[Spoiler alert, the winners of each best of 3 are annouced here]
For those unaware, on wednesday night was the North American Challenger Series qualifiers finals, that saw the ten top teams on the soloq ranked 5vs5 ladder fight each other for a chance to beat one of the 2 teams in relegation. The 2 teams matching up in this Best Of 3 are Counter Logic Gaming Black against Cloud 9 Tempest. Important to note that Yusui, C9T usual mid laner, is rumored to be banned from competitive play for a year after buying accounts from a third party website. He is replace by Jintae on the roster. On the other side, CLG Black is subbing in Frost since Stixxay has been suspended by Riot due to toxicity on a second account that Riot called a “rage account”.
-Top lane- Lourlo
-Mid lane- Scarra
-Top lane- Solo
-Mid lane- Jintae
Match 1 CLG Black – C9T
Picks and Bans : CLG Black bans – Gragas, Sivir, Hecarim
: CLG Black picks – Tresh, Ashe, Sejuani, Rumble, Varus
: C9T bans – Alistar, Kalista, Ryze
: C9T picks – Maokai, Rek’Sai, Jinx, Nautilus,Ziggs
CLG Black started the game by sending Ashe alone in the top lane and sending Kenny and Lourlo to jungle with Thinkcard. 4 members of C9T grab the bottom lane turret at the 4th minute of the game and follow it up with the 1st dragon of the game. CLG Black answer with the top lane turret a little bit after C9T grab the dragon. The team trade a kill each with their bot lane, Ashe grabbing the kill for CLG Black while Maokai grab the kill for C9T. With a 3 man squad of the top laner and the bot laner, CLG Black is able to grab the bottom lane turret. Even with a turret advantage, the gold is even between the teams at the 8th minute due to Hard and Solo having twice the farm of Thinkcard and Lourlo. At the 10th minute of the game, C9T locks down Jinx and the pick allows them to grab the mid lane inner turret. They rush to the dragon and grab it uncontested and are now 2 dragon to 0. Trying to out-rotate C9T, CLG Black left Solo alone in the top lane, allowing him to grab the 3rd tower of the game for C9T at the 13th minute. CLG Black is grouping up and are trying to get the outer mid lane tower but are struggling to get through the Ziggs waveclear. At the 16th minute mark, the turret still stands. After a catch on Solo in the bottom lane that brought him to around 200 hp, CLG Black start a dragon. Solo teleports back in and C9T engage on CLG Black, trading 4 kills for 1 and getting their 3rd dragon in bonus. At the 19th minute, C9T manages a nice pick on Rumble that only gives C9T the pressure to steal the blue buff from CLG Black. At the 24th minute, C9T start their 4th dragon of the game, zoning CLG Black with Ziggs and Jinx, and are able to get it. Seeing an overextension by CLG Black, C9T engages and trade 4 kills for 1. At the 25th minute, C9T has a 5k gold lead over CLG Black. At the 30th minute mark, C9T position themselves to get their 5th dragon, but Thinkcard lands an amazing ultimate on their back line comboed with the Equalizer from Rumble. The fight ends 3 for 3, but teleports from both top laners allows the fight to keep on even longer. C9T manages to grab the fifth dragon and the buff, but afterwards Hard and Sheep get caught one after the other and stops their team from grabbing a baron. CLG Black also grabs the mid lane outer turret in the meantime. At the 35th minute, the gold lead is reduced to 4k for C9T. C9T catch Scarra in their jungle and right after find another pick on Kenny and they start a baron, stopped mainly by Thinkcard. After finding a kill on Frost, C9T will bait a baron and catch out Kenny, followed by a baron buff. CLG Black try to trade for dragon, but C9T is able to push the top lane and grab two towers and an inhibitor. A big minion wave also grab the bottom lane inner turret. At the 40th minute, the gold lead is 8k for C9T. When trying to push mid lane, a fight breaks out and C9T ace CLG Black and push the game for the win.
