Cloud9 v Afreeca Freecs: Game One
Any viewers who were up in the middle of the night were wide awake after this game. Cloud9 (“C9”) obliterated Afreeca Freecs (“AFS”) in the first game of the series. It was an extremely bloody match, with both junglers active early on. First Blood was taken by Jensen with the help of Svenskeren mid. Spirit then found great ganks onto top and bottom. Svenskeren wouldn’t be outdone though, and he and his team killed multiple members around the map. Sneaky and Jensen solo killed AFS members and C9 got the First Tower in the bottom lane.
C9 never wavered and never let AFS breathe. When AFS took a tower, C9 got two of their own and a Rift Herald. They completely controlled AFS’s jungle, getting more picks by making them face check bushes. C9 continued their rotations and secured more objectives, including a Mountain and Infernal Dragon. Cresting 20 minutes, C9 had a massive 8k gold lead.
When C9 sieged an inner middle tower, AFS tried to initiate a team fight. C9 easily turned it around and won it three-for-one. Still forcing AFS to face check their dark jungle, C9 picked off Tusin when he tried to get vision for his team. This let C9 secure the Baron buff uncontested as Jensen zoned their team and deleted Kiin. Within a couple of minutes, two AFS Inhibitors were down. C9 was bold, and picked a team fight in the base of AFS. The fight went two-for-two, but AFS couldn’t manage to stop C9 from destroying their structures. The Nexus fell at an astonishingly quick 28 minutes.
C9 made a great comeback to win the second match against AFS. The early game was very difficult for the solo laners of C9. AFS jungler Mowgli was proactive from minute three, getting Kuro First Blood onto Jensen. Kiin then solo killed Licorice on his Viktor top counterpick, Mowgli ganked top to get another kill, and then Kiin dove and solo killed Licorice again. Kuro found a solo kill of his own in the mid lane against Jensen, exacting his revenge for game one. Crucially, Svenskeren managed to find a return kill onto Kuro.
C9’s bottom duo was quietly winning their side of the map and Svenskeren played to them. They were able to answer tower and objective kills, keeping the gold close to even. At 23 minutes, C9 mounted their comeback. A team fight began in the middle lane, where C9 got one kill. It seemed as though the teams would disengage, but oddly enough it continued on and C9 killed two more AFS members. Because of this, the Baron was quickly taken. AFS tried to contest, and did kill one C9 player, but lost three more of their own.
C9’s power play couldn’t be stopped from here. C9 smashed through two bottom lane towers to destroy their first Inhibitor at 25 minutes. A kill led them to bring down one of the Nexus Towers. After taking an Infernal Dragon, C9 turned to the middle lane and took that Inhibitor too. Soon after they managed to kill Mowgli, which led to a messy team fight. Again, C9 didn’t dominate the fight, but focused what remained of AFS’s base. They wouldn’t be stopped and the second Nexus fell at 29 minutes.
C9 eliminated the last Korean team in Worlds with their three-zero series win over AFS. This game, like the second, was close for much of the game. In a questionable play, Spirit donated First Blood to Svenskeren as he tried to invade the C9 jungle. The bottom lane was explosive this game. Kramer killed Sneaky in the isolated 2v2, and jungler presence was huge down there. There were multiple skirmishes bottom, with AFS usually coming out slightly ahead. Kramer accumulated a few kills which made him a huge threat. Kiin even found a kill with a great outplay when ganked versus Licorice and Svenskeren.
Both teams traded towers, but AFS cashed in on the First Tower bonus. The next play was when C9 firmly took the lead. Both teams met to fight for the Infernal and the a team fight ensued. C9 initially got two kills for one and both teams backed. The teams went straight back to it, and continued the fight. AFS killed three members for none, and though Svenskeren stole the Infernal, it gave AFS a road to Baron. Licorice and Jensen were the only C9 members alive and went to contest it. Against all odds, they killed Spirit and Licorice’s Ornn smacked Baron Nashor at 16HP to steal it away from AFS. Though they lost their lives for it, they saved the game for their team.
AFS was able to stop C9’s push with a four-for-one team fight win at 26 minutes. A couple of minutes later, C9 initiated another fight, where they found two kills, but AFS pushed them off of Baron. Then at 32 minutes, C9 engaged yet again and found two more kills. This allowed them to push all the way to destroy the middle Inhibitor. Two minutes later, C9 rinsed and repeated. They initiated one last fight where they slaughtered the final remaining Korean team at Worlds. With a clean Ace, all AFS could do is watch as their Nexus blew up at the hands of C9 at 35 minutes.
Fnatic v Edward Gaming: Game One
Similar to the earlier series, Edward Gaming (“EDG”) hard smashed Fnatic (“FNC”) in game one. It all started with a level one invade where Scout secured First Blood. A skirmish a few minutes later went one-for-one, but importantly Caps blew his Flash. He was killed twice in the middle lane to multiple EDG members and Scout was fully unlocked. They translated these kills into objectives too, getting the First Tower bonus in the bottom lane, two Infernal Dragons and a Rift Herald. EDG rotated and destroyed towers all over the map, snowballing the gold lead ever further.
