The first day of NA LCS is over, and fans finally got to see how the NA teams are adjusting to the meta. They got to see various sorts of styles. Surprisingly, some played for late game, while some played into the meta strategy of early game dominance. It was definitely worth the wait for NA fans. The teams surely delivered with their new picks and adaptations.
Team Liquid vs 100 Thieves
Team Liquid took the first win of the NA LCS with a fairly standard team composition. The game started great with a first blood for Doublelift. The bot lane match up was very exploitable, and despite Meteos getting a kill for Cody Sun, his Vladimir was unable to do much. Meteos maintained impressive pressure early. He ganked the top and bot lanes, picked up an ocean dragon, and used Rift Herald to take first tower. A scrappy fight around Mountain Dragon made the game very close at 15 minutes.
It wasn’t long before TL found a 2-0 fight around mid lane to take a dragon and a 1.5k gold lead. A few minutes after that, another fight went the way of TL in the top lane. The extended conflict resulted in five clean kills for TL and a Baron buff. While Doublelift’s Xayah took a long time to come online, there was no stopping him once it did. It took only minutes for TL to take the top inhibitor, then the middle inhibitor. All the while, they picked apart 100T and took four kills before taking the Nexus. TL showed how standard team compositions can still work, and why they’re the defending champions.
Team Solo Mid vs Counter Logic Gaming
TSM fought hard against CLG to secure their first win. CLG was able to claim significant gold leads throughout the early and mid games. Reignover secured a large CS lead and apply pressure to all lanes. He had trouble pushing his lead, but he and his team were able to advance their lead through map and vision control. CLG had a 6k gold lead when they first turned to Baron Nashor, but what happened next was tragic for them.
CLG started Baron, but turned to engage TSM soon after. The fight went badly for CLG, with Hauntzer and Zven turning the fight into TSM’s favor. As a result, TSM secured the first Baron and used it to secure multiple towers and a 4.6k gold power play. This brought the team gold amounts to even.
Once TSM gained this position, they skillfully pushed it. They won every fight after that Baron turning point, obtaining more kills and objectives. Zven solo killed Darshan in his base, which ended up resulting in their first inhibitor. The fight around the second Baron showcased Haunzter’s impressive team fighting again.
They won it three for four, and came back minutes later to cleanly secure it. The gold lead grew to 8k for TSM before they finally pushed into the CLG base, killed four, and took down the nexus. The game was almost twice as long as the average in pro play so far, nearing 45 minutes. TSM’s superior macro style came through for them here, and proves that quick and crazy isn’t the only way to play this meta.
Clutch Gaming vs Cloud9
Clutch Gaming came out swinging from the start of this game. Before minions even spawned, Hakuho set his team up for two kills on the C9 bot laners. The snowball grew when LirA killed Svenskeren at 2:30 at Rift Scuttler. This gave CG a 1.5k gold lead at only 3 minutes, a monumental amount so early. Besides Goldenglue solo killing Febiven and Svenskeren getting two kills for his team bot, CG was unstoppable early.
During the mid game, C9 appeared to be coming back. They won a fight zero-for-two after CG took mid tower and Licorice applied quite a bit of pressure on side lanes. CG gained the map pressure advantage when Zeyzal was caught out and Solo’s Ornn ultimate caused Goldenglue to follow him. LirA outsmote Svenskeren and brought the Baron buff home for his team. Within the next five minutes, Clutch was able to take the bot lane inhibitor and siege top. After Svenskeren’s failed Nocturne ultimate, CG dove C9 and chased them into their base. The result was Apollo’s Vladimir tearing C9 apart. CG acquired four kills and C9’s Nexus at 33 minutes.
Goldenglue and Licorice had great games, but many question marks remain around the other three. Svenskeren struggled, and the academy substitutes will have to step up to prove they deserve the starting spots.
Echo Fox vs FlyQuest
This match between FOX and FLY was the epitome of the patch 8.11 fiesta meta. Players swapped roles, kills were abundant, and the game was quick. FOX took what looked like an easy win in a mere 23 minutes. It started disastrously for FLY when WILDTURTLE died level one to FOX’s super aggressive bot lane due to greedy pathing. Dardoch was able to secure a large lead in the jungle, being two levels up on Santorin at five minutes. This gave FOX quite a bit of pressure around the map, where Santorin had to play safe. He did end up having an impact in countering ganks and giving first tower to Keane.
Many fights early on were even or close to even. Keane ended up with a bunch of kills, but was ineffective in team fights, where FOX’s full melee composition excelled. After 15 minutes, FOX began to roll over FLY. Two fights go in their favor, one two-for-one and the other three-for-zero. Huni’s Yasuo and Adrian’s Shen were able to have massive game impact and it all accumulated in an ace at Baron.
Once FOX had the Baron buff and Altec’s Banner of Command minion, the mid lane towers fell quickly. FOX took the mid inhibitor tower and ignored the inhibitor itself, instead advancing forward to pick up three kills. This allowed them to finish their rampage and destroy the FLY nexus. FOX demonstrated their early game dominance and the hard carry potential of Huni. They seem to have a good grasp on how they want to play the meta, making them a fierce opponent moving forward.
Golden Guardians vs OpTic Gaming
OPT slowly chipped away at GGS to take the second slow, grinding victory of the day. Some moves were made in the early game, but didn’t amount to much. First blood came after 10 minutes’ PowerOfEvil grabbed it with the help of Dhoka’s Ornn ultimate. PowerOfEvil was the focal point of OPT throughout the whole game. His team had constant pressure around mid, and with it, his Viktor was able to obtain a 40 CS lead at 13 minutes.
Unlike the majority of patch 8.11 games, there were a measly five kills at 25 minutes. Towers fell for both sides, and the gold lead remained close for a long time. The tipping point came from a greedy dive on the part of GGS. The dive was quickly turned around by PowerOfEvil, the result being two kills chased down by Dhokla, Arrow and Akaadian. With Contractz, Smite, Deftly, and with massive AOE damage, OPT took an easy Baron buff. They gained a 5k gold lead when Baron buff timed out. The desperate GGS tried one last engage in the mid lane, but it was countered well. Three GGS members fell, and OPT walked their bot lane wave into the enemy’s base to take their nexus.
The game lasted well over 30 minutes, long for a game in this current meta. PowerOfEvil had very high damage numbers, and takes much of the credit for the win. Both teams played very slowly, perhaps to a fault. They showed some weaknesses that plagued them last split, but OPT have a good start to their split and are hoping to improve upon their lackluster Spring Split.
Featured image via Riot Games and LoL Esports.
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