t there with Deftly and Olleh, a more aggressive pressure that could be the new blood or just the fact that they can have a stronger lane because Huhi can play mages.
Week 6: FlyQuest
The Guardians start out Week Seven against the surging FlyQuest. FlyQuest is coming off their first 2-0 week on the split against the same two opponents the Guardians played. With Kim “Wadid” Bae-in in the starting support spot FlyQuest look like a formidable opponent, especially against the Guardians who are one of the teams FlyQuest must beat out to a earn a playoff spot.
The matchup to highlight for this game should be between Contractz and Lucas “Santorin” Larsen in the jungle. In both games last week, the Danish jungler had only one death and was everywhere on the map on Rek’Sai. With Contractz propensity to give up one of his first two buffs at the start of the game, this matchup could swing in FlyQuests favor even if the Guardians ban Rek’Sai
Counter Logic Gaming
On the second day, the Guardians face off against a CLG team fighting for the number one seed. CLG is also coming off a 2-0 week and beating their archrivals, Team Solo Mid, for the first time in over three years.
The lane to look for to decide this match is going to be the bot lane. Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang have been playing out of their minds recently and whatever duo the Guardians decide to throw out on stage is likely to have their hands full. This matchup will decide heavily on who is starting, if it’s Deftly and Olleh then expect a more snowballing bot lane with a tank support, if its FBI and Huhi expect a more explosive lane with a mage.
The Guardians should go 1-1 if they want to keep their momentum towards a playoff spot, but it’s looking more and more like they are slowly regressing while the bottom of the LCS is getting stronger. I think the Guardians are headed toward another 0-2 week and would be surprised if they manged a win over FlyQuest and shocked of they beat CLG.
Follow Declan on Twitter: @DickyMclaughlin