NA Challenger Series Week 5 Recap

Introduction For the fifth and final week of the Summer 2015 North American Challenger Series group play, we saw teams fighting for playoffseeding.

The first edition of the ESL ESEA Pro League is coming to a head this weekend with $250,000 on the line


For the fifth and final week of the Summer 2015 North American Challenger Series group play, we saw teams fighting for playoffseeding. This week, the matchups were as follows:

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

Winterfox vs. Team Imagine: Game 1

Winterfox: Lulu, Nunu, Azir, Jinx, Janna

Team Imagine: Hecarim, Nidalee, Viktor, Sivir, Nautilus

In Game One, Team Imagine pick up First Blood at 11:20 when they catch Lulu in the jungle and a fight breaks out, giving Imagine two kills and a 1.5k gold lead. From here on out, Imagine outrotates Winterfox, winning skirmishes and taking turrets quickly to go up 8k gold by 20:45.

Winterfox’s saving grace comes at 22:50, however, when Imagine turns to take Baron after a won fight, and Winterfox’s Jinx ults perfectly to steal the buff. However, Winterfox are only able to get one turret with the buff, and Imagine turn back around to Ace them at 27:20 near Dragon, bringing Imagine’s lead back to 9k gold. With a clear item advantage, Imagine turn to Baron on the respawn, taking a fight at 31:15 where they come out on top with an Ace, and Winterfox lock in the surrender vote to give Imagine Game One.

Winterfox vs. Team Imagine: Game 2

Winterfox: Gnar, Lee Sin, Ezreal, Tristana, Braum

Team Imagine: Sion, Eve, Viktor, Kalista, Alistar

Winterfox takes an early lead in Game Two by getting first blood at 7:00 and winning every matchup except for jungle in CS, accumulating to a 2k gold lead by 17:00. However, Winterfox play the AP Ezreal all wrong in the mid game and hard engage on several fights. Despite Winterfox’s gold lead, Team Imagine’s team fight composition allows Imagine to win these fights, swinging the gold lead into their favor by 3k at 27:00.

At 29:00, a fight breaks out at Baron, putting Imagine further into the lead as they win the fight and take turrets, but Winterfox continue to want to fight and engage when their death timers are up, picking a fight in the bot lane at 29:45 and allowing Imagine to get four more kills, as well as the bottom inhibitor.

Imagine aim to close out the game by taking Baron at 34:25, but Winterfox trade back a Dragon once Imagine recalls. However, Imagine is able to collapse quickly on Dragon and get 3 kills there, giving them the opportunity to push bot to win the game and secure 3rd place in group play.

Vortex vs. Renegades: Game 1

Vortex: Hecarim, Nidalee, Viktor, Jinx, Janna

Renegades: Fizz, Rek’Sai, Kayle, Kalista, Morgana

In Game One, First Blood goes to Renegades off of a gank bottom at 4:25, but their advantage is short-lived. For most of the early game, the Vortex duo lane bullies the Renegades duo lane, pushing them out of lane and going up 23 CS by 8 minutes. Because of this, Vortex is able to take outer turrets, quickly gaining vision control of the jungle and catching Renegades out for kills in small skirmishes. By 20:00, Vortex’s ability to capitalize on their early ADC gold allows them to take all second tier turrets, leaving them up 5.5k gold.

The push continues for Vortex, and they secure top inhibitor at 21:10. As Vortex continues to apply pressure, Renegades pick a fight while defending their bottom inhibitor turret, but at this point the gold lead is too large, allowing Vortex to pick up two kills and the bot inhibitor for nothing. With a 8k gold lead, Vortex sets its sights on Baron, picking up the buff at 25:50 without contest. With Baron, Vortex group as five to easily take down all remaining inhibitors, overwhelming the Renegades base with super minions to win the game.

Vortex vs. Renegades: Game 2

Vortex: Rumble, Ezreal, Corki, Ekko, Tahm Kench

Renegades:Rumble, Rek’Sai, Irelia, Tristana, Thresh

In Game Two, Vortex switches up their roles with nothing to gain or lose, sending k0u mid, Veritas jungle, and Bischu ADC. With the switch, Renegades quickly go up 3k gold in the first 10 minutes, but Vortex is able to stall the game out until 22:00 without Renegades getting a further lead. However, Renegades outrotate Vortex to get some turrets and kills, going up 6k by 31:00. At 34:00, Renegades fight at Baron and win, allowing them to push top lane to the inhibitor, and a subsequent fight after that allows Renegades to win the game after 37 minutes.

