After a week intermission for Rift Rivals, the NA LCS is back! After the break, these teams were primed to play some great League of Legends, and they surely delivered. The standings are starting to break apart near the top, but come closer together near the bottom. Teams were upset and others found redemption. This, along with new European-style adaptations from the teams, made this day crucial for many and that much more exciting to watch.
Echo Fox v Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”) dunked Echo Fox (“FOX”) in a slaughter of a game. The whole team performed very well, and FOX looked helpless against them. While they did draft strong lanes middle and bottom, they couldn’t translate it into any leads. Huni continued to struggle, and FOX crumbled around him.
The game was broken open in the top lane very early. Reignover secured First Blood on Huni in the opening few minutes. Another fight in the FOX jungle netted an overall two for two kill trade, but with Darshan getting a Double Kill. Though FOX did make some plays in the mid-game, CLG was diligent in trading objectives and kills back to neutralize them.
A team fight at 20 minutes gave CLG an overall five kills for one and a Baron buff. Because of Biofrost’s quick engages, they won two more fights, gaining more kills and towers. At the end of the first Baron buff, CLG had a 6k gold and 10 kill lead. Another fight occurred, going three-for-zero again for CLG, but they were too low to take the Baron for the second time.
CLG cemented their lead in an epic team fight around the second Baron. The fight seemed close at first, until Darshan’s Darius found resets on his Ultimate, Noxian Guillotine. He dunked multiple members of FOX to take yet another team fight win. After taking the bottom Inhibitor, CLG’s gold lead grew to 11k. They took an Elder Dragon after catching out Altec, and ran into the FOX base. FOX mounted a desperate defense, but were no match for CLG, and the Nexus was destroyed at 36 minutes.
100 Thieves v Team SoloMid
100 Thieves (“100T”) grabbed a win with their updated roster versus Team SoloMid (“TSM”). Though TSM looked poised to take over the game, 100T’s great macro play and team fighting led them to ultimately take the win. With two funnel compositions, the early game was inevitably slow. However, TSM, with their winning side lanes, carved out leads. Zven and Mithy were able to take the first two towers of the game and First Blood, while Grig and Bjergsen killed an Infernal Dragon. At 15 minutes, they had a decent 2k gold lead.
A fight around Rift Herald would set the tone for the rest of the game’s team fights. 100T won it two-for-zero, and another close fight in the bottom lane. This brought the gold lead back in their favor by 20 minutes. The match was very close, but exploded near Baron. Aphromoo was caught and killed, but 100T initiated a fight anyway. They won it three-for-one, and it translated to multiple towers. A few minutes later, TSM started Baron after picking off two 100T members. Ryu came up huge here, flashing into the Pit and doing massive AOE damage with Vladimir. With Aphromoo’s Pyke and Ssumday’s Dr. Mundo clean-up, they won the fight four-for-zero in a three-versus-five.
With the momentum, 100T took more towers. Another team fight was perfectly exectued by 100T at around 30 minutes. They circled TSM and secured two kills. Because of this man advantage, the top and middle Inhibitors were destroyed. When 100T went for the second Baron, TSM contested. A team fight broke out, and with the super-strong funneled Xayah and the fed Vladimir, they easily won the fight five-for-two. Then, 100T quickly ran into the base to demolish the Nexus at 36 minutes.
Clutch Gaming v Golden Guardians
In a back and forth game, Golden Guardians (“GGS”) edged out a win against Clutch Gaming (“CG”). GGS had a roller coaster of a game – early on, they played great, while their mid game was bad, and their late game was good again. Contractz enabled his bottom lane very early with a series of ganks. This resulted in multiple kills for himself and Deftly within a few minutes. They took the First Tower bonus along with the kills, and created a 3k gold lead at 10 minutes. Next, Contractz snatched a Double Kill in CG’s jungle, which lead to a Rift Herald.
GGS transitioned into the mid game with quite a lead, but threw a lot of it. They lost two skirmishes, one in the top lane and one near the middle lane. After Contractz and Mickey got picked off, CG took the first Baron of the game. They took a couple towers, but ended up over-extending in the bottom lane. Mickey, with exceptional positioning and maneuvering, led his team for a five for one extended team fight win. His Talon pick was instrumental to their win. His team fighting was excellent, especially for an assassin, and his impact on side lanes was significant.
Later, at 39 minutes, GGS come out on top of a Baron dance and take the buff without losing anything. They took a middle lane Inhibitor with it, but were unable to crack the base. Instead, they turned for the Elder Dragon. Because GGS had accumulated five Elemental Dragons up to this point, and the True Damage burn from the buff would have been massive, CG had to respond. GGS turned from the Dragon to kill all five CG members and destroy their Nexus in 43 minutes.
Team Liquid v OpTic Gaming
In a very close match, Team Liquid (“TL”) squeaked out a win against OpTic Gaming (“OPT”). The gold was nearly even the entire game, and TL came out on top due to their better macro and team fighting. The game began even, with First Blood being obtained by Xmithie, but Dhokla quickly traded a kill back. In fact, trades were quite common in the early game of this match. An extended skirmish at around 12 minutes resulted in OPT coming out ahead, with a delayed five-for-three.
The gold lead started to shift towards TL during this time. Though they lost the First Tower bonus, they won a few skirmishes. The first one was only one kill on Dhokla, but the next one netted TL two kills for none. They tried to force more fights, but OPT always managed to get away from their engage. Despite this, action finally happened when OPT hid in TL’s jungle. They found three members split apart from the other members of their team, and OPT punished them accordingly. With the man advantage, they took an easy Baron.
TL managed to trade towers with OPT even in the face of Baron buff. OPT’s Baron only granted them a 1.2k Power Play, and they didn’t gain much. TL did though when they fought in their jungle, getting two free kills. Because they got these kills, they took OPT’s middle Inhibitor. Shortly after, OPT went for another Baron. TL engaged the final team fight and won it dominantly, killing four members for zero. With only PowerOfEvil to defend the OPT base, TL killed him and took his Nexus at 40 minutes.
Cloud9 v FlyQuest
To the relief of Cloud9 (“C9”) fans, they finally managed to win another game against FlyQuest (“FLY”). Fan favorite Sneaky was back in the line up, though he and Zeyzal had a rough early game. FLY’s bottom lane duo exerted pressure on them throughout the laning phase. Along with this, Santorin and Keane made multiple trips into the bottom lane to create a lead. C9 outplayed them once, getting two kills for one, but ended up losing their tower.
Before all this, Svenskeren ganked for Licorice and secured First Blood against Flame. This gave Licorice a lead, which he was able to build on. Because of this, his Dr. Mundo was unkillable and a side lane threat, while Flame’s Jarvan IV was pretty much useless. Regardless of this, the gold was just about even.
The two teams traded kills and objectives in their early and mid game. The first major advantage was gained when a team fight was won by C9 three-for-zero, and they demolished the Tier One Tower mid. Soon after, a questionable FLY engage in the top lane lead to C9 capitalizing and winning a fight. They lost only one member but killed three, secured Baron in hand. They quickly took two Inhibitors and Keane’s life. When they grouped in the bottom lane, Zeyzal made another clutch pick onto JayJ. This allowed C9 to take the last Inhibitor and force down FLY’s Nexus shortly after at 30 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/.
Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.
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