NA LCS Week Eight kicks off with some very different games! Coming to the close of the split, teams are neck-and-neck to secure the best possible spots for playoffs. Patch 8.15 was enabled for professional play, and new strategies are being showcased. Akali was a high-priority pick, while Lee Sin and Critical Strike marksmen found some more play after being irrelevant for a while. Because there are only two weeks left, every game matters for these teams and their hopes to represent North America at the World Championship.
100 Thieves v Echo Fox
100 Thieves (“100T”) cleanly defeated Echo Fox (“FOX”) to secure sole possession of second place. AnDa was the player to push his team to the victory by shutting down FOX’ playmaking. He controlled the jungle throughout the early game, and made Dardoch suffer. Dardoch had his camps stolen, was out-leveled and unable to make any ganks happen. Instead, AnDa’s Poppy was the one to make a successful gank. He helped Ssumday dive Huni and give him First Blood just before 10 minutes.
The game was slow early on. 100T were in control of the tempo, and they were happy to farm and scale. This was until they brought four members middle. They killed Damonte and took the First Tower bonus. Shortly after, FOX made an attempt to come back. A long team fight top ended in a small advantage to FOX, but they were still behind in gold. Then, FOX took the Rift Herald, but lost the ensuing team fight and couldn’t even pick up the buff. At 20 minutes, 100T had three unanswered towers and a 5k gold lead.
The game was decided at around 26 minutes. 100T started fighting Baron Nashor, forcing Huni to Teleport in. The teams danced around for a minutes until Aphromoo engaged on multiple FOX members. The rest of 100T layered their crowd control perfectly to decimate FOX, winning the fight four-for-zero and securing the Baron. A short time later, 100T grouped bottom for their final push. They dove the bottom Inhibitor Tower, killing three members immediately. They took the bottom Inhibitor and the other two members for a clean Ace. 100T then finished the FOX Nexus at a dominating 28 minutes.
Cloud9 v Golden Guardians
Cloud9 (“C9”) destroyed Golden Guardians (“GGS”) in their match to continue their rampage towards playoffs. They once again brought out the Kindred-Zilean duo, playing it very well. The opening minutes saw some action and objective takes, especially when Blaber ganked top. He secured First Blood onto Lourlo, but as both teams collapsed, Deftly found a trade kill onto Zeyzal. From here, C9 pushed their advantage with plays in the middle and bottom lane netting kills with no deaths for them.
The Jungle-Mid duo was the focal point of C9’s strategy. They played around each other with their ultimates to win a skirmish in the middle lane to secure the First Tower bonus. GGS did attempt some plays, like taking Herald and diving Licorice, to claw back into the game, but were unsuccessful in doing so. By 20 minutes, C9 had a 4k gold lead and kill and tower leads too.
A long 21 minute team fight went two-for-zero in favor of C9. This gave them an easy Baron Nashor take. With it, they began to push GGS’ towers, and found picks onto Mickey and Matt. From here, they took the middle Inhibitor and the Tier Twos in top and bottom. Contractz did have a great engage onto C9, which gave them two kills and stopped the C9 push temporarily. Unfortunately for GGS, C9 had an insurmountable 11k gold lead. Because of this, it wasn’t long until C9 destroyed all three Inhibitors, killed four members and brought down GGS’ Nexus at 30 minutes.
Counter Logic Gaming v Team SoloMid
A slow, methodical match resulted in a win for Team SoloMid (“TSM”) over Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”). The game had relatively low action early on, but First Blood was secured by Bjergsen in a middle two-versus-two, though Huhi traded a kill afterwards. CLG made a great rotation to secure the First Tower bonus a couple of minutes later, but TSM managed to trade a tower and Ocean Dragon for it. Throughout the mid-game, the teams traded some objectives and a couple of kills.
At 20 minutes, the gold was very close and neither team had a real advantage. Finally, at 23 minutes, a team fight occurred. CLG tried to engage with Huhi’s ultimate, but TSM quickly turned it around. They picked up two quick kills for none. A couple minutes later, TSM now engaged a fight in the middle lane. They killed three members easily while losing none, and secured the Baron too. With it, they cleaned up all of CLG’s towers outside of their base.
Now, at 30 minutes, TSM managed to gain a great 9k gold lead. Besides Biofrost dying after a great engage with no followup, the game stalled for almost five minutes. This was until TSM secured the second Baron buff uncontested. TSM used this expertly, pushing all three lanes at once until they took all three Inhibitors at 37 minutes. Because of this, stacked Super Minion – Baron-buffed minion waves flooded CLG’s base. A minute later, TSM took two more kills and CLG’s Nexus.
OpTic Gaming v Team Liquid
Similar to the match before, Team Liquid (“TL”) defeated OpTic Gaming (“OPT”) in a long, slow game. PowerOfEvil, on the reworked Akali, managed to get First Blood onto Xmithie by himself. OPT drafted a split pushing composition with some exciting champions, while TL drafted more for team fighting. Unfortunately for OPT, they weren’t able to get their split pushers ahead to gain significant advantages on the side lanes. Many times, they chose or were forced into grouped fights, where TL thrived.
Other than OPT turning around a dive in the top lane, TL always had the tempo. They secured multiple Elemental Dragons, including coveted Infernal Dragons. Before 20 minutes, TL won two separate fights, securing one or two kills each time while losing none. Despite this, the gold was only 1k in the favor of TL at 20 minutes.
The game had some objective trades here, but the game remained quiet until 29 minutes. Finally, TL made a decisive move and started up Baron Nashor. OPT contested, but TL secured the buff and won the team fight afterwards two-for-zero. With this momentum, TL also decided to demolish the top Tier Two. TL grouped in the middle lane and started their siege. Another team fight broke out, where TL came out on top two to zero. Because of the man advantage, TL swiftly took the middle towers and Inhibitor. OPT was helpless against the TL squad now pushing their Nexus towers. They mounted a desperate defense, but lost two more members. TL took OPT’s Nexus at 32 minutes in a very clean match.
Clutch Gaming v FlyQuest
A long, action packed match resulted in a win for FlyQuest (“FLY”) over Clutch Gaming (“CG”). FLY had control for most of the game, but it was quite even at points. Early on, the Junglers were very active. CG LirA found First Blood for Apollo in the bottom lane, while Santorin helped Keane kill Febiven multiple times. Santorin continued to gank for the solo laners, while LirA focused more on the bottom lane and Dragons. But FLY was able to carve out more leads. They secured the First Tower bonus in the top lane, dove CG’s bottom lane and won a team fight around Rift Herald five-for-one. CG killed the Herald here, but crucially couldn’t pick up the buff.
At 20 minutes, FLY had a 4k gold lead through a kill lead and objective trades. From here, the game slowed down quite a bit. It wasn’t until seven minutes later that FLY went aggressive, almost losing multiple members to a dive top. Luckily, they didn’t lose any. However, in the next few minutes JayJ was caught out and Flame was solo killed by Solo in a side lane. The gold lead diminished and the gold was near even.
FLY ended up getting Baron at 33 minutes when multiple CG members showed bottom. They did make it back to take a team fight, but lost it two for one. With the buff, they took the middle and bottom Inhibitors. A catch onto Febiven after Baron buff expired gave FLY the Elder Dragon, buffed up by three Elemental Dragons. CG did manage to defend their base, but lost a team fight a few minutes later near Baron. They were nearly wiped, and FLY was uncontested when they took CG’s Nexus just before 43 minutes.
To watch the NA LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.
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