Cloud9 Tempest vs. Team Coast: Game 1

Cloud9 Tempest (C9T): Gnar, Gragas, Orianna, Sivir, Shen

Team Coast: Rumble, Rek’Sai, Varus, Vayne, Janna

Game One starts off in Coast’s advantage, with First Blood going over to their Vayne at 6:55 and another at 7:20. By 14:00, Coast’s Vayne is dominating the early game with this early advantage with a score of 4-0, putting Coast up 2k gold. However, C9T is able to hold off during the mid game, trading towers and objectives to keep Coast at a 3-4k gold lead for the first 35 minutes of the game. While the gold differential is this low, C9T continues to want to use its team fight comp to fight, while Coast just wants to poke and take objectives, and many engages end up with minimal casualties as the teams disengage skillfully.

However, at 40:00, Coast takes Baron and C9T collapses, earning three kills for Coast and allowing them to take mid inhibitor afterwards to go up 8k gold. With the first substantial lead in the game, Coast group with Baron to siege bot and a fight breaks out. C9T’s team fight composition is able to overcome the gold deficit, bringing Coast’s lead down to 6.5k gold and evening up the Dragons at three per team.

Deciding to split, Coast continues to pressure the map, pushing lanes and taking mid inhib when it respawns at 47:15 after getting a jungle catch. Coast then pulls back to take Baron at 47:30, bringing their lead back to 9k gold. Coast push all lanes again with Baron to increase their lead to 10k, taking bot inhibitor at 49:25.

Coast maintain their lead until 54:30, when they pick up Baron and extend it to 11k gold. With the Baron buff, Coast push 1-3-1 to C9T’s base, but a fight breaks out at 56:33 when C9T realizes they have a numbers advantage in the mid lane due to Coast’s split strategy. C9T is able to pick up four kills for nothing, sending three members mid to push Coast’s base and win the game after just over 57 minutes.

Cloud9 Tempest vs. Team Coast: Game 2

Cloud9 Tempest (C9T): Rumble, Rek’Sai, Azir, Graves, Annie

Team Coast: Riven, Nunu, Kog’Maw, Tristana, Braum

At 8:15, Coast send 4 members bot to take the turret, trade two for one, and go up 2k gold. From then on, Coast continued to push their advantage until the end of the game. By 21:00, Coast has a 5k gold lead through split pushing on Riven and controlling the jungle camps in both jungles. It becomes apparent that Riven has a leg up on Rumble at this point, and he continues to split for Team Coast.

At 25:50, C9T attempts to force a fight mid with Riven bot, but Coast takes 3 kills and Baron afterwards. With the Baron buff, Coast sends Riven to split bot while the team pushes top, and they are able to take both top and bot inhibitors, win a fight, and push to the Nexus for the win and the forced tiebreaker match against Renegades for first place.

Tiebreaker: Team Coast vs. Renegades

Team Coast: Rumble, Rek’Sai, Jayce, Corki, Alistar

Renegades: Fizz, Ekko, Azir, Tristana, Braum

Game starts off with a lane swap and then another lane swap, resulting in both teams losing top and bottom turrets uncontested to the duo lanes. For the entire early game, neither team is able to get a large gold advantage, but Coast begins to control every Dragon, picking up their third at 19:50 and fourth at 26:45. By 30:00, Team Coast are only up 2k gold, but the Dragon advantage, mainly first Dragon, begins to mean something.

A fight breaks out at 31:30 in the jungle, allowing Coast to secure four kills and the bottom inhibitor. As the Renegades respawn to defend their base, Coast takes their fifth Dragon at 33:00 and pushes straight through the Renegades base for the win and the first place seeding for the NACS playoffs.

Standings and Next Week’s Schedule

The standings after week five are:

And here is the playoff bracket, with games starting in two weeks!