After months of waiting, the NA LCS has finally returned to capture the weekends of the community. The first series to start off the 2017 season pitted NA LCS champions Team SoloMid against long time rivals, Cloud9, in what would be a rematch of the previous split final. The second game in the debut night had Echo Fox against Phoenix1. Both of these teams upgraded their lineups with very popular imports, including a former world champion.
Cloud9 2-0 Team SoloMid
Game one in this series had a slow start, with neither team able to secure a kill. It wasn’t until 11 minutes in that Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia was able to find first blood on a straggling Jason “WildTurtle” Tran. Fast forward 10 minutes and TSM found two kills in the mid lane, which they used to grab an early Baron. Cloud9 quickly reacted to the Baron play, killing four and leaving only Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen with the buff. TSM used Svenskeren’s buff to run through C9’s outer and inner turrets. All while this was occurring though, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong was freely split-pushing, matching TSM in turrets. Impact’s split-pushing continued as TSM began to stall out. After a few minutes of lull, a team-fight emerged in C9’s jungle. Off of Andy “Smoothie” Ta’s amazing Miss Fortune ultimate, C9 easily shredded TSM. With their lead, C9 grabbed the free Elder Drake at 38 min. Utilizing the buff, C9 rushed down mid lane, easily closing out the game at 40 minutes.
The second game in this debut series was all about Contractz. After finding first blood in the mid lane, Contractz used his gold lead to gain advantages for the rest of his team, finding kills all around the map. By 13 minutes, Contractz was 5-0. Despite TSM finding a couple of kills during early skirmishes, C9 had over a 4000 gold lead by 20 minutes. At 28 minutes, after a bit of dead-time on the map, C9 tried to go for a Baron. Against all odds, Svenskeren found the miracle Baron steal, but lost his life in the process. The rest of TSM, now cloaked in the buff, thought they could fight C9. That was a grave mistake. TSM lost the following team-fight, dropping three members and their middle inhibitor. From this point, C9 closed out the series, ending game two at 37 minutes to begin the new season 1-0.
Phoenix1 2-0 Echo Fox
Echo Fox had an amazing start to game one. Getting two quick kills on Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook in the first few minutes of the game, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Echo Fox looked to be in full control of the game. But over the next 15 minutes, Phoenix1 managed to keep up with Echo Fox, staying even in team-fights across the map. Throughout the mid game, Rami “Inori” Charagh started to go crazy on Rengar, a champion he’s famous on. Finding kills across the map, Inori was on fire. Echo Fox looked to be back in the game after winning a team-fight and securing Baron at 29 minutes. Unfortunately for EF, the team couldn’t secure more than the top inner turret with the buff. As soon as Baron faded, P1 returned to being the aggressor. After winning a team-fight near EF’s base at 35 minutes, P1 was able to grab the mid inhibitor. Instead of letting them leave, EF tried to chase the retreating P1. P1 turned on the chasing EF, killing four. With only one enemy alive, P1 easily rushed down the mid lane to close out game one at 38 minutes.
Picking his signature champion, Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok ran rampant in game two on Singed. Finding first blood on Inori with Akaadian, Looper proceeded to use his advantage to affect the rest of map, roaming to the different lanes. Looper and EF had complete control of this game; until 21 minutes in, where a team-fight broke out at the dragon pit. Despite the fact that EF secured the Infernal Drake, P1 won the team-fight, taking out four members of EF. With only one member of EF remaining, P1 grabbed a free Baron. With their newly dawned Baron buff, P1, like game one, rushed down mid lane to end game two in a quick 24 minutes, thus taking the second series of the night.
What was your favorite moment of the night? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Article by Malcolm Abbas. Follow him on Twitter @SmashhLoL.
Photo via LoL Esports