NA LCS Recap: Week 2 Day 1
Week 2 started off with a quiet match between Gravity and Dignitas—in a 50 minute game, both sides racked up a total of 9 kills. Dignitas played picks and bans horrifically, disregarding Gnar after GV used their first pick onto J4. They were smart in securing Janna for disengage, but could’ve denied Gravity’s star line up by grabbing the Gnar instead of Lee Sin. Gravity played their picks and bans really well, giving Bunny Fufu Morgana to completely negate any disengage from Janna with black shield, giving their team composition a monstrous team fight.
Which we never saw.
Aside from early pressure into Dignitas’ red side jungle, Gravity played a slow, methodical game of taking objectives off of nothing but rotations. Dignitas were successful in taking the first dragon of the game when GV invested heavily into counter jungling Crumbzz’s red, but nothing came of it as GV took control of the map, slowly constricting Dig in a 51 minute game.
GV showed excellent rotations, never over-diving the poke heavy Dig line up despite their heavy gold lead, backing off just as the poke threatened to kill them. At one point, they flawlessly transitioned from a 5th dragon buff into Baron buff to maintain their siege of Dig’s base, ending the game after taking every last structure on the map.
Keane showed excellent Azir play in the macro and micro sense, using his passive to lock up Dig in their base as GV secured their fifth dragon at 46 minutes, and outplaying Crumbzz’s Lee Sin for a flashy kill at 22:30, before dying to Shiptur’s Xerath.
Dig deserves a little credit in this game for dragging it out for 50 minutes, using their poke to delay GV’s constriction of their base, and even netting a few kills from just poke. But with no real pick potential and lack-luster vision control, Dig only managed to delay the inevitable as Gravity, much like their name-sake, caved on their heads.
Our Late vs. Your Early
|T8 vs. CST|
|Team 8||1||0||Team Coast|
T8 and Coast came into their game with very different goals for their compositions. Team 8 looked for a splitpushing late game pick comp with their Kassadin and Jax Solo lanes, while Coast created a mid-game team fight comp.
The game opened up with actions across all the lanes, with Porpoise showing incredible patience as he sat in a bush to gank Cris’s Gnar, who was already losing lane to Calitrollz’s Jax, for first blood. Impaler, however, capitalized in the mid lane by diving Slooshi’s flashless and oom Kassadin with Jesiz, grabbing their first kill without ignite. Imapler further set Kassadin behind by punishing a failed gank attempt by Porpoise with a blue-buff steal.
Coast had a heavy denial game plan for this game: they set about to win early while denying T8 late game opportunities by securing dragons for themselves. Sheep and Impaler roamed as a unit, setting up vision a minute in advance for each Dragon, up until the vital fifth when Coast began to look less confident in the late game.
As much as Slooshi suffered, Calitrollz prevailed, getting ahead on Jax in the laning phase, forcing Cris to TP back into lane a number of times. With his TP advantage, he turned around Coast’s gank in top lane and netted a kill for himself. However, Coast played around his split push capabilities well, picking him off when he was too far into their side of the map, and forced him to group with his team.
The game had back and forths, with team fights going both ways. While Cali split pushed bot, Coast tried to sneak a baron at 28 minutes, but maplestreet found them out and netted himself a double kill and his team the first baron of the game. Despite the baron, Coast grabbed their fourth dragon in a row with a pick onto Calitrollz at 30 minutes.
Coast slipped on their 5th dragon attempt: they were late to show up for vision control over it, allowing Slooshis to dump his damage onto Jesiz, giving T8 enough of an edge to roll over Coast and take their mid inhibitor, and their first dragon on the way out. Coast, going for their second baron, were able to win a teamfight with a clean 8 as Jesiz, redeeming himself, came in full health to delete maplestreet and chase Slooshi down. Coast were able to take T8’s top inhibitor, but lost one of their nexus towers. It was a good trade as long as T8 never got into their base again.
If there was an MVPfor the game, Dodo would be a name to consider for it. His black shields were on point, denying Sheep several Thresh engages, keeping his ADC alive in the early game, but the game ending play was his snare onto Mash at 44 minutes as Coast were threatening their fifth dragon. With the ADC caught out, T8 immediately killed him and butchered up 3 of Coast’s team. Retaking the middle inhibitor, T8 pushed into Coasts nexus, easily killing their one nexus turret without minions, and ended the game in dramatic fashion.
There’s the C9 We Know
For the recap of C9 vs. TL, check out @avenirgg recap here!
Not Just the TiP
|TiP vs. CLG|
|Team Impulse||0||1||Counter Logic Gaming|
Not wanting to be shown up by Sneaky, Doublelift locked in Kalista in CLG’s first rotation and Aphromoo picked Blitzcrank for support. The hype for the rush hour lane combo was real for Impacts first game in top lane for TiP, and unfortunately for him, he was given a hard welcome to NA.
CLG pulled off an interesting strategy with their laneswap, having their jungler and top take blue while their bottom lane farmed Gromp from over the wall as they tanked the minion wave before it hit the tower. Impact, having done Raptors for level 2, teleported to top and was immediately hooked. After burning his flash, he was an easy kill for Xmithie, picking up first blood at 2:38 with three assists.
