FlyQuest 1, Team SoloMid 0
FlyQuest took down Team SoloMid in yet another base race on Sunday, wrapping up a 2-0 weekend in the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.
It wasn't a clean win for FlyQuest (7-5) but it managed to get the job done after a pick in the bottom lane led AD carry Jason "WILDTURTLE" Tran's Ashe and top laner Lee "Flame" Ho-jong's Kennen to sweep through TSM's base.
Things looked good early on, with FlyQuest dominating the early game on the back of jungler Lucas "Santorin" Lao Kilmer Larsen's Sejuani, who was everywhere he needed to be to give FQ a 3-to-0 tower and kill lead. It was in the midgame when things got sloppy as FQ couldn't figure out how to make plays after the outer turrets had fallen, causing support Juan "JayJ" Guibert to get caught out as Tahm Kench. Fortunately, WILDTURTLE and Flame managed to steal a win from right under TSM's nose but the team shouldn't count on consistently winning games like that. Then again, FlyQuest has won two of its last three games through base races, so who's to say?
For Team SoloMid (5-7) fans, this loss will be a hard pill to swallow. The entire team drafted comfort picks that could excel in the early game, but top laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell's Gnar got counterpicked by Flame's legendary Kennen. What's more, mid laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg got his hands on Syndra, but he too couldn't make things work. Things looked to be going TSM's way around the 22-minute mark as it finally picked up its first kills in a teamfight, but it got swept away by FlyQuest's base rushing antics. Going forward, if TSM can't make the games last longer, where it looks more comfortable as a late-game team, then dark days are ahead for this organization.
FlyQuest takes on OpTic Gaming at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday while Team SoloMid will try to turn its fortunes around against Golden Guardians at 9 p.m. ET.
100 Thieves 1, CLG 0
Things didn't look too good for 100 Thieves (8-4) despite drafting a plethora of top-tier champions as Counter Logic Gaming got frighteningly fed early on, particularly AD carry Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes' Kalista. To make matters worse, jungler Andy "AnDA" Hoang was rocky as Taliyah, getting consistently matched and shut down in the early game by CLG jungler Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin. Fortunately, 100T managed to get a grip on the game and slow the pace down, stopping CLG from spiraling out of control.
All it took for 100 Thieves to grab control was a 3-for-1 teamfight at 25 minutes and it was fully in the driver's seat, securing a Baron buff and cracking open CLG's base in the mid lane. A second uncontested Baron for 100 Thieves about 10 minutes later and 100T took a game-sealing 5-for-1 ace powered by a triple kill from AD carry Cody "Cody Sun" Sun's Xayah. Regardless of who starts in the jungle, if 100T can control the flow of the game and let Cody Sun do his thing late game, the Thieves always have a chance to steal a win from anyone.
Counter Logic Gaming (5-7) looked incredibly solid in the early game, rotating early to help deal with ganks and working with Reignover to get his Kindred farmed. After a hectic early game -- there were 10 kills by the 10-minute mark -- CLG looked poised to lock down the win, but it simply couldn't get over the hump. Once it fell behind, CLG immediately started to fish for desperation picks to slow 100T's roll, perhaps a sign that CLG lacks confidence in its teamfighting despite drafting a powerful Kindred/Galio/Taliyah damage core. From support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang's Morgana getting caught out in the late game to top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya's Mundo failing to do anything late in the face of 100T's superior draft, CLG simply got left in the dust as it lost its fourth straight game.
100 Thieves takes on Team Liquid at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by CLG looking to turn around its losing streak against Echo Fox at 7 p.m. ET later that day.
Team Liquid 1, Clutch Gaming 0
Clutch Gaming's usual game plan of drafting a good late game scaling composition and buying time until the late game teamfights didn't work out. While some teams have made the mistake of playing into Clutch Gaming's plan, Team Liquid (8-4) wasn't going to be one of them, instead dictating the pace early on. After Team Liquid secured first blood around the two-minute mark, it kept its foot on the gas, taking any opportunity it found to pick fights over objectives and increase its gold lead.
