NA LCS Week Five Day Two showcased some clean game play from many of the teams. Leads were gained, and kept, which displays improvement among the region as a whole. The standings remain close as ever, and while the bottom is clear, the top of the ladders is far from decided. Not all the games were clean though, and there was plenty of bloodshed and excitement. In the ongoing race for the top of the standings and playoffs, it’s crucial to watch the teams and how they develop to beat out the close competition.
OpTic Gaming v Cloud9
OpTic Gaming (“OPT”) cleaned house in their match versus Cloud9 (“C9”). The team secured the first 2-0 weekend in their history, as well as broke free of the last place spot. Going in to the game, many considered the two near-evenly matched. The game, however, wasn’t close at all. OPT created a lead for themselves early and ran with it the entire way, never giving C9 room to breathe.
The lead was started by diving C9’s bottom lane with four to five members twice. The first brought almost all ten players in the bottom lane in the first few minutes. Though it was close, OPT won the skirmish three to zero. The second dive was a five-man on the side of OPT, and PowerOfEvil’s Talon killed both Sneaky and Zeyzal. This gave them a hearty lead going into the mid game, where they always stayed one step ahead of C9 in numerous objective trades across the map.
The game slowed down after the dives, and C9 did a decent job keeping the gold deficit manageable. At 20 minutes, OPT only had a 2k gold lead, despite being up five kills. C9 chose to engage while the lead wasn’t too large, but it proved to be their demise. Licorice used Kled’s Ultimate to Charge into the enemy team, and they quickly killed BIG. PowerOfEvil found a beautiful flank to unload his Shadow Assault into all of C9, killing three members in the blink of an eye and leading to an Ace. With this, OPT took an easy Baron.
C9 was helpless to stop OPT’s advances. They lost multiple members trying to defend their base, and still lost two Inhibitors. Arrow had accumulated multiple kills and high kill participation, and his damage output was high. After OPT grabbed another free Baron, a fight broke out in the C9 jungle. It looked as though C9 might pull the game back at the start of the fight, but OPT’s gold lead of over 10k proved too much. They crushed C9 five for three, and ran into their base to take the Nexus at 32 minutes.
FlyQuest v 100 Thieves
In definitely one of the most exciting endings to a game, FlyQuest (“FLY”) defeated 100 Thieves (“100T”) to challenge them for first place. It was extremely close at the very end, but 100T dominated FLY nearly the entire match. 100T established a lead early through exploiting Flame. Ssumday, the super star top laner, was able to Solo Kill Flame under his tower, and AnDa put Flame even further behind with another dive. Ssumday was the focal point of the early game, and took the First Tower bonus too.
AnDa captured Rift Herald, set his laners up for success and had great jungle pressure. Flame continued being dove and killed by 100T, and the game was grim. It continued to go in the favor of 100T when they swiftly took multiple towers, two Mountain Dragons and multiple kills. By 20 minutes, they amassed a respectable 5k gold lead.
Within a few minutes, 100T turned for Baron while Ssumday pressured the bottom lane. In the prolonged play, the core of 100T got two kills and the Baron buff, while Ssumday took the bottom Inhibitor. They tried to push top lane, where the only standing Inhibitor remained, but made a misstep. They overextended and Keane’s Orianna Command: Shockwave caught two members, stopping their advance.
100T did retake the respawned middle Inhibitor once they had respawned themselves, but then disaster happened. FLY were able to kill two 100T members in a team fight just outside their base. With the numbers advantage, FLY decided to group and push down middle. They planned to take one tower and base, but when they saw Ssumday and Ryu on the side lanes trying to end their Nexus, FLY kicked into overdrive. They pushed hard into the 100T base, while the two 100T members did the same to them. The base race was intense, with both teams first taking the Nexus Towers. The split screen showed both squads putting all they had into destroying the others’ Nexus, and FLY came out ahead by a mere two or three auto attacks. They won the game in one of the craziest endings we’ve seen all Split.
Team Liquid v Counter Logic Gaming
Although Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”) won some style points for the Kled funnel, Team Liquid (“TL”) defeated them. CLG decided to run a funnel, which is a viable strategy, but choosing Kled as the recipient was very questionable. Of course there was the chance of Kled stomping the squishy team of TL, but TL played intelligently to secure the win.
