Echo Fox made short work of Clutch Gaming on Friday with a 3-0 series victory during Round 1 of the North American League Championship Series regional qualifier in Los Angeles.
From the very start of the series, it was clear Echo Fox was simply the better-prepared team. In Game 1, Echo Fox employed an aggressive early-game strategy to catch out the enemy jungler and burn his Flash. From then on, the team simply kept up the pressure, roaming early to pick up multiple unanswered kills.
While Clutch Gaming seemed content to farm its way back into the opening contest, Echo Fox took every opportunity to get into the enemy team's face. After building a strong lead, the team found several favorable fights, including getting AD carry Lawrence "Lost" Hui a quadrakill to assist in claiming a 28-minute victory.
Across the rest of the series, Echo Fox constantly had better macro play and teamed up in skirmishes without even a moment of hesitation. The team's split-second reaction time consistently resulted in finding advantages and put Echo Fox firmly into the driver's seat throughout. In stark contrast was Clutch Gaming, which attempted to respond but couldn't keep pace.
By the final game, it seemed as though the members of Clutch Gaming were on completely different pages, lacking even basic levels of coordination. Although the team's mid laner, Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten, was able to put up a decent showing individually, he was little more than a beacon of false hope in the team's defeat.
Echo Fox's synergy shined bright with both top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon and jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett dominating in all three victories. Huni bullied his lane opponent, Colin "Solo" Earnest, finding first blood for himself just minutes into the first two games.
At the end of the day, the series came down to teamfighting and coordination, and Echo Fox reigned supreme in both, particularly in Game 3. With the full team sporting huge item and level advantages, Echo Fox began a two-pronged push to begin closing out the final game of the series. After quickly securing both inhibitors, Echo Fox used the minion pressure to force a final teamfight and pick up a 31-minute victory to close out the series 3-0.
Echo Fox advances to Round 2 of the regional gauntlet, where it will look to get revenge on Team SoloMid, which eliminated the team in the quarterfinals of the Summer Split playoffs.