If you didn’t get hyped looking at today’s match ups then you must not have been paying much attention to the NA LCS this season. This was a stacked schedule, packed with perfect match ups that could go either way. Seeing as we just went through an equally exciting schedule in the EU LCS, these crazy lineups are probably a result of the season resetting. Every team has played each other once, and now will loop through from the beginning again.
Game 1 – Echo Fox vs. NRG Esports
The day began with a game that should have been the easiest to predict out of all the scheduled games. Echo Fox has been crippled by visa issues, unable to dress their full lineup until yesterday, while NRG Esports have proven to be a strong, but inconsistent team. Even still, the NRG Esports team that shows up on a bad day should be capable of putting up a strong fight against the rookie Echo Fox team.
It was the ‘bad day’ NRG team that came to play, and the Froggen + kfo infused lineup didn’t cut them any slack. After a draft that resulted in a triple marksman composition for Echo Fox, the team would use superior team fighting to take over the game in convincing fashion.
The Corki/Malphite synergy proved again to be a deadly combination. A multi-man Malphite ultimate paired with Trinity Force Corki AOE damage is a powerful thing. There was no shortage of either of those things this game; kfo hit multiple 3-4 man knock ups, continuously engaging, or re-engaging, at just the right times while the three marksmen on his team cleaned up.
NRG have some issues to work on. They continue to assign Maokai to Impact; a player that likely deserves more than outdated tank champions, Altec is not doing enough damage, and GBM appears to be a completely different player than the one we saw in week 1.
Echo Fox put on a team fighting clinic, securing their third LCS win in the process. Echo Fox is now 3-1 this season with Froggen and kfo in the lineup. Next week they will take on Team Liquid and Team Impulse. How they fare has the potential to define the rest of their season as the spring split continues to wind down.
Echo Fox win.
Game 2 – TSM vs. CLG
The North American classic between rivals TSM and CLG marked the second game of NA LCS W5D2. CLG won the first match between the two teams at the beginning of the season and has remained relatively consistent since. Meanwhile, TSM has been shaky. TSM has been winning, but their star studded lineup craves domination. Winning by slim margins hasn’t pleased the TSM roster who has hopes of world domination. Despite their opinion on the matter, the team is still a winning team and entered this game with a 6-3 record.
CLG’s drafting was very, very confusing. They first picked Ryze, giving up the unbelievably dominating Alistar/Kalista combo to TSM, then followed up with Ashe and Morgana picks. By the end of the draft TSM had secured Fiora, Graves, Kalista, Alistar, and topped it off with Lissandra for flavor. CLG chose Ryze, Ashe, Morgana, Rek’Sai, and Viktor; maybe two high priority picks in there, but none as elusive as 4/5 of the picks TSM was allowed.
The game wasn’t much better than the drafting phase for CLG. Bjergsen secured first blood by solo killing HuHi in the mid lane. Keep in mind neither player was running an offensive second summoner (cleanse for HuHi, teleport for Bjergsen). HuHi would fall again when YellowStar and Svenkeresen roamed mid to give Bjerg some added firepower.
Then there was a skirmish forced by YellowStar in the bot lane that resulted in a 5v5. TSM claimed 3 kills over CLG’s 0, continuing to snowball the game. CLG did not look like CLG this game. TSM went forward and won the game without much resistance. Taking down a brand name team will be a big confidence boost for the growing TSM team.
Game 3 – Immortals vs. Cloud 9
If you are going to watch any one game today – watch this one!
Cloud 9 focused Adrian (or WildTurtle depending how you look at it) in the pick and ban phase by banning out Soraka, Janna, and Lulu. Adrian has only played Soraka or Janna all season long, so this would be the first time he was forced onto a new champion. Even though WildTurtle would not have Janna shields or Soraka heals to look forward to, Immortals still put together a composition capable of supporting him. ReignOver would be able to heal on Nidalee while Braum and Lux both provided shields.