TL was able to keep the funnel down early through Xmithie’s and Pobelter’s early game damage was enough to win a two versus two, where Pobelter grabbed First Blood onto Reignover. This gave TL strong map pressure, and Xmithie was able to gank bottom to get Doublelift ahead too. From here, there were some objective trades across the map, and multiple towers fell.
CLG showed the potential of their composition shortly after 15 minutes. They finally pulled the trigger as a team, and used Kled’s Charge to run into the TL team. They only got one kill, but established some map pressure. A mere three minutes later, Kled’s horn blew again, as CLG marched into the TL jungle. Doublelift was hit by Sejuani and Kled Ultimates, and CLG won the fight two for zero, picking up a Mountain Dragon too.
The straw that broke CLG’s back was their attempt at Baron. A long, split up fight resulted in a four for one fight in the favor of TL. Doublelift in particular played the fight extremely well, kiting and surviving to put down massive damage. This led TL to take the Baron buff themselves, and proceeded to group bottom. CLG once again engaged a team fight, this one more desperate than the others. TL easily won the ensuing team fight three for zero. CLG had no chance when TL ran through the bottom lane, broke their base and their Nexus just under 27 minutes.
Clutch Gaming v Team SoloMid
An initially slow game snowballed very quickly in the mid game to give Team SoloMid (“TSM”) a win over Clutch Gaming (“CG”). With both teams sitting at 4-5 in the standings, this win was crucial for TSM to lift them up. The early game was very slow, where TSM attempted to make moves to the bottom side with the Talon pick. They were unable to capitalize on their pressure for a while because of defensive play by CG and Febiven’s control of the middle lane.
Eventually, at the 15 minutes mark, action started in the middle lane. A full blown team fight broke out, with bottom lanes roaming and top laners Teleporting. First Blood was picked up by Hauntzer. Shortly after this fight, TSM turned bottom again and pulled off a successful dive under two towers. They picked up two kills, and a ton of map pressure. CG did not, by any means, roll over and die here. They used Rift Herald mid to take two towers there and one in the top lane. Though on the back foot, they were able to trade objectives and keep the gold close.
The game broke open for TSM at 26 minutes. At this point CG attempted to take Baron Nashor. Grig heroically stole the buff away from his opponents, and though he died for it, his team Ace’d CG. With this buff, TSM destroyed multiple towers but couldn’t take any Inhibitors. TSM kept up the pressure but couldn’t push into the CG base. Luckily for them, CG gave them the opening they needed. CG engaged a fight in the middle lane, where they quickly got Ace’d again. With all five TSM members alive, CG’s Nexus fell with no defense at 34 minutes.
Golden Guardians v Echo Fox
On the backs of their jungle and top laners, Echo Fox (“FOX”) squeaked out a win against the rising Golden Guardians (“GGS”). It wasn’t an easy win, but FOX made the decisive calls to snag a lead and close it out. Dardoch got First Blood on Mickey, and got a lead early for his snowball Jungler. Contractz certainly made it difficult for FOX though. His Nocturne pick was a terror in the early and mid game. He repeat ganked bottom, killing Altec and Feng multiple times.
Huni gained a massive lead in the top lane, bouncing back from recent second-rate performances. His Gangplank accumulated a ton of gold with Kleptomancy and Parrrley, and even took First Tower by himself. FOX was also able to respond across the map when Contractz ganked bottom, and even created a lead this way.
There were some more small skirmishes and a ton of picks onto Feng’s Nami, but most of these were unimportant. A skirmish bottom got GGS two kills, but on the other side of the map Dardoch killed two members by himself in the GGS jungle. After another few minutes, GGS were caught with their pants down when FOX took a Baron for free and used Ryze’s Realm Warp to escape.
FOX used the buff to take multiple towers, but failed to take any Inhibitors. GGS had an admirable defense, and it continued when they won a team fight in the middle lane. Mickey’s Orianna output huge damage, and GGS looked back in the game. At 31 minutes, the last team fight began. Dardoch came up huge, securing a Triple Kill and carrying the fight for his team to win it four for zero. With only Contractz alive, FOX crashed into the base, killed the GGS Jungler and took his Nexus at 32 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/.
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