The battle to escape relegation was in full effect today in the North American League Championship Series, with every team having a chance at the playoffs. Who will come out on top?
Here is how the third day of week seven in the NA LCS went down:
(7-7) Counter Logic Gaming 2-1 Cloud9 (11-3)
With jungle assistance, CLG forced Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong under tower to get an easy first blood. Shortly after, they made a repeat performance to give Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya a quick 2-0 lead. Firing back by turning a bad fight around, C9 secured two kills to bring the gold back to an even state. At this point, CLG was getting outclassed by C9 in the macro-game. C9 stole multiple turrets simply because CLG didn’t send anyone to stop them. To try to fight their way back, CLG snuck a Baron and forced C9 to play passive. Despite losing most of their base, C9 found a way to fight CLG in an advantageous situation, which resulted in an ace and a Baron. In typical CLG fashion, however, CLG out-rotated C9 and took C9’s base right behind their back to win game one.
Using the early power of Jhin, C9 secured a quick first blood and forced a lot of summoner spells on the side of CLG. With their advantage, the C9 bot lane shoved CLG out of experience to grow their lead, eventually getting the first tower. The following minutes resulted in each team trading kills around the map, with C9 maintaining a small lead. CLG thought they found an advantageous engage, but C9 answered with an ace and a Baron. In a series of scrappy fights, C9 slowly took out most of CLG’s turrets thanks to the Baron buff. Using Rumble’s Equalizer, C9 caught out most of the CLG squad, which allowed them to take an inhibitor. With a huge power spike in their favor, C9 blew through CLG one last time to tie up the series.
After an all-in by C9 that resulted in no kills, CLG reacted with an all-in of their own to take first blood. Even though C9 was trading kills with CLG, they were being too slow on rotations to punish any map pressure CLG was obtaining. Jeon “Ray” Ji-won kept C9 close in gold due to effectively split-pushing and being just tanky enough to be a pest. As another fight began, Ray made his presence known as he worked his way through the roster of CLG. With Poppy scaling into her tank items, however, CLG was able to dive members of C9 with low risk of dying. After baiting C9 toward an Elder Drake, CLG nearly aced C9 to take down the No. 1 team in North America and secure the win.
Team Dignitas (6-8) 2-1 Echo Fox (5-9)
In an all-out brawl in the mid lane, both teams managed to secure a kill, but DIG came out with the advantage with first blood. Afterward, the junglers met again and Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham came out on top. Knowing they had the mid-game power spike of Graves, EF engaged on an oblivious DIG to secure two kills and a tower. However, DIG responded by catching EF in their own jungle to obtain three kills and a Baron. Now that the game was in an even state, both teams seemed scared to over-commit for kills or objectives. Starting to play more methodically, EF caught out several members of the DIG squad and secured the Baron, taking overall map pressure. Every push EF made brought them closer to victory, but DIG did well to shut them out of winning. Now that they had enough items to deal with EF, DIG played really aggressive, ultimately taking most of EF out and securing Baron. The teams were locked in a never-ending trade, and neither team could close out the game. However, a great engage on the side of EF gave them just enough room to take the nexus and end game one after 55 gruesome minutes.
Because EF was pushing early with no vision, DIG made their way down to the bottom lane to punish EF and earn first blood. In response, EF found three kills around the map and took the advantage in their favor. With their newfound power, EF won every fight by bigger and bigger margins. Despite being behind, DIG found multiple trades that gave them enough ground to fight for objectives, which eventually netted them a Baron. At this point, Jang “Keane” Lae-young’s Vladimir was a monster in teamfights. Even with a disadvantageous fight, DIG was able to ace EF off the back of Vladimir. Although only Gragas and Thresh lived on the side of DIG, they slowly took out the base of EF to tie the series.
Taking advantage of Rengar’s great gank pressure, Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun secured two kills on the EF bot lane to create an early advantage. DIG consistently found kills on members of EF, but EF found enough gold around the map to stay even. Since Chaser had most of DIG’s kills, EF focused him out of fights in order to keep skirmishes from becoming too bloody. Unfortunately for them, other members of DIG found picks around the map and became too strong for the peel of the EF squad. A few final skirmishes slowly allowed DIG to take out EF’s base. Even though EF secured a Baron while DIG was backing, they fell to DIG in one last fight that gave DIG just enough time to take the nexus and the series.