Cloud 9 would be the first professional team in the world to select Jhin. Sneaky has been spamming the newly released champion in solo queue for weeks, and is widely regarded as the current Jhin expert. The champion operates on a reload system, and has no escapes, but deals out an incredible amount of damage.
The game didn’t start out well for the Jhin player. Adrian and Turtle hid in the bottom lane tri-brush anticipating Sneaky and Hai to pass through to invade in an effort to deny Immortals krugs. The ambush would be a success for Immortals and result in the death of Jhin; first blood going to WildTurtle’s Kalista.
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This early kill was indicative of the fast paced blood bath that soon followed. There were 11 kills by 10 minutes, 15 kills by 12 minutes, and 29 kills by 20 minutes. It was a tense game with relatively close team fights, but Immortals retained a gold advantage throughout the entire game by getting more done on a macro level. When the game ended just before the 30 minute mark, Cloud 9 had only destroyed a single turret.
Rush showed he still has what it takes to be a serious threat on Lee Sin, but ReignOver proved once again that he is just on another level. He solo killed Rush in the jungle early in the game, and chunked him multiple times after. We also saw some of the notorious Huni tilt. Playing Quinn, Huni put himself in a number of highly questionable situations that resulted in his death. The energetic top laner finished the game with a 3/6/10 KDA.
Meanwhile WildTurtle also found himself in “highly questionable” situations, but it was seemingly intentional. Building Sterak’s Gage and Maw of Malmortius allowed him to engage fights… on Kalista… #JustWildTurtleThings.
The Jhin pick didn’t win or lose Cloud 9 the game, but you have to wonder if the team would have been better off if they chose Allistar + Kalista on their first rotation instead of Allistar + Lee Sin.
A definite game of the season candidate. Immortals win.
Sorry cowboy this horse can't be tamed! #GGWP #TLWIN pic.twitter.com/imKzIaG7z3
— TeamLiquidLoL (@TeamLiquidLoL) February 14, 2016
Game 4 – Team Liquid vs. Renegades
Team Liquid is a newly revamped team trying to find out how good they really are. Renegades are a new team trying to prove they belong in the LCS. Renegades and their 1-7 record enter this game the underdog.
Ryze, despite winning only a single game so far in the LCS this season, is still being banned. This time it was by Team Liquid. Ryze is a comfort pick for Alex Ich, and Flaresz did look good on him a couple games ago, so perhaps it’s not a bad ban here.
FeniX earns first blood on Corki by solo killing Alex Ich’s LeBlanc in the mid lane. To Alex’s credit, it wasn’t as bad as Bjergsen’s solo kill on HuHi. In this case FeniX escaped with less than 20 HP. #Calculated.
This was not a pretty game. Renegades do not look like an LCS caliber team, with the exception of Freeze. Freeze maintained a CS lead over Piglet all game despite the attention his lane was receiving by the enemy team. Flaresz and Alex Ich lost lane convincingly and Crumbzz was invisible on Elise.
Renegades picked up a couple kills when Team Liquid was disrespecting their damage potential with aggressive posturing, but the handful of kills earned was not nearly enough to turn the tides of the game.
It wasn’t even close. Team Liquid win.
Game 5 – Team Dignitas vs. Team Impulse
Similar to Echo Fox, Team Impulse has shown improvement playing with their intended roster. Team Dignitas has looked exactly the same as they have looked over the past couple of seasons: bottom tier.
This game was a true clown fiesta. At one point Dignitas’ Kirei accidentally traveled through the enemy Bard’s magical journey and was insta-gibbed when he arrived at his destination. The gold totals for each teams rose and fell each time somebody was caught over extending without vision until Gate started hitting his Tempered Fate engagements on Bard, and the rest of his team were able to cleanup.
Team Dignitas is looking like a team destined for relegations alongside Renegades.
Gate MVP. Team Impulse win.
NA LCS W5D2: Games Worth Watching
Overall is was a great day for the NA LCS. The games worth watching are Echo Fox vs. NRG Esports and Immortals vs. Cloud 9.