Cloud9 Tempest 1-0
Match 2 CLG Black – C9T
Picks and Bans : CLG Black bans – Ryze, Alistar, Hecarim
: CLG Black picks – Gnar, Rek’Sai, Kog’Maw, Janna, Vayne
: C9T bans – LeBlanc, Gragas, Kalista
: C9T picks – Sivir, Tresh, Ziggs, Maokai, Sejuani
This time it’s C9T that sends their ADC top lane while both top laners are jungling with their junglers. CLG Black is able to steal the red buff from Hard while he choses to defend the bottom lane outer turret. The first blood comes out for CLG Black at the 8th minute with a gank top lane from Thinkcard, answered right away by the counter gank of Hard who picks up Lourlo. Right afterward, Thinkcard uses his ultimate to get to the red buff of C9T and steal it. At 10 minute, the gold is dead even. Sivir fast waveclear against the no waveclear of Vayne allows C9T to grab the 1st dragon of the game with the pressure she grants to LOD. At the 13th minute C9T grabs the bottom inner turret uncontested. Sivir trades the top lane outer tower for his bottom lane outer tower at the 15th minute. C9T catches out Kenny in their jungle to grab their second kill of the game. A fight breaks out in the bottom lane after Lourlo teleport himself in and the teams trade one for one, C9T grabs their 2nd dragon of the game afterward. At the 19th minute C9T’s bottom lane duo grabs the inner bottom lane turret. At the 21th minute, Sheep catches out Frost in the bottom side jungle and Jintae grabs the kill. CLB Black grabs both the inner and the outer top lane turret and a kill on Solo in a trade for their mid lane outer turret. At the 25th minute, CLG Black grabs their 1st dragon of the game (the dragon counter is currently 7-1 for C9T right now). At this point, the gold is still even. A fight breaks out in the top lane and C9T grabs a kill. They catch out Scarra in the top side jungle but CLG Black collapses and grabs 3 kills and a baron. That fight brings CLG Black ahead in gold with a 2.5k gold lead at the 29th minute. CLG Black grabs the bottom lane turret with their baron buff nearly uncontested. At the 31th minute, CLG Black grabs their second dragon of the game. At the 35th minute, C9T engages on CLG Black and grab a kill onto Thinkcard, but CLG Black answers with 4 kills and grab a baron after it. With the baron buff and poke from Scarra AP Kog’Maw, CLG Black rushes through mid lane and push through C9T base to their inhibitor, which they grab. At the 40th minute mark, CLG Black is 10k gold ahead. C9T tries to get a teleport play by Solo which ends up with an ace against C9T. CLG Black will then push for the win and claim the tie in the serie.
Cloud9 Tempest 1-1 CLG Black
Match 3 CLG Black – C9T
Picks and Bans : CLG Black bans – Hecarim, Ziggs, Rek’Sai
: CLG Black picks – Gragas, Gnar, Vayne, LeBlanc, Nautilus
: C9T bans – Alistar, Kalista, Ryze
: C9T picks – Maokai, Sivir, Kog’Maw, Nunu, Janna
C9T sends the Sivir away from the Vayne once again, leaving Janna and Maokai bottom. 4 members of CLG Black dive the Nunu, the Maokai and the Janna, but the defenders manage to grab first blood and another kill, both answered by CLG Black. Hard get caught in the top side jungle of the enemy team and gets killed by the support and the top laner who were going back to top lane. A nice teleport by Solo allows LOD to grab a kill on Kenny in the top lane. CLG Black tried to steal C9T’s blue buff, but C9T collapses and kills Kenny, following up with their 1st dragon of the game. At the 10th minute of the game, Scarra solokill Jintae. At this point, he is already 30 cs ahead. C9T grabs their second dragon of the game at the 15th minute uncontested. Thinkcard then moves top lane to zone out Solo and allows Lourlo to take the outer tower, at the same time C9T does the same in the bottom lane and a nice teleport by Solo allow them to add a kill on Kenny. Thinkcard, after applying pressure top lane, comes down to mid lane to kill a flashless Jintae. At the 17th minute, CLG Black and C9T trade both outer and inner turrets from bottom lane and top lane respectively. Scarra overextends in the mid lane and gets killed, but the rest of his team collapses afterward and get 2 kills. C9T are able to catch Thinkcard in the mid lane and they grab their third dragon of the game afterwards. Both ADC get caught in the mid lane after being over-aggressive. At the 25th minute, CLG Black is ahead by 1k only. Lourlo gets caught in the bottom side of C9T’s jungle and gets killed by Solo. CLG Black starts a baron in the meantime but is stopped by 4 members of C9T coming their way. Scarra gets caught again in the mid lane by Maokai and LOD. Once again, CLG Black engage a 4vs5 and lose Thinkcard traded for nothing. C9T also grabs their 4th dragon of the game uncontested. Lourlo teleports onto C9T’s backline but they turn around and grab Kenny. CLG Black is starting a baron once again, stopped by Solo but he gets killed in the process. C9T and CLG Black start a fight around the dragon pit, trading 2 for 1 in favor of C9T. CLG Black engages on C9T in the mid lane at the 32nd minute of the game and grabs 2 kills for nothing. CLG Black trades a baron for the fifth dragon for C9T. CLG Black side lane pressure allows them to grab the mid lane inner turret when C9T has to clear the sidewaves. At the 37th minute, CLG Black has a 3k gold lead. C9T picks a fight against CLG Black and find two kills and the dragon. They chose to go for a baron and they kill Kenny who goes to check on the baron, Jintae gets blown up by Scarra’s 646 ap LeBlanc. C9T once again fight CLG Black around the mid lane and grab 2 kills. Jintae then trades for Scarra. C9T then groups up top with a big wave coming their way, and the baron buffed minions and the numbers advantage of C9T prevails and they push for the win.
Cloud9 Tempest 2-1
In the end, Cloud9 Tempest dragon control prevailed, with the final dragon counter ending up at 11-2. After 3 close games, Cloud9 Tempest grab the last win after good picks and teamfighting by the team. Interesting to note that in both of Cloud9 Tempest victories LOD ended with kills in the two digits. Congratulation to the Cloud9 organisation, and welcome to the North American Challenger Series!
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