NA LCS Week Five is off, and its one of the most exciting yet! It was the day of the underdogs, as multiple games went the way of teams lower in the standings. Still, we see many former champions struggle, while new blood is dominating the stage. Teams brought out some new picks and electrifying strategies to spice up the first day of the weekend!
Echo Fox v 100 Thieves
100 Thieves (“100T”) established themselves as the first place team today. They defeated Echo Fox (“FOX”) in a great comeback game. Though they took the Nexus, they certainly didn’t win every aspect of the match. FOX, on the back of Dardoch, had a good early game. He ganked and fought the funnel duo of 100T, and set Cody Sun behind. They secured three kills on the duo in the opening minutes. FOX were also able to secure herald, First Tower in the bottom lane and a middle lane tower. They accumulated a gold lead, but not a huge one.
100T were able to keep the game close enough because of Aphromoo. He was able to outplay a two versus two bottom to get a kill on Altec and kill Dardoch in the 100T top side jungle. Ssumday was also able to get a large lead by killing Huni early on, and continued to do so throughout the match. 100T managed to even up the gold after losing a bottom lane skirmish by re-engaging with Ryu and Ssumday Teleports, netting them four kills.
At 27 minutes, FOX attempted to take Baron Nashor. Ryu was able to make another great Teleport flank and land huge AOE damage on the FOX team. AnDa followed up on the engage while Cody Sun laid out huge damage. This resulted in a three for zero and the buff for 100T. With it, they were able to take all the FOX outer towers.
The last breaking point again came from a FOX play. At 36 minutes, they started the Elder Dragon, but lost another team fight two for zero. 100T took the Baron buff, and with the double super buffs, they easily took two Inhibitors. Cody Sun and AnDa got a pick onto Huni, and FOX had no chance to defend four versus five. 100T forced themselves into the base and took the Nexus at 41 minutes.
Cloud9 v Team Liquid
Cloud9 (“C9”) start their miracle run with a great win against Team Liquid (“TL”). C9 is at the bottom of the standings and managed to take down the Spring Split victors in an impressive fashion. Blaber replaced Svenskeren, and this change looked great. He was able to enable his lanes and play later game fights well. He and Licorice were the main catalysts for the team’s success.
Licorice solo killed Impact after dying for First Blood. This, and a dive with Blaber, gave Licorice two kills and a massive CS lead, going over 70 later in the game. Xmithie did make decent plays early, getting kills top and bottom, and taking an early dragon. TL, with immense laning pressure, broke open the bottom lane early and gave the team a lead there.
The mid game was slow, but exploded at the 24 minute mark. TL used many of their Ultimates on Jensen and killed him. This prompted them to go for the Baron, turn off of it and win a team fight four for two. After this, they turned to the middle lane and took the Tier One Tower. Unbeknownst to them, Licorice stayed on the map and flanked three members with the aid of Jensen. They got two kills in a two versus three, which gave them the Baron soon after.
C9 grouped to take the bottom Tier Two Tower and TL chose to engage with Impact’s Call of the Forge God. This only got Xmithie and their bottom Inhibitor killed. This gave C9 a 7k gold lead at near 30 minutes when they grouped top. Similarly to before, C9 took the Tier Two and found a kill, this time onto Olleh. With all the advantages, C9 took the top Inhibitor and kills onto Doublelift and Pobelter. Because their carries were dead, TL was unable to defend their Nexus, and C9 destroyed it at 31 minutes.
Team SoloMid v OpTic Gaming
The other team at the bottom of the standings, OpTic Gaming (“OPT”), took a win over the struggling Team SoloMid (“TSM”). It was a huge upset, and OPT looked strong. PowerOfEvil, who joked about having to carry his teams all the time, definitely showed why he said so. His Kleptomancy Viktor was crucial to the mid and late game team fights, and he indeed carried his team.
