NA Challenger Series Week 2 Recap

Introduction This week marked the second week of the Summer 2015 North American Challenger Series. With only five weeks of round robin play before playoffs, every match matters.

Photo via Jacob Wolf


This week marked the second week of the Summer 2015 North American Challenger Series. With only five weeks of round robin play before playoffs, every match matters.

This week, the matchups were as follows:

(Image from http://na.lolesports.com/)

Check out the VODs and a recap of all of the games this week below!

Cloud9 Tempest vs. Vortex: Game 1

Cloud9 Tempest (C9T): Shen, Gragas, Azir, Kalista, Janna

Vortex: Hecarim, Rek’Sai, Viktor, Tristana, Nautilus

With Yusui back in the lineup for C9T, the team aimed to bounce back after two losses last week to the Renegades, but Game One was not convincing. The game starts off in Vortex’s favor, with successful ganks, tower pushes, and Dragon pickups. However, C9T is able to prevent Vortex from snowballing off of this map control, keeping the gold within 3k through 31:30. At this point, it becomes clear the C9T’s Solo on Shen is able to split push effectively against Vortex’s Hecarim, often forcing him out of lane, but the map advantage from Vortex prevents both teams from breaking the inhibitor line.

The game begins to even out at around 32:20, where a failed Vortex pick on Shen turns into Baron for C9T. Vortex picks up their third Dragon, but C9T take top and mid second tier turrets with their Baron buff to swing the gold slightly into their favor. With the game virtually even, the teams hold out until the next objective, setting up vision around the Dragon pit, but Vortex end up taking their fourth Dragon without much of a fight.

With a huge wave pushing towards C9T’s bottom inhibitor turret, Vortex turn to Baron, but C9T win the fight, securing Baron at 41:30 and earning an Ace in the fight immediately afterwards to push down the mid inhibitor turret. Now with a 5k gold lead, C9T prevent Vortex from getting their fifth dragon by picking up their second at 45:30.

Both teams wait for Baron to respawn, but neither wants to commit to it once it’s up. Instead, C9T wait for the next Dragon, preventing Vortex’s fifth again. However, this appears to be part of Vortex’s plan, as they head straight for Baron as Dragon is being started, but Solo’s Shen is able to hold them off until the rest of his team makes their way to Baron as well. A fight breaks out and C9T come out on top, pushing the exposed mid inhibitor and then heading back to baron, securing it and pushing mid to win a 54-minute game.

Cloud9 Tempest vs. Vortex: Game 2

Cloud9 Tempest (C9T): Maokai, Eve, Viktor, Sivir, Nautilus

Vortex: Gnar, Rek’Sai, Azir, Vayne, Janna

Game Two showed that C9T and Yusui mean business, with simple outplays snowballing the team to victory over Vortex. The game started relatively even, with nearly all lanes even in CS and gold. At 7:50, C9T is able to pick up the first Dragon of the game with superior map positioning, and then at 13:00, a fights break out in the top and bottom lanes to allow C9T to go up 3-0 in kills and 2-0 in towers. C9T’s duo lane returns bottom and picks up a kill 2v1 on Vortex’s Gnar, taking the bottom turret shortly afterwards.

The point in the game where C9T begin to pull far ahead is in the mid lane, when C9T’s Sheep on Nautilus tries to initiate on Vortex with an Dredge Line, but ends up pulling himself into a wall near Vortex, giving up his life. However, C9T decide to take the fight anyway, coming out on top with three kills for one and two turrets as a result.

After this, C9T continues to snowball their lead, taking the next two Dragons. A Sivir ult and initiation with a gold lead allows C9T to collapse after Vortex sneaks a tower, picking up four kills for nothing and the first Baron of the game. C9T turns top with their Baron buff, diving Vortex and pushing through to the inhibitor, putting them up 10k gold.

With this advantage, C9T takes their fourth dragon without contest and turn the bottom lane, diving the tower, picking up an ace, and pushing through to win the game convincingly.

Team Coast vs. Team Imagine: Game 1

Team Coast: Ekko, Evelyn, Viktor, Tristana, Janna

Team Imagine: Shen, Lee Sin, Xerath, Kalista, Nautilus

Game One showcased a lot of Team Imagine’s issues with sloppy team play contrasted with Team Coast’s ability to capitalize on Imagine’s mistakes. The game starts off with standard lanes, and a four-man dive in the bottom lane put’s them quickly ahead.

The next few skirmishes show the poor team coordination on Imagine’s part as they fail to convert ganks into objectives and they lose several members of their team through picks in the jungle. Continued superior rotations give Coast enough momentum to push through to kill the bottom inhibitor turret, while Imagine struggles to keep up and coordinate defenses.

By 20 minutes into the game, Coast has a 7k gold lead, and only at 22:50 do Imagine get their first turret of the game. Coast continues to work the map, and at 28:35 they pick a fight mid, earning an Ace for nothing and turning to take Baron immediately afterwards. With baron buff and a 10k gold lead, Coast head bot, and win the resulting fight, picking up 4 kills and pushing straight to the nexus for the win.

