While NA LCS Week Six came to an end, so does some teams’ playoff hopes, it seems. The number of games between the top and bottom teams is finally beginning to widen, with the top teams cleaning up their play. Every team is showing their perception of the 8.14 meta, and it’s a joy to watch. Because playoffs are fast approaching, teams have to take every win they can to claim their spot on the road to Worlds.
FlyQuest v Team SoloMid
FlyQuest (“FLY”) sure seem to like their base rushes as of late. They defeated Team SoloMid (“TSM”) in this odd, unexpected fashion. It was an overall low-action game, but TSM looked helpless. The criticism of their roll over and die tendency showcased here, but full credit to FLY for accumulating a lead and making a great call at the very end. FLY ended the game cleanly, but also started it off well. Santorin helped Flame get First Blood off of a top lane dive. When Grig tried to respond with a dive of his own on to Keane in the middle lane, he was outplayed. Keane narrowly survived, and with the help of Santorin secured the kill onto the enemy Jungler.
Throughout the laning phase, FLY’s lanes all were winning and had pressure. They managed to do significant damage to their respective towers while Santorin applied pressure from the jungle. The mid game brought a slower pace, but FLY still took objectives. TSM attempted to contest these objective, but would lose a member or simply be too hesitant to engage. By 20 minutes, FLY had three unanswered kills and towers, with a 3k gold lead.
TSM did find two picks onto JayJ to establish more map pressure and gain some vision control. Another few minutes passed with little happening except FLY picking up their second Mountain Dragon. The match, however, would be decided in one play out of nowhere. Using Tahm Kench’s Abyssal Voyage, JayJ, and Wildturtle killed Hauntzer in the bottom lane.
As TSM decided to take the middle tower, FLY made the call to keep pushing, now with Flame and Wildturtle. They took the tier two and were on the Inhibitor Tower when TSM started to recall, but Santorin and the rest of FLY wouldn’t let them. The FLY duo in TSM’s base quickly took structures with the two Mountain Dragon buffs, and though Zven’s Ezreal made it back to defend, he was instantly killed. Flame and Wildturtle finished TSM’s Nexus at 31 minutes in another crazy fashion.
100 Thieves v Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”), despite winning the early game, lost to 100 Thieves (“100T”) in their match today. In typical 100T fashion, their win came about through smart mid-late game macro and superior team fighting. CLG, on the other hand, showed a dominant early game but continued with their struggles to close it out. A level two mid lane two-versus-two resulted in First Blood for Huhi. CLG’s bottom lane was their focal point, as first they turned around a 100T play which gave Stixxay’s Kalista pick two kills. A repeat gank gave him another later.
100T lost early game altogether, but were able to get Ssumday ahead. His Darius was given a kill from a gank by AnDa, and he took his tower after CLG got the First Tower bonus bottom. Both teams made mistakes in the early-mid game, with members from both teams dying. There were a number of tower and objective trades, but the game slowed down in the mid game.
Between 20-25 minutes, both teams skirted around each other for vision control. The match finally broke open in a middle lane team fight. It was a long fight due to Stopwatches and Kindred’s Lamb’s Respite, but 100T managed to isolate Stixxay’s fed Kalista and kill him. They won the fight three-for-one, which resulted in a tier two tower and the Baron Nashor.
100T rotated and used their pressure to quickly take two Inhibitors. At 30 minutes, they had a 5k gold lead and they had outscaled the CLG team composition. With the use of Super Minion pressure, 100T secured a free second Baron at 34 minutes. A minute later, they grouped to push mid, and a team fight erupted. 100T absolutely smashed CLG, killing all five members. They quickly stormed the base, took the middle Inhibitor, and finally the Nexus at 36 minutes.
Team Liquid v Clutch Gaming
Team Liquid (“TL”) took a convincing win versus Clutch Gaming (“CG”) in their match. TL was in control throughout the entire game, and made few mistakes. Olleh capitalized very early on in the game on Vulcan’s over-aggression, getting First Blood on him. Though Moon did gank bottom to kill Doublelift, TL’s duo lane had overwhelming pressure on the bottom lane. They were able to kill Piglet when his support roamed middle to kill Pobelter, and the play was an overall one-for-one. Critically, TL’s bottom pressure was more impactful, leading to Dragons, a Rift Herald and the First Tower bonus.
