NALCS week two day one was a day of upsets. With the arrival of patch 8.12 featuring the removal of ‘Banner of Command’, most teams are still trying to find their own footing in the current meta. At the moment no team is looking invulnerable and everything up is in the air. Additionally after some of week one’s failure, more teams are willing to bring Marksman back to bot lane. By the end of the day, all teams in NALCS have dropped at least one of more games each. Therefore, negating any hope of a perfect season for any team.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Team Liquid
CLG may or may not have given away too much in the ‘pick-and-ban’ phase. Their choice of banning Galio and Swain, while giving away Kai-sa and Irelia, came back to haunt them later in the game. Also after last week’s game on Vladmir, Doublelift decided to go back to his old roots and picked Kai-sa.
Everything went well for CLG in the first 10 minutes, a clear jungle pathing from Reignover to avoid vision awarded CLG with the first blood. However, at 10:35 CLG initiated a 5-man bot dive, which got immediately answered by Liquid with a timely teleport from Impact and a good roam from Pobelter, killing Biofrost on Morgana. Afterwards, Liquid quickly turned their superior vision control into an infernal drake secure.
The turning point of the game took place at 21 minutes, when CLG looked to punish Xmithie for out-positioning around mid lane, however the fight was again won by Liquid in a similar fashion: Impact’s TP and Pobelter’s flank. Yet this time, Liquid completely ACE’d CLG and took Baron right away, resulting in a 10k gold advantage. Liquid then proceeded to smartly use the Baron buff and took turrets uncontested. At 27 minutes, all CLG’s inhibitors were taken down. With that in mind, CLG knew they only had one chance to come back and that was through team fighting.
Unfortunately for CLG, Doublelift was unstoppable on the Kai-sa and Liquid won the last team fight without breaking a sweat, ending the game at exactly 28 minutes.
TSM vs Clutch Gaming
CG – TSM’s Kyptonite. CG was once again able to live up to their nickname today and took down TSM. During ‘pick-and-ban’, both teams opted into standard composition with marksman in the bot lane, mage in mid. To our surprise, Bjergsen took a page from Froggen’s book and brought out the Anivia, in hope to stop Febiven’s Swain.
The early game was extremely stalled considering the meta we are in. The laning phase lasted until around 14 minutes with both teams feeling comfortable just trading farm. A fight finally broke out, when Bjergsen was too focused on contesting the CG blue buff. Without noticing how deep he was in the CG jungle. Logically, TSM lost this fight badly due to poor positioning. Giving up 3 kills and 2 turrets mid lane after CG summoned the Rift Herald.
With the gold in CG’s favour, they continued to pressure the map while taking down 2 bot lane turrets alongside 2 extra kills. At the 30 minutes mark, CG started Baron. Unfortunately for CG, at the last second Grig miraculously stole away the baron with Nocturne thus helping TSM stay in the game.
3 minutes later, with the only tank on CG ded, TSM felt confident of taking down CG’s bot turret until Febiven’s Swain unleashed his full power, killing 3 TSM members and forcing them back. At this point neither team wanted to be the one making the first mistake, therefore stalling the game out once again.
In the end, LirA managed to secure the Elder Dragon when both teams danced around it. Finally with Elder Dragon buff plus Baron which CG also took after the Elder Dragon, CG closed out the game at 45 minutes.
Optic Gaming vs Echo Fox
Which lane is Huni going to play today? The question was answered with a mid lane Irelia funnelling strategy. Three games in, and Huni has played three different roles. On the other side, OPT put all the eggs into PowerOfEvil
Even though the end goal of both teams is the same, the strategy towards it is different. OPT camped Fenix’s Karthus in the early to mid game, while FOX only wanted to get Huni’s Irelia ahead. While both team traded kills equally, OPT was in a better position simply due to their superior team composition.
After a failed tower dive attempt by FOX, OPT netted 3 kills and took baron after.
However, through a few successful team fights, FOX took the control back into their hands and looked poised to take the third Baron. But they overlooked a well-fed late-game super-carry Kai-sa’s ability to output damage. PowerOfEvil completely destroyed the whole FOX team and lead his team to the victory at 39 minutes.
100 Thieves vs FlyQuest
100T bounced back from their disappointing 0-2 week with a convincing victory over FLY. Just like the usual tone today, both 100T and FLY went with a standard team composition, featuring Ryu’s Lissandra and Ssumday’s Aatrox. It is safe to say that the top lane match-up between Ssumday and Flame was over at 10 minutes, when Ryu and Meteos came to 3-man dive Flame’s Ornn under his turret, blowing both his flash and stopwatch before killing him and taking the first turret.
The rest of the game was basically FLY trying their hardest to shutdown Ssumday, but inevitably failed to do so. In the mid game, Ryu and Meteos played really well off each other. They would bring doom to FLY members wherever they go. At 19 minutes in, 100T was up 4 turrets to 0 of FLY and was at a 10K gold advantage.
100T played the macro game extremely well mid game, they would clear out the whole red side jungle from FLY, putting down offensive wards while handicapping FLY’s defensive vision. At one point, FLY had to face check a bush and 100T were right there to punish them, consequently getting 4 kills and the Baron after. Due to the large gold advantage and Baron buff, 100T brute forced their way into FLY’s base and destroyed the Nexus at 28 minutes.
Golden Guardians vs Cloud9
GGS pulled off a win against C9 while being behind in almost every minute of the game. Deftly has always been the vocal point of GGS, this time GGS put all the trust onto him and drafted a funnel Kai-sa composition around him. C9 on the other hand went full standard with the exception of Svenskeren picking Evelynn.
One of the downside of picking a funnelling composition is that, you do not have a jungler that can gank other lanes. Therefore, Svenskeren took full advantage of it and put his focus down onto GGS’s bot lane. C9 brought 4 members bot lane twice to secure the first turret and put Mickey far behind on Yasuo. At 15 minutes, Goldenglue was able to one vs two GGS’s Deftly and Contractz and got a surprise kill on Deftly. Goldenglue continued to perform exceptionally well throughout the whole game.
In the mid game, both teams were rather even in gold. However, after a team fight took place around mid
lane, Goldenglue once again shut down the whole GGS team and anyone who was doubting him. Afterwards, C9 was able to secure Baron and took down 2 of GGS turrets. Everything seemed to be going C9’s way, until another team fight broke out. This time Svenskeren decided to flank GGS from the backside, but was unsuccessful. C9 was only to come out even because they were ahead in gold. As the game went on, Svenskeren went for the same flank twice in a row, both resulting in him being immediately caught and C9 losing more and more objectives.
In the end, GGS caught C9 off guard in the river and forced a team fight upon them. Nonetheless, this time GGS was not behind in gold and won the team fight handily. C9 eventually lost the game, despite Goldenglue playing out of his mind.
Featured image via LoL Esports.