Team SoloMid 1, Cloud9 0
Team SoloMid outlasted Cloud9 in a comeback victory to open Saturday's North American League of Legends Championship Series slate.
Both Cloud9 (1-4) and TSM (3-2) enjoyed leads during different phases of this game, but it was TSM's late game turnaround that allowed it to overcome a slow start to shut down Cloud9. Despite mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen, who posted an 8/5/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), and support Andy "Smoothie" Ta's return to the lineup for Cloud9, it couldn't muster enough resistance to prevent TSM making a late-game surge.
Before the frantic final moments of the game, things were fairly back and forth. Cloud9 opened up with the first major lead on the back of solid objective control before TSM won a few teamfights of its own to take a lead. Not ready to let TSM gain too much of a stranglehold on the game, Cloud9 won a 2-for-0 teamfight at 25 minutes that led to a Baron secure and then took a major advantage on the back of the almost 4,000 gold Baron power play.
In the blink of an eye, however, the game was completely flipped on its head.
With Cloud9 pushing for a second Baron, TSM support Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez used a clutch Abyssal Voyage to transport jungler Jonathan "Grig" Armao into the Baron Pit for a crucial contest. While Jensen managed to kill Grig seconds after he arrived into the Pit, it wasn't before Grig had enough time to steal the Baron away and give his team full control over the game. With the buff in hand, TSM began pushing into Cloud9's base, and it wasn't long before it was setting up for the win. All it took was one last teamfight just after the Baron expired for TSM to close out the 41-minute win.
Cloud9 will try and bounce back with a matchup against Echo Fox at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, while TSM looks ahead to a tilt with Golden Guardians earlier in the day at 3 p.m. ET.
-- Wyatt Donigan
Team Liquid 1, Echo Fox 0
The battle for the top of the standings in the NA LCS was quickly settled as Team Liquid took down Echo Fox with ease.
Echo Fox (3-2) finally sent Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon into the top lane but decided to mix up the other lanes, swapping AD carry Johnny "Altec" Ru into a mid lane/jungler hybrid role. While the gold-funneling strategy earned a gold advantage for Altec's Kai'Sa in the mid lane, the side lanes suffered heavily from a mix of tough matchups and gank pressure.
Team Liquid (4-1) started off with Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's Xayah seeking out a Level 1 fight where he secured first blood on his lane opponent, Echo Fox mid laner Kim "Fenix" Jae-hun's Yasuo. Doublelift continued his dominance in the laning phase, and once he got some gank help from jungler Jake "Xmithie" Puchero's Sejuani, he was able to secure first turret gold for Team Liquid.
Once Doublelift was free to rotate into other lanes, the kills kept flowing for Team Liquid as it decimated Echo Fox all across the Rift. Nearly all of the teamfights went in Team Liquid's favor as it racked up 23 kills by the 20-minute mark while only giving up five.
With Team Liquid completely controlling the pace of the game through side lane pressure and teamfighting prowess, the gold-funneling strategy from Echo Fox had no legs whatsoever. Liquid took away any hopes of Altec being able to help out the side lanes; he was stuck farming, and by the time Echo Fox decided to group and force fights it was much too late for any good to come of it. The first major teamfight resulted in Team Liquid quickly wiping the floor with Echo Fox and scoring an ace in the process. The fights that followed were more of the same as Team Liquid's near-constant pressure secured another ace before pushing to finish off the Nexus in just over 22 minutes.
Team Liquid look to continue to roll before going into Rift Rivals as it takes on Clutch Gaming on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, while Echo Fox hopes to bounce back against Cloud9 in the next game at 4 p.m. ET.
-- Ben Wong
100 Thieves 1, Clutch Gaming 0
100 Thieves snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Clutch Gaming.
100 Thieves (3-2) decided to run a gold-funneling strategy with AD carry Cody "Cody Sun" Sun's Xayah taking over the mid lane/jungler hybrid role. Besides just pushing the resources into Cody Sun, 100 Thieves drafted three support champions to keep him safe and let him carry in the mid and late game teamfights.
While Cody Sun and crew held down the middle lane and objectives, top laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho busted out the God Staff in the side lanes as his Jax tore through any opponent and turret on his way to a game-high 12/0/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists).