The game was relatively slow, with TL gaining their advantage through better macro play rather than kills. In the mid game, they were able to secure more towers and neutral objectives to extend their gold lead further. Finally, at 21 minutes, CG made a move to kill the isolated Pobelter in the top lane. Pobelter had a great Command: Shockwave to stall the advancing enemies while his team collapsed. CG were caught like fish out of water, and TL killed four members while losing none. This lead to them slaying Baron Nashor.
With the Baron buff, TL pushed the middle and bottom lanes. They took the Inhibitors in both of these lanes relatively easily, but were unable to take the final Inhibitor in the top lane. TL regrouped, this time without Baron, but at this point, they had a 12k gold lead and the buff wasn’t necessary. TL sieged the top lane briefly before Aphromoo engaged on CG’s Piglet. He was instantly killed and was Pobelter’s 1,000th career kill. CG, down a member, could do little more than watch as TL brought down their Nexus at 27 minutes.
Cloud9 v Echo Fox
Cloud9 (“C9”) took another crucial step towards a playoffs spot with a comeback victory against Echo Fox (“FOX”). The finalized roster struggled throughout the early game, despite their composition’s early game strength. Licorice was able to pick Aatrox for himself, and he had immense pressure in the top lane. He nearly had his tower down, and when Blaber tried to help him finish it off, disaster struck. Dardoch countered the play, and with a great Huni initiation, he grabbed the first two kills.
FOX proceeded to decimate the C9 lineup. They found a ton of kills all around the map, with Smoothie and Dardoch grabbing many of the kills. Blaber in particular was picked on, he died when he tried to invade and died a couple of times on his own side of the map. FOX constantly kept up the pressure to find kills, towers and two Infernal Dragons.
One of Blaber’s deaths in his own jungle lead to FOX starting the Baron. Here, they were able to secure the buff, but at the cost of three of their lives and a middle lane tower. Though they had a large lead, FOX was unable to crack C9’s armor and take any Inhibitors. Dardoch died on a flank, and the team was forced to retreat and regroup. The match was quite even now, it seemed. FOX could no longer be fully aggressive without fear. Both teams played around the spawning Baron Nashor and vision control of the area.
After a few minutes of this, C9 stole the game back. A team fight in the middle lane resulted in three dead FOX members and a Baron buff going to C9. With it, they took a couple of towers but couldn’t break the base either. After the buff wore off, they sieged the last tier two tower in the bottom lane. They managed to destroy it and also kill Smoothie. C9 took their advantage and moved to the middle and top lanes, where a great Pyke hook from Zeyzal delivered Damonte to C9. A fight broke out, and C9 won it three for one. In the position, C9 easily took the top Inhibitor, the two Nexus Towers and the FOX Nexus at 36 minutes.
OpTic Gaming v Golden Guardians
OpTic Gaming (“OPT”) beat Golden Guardians (“GGS”) in a long, methodical match. Contractz, as usual, made moves very early. He set up Lourlo for First Blood onto his lane counterpart and slayed the Rift Herald, using it to get the First Tower bonus in the top lane. OPT responded with bottom lane plays, diving the bottom lane of GGS twice and taking their tower.
The mid game brought mostly objective trades, with OPT coming out on top much of the time due to Dhokla’s split-pushing Yorick. In this time frame, he was able to take all the outer towers in both side lanes and the top lane Inhibitor Tower. This would prove crucial to keeping his team in the game with gold. GGS, with a pick onto PowerOfEvil, was able to secure their first Baron at 31 minutes. With it, they took the middle tier two tower and the bottom Inhibitor tower.
After this buff expired, GGS claimed the Elder Dragon at 38 minutes, and with it they took Baron too. Now they were able to crack the middle and bottom Inhibitors, but not much else. The Inhibitors respawned and were killed again as the siege lasted for around 15 long minutes. OPT constantly beat GGS off their top lane Inhibitor tower every time.
Finally, the third Baron Nashor spawned. Both teams knew the importance of this in such a late game scenario, and faced each other at it. But, OPT decided to send Dhokla straight down mid while GGS started Baron. He quickly smashed base structures while GGS frantically tried to get back to their base, but OPT wouldn’t let them. Dhokla remained uncontested and took the entire GGS base, destroying the Nexus at 54 minutes.
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