The end of NA LCS Week Nine brings us to the end of the regular season too. Teams fought their hardest to secure their spot in the post-season, but there are still a number of ties! Keeping with the rest of the split, some teams are still so close together that another day of play is needed to decide the seeding for playoffs. No matter the seeding, this split has seen some of the biggest changes and some of the most entertaining League of Legends fans have seen. On the road to Worlds, NA fans are eager to see how their favorite teams perform in the post-season and beyond!
100 Thieves v OpTic Gaming
OpTic Gaming (“OPT”) brought down 100 Thieves (“100T”) in an explosive first match of the day. It started horrifically for them, with PowerOfEvil giving over First Blood before the Minions even spawned. AnDa put on more pressure by ganking and killing PowerOfEvil again. 100T moved three members top to dive and kill Dhokla a few minutes later, which gave them the First Tower bonus as well. OPT never backed down though. They made plays of their own in the middle and top lanes, bringing kills and gold back their way to keep the game close.
Through some tower trades and a useless Rift Herald, OPT went into the mid game with only a slight disadvantage against 100T. 100T continued to come out on top of most macro plays, and the next one would be the same. After OPT caught out Aphromoo, they turned for Baron at 27 minutes. They secured the buff amidst 100T contention, but lost two members. With the numbers advantage, 100T were able to get two towers and the Inhibitor in the top lane. Though OPT got the Baron, they were forced to play defensively and actually ended up with a negative-gold Baron Power Play.
A couple smaller fights occurred that had little consequence. That was until 100T rushed the Elder Dragon and easily secured it. Surprisingly 100T found a winning team fight. They took two members down and only lost one. Now they had the pressure, and decided to go for Baron Nashor. While they ended up taking the buff, OPT Ace’d them. With little resistance, OPT pushed into 100T’s base, smashed their structures and took their Nexus just before 38 minutes.
Counter Logic Gaming v Golden Guardians
Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”) ended their split on a high note with a win over Golden Guardians (“GGS”). CLG was in control at every point in the game and made it look easy. The early game was dictated by Wiggly, who had multiple successful ganks within the first ten minutes. Contractz attempted to exploit Darshan in the top lane to make an advantage, but it wasn’t enough. Wiggly made himself known all over the map, taking objectives and giving his team leads to snowballl off of.
Besides a GGS turn around on a CLG dive bottom, they were unable to keep up with CLG’s pressure. At 20 minutes, CLG had a 2k gold lead, but had more intangible pressure. They had two Infernal Dragons to buff them up, and it made team fights easy. They won one three-for-zero at 22 minutes, and another at 27. This one allowed them to secure the first Baron buff. With it, CLG destroyed all three Inhibitors but were unable to do so to the Nexus Turrets.
GGS made a great defense, and they killed multiple CLG members in their base before chasing the rest out. It wouldn’t last though, as right when CLG left GGS’ base Baron Nashor re-spawned. CLG took it with no contest as two of GGS’ Inhibitors re-spawned. They didn’t last long, as CLG pushed into the base to knock them down easily. A pick onto Matt brought GGS to their knees, and CLG corralled them into their Fountain while they smashed the Nexus at 37 minutes.
Clutch Gaming v Echo Fox
Echo Fox (“FOX”) claimed a win versus Clutch Gaming (“CG”) and their spot in playoffs with it. They controlled much of the game, and surprisingly the first five minutes were the most volatile. It began with Huni getting First Blood on LirA, and Dardoch ganking for Huni to get another kill. To FOX’s dismay, they stayed around too long and lost the battle between Top-Jungle duos. After this though, FOX more cleanly snowballed their leads made in the top and bottom lanes.
FOX’s bottom lane, who isn’t typically the focal point of the team, was huge this match. They killed Hakuho by themselves and used the pressure advantage to secure the First Tower bonus. FOX consistently won objective trades, usually gaining an extra one over CG. They made smart rotations to find picks and translate those to towers and sometimes Dragons.
FOX took full control of the game through a play that started at 24 minutes. They started up the Baron, where CG contested. CG almost pushed them off, but chased too far and lost four members for zero. This let FOX take an easy Baron buff. With it, FOX brought down the middle and bottom Inhibitors. They regrouped after resetting in base in the top lane. CG mounted a defense, but were obliterated. FOX secured four kills and the 50 gold from the Nexus at 30 minutes.
FlyQuest v Cloud9
Cloud9 (“C9”) continued their dominant win-streak with a great win over FlyQuest (“FLY”). C9 fought fast and hard, gaining a lead within the first few minutes and snowballing it very effectively. Blaber found First Blood with a perfect counter gank in the middle lane, saving Jensen’s life in the process. FLY found a successful gank in the bottom lane and a great gank outplay by Flame, but these ween’t significant enough moving forward.
At 14 minutes, FLY attempted to gank C9’s bottom lane, but were met with fierce resistance. Sneaky survived and bought a ton of time while his team collapsed to turn the fight in their favor. The result was four kills to one in the favor of C9, with the First Tower bonus and a Mountain Dragon going their way too. After this, they found more kills and more towers, propelling them to a 5k gold lead at 20 minutes.
A couple of minutes later, C9 felt strong enough to start Baron Nashor. They burned it down with two Mountain Dragons, securing it and getting out safely. With it, C9 took multiple towers and two Inhibitors, giving them over a 10k gold lead. C9 continued their siege after the Baron buff expired, and when Blaber dove Wildturtle under his Inhibitor tower to kill him, C9 was unstoppable. They quickly destroyed the last Inhibitor, the Nexus Towers and the Nexus at a dominant 29 minutes to secure themselves a playoffs bye.
Team SoloMid v Team Liquid
Team SoloMid (“TSM”) won an exciting match against Team Liquid (“TL”) to get themselves into playoffs without a tie breaker. It was done almost fully off the back off Bjergsen, who showed one of the best carry performances in the entire split. Despite the win, TL had a massive lead early on. Zven was killed twice in the bottom lane two-versus-two, which gave them a six minute Infernal Dragon to. TL also won an early skirmish in the river two-for-zero, giving them a four kill lead to zero.
TSM took the first step in the comeback in a 10 minute fight. An extended team fight resulted in three kills going to TSM, with Bjergsen getting two. From here, the teams continued to fight at every chance possible. Bjergsen found Double and Triple Kills all over to become an unstoppable force. He outplayed his opponents in team fights and executed his first-pick Akali perfectly. They translated their lead first after a three-for-zero team fight, which gave TSM and Mountain Dragon and even Baron Nashor.
TSM managed to get the middle Inhibitor and numerous towers with the first Baron. The game was quiet for a time after that as TSM sieged and waited for Baron. When it did re-spawn, Bjergsen found a crucial kill onto Xmithie. This prompted his team to start the Baron buff, but TL responded. They started a team fight, and nearly stole the Baron, but the hero of TSM, Bjergsen, found the kill on it. This Baron allowed them to take more objectives, and turn around the desperate TL engage. TSM Ace’d TL in their base and took their Nexus at 34 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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