Immortals ran into their first 0-2 week of the 2020 LCS Spring Split. Week 5 was a doozy, with losses to Dignitas and Cloud9. Immortals drops to fourth place in the standings, tied with Dignitas. Cloud9 remains first. FlyQuest remains second. And TSM climbs to third. Immortals plays two of the bottom-tier teams in Week 6–Golden Guardians and CLG.
Reviewing Week 5
Dignitas: 4-4, 4th place (tied)
IMT made a proactive play in bottom lane, with Xmithie, Eika and sOAZ all coming down for the fight. They took down Aphromoo and took first turret, while Grig secured the second Rift Herald. Both teams rotated mid, where DIG killed four of IMT’s members, destroyed mid turret and took the Dragon. All of this combined for a 5,000 gold favoring DIG. At 26 minutes, DIG pinched IMT between river and Raptor pit, killing all but one member. DIG took Baron, marched into IMT’s base, killed them all again, and ended the game in 30 minutes.
Player of the Match: N/A
This was a pretty bad showing from IMT. Xmithie got invaded early and never got to recover, because none of IMT’s laners had priority. They tried their best to control vision and play to their strengths, but could not find any openings. DIG was smart to continue pressuring and building damage items, while IMT was trying to stall. No individual from IMT stood out in this game.
Cloud9: 8-0, 1st place
Cloud9’s dominant win over IMT began in the draft. They banned Aphelios-Ornn-Soraka in the first phase, while IMT banned Nautilus-Mordekaiser-Rumble. IMT first-picked Sett, so C9 secured Senna-Tahm Kench, followed by IMT locking in Xayah-Rakan. C9 locked in Lee Sin, before banning Sejuani-Gragas. IMT banned Aatrox-Leblanc. C9 chose Vladimir as the answer to Sett, while IMT picked Elise-Orianna. C9 last-picked Zoe for Nisqy mid. These drafts indicated stronger poke and pick-potential for C9, while IMT had the stronger teamfighting composition.
Interesting gameplay emerged from minute one, as Zven brought a support item on Senna, while Vulcan began farming the lane as Tahm Kench. They prioritized the Mist Wraiths over CSing for Zven. Xmithie’s first gank came bot, but Tahm Kench Devour nullified it. With mid and bot pushing, C9 easily secured the first Dragon. Hakuho and Xmithie tried a gank mid, but Nisqy avoided the crowd control. Instead, C9’s bottom lane moved in to kill Altec for First Blood. Shortly thereafter, Zven roamed top and killed sOAZ with Licorice’s assistance. Blaber also secured Rift Herald afterwards. C9 completely controlled vision in the top river, summoned Rift Herald, and pressured top enough to destroy the turret.
At 11 minutes, C9 took the second Dragon with no resistance. They rotated bot and dove sOAZ, who turned it around with Hakuho and Xmithie nearby. Eika beat Nisqy on the roam, but no one died on either team. C9 held up the pressure, eventually taking the bottom turret and growing to a 4,000 gold lead at 13 minutes. Xmithie and Hakuho caught a pick on Blaber near Baron pit. However, C9 held pressure mid, took the second Rift Herald and dropped it to take down mid turret. Blaber went straight to Dragon and secured C9’s third.
sOAZ tried to punish an over-extended Nisqy near top turret, but Zven’s Dawning Shadow shielded him enough to survive. With C9 threatening Infernal Soul, they moved their entire team into IMT’s red-side jungle. Zven started poking down Xmithie with Senna’s extended range. As they chased, members of both teams moved to bottom lane. C9 killed Eika, then turned back to secure their fourth Dragon at 22 minutes. From there, they danced back and forth around Baron. Eventually, C9 turned and engaged on IMT. Zven secured a Triple Kill, while Blaber took Baron. From there, C9 marched it down bot and mid to end the game just under 29 minutes.
Player of the Match: N/A
This game just never felt close. sOAZ had his share of moments, but he also fell pretty far behind in the mid game and did not feel very impactful on the first-pick Sett. Xmithie and Hakuho got one pick onto Blaber, but it did not amount to much more than that. Altec and Hakuho’s Xayah-Rakan combo never felt as strong as C9’s Senna-Kench, even in laning phase. Eika mostly traded farm with Nisqy and held pressure mid as long as he could, but when he did group he died quickly. IMT needed to really take advantage of their grouped moments, but could not get it done.
Golden Guardians: 4-6, 6th place (tied)
Golden Guardians are first to the plate versus IMT in Week 6. This should be an easy win. IMT should be able to safely scale and play to their strengths, even if GG gets an early lead from match-ups. Closer is a jungler who could pressure Xmithie early, but IMT’s laners should have an easier time assisting if Closer invades. IMT is much better at controlling vision and teamfighting in the mid-late game than GG. Eika should not be under so much pressure from Goldenglue that he can never leave lane. Altec and Hakuho should not be constantly shoved in and dove against FBI and Keith.
Prediction – #IMTWIN – GG also had an 0-2 Week 5 versus FlyQuest and 100 Thieves. Those were worse opponents relative to IMT’s Cloud9 and Dignitas. GG will most likely not be able to punish IMT’s lack of early game pressure. Even if GG does get a lead, IMT will probably be able to stall them out long enough to win in the end. When they played in Week 2, IMT won in pretty dominant fashion.
Counter Logic Gaming: 1-9, 10th place
CLG should be an easy opponent for IMT, as a fourth place team versus the tenth place team. However, their previous match boiled down to a backdoor play for IMT to win. Since then CLG has added Pobelter to mid lane instead of Crown, and the meta has changed a little bit. Hopefully IMT has learned from their last match-up. Holding mid priority as long as possible is definitely a good piece of strategy, but it cannot be the only saving grace for the team. They should try to force Ruin on the Ornn and Wiggily on a Lee Sin or Elise. CLG seems less flexible on their top-side, so targeting top-jungle in draft seems like the way to go.
Player to Watch: Altec
Last time these teams matched up, Altec was IMT’s saving grace. He was the only one staying ahead in farm, staying alive, and keeping waves pushing against CLG. This small bit of pressure eventually allowed them to backdoor to win the game. Altec also had an off Week 5, so look for him to bounce back this week in both games.
Prediction – #IMTWIN – If CLG wins this match, then LCS viewers will quickly bail on any hope they had for IMT. CLG is a last place team who swapped one position last week. They have only won one match, but are waiting for that one team to slip up and give them the momentum to climb the standings. This would simultaneously be awful for IMT to lose and great for CLG to win.
Images from LoL Esports Flickr.