Today marked the third day of Week Two in the 2016 North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) Summer Split.
Day Three saw two of the most anticipated matchups of the split. While Team SoloMid continues their reign as the top team in North America, the unchanged roster of MSI’s Counter Logic Gaming struggles to find their footing. Read onward for a summary of every game of the day.
Team SoloMid 2-1 Immortals
In the first game of the day, IMT suffered an early disadvantage when two of their players made careless mistakes. This advantage developed despite a solid early jungle invade that set Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen behind. By using their advantage and the early strength of Lucian, TSM forced the issue on IMT’s second tier top turret to acquire two more kills. This snowball, combined with Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s growing gold advantage in the mid lane, boosted even further by three Infernal Drakes, made Game One an almost impossible game to lose.
Game Two of the series looked like it would be a repeat of the first with Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng once again acquiring first-blood. But thanks to some quick reactions and clutch play by Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, IMT was able to pull ahead with a triple kill on his Irelia. Soon after, IMT picked up a few more kills following the acquisition of a dragon. Huni’s performance was night and day the first two games, showing just how vital he is to his team’s success with his superior mechanics and game winning plays, ending with a score of 7/3/6.
To the delight of fans, Game Three was a back and forth struggle between arguably the two best teams in North America at the moment. At the end of it all though, it came down to a single moment 42 minutes into the game when Vincent “Biofrost” Wang landed a game winning Tempered Fate, which in combination with a double Time Bomb from Bjergsen, appropriately sealed IMT’s fate. TSM went on to push the top lane inhibitor and end the game with a game score of 19-11.
Team EnVyUs 2-0 Phoenix1
Game One between EnVyUs and P1 was not the most clean game, but at the same time, it provided a lot of back and forth action. In general though, EnVyUs was much more proactive in their plays around the map. Instead of waiting for the other team to make mistakes, they used the strength of Lissandra’s lockdown to pick off champions in side lanes. Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo preyed on P1’s lack of direction and team cohesion to gain incremental advantages for his team, only dying once with a 4/1/9 score in the end.
Unlike in the first game, P1 took the initiative in Game Two and more effectively played around the side lanes to catch out players of EnVyUs to make the score 3-1. Unfortunately due to a lack of respect for the abilities of both Ninja and Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong, Andrew “Slooshi” Pham died three times over the course of four minutes, alleviating pressure off of the rest of EnVyUs. Fast forward to 24 minutes into the game and P1 unwisely gave up Baron to EnVyUs, who then went on to decisively win a team fight close to P1’s base, leading to a quick victory soon after.
Team Liquid 2-0 Echo Fox
Coming into this series, TL had something to prove and they brought out a surprise Rengar pick to do so. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett came out of the gates running both literally and figuratively to net TL two kills in the mid and top lane. Knowing Dardoch would come back top lane, Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev countered his gank top lane to grab two of his own kills. But the star of the show was neither of the junglers, but rather Kim “FeniX” Jae-hoon on Zilean. Though his use of Chronoshift was suspect, he would land Time Bomb combos time after time on the players of Echo Fox, netting kills and even a Baron to TL. Ending the game with a score of 5/1/7 and an 80% kill participation, FeniX was the clear MVP of Team Liquid.
Unlike in the games between EnVyUs and P1, both teams played proactively in gaining advantages Game Two. As usual, Dardoch did whatever he could to make plays for his team in the early game, but in response, Echo Fox used their strong initiation tools on both Ashe and Gragas to force fights, gaining a significant kill lead. However, when Echo Fox botched an engage and lost both their front line champions, TL was able to take control of the game with a rather risky but game changing Baron call. Thanks to their exceptional team fighting and the extra stats from Baron, TL was able to win a key fight at 25 minutes, solidifying their dominance over objectives for the rest of the game. There was no clear MVP for Team Liquid in this game, but rather a great sense of team coordination that won them the game, and consequently, their first series.
Cloud9 2-0 Counter Logic Gaming
If last split is indicative of how action-packed games between these two teams are, fans were in for a treat. That was true for this first best-of-three, as both Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black and Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes played uncharacteristically poorly, getting caught underneath the enemy turret multiple times, creating problems later in the game. In truth though, C9 had all the tools necessary to control the game and the fights they took. All they needed to do was wait for an Enchanted Crystal Arrow or Death Sentence to land, and they could create a 4v5 situation. They did just that and took the game against CLG at 34 minutes with a score of 6-15 in their favor.
Resetting after their disappointing performance, CLG came back the next game with renewed vigor, making for a very close back and forth game. The battle initially started out in the mid lane with a trade of kills during ganks, but the game completely blew wide open when CLG attempted a repeat gank, only to have four members of C9 show up to save the day. Where most teams would falter and give up, CLG kept being proactive, trying to get back in the game. The largest discrepancy was in the different impacts Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen had on the game. Jensen led his opponent by 6.4k gold and had nearly three times his damage at the end of the game, making it clear why people consider him one of the best mid laners in NA.
What are your thoughts of week 2 of the NA LCS? Has a team surprised you yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Twitter – @GAMURScom, and be sure to follow us for all of your esports needs.
Emil Isaakov is a writer for GAMURS, follow him on Twitter for the latest coverage of League of Legends and general esports news.