Counter Logic Gaming 1 - Team Liquid 0
Counter Logic Gaming pulled off another upset victory against Team Liquid on Sunday to make it 2-0 on the week in the North American League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split in Los Angeles.
While Team Liquid (8-5) had a very clean victory over 100 Thieves on Saturday, Sunday was a completely different story. While it again drafted a favorable matchup for its top laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong, his laning victory wasn't enough to fully carry this team. Content to let Impact win the top lane, CLG (5-9) focused its attention on the bottom lane and was able to build an advantage early.
A well-timed Tempered Fate from CLG support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang's Bard set up first blood for AD carry Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes' Varus, which ended up being a sign of things to come. The early laning advantage freed Biofrost's Bard up to roam from lane and make plays elsewhere on the Rift and rake in assists.
CLG's control of the early game allowed it to dictate the fast-paced second half of the match. As soon as neutral objectives spawned, CLG was there and ready to take them. Any of Team Liquid's attempts to contest the objectives often ended in failure and a swift death. In the sub-30-minute victory, CLG managed to secure three Dragons, a Rift Herald and a Baron. The Baron ended up being that catalyst that proved too much for Team Liquid to handle as it dove with gusto right into the open arms of CLG to once again get cut down to size. After Team Liquid lost a teamfight 4-for-2, CLG easily waltzed into the Liquid base and razed the Nexus.
CLG looks to add to its two-game win streak against FlyQuest at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, while Team Liquid look to secure its spot in the standings against the surging Team SoloMid later that day at 6 p.m. ET.
-- Ben Wong
Echo Fox 1 - OpTic Gaming 0
Echo Fox closed out Week 7 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series with a scrappy win against OpTic Gaming on Sunday in Los Angeles.
After suffering an embarrassing loss to then-last-place Golden Guardians earlier in the week, Echo Fox (11-3) looked to return to form against another bottom-of-the-table team in OpTic Gaming (4-10). While Echo Fox should have dominated this matchup on paper, things were close early on as OpTic's early-game-centric draft paid off, camping OpTic's bottom lane and getting ahead in kills and gold.
When OpTic was in control, support Daerek "LemonNation" Hart was making plays as Rakan alongside jungler Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham's surprise Lee Sin pick, keeping Echo Fox on its back foot. Despite this, though, OpTic couldn't fully stop the rest of Echo Fox, namely jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett's Kha'Zix and top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon's Cho'Gath, who outlasted OpTic's fast start later in the game.
Things were looking good for OpTic up until the 22-minute mark, when Akaadian botched a Baron attempt, allowing Dardoch to secure the kill and the buff for his team. Just like that, Echo Fox was in full control, with OpTic not able to force any fights against Huni's monstrous frontline presence. Echo Fox wasn't clean by any means, as the team still seems to be figuring out how to fix its slumping bottom lane as well as adjusting to the new patch, but once ahead, it never relinquished control, grinding OpTic out of the game. This wasn't a lopsided loss for OpTic, which is a step up from its rough start to the season, but Echo Fox's ability to come back from behind showed why it remains the cream of the crop in the NA LCS.
Echo Fox will kick off Week 8 at 5 p.m. ET when it faces Clutch Gaming on Saturday, while OpTic prepares to take on Cloud9 at 7 p.m. ET later that day.
-- Noah Waltzer
100 Thieves 1 - Team SoloMid 0
100 Thieves continued to climb in the North American League of Legends Championship Series standings with a big win over Team SoloMid on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Surging into the end of the Spring Split, 100 Thieves (8-6) picked up a crucial win against TSM (7-7), making a statement as teams continue to adapt and figure out the latest patch. 100 Thieves owed much of its success to its bottom lane, AD carry Cody "Cody Sun" Sun and support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black, who played the duo lane of Xayah and Rakan, respectively.