TiP responded to the play well, sending four bot to kill Zionspartan before taking a very early dragon at 4:38, then stealing CLG’s blue buff to counter the loss of their own. It looked like a close game with a lot of action, but CLG’s vision superiority, on behalf of Aphromoo outclassing Adrian in this game, resulted in an easy snowball from CLG as they picked up early kills at TiP’s blue (Impact was level 3 at 6 minutes in this particular fight). Aphromoo kept his pressure up by hitting hook after hook, claiming flashes in some cases and lives with others. He and Doublelift put on a show with the Kalista Blitz combo, netting a kill on XiaoWeiXiao with a flash Blitz Hook into Kalista Ult to pull him from under the middle inner tower to CLG in the Raptor bush. Whenever TiP tried to pressure, Aphromoo hit his target and reversed the situation.
Using an early Runaan’s on Kalista, Doublelift went about splitpushing bot lane while his team pressured elsewhere, grouping just in time to walk in to unwarded dragon’s and barons. Team fights always went CLG’s way, with Link showing great Cassiopeia positioning and awareness by flash ulting both XwX and Apollo for a double kill at 25 minutes. It was easy cleanup for CLG as they claimed baron at 27 minutes and stormed down TiP’s base. Impact seemed lackluster this game, but as he was baited in with an unique play in the first couple of minutes, it’s hard to say how TiP will actually manage with their official top laner, while CLG’s Zionspartan had a quiet game on Sion. Going forward, we’ll see how these two teams synergize with their official lineup.
|TSM vs. WFX|
For the third time in Day 2, Kalista was picked as ADC, this time for TSM who chose to emulate C9’s lane composition and pair her with Annie. Also for another instance, we saw an early level 2 gank from Jarvan into a lane—starting at WinterFox’s red buff, Santorin and Lustboy ganked Pobelter and grabbed first blood for Bjergson at 2:38.
With the early gank successful, TSM continued with their lane swap, having Lustboy and Turtle freze top as Altec was left solo in bot to farm it out with Dyrus. Payback came Lustboys way, as with the arrival of Avalon in top came a gank from Helios to net a kill on the flashless Annie. Lacking hard engage, WFX’s top and support combo were unable to put additional damage on Turtle despite the 2v1, part due to Kalista’s mobility.
WFX’s jungle and support continued with their aggression, establishing deep vision into TSM’s red jungle to nullify any more Santorin plays while also getting his flash. TSM responded with the information of WFX’s positioning by diving Avalon in the top lane at 6 minutes, netting Turtle his first kill of the game at the cost of Lustboy’s life to the tower in a sloppy dive. WT also took two tower shots, taking him to less than 100 health. He was killed by Gleeb and Avalon—using his teleport to get back in lane.
The lane swap scenario continued for some time, as Altec’s Tristana benefitted with a CS lead on Turtle, but Avalon fell behind Dyrus by over 20 cs at this point, meaning TSM would have a reliable tank source in the upcoming mid game fights. Helios, trying to shut down TSM’s bot lane, invested over a minute to try and gank them through lane, only to be caught out by one of Kalista’s ghosts. The action in the game simmered, but at 11 minutes WFX sent Altec top lane while TSM sent Wildturtle and Lustboy bottom. TSM seemed intent on avoiding matching their ADC with WFX, perhaps thinking Tristana with a BF sword would out trade Wildturtle’s Kalista, or no wanting to risk giving kills over to the hyper game ADC.
Dyrus’s farm advantage over Avalon became apparent at 13 minutes when he was able to out trade Altec’s Tristana with his completed Righteous Glory, and was able to escape Helios’ Thrill of the Hunt Gank after burning flash. Meanwhile, TSM dove bot with Santorin and their bot lane, forcing WFX back. They were able to take bottom tower and then their first dragon. When Avalon showed top lane after the occurrence, TSM once again lane swapped to use Kalista’s wave clear to push the tower and to punish the under farmed top laner. TSM were able to pick up another kill on Avalon and Top outer tower soon after at 15 minutes.
Pobelter, meanwhile, had claimed Bjergson’s flash in the mid lane with an all-in, and was able to take TSM’s mid tower just as his bottom lane finally claimed the tower from Dyrus. Rotating down, TSM was able to collapse onto Pobelter and pick up a kill on him and Helios before forcing down mid lane tower, responding to the loss of their own tower. Despite a good ultimate from Gleeb, his team still lost the fight without claiming a kill after Wildturtle bailed out Lustboy with his ultimate.
TSM looked to keep the pressure up, placing wards throughout WFX’s blue side jungle. Despite losing Dyrus WFX’s unwarded Red Jungle, TSM were able to ride a large minion wave in bottom lane to claim WFX’s tower at 19:45, then steal their blue and claim their second dragon. WFX tried to respond by pushing top side with Avalaon, but Dyrus had already respawned and walked back to his lane to stop the push. TSM was severely out-rotating WFX.
The action simmered for minutes. TSM maintained their vision control, but shifted it to WFX’s red jungle in preparation for a Baron. WFX avoiding the blacked out pit, opting instead to threaten TSM’s base by pushing down mid lane with their flank warded. Clearing the mid lane wave, TSM immediately jumped onto Baron at 25:10 while WFX was bottom side, claiming the epic monster in exchange for their inner bot tower.
With the Baron buff, TSM went on the hunt for objectives, grabbing WFX’s mid inner tower uncontested before claiming their 3rd Dragon, then sieging WFX’s bottom inhibitor. The tower died as Altec was in front of his team, and Dyrus immediately jumped on him, netting a kill for his team. TSM closed out the game quickly after, pushing down WFX’s base with super minions at 32 minutes.
After a shakey game against Team 8, TSM seemed back on form, easily crushing a lower-tier LCS team. Dyrus, having played a shady Gnar last week, looked comfortable on his re-enabled Maokai.
Tables courtesy of lol.esportspedia.com