With the first day of the North American LCS underway, we now get to see what some of these new teams have to offer. Crazy stuff is happening, Cho’gath being played, the back and forth Renegades vs. Liquid and two baron steals in a row by one player, just on the first day. The most hyped match of the day had to be Team Solo Mid vs Counter Logic Gaming, and it did not disappoint. The two rivals clashed at last split’s playoffs at Madison Square Garden, with CLG taking the win. TSM hoped to prove that money can buy wins, but sadly their lack of coordination and team fight confusion cost them the game.
Who would win, TSM’s new super roster, or CLG’s practice time? Four out of five of TSM’s players were new, while CLG only replaced their ADC, their mid laner Huhi was a sub last season and has had practice playing with the team for over a year. TSM is going to have to learn to balance all the egos of their super stars or they are going to have serious problems this split.
After a grueling 44 minute game, Counter Logic Gaming beat out Team Solo Mid. Both these teams performed extremely well, proving their macro and micro play are both very solid. Compared to some of the other teams today (cough, Dignitas, cough) TSM had a good performance. With this much raw talent, all they need is more practice to crush the competition.
Both teams had solid team compositions, with CLG drafting for a large focus on the split push. Their mid and top laner each brought teleport, and Rek’sai has a global ultimate. TSM did do something clever to try and counter act it. Bjergsen played Twisted Fate in the mid lane, whose ultimate ability helped stop some of the split push shenanigans Darshan tried to pull off. The few times TSM was able to gain a lead started when Jax tried to solo Dr. Mundo, and Twisted Fate would just use Destiny. CLG would then lose the side lane pressure and had to back off.
Early game was played extremely well by CLG, initiated with a well-timed lane swap. CLG played the lane swap better, so their players had already backed and gotten to lane before TSM’s were. At 3 minutes into the game, four members of CLG dived Hauntzer on Dr.Mundo, who had just returned back to lane after double jungling. This helped their main split pusher, Darshan on Jax, get ahead, allowing him to dominate the match up with Dr. Mundo. TSM is continuing their tradition of struggling top laners, Dyrus should be face palming after seeing that.
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The game became pretty stagnant until 22 minutes when CLG managed to get three kills and a baron for themselves. After that the team fights got insane, with Huhi’s Lissandra combined with well-timed Bard portals helping CLG win fights. Both lanes were being pushed, lengthening CLG’s lead.
After a second baron and a fifth dragon, the game finally ended with one epic team fight. The dragon buff combined with the Kalista damage obliterated TSM, allowing CLG to destroy their nexus. If CLG can keep up this level of coordination, it’s isn’t that hard to see them taking another split.