All of the proactive plays quickly added up for Team Liquid as it rotated around the map, cleaning up teamfights and knocking down turrets. Clutch Gaming (4-8) became desperate to find a winning fight, opting to try and pounce on what looked like an overextended mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park's Orianna. The call backfired, though, as Pobelter escaped with his life while the rest of Team Liquid picked up a 4-for-0 teamfight victory, essentially sealing the win. The victory opened up a Baron power play. Team Liquid's winning push finished off the remaining structures in Clutch Gaming's base, wrapping up a 27-minute win, and included Pobelter's 1000th career kill in the NA LCS. Pobelter is now the fifth player in North America to reach the 1000 kills mark.
Team Liquid faces off against another tied-for-first-place team in 100 Thieves at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, while Clutch Gaming will try to crawl out of the bottom of the standings against Cloud 9 at 6 p.m. later that day.
Cloud9 1, Echo Fox 0
The first half of the Summer Split had been rough for Cloud9 as it entered Sunday's game with a 4-7 record, putting it in a must-win situation to keep its vaunted Worlds-attendance record alive. It looked like Echo Fox was ready to play the spoiler in the early game as jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett's Rengar ganks on the top side of the Rift yielded a plethora of kills. Echo Fox's (7-5) early success hinged almost entirely on its jungler's ability to manipulate the battlefield to his advantage, allowing the team to take a comfortable lead in turrets and gold.
Despite the fantastic start from Dardoch, overaggressive plays from the jungler in the mid game gave Cloud9 some wiggle room to maneuver back into the game, as questionable decision-making set up a handful of teamfight victories for Cloud9. Echo Fox never regained its footing as Cloud9's slow crawl back into control was capped off with a 4-for-0 teamfight victory around the 30-minute mark that gave it a Baron-power play, swinging the gold lead in its favor. Cloud9 never lost control as it expertly sieged Echo Fox's base and eventually claimed a near 36-minute victory.
Top laner Eric "Licorice" Ritchie continues to be a top performer for Cloud9, with his Aatrox absorbing plenty of pressure early and still making a huge impact in the late game. Licorice's help, particularly in late game teamfights, paved the way for a path to victory, as the top laner finished with a 4/1/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) and most damage dealt to champions.
Cloud9's quest to another Worlds run continues against Clutch Gaming at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, while Echo Fox will square off with Counter Logic Gaming at 7 p.m. ET later that day.
Optic 1, Golden Guardians 0
The gold race was close between OpTic Gaming and the Golden Guardians throughout the extended contest. While the Golden Guardians dominated teamfights and neutral objectives, OpTic Gaming maintained a small gold advantage as a result of its huge lead in turrets. That was almost entirely thanks to its top laner Niship "Dhokla" Doshi's Yorick incessant split pushing. Dhokla was able to gain plenty of ground, including exposing some inhibitors, but couldn't advance further as his teammates struggled to keep the Golden Guardians in check on the other side of the Rift.
Golden Guardians began to put its teamfight victories to knock down turrets in the late game. After multiple Baron kills, the Golden Guardians finally had what it needed to even out the turret count. However the Golden Guardians Elder Dragon/Baron power play wasn't enough to break OpTic Gaming's defense, leading to a 15-minute long stalemate with both teams having destroyed eight turrets.
The stalemate was finally broken by OpTic Gaming as Dhokla started his game winning split push while the big kerfuffle over the third Baron spawn of the game was breaking out. While Golden Guardians secured the aforementioned buff, the ensuing fight from OpTic Gaming delayed any opportunity for it to defend its base, giving Dhokla enough time to put an end to the nearly 55-minute marathon.
OpTic Gaming look to add a fifth win to its streak as it faces off against FlyQuest at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the Golden Guardians go up against the struggling Team SoloMid at 9 p.m. ET later that day.