Team Impulse couldn't get any lower after last Sunday's loss to league-toppers Immortals, falling in the quickest game in LCS history at 18 minutes. Heading into a Week 2 clash against former two-time champions Cloud9, the questions surrounding TiP weren't about winning -- but how long could the team last before losing?
"The second game against Immortals, we were just a little bit frustrated with the loss to Echo Fox because we thought we had a good chance of winning," Kenneth "Ken" Tang, support for Team Impulse, told ESPN on Saturday about their infamous 18-minute loss. "Immortals [simply] played a really good game -- they responded to our aggression well."
What occurred during Saturday's game against Cloud9 was a different Impulse squad from Week 1. Shin "Seraph" Woo-yeong subbed in as top laner versus C9, and he was the deciding factor in the surprising turnaround, carrying his new team to its first victory of the split. Along with Seraph, the rest of Impulse played to near perfection, consistently winning teamfights against C9's veteran roster. What started as one surprising kill that could possibly be passed over as a fluke quickly turned into a series of victories for Impulse, widening the lead by more than 3K in the mid-game
Ken explained how the decision from C9 to start Michael "Bunny FuFuu" Kurylo over Hai "Hai" Ham helped them in their preparation for the match. Due to Hai sitting, Impulse knew that the synergy and map movement from its opponents wouldn't be the same with Bunny, a new player to the team, trying to still find his footing in the squad. Impulse exploited the fact that the Bunny-led C9 would be hindered in its pick/ban phase and communication, resulting in aggression that was curbed by Immortals to be effective on Saturday.
"Seraph has really good communication," Ken said. "He talks about what he needs, and he also answers to our jungler's call. For example, the first bottom lane dive, he told me specifically that he wanted us to walk behind the enemy turret, and [we executed the attack without hesitation]."
A substitute as well, Ken is trying to make a name for himself in the league before Impulse's two Korean imports -- Kim "Procxin" Se-Young and Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik -- arrive in North America. Although not yet an established support in the scene, Ken has experience from his nearly three year pro-gaming history, having played for nine teams before subbing for Impulse in the NA LCS. His 1/1/12 performance on Braum was a key factor in Impulse's first win of the season, bouncing back from his first week when his overall scoreline was 1/5/3.
"I definitely feel confident heading into tomorrow's game," Ken said about his squad's chances against the 1-2 Renegades tomorrow. "We actually [scrimmaged] Renegades multiple times, both while playing in the NACS qualifier and when I was with TiP. I think we have a positive record against them, and without [Aleš "Freeze" Kněžínek], Renegades are going to have a hard time playing to their strengths."
Impulse will return to Rift on Sunday to see if it can turn its one improbable victory into a winning streak.