I MAY C9
Bans: Olaf, Caitlyn, Syndra Nidalee, Varus, Elise
Top: Maokai Rumble
Jungle: Skarner Rek’Sai
Mid: Cassiopeia Ryze
ADC: Sivir Jhin
Support: Kennen Alistar
With both teams needing a win to avoid elimination from playoff contention, I May brought an unorthodox pick in Kennen support, while Cloud9 drafted a standard composition with Ryze and Jhin as the major damage threats.
Four minutes in, Cloud9 wasted no time in abusing their bot lane duo advantage, as Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi quickly secured first blood on Xie “Jinjiao” Jin-Shan. All Cloud9 lanes were dominating on farm and pressure, and William “Meteos” Hartman came to bot lane a few minutes later for another kill on Jinjiao’s Sivir.
Cloud9 took huge advantages around the map for the next 10 minutes by rotating their bot lane and finding picks in the mid lane. By 11 minutes, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen was 3/0/0 on Ryze and looking to snowball, and Cloud9 had a 5k gold advantage. Cloud9 had sieged all three outer turrets by 15 minutes.
Cloud9 continued to be proactive and accrue more gold advantages, but I May unexpectedly won a two-for-one fight in the bottom river thanks to Shek “AmazingJ” Wai Ho’s Maokai initiation, turning to a free Infernal Drake afterwards.
Through the mid game, Cloud9’s lead didn’t grow or shrink, but at 23 minutes, Cloud9 found two picks around the map with the pure damage and utility of Jensen’s Ryze, and they headed to Baron. I May tried to prevent the Baron, but things got even worse when Meteos secured Baron and Cloud9 nearly aced I May in the following fight. Cloud9 boasted a massive 9k gold lead at 26 minutes, looking to fight again and siege before the Maokai, Viktor, and Sivir outscaled.
Jensen’s Ryze was an incredible 8/0/5, and Cloud9 was ready to close out. Cloud9 pushed down mid and engaged under IMAY’s inhibitor turret, but it proved to be too much as I May secured two kills as Cloud9 backed off.
At 32 minutes, Cloud9 started Baron but peeled off and I May engaged an exciting fight where I May surprisingly took another three-for-two advantage, poised to overcome Cloud9’s monumental lead through sheer teamfight power. However, at 34 minutes, Kang “Athena” Ha-woon and Yun “Road” Han-gil got separately caught out, leading to a free Baron for Cloud9. I May’s unexpected Kennen pick proved to be extremely detrimental, as Road was 1/8/8 by 34 minutes.
Cloud9 began their siege and won a fight by I May’s bot inhibitor turret, successfully sacking the mid and bottom inhibitor turrets. A few minutes later, Cloud9 engaged a fight by the top inhibitor, but lost a fight as they overreached again. I May rushed a desperation Baron and showed great resiliency as they held on longer.
By 46 minutes, I May’s Baron buff wore off, and Cloud9 began their push down the mid lane again, taking the inhibitor, but I May was able to continue stalling and allowed for their damage dealers in Viktor and Sivir to reach full build.
At 50 minutes, Cloud9 rushed Baron without a fast enough response from I May, and Cloud9 took a fight advantage with their two carries, Jensen and Sneaky, still alive. They pushed down the top inhibitor and, with enough sieging power and life, narrowly ended the game at 51 minutes in an exhausting, back-and-forth showing.
Cloud9 improve to 3-3 and rely on SK Telecom T1 to defeat Flash Wolves in the final game of the night to reach the quarterfinals; if Flash Wolves wins, Cloud9 will play in a tiebreaker for the second seed out of Group B. Meanwhile, I May has been eliminated from the tournament.
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