Esports League of Legends

NA LCS Week 5: Fight for First

NALCS logo Doublelift Aphromoo

After Week 4 of the NA LCS, the standings are in close proximity. Four teams tied for first, four teams tied for fifth, and two teams tied for ninth. For NA LCS Week 5, the four teams tied for first will play each other in order to take control of the top. On Day 1, Echo Fox will play 100 Thieves as the first game of the day, with Counter Logic Gaming playing Team Liquid on Day 2 for the third game.

With all four teams tied at a 5-3 record, it will be important to see who can take the top spots and who might fall behind the pack. The four teams tied for fifth are at a 4-4 record, so a 2-0 weekend could add another contender into the mix.

Taking a look at each matchup, let’s see who might end up on top as the first round robin finishes on Day 1. If you missed Week 4, check out our recaps for Day 1 and Day 2.

Echo Fox vs 100 Thieves

Echo Fox

NA LCS Week 5
Echo Fox logo. Photo via lolesports.com

After Rift Rivals, Echo Fox took back to the Rift with high hopes, but concerns in their play. Fox was the only team able to beat G2 Esports during the knockout round. Fox played again for NA against Fnatic, but lost in just under 24 minutes. Echo Fox squared against CLG on Week 4, Day 1, a match that they ended up losing. The team also subbed in Tanner “Damonte” Damonte in the mid lane for the entirety of Week 4.

It looked like Echo Fox might have learned from the games against the EU teams, as Fox drafted both Heimerdinger and Fiddlesticks to play in bot lane. Fox also drafted Dr. Mundo for Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. This was Huni’s first game on top lane Mundo this split. Both teams had focused early top side, but Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya’s Darius took over after early kills and pressure onto the Dr. Mundo. 

On Day 2, Echo Fox played TSM, where they were able to pick up a win. Fox drafted a more standard composition this time, with Huni having a safe lane against a Dr. Mundo, Gangplank. This time, Fox was able to protect Huni and properly teamfight with Damonte’s Galio. This is Fox’s strength and what they will need to use in order to stay on top.

100 Thieves

NA LCS Week 5
100 Thieves logo. Photo via lolesports.com

After Rift Rivals, 100 Thieves were left with a choice: play Brandini and Levi, or Ssumday and the newly acquired AnDa. The Thieves went with the latter, and looked to improve after their 1-3 Rift Rivals performance.

The Thieves also played against TSM in Week 4, and had a similar outcome. Both teams had run funnel compositions, with TSM funneling into Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s Taliyah, and 100 Thieves funneling into Sun “Cody Sun” Li Yu’s Xayah.

The Thieves did struggle early on, giving up First Blood, First Tower, and two dragons before AnDa’s Rakan picked the Thieves up two kills, a Rift Herald, and momentum towards the mid game.

Keeping Cody Sun on marksman and Ryu on mages have helped the Thieves adapt to the meta and shifting laners. TSM did take a baron to extend the game, but the funnel onto Cody Sun was too strong. Cody hit full build at 32:30 minutes in, with 438 cs to and five kills to get him there. The game ended in 36 minutes and 100 Thieves were looking good.

On Day 2, 100 Thieves were playing Golden Guardians, who also just came off of a win the previous day. Echo Fox might have struggled to play with Heimerdinger, but 100 Thieves struggled against it. Against TSM, the Thieves gave up First Blood to Heimerdinger, and against GGS, struggled to even get off the ground. GGS mid laner  Son “Mickey” Youngmin not only had his birthday during the weekend, but amazing performances on Talon and Zoe. Mickey took over the game against 100 Thieves. On Zoe, Mickey picked up First Blood, and two additional kills all before the six minute mark. It went downhill from there. 100 Thieves ended the weekend at 1-1, same as Echo Fox

The Upcoming Match

Echo Fox vs 100 Thieves should be a great game to start off the day. The draft phase should tell a lot about what the teams have been learning after Rift Rivals. Both Ssumday and Huni can carry for their teams, so prioritization for both top lane picks and bans are expected. Dardoch will probably be put in a better position to carry than AnDa, but 100 Thieves could always try to run another funnel composition with Cody Sun at the helm.

