The game lasted just over 30 minutes. The winning team only gave up 4 kills, and destroyed 11 enemy towers. The game ended with a 10,000 gold differential. If not for the headline titling this article, it’s probably safe to assume that you would not expect the winner of this described game to be Echo Fox.
Echo Fox has been the North American team hurt most by Riot’s hardened stance on players needing the correct work visas in order to participate in the LCS. For multiple weeks the team was forced to dress a lineup that was four fifths of Ember; a North American challenger series team. The Ember infused lineup performed exactly how you would expect an inexperienced challenger series team to perform against LCS teams; losing every game.
It was announced earlier in the week that star mid laner Froggen, and rookie Korean top laner kfo, would both return to the team for this weekend’s NA LCS matches. The intended lineup will be re-united for their games against Renegades and Team Dignitas. These are the match ups Echo Fox believes they can win. The team knows they are unlikely to compete against the CLG/C9/Immortals of the NA LCS, but they still plan to aim for a sixth place finish and avoid relegations.
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Echo Fox could not hand pick a better matched opponent than Renegades for their first game back since the beginning of the season. Renegades have struggled heavily, swapping out their support and top lane roles in desperation for a spark to ignite their lackluster performances. Veteran players Alex Ich and Crumbzz have not looked good either. Even still, as Froggen would later state in an interview, Echo Fox is in no position to be underestimating opponents with a 1-7 record of their own going into their game against Renegades.
Despite both teams entering the game with the same 1-7 record, it would not be a close game. Echo Fox would lead Renegades in gold from 7 minutes onwards, never falling behind for the rest of the game. Echo Fox was finally able to operate with some cohesion among all 5 players in the game. The language barrier did not seem to affect Korean top laner kfo, who would make a handful of perfectly timed teleport plays when he was not keeping the enemy Quinn at bay. Jungler Hard looked good on Elise, and Froggen’s Corki was everything you would expect from the legendary mid laner.
The game was a clean win for Echo Fox lead by Froggen, but the underwhelming Renegades aren’t a very good measuring stick for performance. Saturdays game against the inconsistent NRG eSports will certainly present an opportunity for Froggen and Echo Fox to make a statement.
If this GBM shows up in Sunday’s game against Echo Fox, it will be hard to stop NRG.
NRG fell to CLG in their game on Saturday and will be looking to rebound against Echo Fox on Sunday. This game is not a write off. Many thought NRG would stick to a top 3 spot in the NA LCS after they started the season with a series of convincing victories, but they have since suffered from inconsistency. Mid laner GBM has proven his ability, at times, to hard carry games by stealing barons and dominating team fights. In other games GBM is virtually invisible.
The mid lane match up between Echo Fox’s Froggen and NRG eSports’ GBM will be a major deciding point in Sunday’s game. If Froggen is able to shut down GBM, Echo Fox will have an opportunity to 2-0 their Week 5 matches and improve to a 3-1 record with Froggen in the lineup.
Echo Fox is set to take on NRG eSports tomorrow (Sunday) at 3PM EST.