Everything seemed to be going 100 Thieves' way until a teamfight over Baron around the 31-minute mark. Clutch Gaming support Nikolas "Hakuho" Surgent's Zyra stole Baron from the inexperienced smite wielder Cody Sun and sucked the wind from 100 Thieves' sail. The mistake almost cost 100 Thieves the game, but Ssumday saved the day.
Clutch Gaming (2-3) used the Baron buff to push all the way down mid lane to expose the Nexus. However, Ssumday's Jax was there to stop Clutch in its tracks and picked up a triple kill that shifted momentum back into 100 Thieves' favor. 100 Thieves proceeded to push back against Clutch until Ssumday's Jax picked up another triple kill in the final teamfight before he went and razed Clutch's Nexus to lock up the win.
Clutch Gaming has its work cut out for it on Sunday as it takes on the first-place Team Liquid at 3 p.m. ET while 100 Thieves looks to continue to climb the standings with a match against OpTic Gaming at 5 p.m ET later that day.
FlyQuest 1, Golden Guardians 0
FlyQuest kept its momentum from last week as it rolled over the Golden Guardians.
The Golden Guardians (2-3) drafted the third gold-funneling strategy composition of the day and put the weight on AD carry Matthew "Deftly" Chen's Kai'Sa to carry his team to victory. However, the funnel strategy was again undone by losing side lane matchups.
FlyQuest's bottom lane duo started off the game stumbling as AD carry Jason "WildTurtle" Tran's Lucain gave over first blood in the first three minutes. The early death was enough of a slap to wake up WildTurtle as the next 2-on-2 skirmish finished with him picking up a kill and assist. The skirmish victory gave WildTurtle the edge for the rest of the laning phase and allowed FlyQuest jungler Lucas "Santorin" Tao Kilmer Larsen's Sejuani to help out the top laner, which shut down any good gank options for the Golden Guardians.
With Deftly floundering in the mid lane/jungler hybrid role, it was easy for FlyQuest to group up in the second half and pile on the turrets and objectives to further its lead. FlyQuest (2-3) was able to quickly siege through all of the inhibitors before going for the kill. Any stand that the Golden Guardians tried to make got shut down by a plethora of crowd control options from FlyQuest, specifically mid laner Jang "Keane" Lae-young's Galio and Santorin's Sejuani, who allowed WildTurtle to dump damage into his opponents. It didn't take long for the Golden Guardians to be pushed into the farthest reaches of its base, with players cowering in the fountain as FlyQuest claimed its second victory in a row.
Golden Guardians will look to even out its Week 3 record against Team SoloMid on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET while FlyQuest will try to add to its win streak against Counter Logic Gaming at 2 p.m. ET later that day.
Counter Logic Gaming 1, OpTic Gaming 0
Counter Logic Gaming shut down the OpTic Gaming's gold-funnel composition to secure a three-way tie at the second place position in the NA LCS standings.
OpTic Gaming (2-3) hasn't shied away from the gold-funneling strategy and has run it to some success with the resources going into mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage. The best way to counter the strategy -- focusing on heavy pressure in the side lanes -- is well-known, though, and Counter Logic Gaming (3-2) did just that in the top lane. PowerOfEvil didn't just sit in the middle lane and farm, though, opting to roam up to the top side of the Rift to help in an effort to make this composition work.
The help wasn't nearly enough as CLG sent plenty of gank help to top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya, who turned his Dr. Mundo into a very thick front line. A few of CLG's dives got a little greedy, allowing PowerOfEvil to pick up some kills, but that alone did nothing to put a dent in Darshan's massive lead. OpTic did its best to turtle and keep its base alive, often bouncing between lanes as CLG slowly advanced into its base.
With its base partially destroyed, OpTic Gaming made a desperate call to take Baron that would prove to seal its demise. The Baron attempt was quickly thwarted as CLG stormed into the pit, pushing OpTic Gaming off the objective before sending it to sit at the respawn screen while its Nexus exploded.
Counter Logic Gaming close out its Week 3 against FlyQuest on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, while OpTic Gaming take on 100 Thieves at 7 p.m. ET later that day.