Depending on who is starting for Echo Fox will lean into the strategy they would run. If Damonte plays, Fox will probably run standard, but Fenix could jump back in and shift around the team. If Altec and Feng are going to continue to try mages bot, some assistance will be needed from Dardoch to secure an advantage against either Cody and Aphromoo, or Ryu and Aphromoo.

100 Thieves might be more comfortable, but Echo Fox have a better team fighting mindset. Early towers and dragons are going to control the game, but Echo Fox should come out with the win.

Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming

Team Liquid

NA LCS Week 5
Team Liquid logo. Photo via lolesports.com

TL had a pretty disappointing end to Rift Rivals. During the relay race, TL lost to Splyce, who hadn’t picked up a win in the group stage. After Rift Rivals, TL needed to show some adaptation to the current meta. G2 Esports have been able to run funnel comps, and Fnatic were able to run double mage bot lanes.

Most would have thought that TL would have had an easy 2-0 week against OpTic and FlyQuest. Upon playing against OpTic, though, it seemed like Liquid learned something new. Eugene “Pobelter” Park played Taliyah with Smite, and had Jake “Xmithie” Puchero on a support Shen.

The game had some ups and downs, as OpTic were running Heimerdinger and Fiddlesticks bot lane. TL were down kills for most of the game, but kept ahead by rotating around the map with Tahm Kench, Taliyah, and Shen’s abilities, and having teleport on the Jhin and Dr. Mundo. It was a closer game than TL should have hoped from the now 2-6 team, but it was another win going into the game against FlyQuest.

TL decided to try Peng “Doublelift” Yiliang on Vladimir again against FlyQuest. Much like the last time, this game did not go well for TL. For what many would consider to be fairly standard compositions for the current meta, FlyQuest dismantled Team Liquid. FlyQuest only gave up one kill during the match, and was down almost 16k gold by the end of the 24 minute match. Despite still being a top team, TL have struggled to get a hold on the new meta.

Counter Logic Gaming

NA LCS Week 5
Counter Logic Gaming logo. Photo via lolesports.com

CLG is the only team to enter the upcoming matches with a 2-0 record in Week 4. There is a lot going for CLG, despite ending the Spring Split in seventh. Choi “Huhi” Jae Hyun has played eight unique champions so far this split, and that has helped CLG in flexing their plays. CLG hasn’t really experimented with the meta like many other teams, but keeping Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes on marksman seems to be helping the team win. 

Counter Logic Gaming had a strong start against Echo Fox. CLG has been keeping up with their 100 percent first blood rate, and abused their counter pick top lane to snowball Darshan into an unstoppable Darius. Vincent “Biofrost” Wang played Rakan both games this weekend and did not die in their first game. Being able to engage and get out has helped CLG clinch games and keep opponents on their toes.

C9 had been experimenting with various rosters, and Sneaky was finally starting for C9. CLG’s strength for this match was teamfighting, while C9 wanted to have Licorice split-pushing on Gnar. Again, CLG picked up First Blood, this time bot side. CLG climbed up to a 4.9k gold lead by 32 minutes, but C9 was looking to make CLG work for their win. C9 bounced back in gold and was even ahead by 2.3k gold at 44 minutes. The deciding factor game when Huhi landed an amazing 4-man shockwave onto C9, and Stixxay cleaned up from there.

The Upcoming Match

Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming will be taking place half way through Day 2. The match is going to be interesting, starting in picks-and-bans because both teams like to play marksman bot. Having a counter pick topside will help both teams, and TL will need to keep tabs on Reignover to make sure CLG don’t snowball from a specific lane. Both teams have also been using the same lineup, so communication and teamwork could send one team ahead.

CLG will need to keep Doublelift in control, because if he plays a marksman and has time to scale, the TL bot lane might just mechanically outplay CLG. TL will need to nail Huhi down in bans, but CLG might just leave their red-side counter pick for that. Reignover and Xmithie might both be looking for similar champions like Gragas,Trundle, or Kindred, so both teams might look to prioritize jungle picks.

Lane pressure is going to matter a lot for these teams. Getting early kills could mean early towers, which could then snowball a team from there. If CLG gets another First Blood, they might be able to take it, but longer games favor TL. Team Liquid should win the game, as CLG sometimes cannot close games consistently with leads. So as long as TL don’t roll over, they should be able to win.

 

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Featured photo from lol.gamepedia.com

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