Team SoloMid (12-2) 2-1 Immortals (6-8)
An aggressive invade by Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen backfired, which resulted in Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett securing first blood for Immortals. On Svenskeren’s respawn, Dardoch met him at his raptors to kill Sven again. Trying to even out the game, four members of TSM dove the bottom lane to get a kill, but all of them died for it. Now ahead six kills to one, IMT looked to obtain map control. Everywhere TSM tried to go, IMT met them with full force and shut them out. An 8,000 gold lead allowed IMT to secure a Baron and grow their gold lead to 14,000 in two minutes. With brute force, IMT forced themselves into TSM’s base and secured two inhibitors and a kill. The next push by IMT put the final nail in the coffin on game one.
Similar to last game, Svenskeren tried to invade Dardoch, but was caught in the middle of four members of IMT and gave up first blood. Dardoch ran into Svenskeren again and traded kills. Dardoch began to snowball and make plays around the map, but TSM stayed even in gold by farming. Knowing Dardoch was a force to be reckoned with, IMT followed Dardoch around and supported him as he dismantled members of TSM. Due to their team composition, TSM found picks around objectives that gave them enough room to tie up the game in gold. A risky Baron call by IMT gave TSM an easy ace and Baron, giving them the gold lead. A second Baron call by IMT led to them being aced, which allowed TSM to take the nexus before IMT was able to respawn and push them back.
A skirmish at level three in the bot lane broke out with TSM punishing IMT’s positioning for the first two kills of the game, but IMT replied with a kill of their own. While TSM was making plays in the top half of the map, IMT’s bot lane found a kill for themselves to keep the game even. Even though TSM almost tripled the total kills of IMT, IMT was only 1,000 gold behind at 20 minutes. With their lead solidified, TSM played it safe and methodically shut out IMT, taking multiple Barons. Despite multiple attempts to push out TSM, IMT were powerless in the wake of Maokai and were forced to give up their turrets. One last fight at Elder Drake left IMT in shambles as TSM ran through their base to close out the series.
(4-10) Team Liquid 2-1 Team EnVyUs (3-11)
As the game started, Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo was caught out by Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin to give over first blood. Knowing LirA would have to walk back into his jungle, Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin waited for him to put LirA further behind. Attempting to fight his way back in, LirA moved to the bottom lane and secured a kill. Skirmishes began to break out around the top side of the map, with both teams getting a fair share of kills. One team couldn’t edge ahead of the other due to the trades of each fight. After forcing EnVyUs off of Baron three separate times, Liquid finally found a fight they wanted to ace EnVyUs and take Baron for themselves. Using the buff to its fullest, Liquid made a 5,000 gold power play by taking multiple turrets in the face of EnVyUs. An ace against EnVyUs allowed Liquid just enough time to take out the nexus before the boys in blue had a chance to respawn.
An early gank by LirA on the bot lane resulted in a quick double kill for EnVyUs. TL tried to answer top with a kill of their own but failed the gank, which allowed LirA enough time to make it top lane and secure a third kill. Now that LirA was fed, he focused on helping Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo, allowing him to run rampant across the TL roster. EnVyUs had a clear advantage over TL that they used to methodically shutout Liquid. EnVyUs knew that TL couldn’t fight them, so they stalled the game until they could take Baron and push down objectives. Liquid was powerless in the wake of Ninja’s Talon and ultimately fell, allowing EnVyUs to take the nexus and game two.
A counter gank by LirA supplied EnVyUs with first blood, but Reignover answered with a kill of his own. With their team’s great catch potential, EnVyUs worked their way around the map to give each lane a small advantage. In reaction, however, TL funneled resources into Samson “Lourlo” Jackson playing Camille in hope that he would shut down the EnVyUs carries. Overstepping their boundaries, EnVyUs tried to fight their way into Liquid’s jungle but fell with no resources gained. After another fight with poor positioning, EnVyUs fell to Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s Ezreal and gave up their gold lead entirely. As more skirmishes started, Doublelift began to make quick work of the EnVyUs roster alongside Lourlo. The brute force of Liquid allowed them to push through the EnVyUs base to close out the series.