When the Herald was used bottom, FNC tried to respond as a team. In their defense of the Tier Two Tower, EDG engaged a dive. They blasted FNC, killing three members and the tower too. After a few minutes, and another tower, EDG had a massive lead. The eight kill, five tower, two Infernal lead amounted to a massive 8.5k gold advantage.
EDG caught out Bwipo in the middle lane and killed their third Infernal Dragon, giving them a disgusting damage buff. A team fight in the FNC jungle was easily won by EDG, and they killed five members before killing the Baron too. From here, EDG moved to push their lanes. Though FNC caught out Ray, his team collapsed and Scout deleted Rekkles with his stacked Mejai’s Soulstealer LeBlanc. It wasn’t long until EDG pushed through the mid lane, took the Inhibitor, a couple more kills and the Nexus at a dominating 27 minutes.
EDG dominated the first game, but FNC enacted revenge with a similarly dominant Game 2 win. Despite the end being dominant, the first half of the game was relatively close. EDG created an advantage in the bottom lane by bringing five members down there to get the first two kills of the game. Soon after, EDG secured an Infernal Dragon and another kill in the bottom lane. It looked bad for FNC when Ray solo killed Bwipo. That was until Caps killed Ray in a 1v3 and survived, which led to another FNC kill.
Though EDG got the First Tower bonus in the bottom lane, Broxah played to the reinvigorated Caps to dive Scout. During this time, Bwipo brought down his opponent’s top tower. The game blew open for FNC at the second Infernal spawn. Here, as in the last game, both teams came to contest it. The team fight that inevitably happened resulted in a five-for-one win for FNC, leading to a tower and the Dragon. All of this helped FNC to amass a 6k gold lead at 20 minutes.
At 21 minutes, FNC had their eyes on Baron, and they found a pick which allowed them to start it. EDG contested, but FNC secured the objective as their solo laners killed three EDG players. They pushed to take three towers before backing. When they got back on the map, they pushed the bottom lane. A team fight broke out at the Inhibitor Tower, where FNC won it two-for-one. They pushed on, taking more and more, until they finished off the Nexus at 26 minutes.
The third game between these teams was extremely close, but FNC edged out the victory in the end. EDG had a lead and controlled much of the game. First Blood was secured again by Scout with the help of his team. EDG made repeat visits to the middle lane, effectively shutting down the Yasuo and nullifying his potential side lane threat. Then they used Herald to take two towers after winning a skirmish in the middle lane two-for-zero, and their gold lead amounted to 3k by the 20 minute mark.
EDG continued to take towers until 27 minutes when an Infernal Dragon spawned. These Dragons have been the turning points of these games, and this one was no different. FNC secured the objective and won the team fight afterwards four-for-one, which led to a Baron buff too. FNC grabbed a couple of towers and a Mountain Dragon, but their Baron didn’t lead to much.
The teams continued to dance around each other and pick small fights without much result. That was until 38 minutes, when FNC caught out two EDG members. This allowed them to push into EDG’s base and take their mid Inhibitor. At 46 minutes FNC finally got tired of waiting. They chose to rush the Baron, but Haro Hookshotted over the wall and stole it. Haro and Ray paid for the steals with their lives though, and their death timers were long. FNC saw their chance and pushed to finish the game. Three EDG members tried to push them away, but to no avail, and FNC destroyed their second Nexus at 47 minutes.
Fnatic broke the first seed curse and advanced to the Semifinals with this win over EDG. Like the majority of the games in this series, EDG had control over the early game. Haro ganked and killed Hylissang for First Blood, while Scout solo killed Caps in the mid lane. Broxah was caught out and killed, and EDG won a team fight at Herald three-for-one, but lost the objective. A few minutes later, Hylissang was caught out and Rift Herald was wasted as it died in the middle of lane, but FNC took an Infernal Dragon to add to their Cloud from earlier.
Caps, who was behind at this point, still found a one-shot onto iBoy. At 20 minutes, FNC turned the gold lead into their favor, but only by 1k. In the next 10 minutes, FNC continued to take Dragons, collecting four altogether, while demolishing more towers. EDG did find picks onto the FNC solo laners, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
FNC was done messing around at 30 minutes. Here they started Baron and managed to secure it. They got four unanswered kills too. With this huge advantage, FNC quickly rushed EDG’s base to destroy multiple towers and two Inhibitors. They backed, regrouped and pushed bottom. EDG rolled over and let FNC take their last Inhibitor and their Nexus Towers. Only when their Nexus was exposed did they try to pull the trigger, but by then it was too late. FNC won just before 33 minutes, moving on to meet C9 in the Semifinals.
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