The match started off in the favor of TSM because of a successful gank bottom by Grig, netting Zven First Blood. TSM continued their proactive play with a three man gank towards Dhokla, and while they did kill him, Akaadian was able to snag a return kill. Throughout the mid game, there were a number of tower and objective trades. Dhokla died multiple times from the TSM global Ultimates, but OPT managed to trade or collapse on the plays.
At 20 minutes, TSM had a 1k gold lead. The match slowed down for a while here, until a team fight went two for zero in the favor of TSM. They weren’t able to secure the Baron buff, but they had a nice lead. This was until another team fight occurred, and while no one died, OPT had higher health bars. This allowed them to take the Baron buff, and clean up four kills for none with PowerOfEvil’s great team fighting. OPT quickly took the middle Inhibitor, the bottom lane Inhibitor Tower and Grig’s life before returning to base. They grouped top to take that Inhibitor easily, and when they went for the last, bottom Inhibitor, a fight began. The result was an Ace for OPT, which gave them the TSM Nexus at 32 minutes.
Golden Guardians v Counter Logic Gaming
Golden Guardians (“GGS”) grabbed another upset win versus Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”), putting themselves in the multi-way tie for second place. GGS drafted their signature picks, including the Talon, Heimerdinger and Fiddlesticks. They picked to their strengths with this draft and looked proficient on it.
There were many skirmishes around the middle lane in the early game because of the snowball matchup. It started in the favor of CLG, with Reignover receiving First Blood. The second fight, however, went the way of GGS, where Mickey got the kill. An early team fight occurred in the bottom lane. Both mid laners roamed down and both top laners Teleported. In a prolonged fight, GGS won it two for one, which soon after gave them First Tower.
GGS secured a huge lead at 19 minutes. A fight for Rift Herald amounted two kills and the Herald buff for them. But, seconds after they picked up the Herald buff, Baron Nashor spawned. With Heimerdinger’s great Baron damage, GGS took that objective too. With it, GGS killed a few more CLG members and cleaned up more of their turrets.
Another split up skirmish happened in CLG’s jungle, and Reignover was put on death timer. Mickey in particular played it well, executing the CLG Jungler and escaping cleanly. GGS took this chance to take their second Baron buff. With a now 10k gold lead, GGS made smart rotations to destroy all three Inhibitors, securing kills along the way. When they slayed two CLG members after taking top Inhibitor, GGS were unstoppable as they pushed to demolish the Nexus at 32 minutes.
FlyQuest v Clutch Gaming
The final match between FlyQuest (“FLY”) and Clutch Gaming (“CG”) was a blood bath. FLY, who held the lead for most of the match, took the win in a crucial game for their standings. They made moves early to procure an advantage, getting First Blood onto WildTurtle’s Varus. After this, they lost some fights, but were usually able to answer with cross map plays for kills or objectives.
There were a number of fights and objectives takes, but it wasn’t until 19 minutes that FLY took a more comfortable lead. They won a long, messy fight in their jungle three for one. With this opening, they went for Baron. While one member died, FLY secured the buff on four members. They cracked the base with it in the middle lane, but CG put up a strong defense to keep their Inhibitor alive.
From here, CG tried to engage fights, and had mixed success. The first one was at 25 minutes, which turned on them and gave FLY two kills and a top Tier Two Tower. The second happened four minutes later, where CG found two kills for none. As a result, CG attempted to take Baron. FLY, however, won a three versus five fight, wiping four CG members off the map. Here, Santorin also stole the Baron from LirA and CG.
FLY was invincible with this lead and momentum. Immediately after the Baron fight, the remaining members of FLY ran through top to destroy the top and middle Inhibitors to prepare their death push. When they grouped bottom, Hakuho tried to engage with his Fiddlesticks but exploded when he jumped into the FLY team. FLY quickly mopped up four kills altogether and the final standing Inhibitor. They destoryed CG’s Nexus in 32 minutes, as OPT and GGS had in the games before theirs.
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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