With 100 Thieves finding TSM out of position time after time, the team rallied behind veteran support aphromoo, who managed to protect his carry, allowing Cody Sun to deal massive damage all throughout the game. That's not to say the rest of 100 Thieves merely followed aphromoo's lead, as everyone played their respective parts in the all-around team win for 100 Thieves. Rotating around the map well, splitpushing when it needed to and teamfighting flawlessly, 100 Thieves proved that its recent form was no fluke, dismantling the former NA LCS champions.
TSM, meanwhile, couldn't quite seem to find its footing in this one. Despite drafting the lethal engage/teamfighting wombo combo of Camille, Zac, and Galio, TSM struggled to win teamfights, often getting routed at every turn. Blame for that might fall on the draft, as TSM's bottom lane duo of Ezreal and Tahm Kench got shut down hard early on, failing to contribute meaningfully in teamfights as the game went on. Mid lane ace Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg did what he could as Galio to nuke down 100 Thieves with devastating Winds of War, but, ultimately, it wasn't enough to keep TSM alive.
It seems like every time TSM seems to solve a problem, a new one pops up in its place, keeping it from achieving that top-tier status that was expected of it coming into the season. With the postseason fast approaching, TSM has little time to adjust and prepare, putting its legacy of NA excellence in jeopardy.
Team SoloMid prepares for an important battle against Team Liquid at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by 100 Thieves taking on Golden Guardians at 9 p.m ET.
-- Noah Waltzer
Cloud9 1 - Golden Guardians 0
Cloud9 bounced back from an ugly loss Saturday to take down Golden Guardians on Sunday during the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.
With Cloud9 (10-4) taking a surprising loss to Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday, it wasn't out of the realm of possibility for it to lose another one to the lowly Golden Guardians (4-10). Coming out of the gate, in fact, it looked as though that could be the case. With the Guardians drafting an engage-heavy team composition, it shot out to a quick lead on the back of three kills and an assist from jungler Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia's Lee Sin. It wasn't long, however, before Cloud9 turned things around.
Cloud9 seemed content to let the Guardians have those early kills and simply focused on objectives, which gave it a slight gold lead as the 20-minute mark approached. Once the Baron spawned, Cloud9 made a decisive push to take over the driver's seat on the back of mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's Azir. Jensen picked up two kills that allowed his team to get the Baron, and over the following 17 minutes, Cloud9 did whatever it wanted all across the map. Anytime that the Guardians looked to engage, it simply lacked the damage to win teamfights. A 5-for-0 ace from Cloud9 in the final moments of the game locked up the win and pushed away any memory of its rough loss to CLG on Saturday.
Cloud9 will look to pick up another win with a matchup against OpTic Gaming at 5 p.m. ET next Saturday, while Golden Guardians will try and play the part of spoiler when it faces 100 Thieves at 9 p.m. ET to close out Saturday's action.
-- Wyatt Donigan
Clutch Gaming 1 - FlyQuest 0
In the slowest-paced game of the day, Clutch Gaming closed out Week 7 with a win over FlyQuest during the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.
Don't look now, but Clutch Gaming (9-5) has now won seven of its last eight games over the last four weeks. As the Spring Split has progressed, the team also seems to continue finding new ways to win games. While there is usually a heavy reliance on import mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten, this game showed off Clutch's ability to play an incredibly strong macro game on its way to a victory over FlyQuest (4-10).
FlyQuest, despite drafting a team composition filled with engage tools, lacked a sense of aggression and decisiveness that such compositions need to succeed. As such, FlyQuest only managed one kill in the first 28 minutes of the game. On the side of Clutch, there was no desire whatsoever to engage in teamfights. Instead, Clutch put its entire focus on securing objectives. This translated into three dragons, six towers, two Barons and a Rift Herald for Clutch before it even picked up a single kill.
Once it finally tallied a kill, Clutch had amassed an almost 6,000-gold lead. FlyQuest was simply powerless to do anything in the face of Clutch's overwhelming macro presence in the 43-minute Clutch win.
Clutch will put its two-game win streak on the line with a big matchup against Echo Fox at 5 p.m. ET next Saturday, while FlyQuest will look to end its four-game skid when it faces the red-hot Counter Logic Gaming in the next game at 6 p.m. ET.
-- Wyatt Donigan