Team Coast vs. Team Imagine: Game 2

Team Coast: Ekko, Nunu, Azir, Sivir, Nautilus

Team Imagine: Shen, Lee Sin, Viktor, Corki, Alistar

Game Two showcased Team Coast’s ability to convert a gold lead into a snowball victory over Team Imagine. The beginning of the game was a war between the junglers, with Coast’s Shrimp on Nunu invading Dardoch’s jungle repeatedly, but no kills coming out in the first ten minutes. However, Coast’s superior laning and map presence allow top and bottom to push out their respective turrets. Shortly after, Coast’s Azir picks up mid turret simply through waveclear and pushing ability, and Coast pick up their second Dragon.

Though Coast had the gold advantage through kills and towers at this point, Imagine pushes mid, taking the tower and killing Azir in a dive, but Coast quickly collapses, picking up an ace and the first Baron of the game at 21:00.

With an 8k gold lead, Coast easily takes their third Dragon and push out all three inner turrets, increasing their lead to 13k gold. Coast waits out until the next Baron, and Imagine sends all five members to fight the 4v5 at Baron while Coast’s Cris on Ekko continues to split push bot. The fight at Baron ends up with both teams getting three kills, but goes so long that Coast’s Ekko is able to push bottom inhibitor and both nexus turrets. Coast finishes the game with a fight mid to kill four members of Imagine and push the exposed nexus to go up 4-0 for the first two weeks.

Renegades vs. Winterfox: Game 1

Renegades: Rumble, Eve, Ryze, Urgot, Morgana

Winterfox: Hecarim, Nidalee, Ezreal, Kalista, Nautilus

With Winterfox choosing a triple Smite comp and trying out the mid Ezreal Runeglaive build, this was going to be interesting from the beginning. The game starts off with Winterfox sending their duo lane top in a lane swap, resulting in a double jungle for both teams. As the Renegades group with four players bot to quick-push the turret in standard lane swap style, Winterfox freezes the top lane and sends three members bottom, resulting in the loss of their tower and the death of their three members.

The sloppy play didn’t stop there though, and Winterfox would get caught overextended numerous times in the early game, giving the Renegades a 4K gold lead by 20 minutes. Opting not to fight with members still waiting to hit some item power spikes, the Renegades sit on their gold advantage while continually pushing all three lanes to keep up CS.

At 29:40, Remilia’s Morgana catches Winterfox’s Nidalee in the jungle and secures the kill with Rumble, only to fall afterwards to the rest of the Winterfox team. With everyone in the top jungle, a 4v4 breaks out, and the Renegades walk away with 3 kills for nothing, increasing their gold lead to 7k at 30:30, picking up Baron immediately afterwards.

With their Baron buff, the Renegades take two towers before basing to buy. Down 11k gold at this point, Winterfox attempts to pick up their first Dragon of the game at 34:30, but a fight breaks out and Renegades gain their fourth instead. The Renegades head top and push through to the inhibitor before backing off to take Baron as it respawns at 38:00. Renegades head to the mid lane to push with their buff, but Maplestreet’s Urgot flashes and ults Winterfox’s Ezreal, allowing Renegades to quickly burst him down. The numbers advantage allows the Renegades to easily push straight through mid to destroy the nexus in Game One.

Renegades vs. Winterfox: Game 2

Renegades: Kennen, Rek’Sai, Varus, Kalista, Morgana

Winterfox: Rumble, Gragas, Orianna, Tristana, Janna

Game Two began slowly, progressed slowly, and ended convincingly. Early on, the Renegades gained small gold advantages simply by out-csing Winterfox. It wasn’t until 12:00 that first blood goes over to RF Legendary’s Kennen when Crumbz ganks the top lane, also securing top turret. Shortly after, Crumbz returns top to get another kill, helping RF get further ahead with the only two kills of the game.

By 15 minutes, the Renegades are up 3k gold, and they begin to slowly push their advantage with their split push and poke comp. With the Renegades’ Kennen splitting the side lanes and Alex Ich’s Varus doing massive poke damage, the Renegades are able to pressure the map. By 24:30, the Renegades are able to take down all outer and inner turrets, extending their gold lead to 9k with the kill score still 2-0.

The Renegades continue to pressure all lanes before pulling back to take Baron before Winterfox shows up. After securing Baron, a fight breaks out where Renegades get three kills for nothing, allowing them to take the mid inhibitor.

With only five kills in the game, the Renegades sit on a 13k gold lead. During a siege in the top lane, they are able to pick off Winterfox’s Gragas with poke damage and a Morgana binding. Renegades then take top inhibitor as well as killing the mid inhibitor just as it respawns.

With Baron back on the table at this point in the game, Winterfox sets up vision, but have to retreat with super minions making their way into the base. Renegades take the Baron and group bottom with mid and top inhibitors down to siege the turret, continuing the poke game until they break through, pushing all the way to the nexus and winning their fourth game of the NACS.

Standings and Next Week’s Schedule

The standings after week two are:

(Image from http://na.lolesports.com/)

And here are the matchups for next week!

(Image from http://na.lolesports.com/)