It might be a dream team on paper, but Team SoloMid still has a ways to go before the fantasy becomes reality. In arguably the most anticipated opening match in NA League of Legends Championship Series history, last season's NA LCS summer champions Counter Logic Gaming continued its winning streak over rivals TSM.
While TSM was able to display a bit of its potential through individual mechanical skill, CLG dominated with coordinated team play. New CLG starters Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyun in the mid lane and Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes at AD carry didn't miss a beat in their.
The difference between the two teams? CLG's map control. Even with the change in personnel, Counter Logic didn't falter in covering objectives, methodically taking over Summoner's Rift through smart play. TSM simply couldn't keep up, and by the end of the 44-minute game, CLG had taken two Rift Heralds, two Barons and five Dragons to TSM's trio of zeroes in those same categories. Stixxay's debut in place of Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng couldn't have gone any better; he accumulated a KDA of eight kills, one death and 11 assists.
"Our gameplay was really bad, but it's a systematic failure of how we practiced that led us to that point," TSM's AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng said.
TSM's lone member from last season's roster, Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg, echoed the sentiment.
"We definitely need more time. We need to figure out exactly how we want to be communicating, because some people aren't saying enough and some people are saying way too much," Bjergsen said. SoloMid will try to get back on track tomorrow against Team Liquid, while CLG will attempt to stay perfect in Sunday's kickoff against Dignitas.
It wasn't all bad for preseason favorites on Saturday, however. Immortals lived up to their billing against mainstay LCS team Cloud9. Jason "WildTurtle" Tran had a day reminiscent of his glory days on Team SoloMid, securing a quadrakill at the end of the game to seal Immortal's first franchise victory.
Lee "GBM" Chang-seok starred in NRG Esports' win over Dignitas, capping off his impressive North American introduction with not one, but two Baron steals. The former Jin Air Green Wings star helped his hamstrung team -- NRG used substitutes Cristian "Cris" Rosales and Lee "Shrimp" Byeong-hoon -- earn its first win of the season in a back-and-forth contest.
Team Liquid and the Renegades one-upped NRG and Dig's lengthy affair by going a full hour. It would be the outlaws, qualifiers from last season's Challenger series, that pulled out the win in the end, with Alberto "Crumbzz" Rengifo taking the role as the hero by stealing the Baron that led to the final push.
The final game of the day was Rick Fox's Echo Fox team debut against the undermanned Team Impulse. Fox had little issue dispatching Impulse, with former EU-turned-NA mid laner Henrik "Froggen" Hansen getting his first win in his new region. The real star of Echo Fox's entrance to the LCS was AD carry Yuri "KEITH" Jew, finishing with a KDA of 7/0/5 on Lucian. The Foxes will look to improve to 2-0 tomorrow when they play Cloud9.