North American League of Legends Championship Series – Week 5, Day 1
We are almost halfway through the Spring Split and Week 5 began with the battles between the teams at the top. CLG finally has some stability on its team and is looking to see how the squad matches up with powerhouses Cloud 9 and TSM. Dignitas is also looking to make a return to form. Last week, after a week away, Dignitas made a few costly mistakes at Baron and it cost the team games, most notably against XDG.
Of course with the teams at the top duking it out, that means the lower half of the bracket is also going to be scrapping to gain position. The EU transplants, Evil Geniuses, have failed to impress through most of the North American LCS and are looking to pick up some wins against the lower tier teams to turn their season around. Mancloud, mid laner for XDG has also been struggling and currently has the lowest KDA of all mid laners. Unfortunately, he will be going up against Shiphtur and Voyboy, two of the stronger mids in the league.
Week 5 could prove to be very important for many teams in the league. If teams like Dignitas and CLG can pick up wins against the top teams it will create a log jam at the top of the bracket. If teams like Coast, EG and XDG don’t manage to pick up wins, they could see themselves falling completely out of contention with half the season still left ahead.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud 9
CLG: Lee Sin, Annie, Kassadin
C9: Caitlyn, Vayne, LeBlanc
CLG: Sivir (Doublelift), Vi (dexter), Leona (aphromoo), Lulu (Link), Shyvana (Nien)
C9: Thresh (LemonNation), Elise (Meteos), Renekton (Balls), Draven (Sneaky), Orianna (Hai)
The teams marched out onto the Rift and both duos tried to hurry and get level two to gain an advantage in the bottom lane. They reached it at nearly the same time and traded damage with neither side getting ahead. At level six, CLG attempted to gank the bottom lane, but was only able to get a Flash out of LemonNation. Cloud 9 tried to pick up the first dragon, but CLG was able to position correctly in the river and engage on them. After an Assault and Battery from dexter, Link picked up first blood on LemonNation which gave CLG control of the dragon.
Cloud 9 tried to set up a four-man gank in the bottom lane, but were spotted out by dexter and thwarted, which also allowed CLG to respond as soon as Hai returned to mid lane and pick up another kill on LemonNation. dexter immediately went through the Cloud 9 jungle and CLG dove on Sneaky under the tower for another kill. At the same time, Link and Nien combined their efforts to get a kill on Balls who was roaming in the Cloud 9 red side jungle. A few minutes later; Dexter, Nien and Link set up a dive on Hai in the mid lane for a kill. CLG rotated down to capture another easy dragon, but Cloud 9 picked up the top outer turret in response.
Cloud 9 decided to focus on taking down towers and grouped up four members in the bottom lane. CLG initiated on Sneaky for a quick kill, but Cloud 9 was able to turn the fight around with a Command: Shockwave by Hai for a kill on Link and dexter. Cloud 9 pursued the retreating CLG to kill Doublelift and pick up the bottom and mid outer towers. CLG returned to the bottom lane to make an attempt on the outer turret. Cloud 9 sent three members to defend, but aphromoo initiated just as the tower fell for two kills. Both teams set up for fight at dragon with Cloud 9 attempting to bait CLG, but Link used his Dragon’s Descent to get huge damage on all of Cloud 9. Some expert positioning and ability usage by Doublelift allowed CLG to pick up an Ace, the dragon and an early Baron buff to put them way ahead in the game.
With the buff, CLG set its sights on the bottom lane. The team was able to pick up the inner tower and then Nien jumped on three members of Cloud 9, dealing huge damage and grabbing two kills. CLG continued pushing down the base turret and inhibitor before retreating to push the other lanes forward. Cloud 9 was a little out of position in the top lane which allowed CLG to get another engage on Sneaky, who was alone defending the middle inhibitor turret for a kill, but the turret damage allowed Cloud 9 to push CLG out of the base.
CLG set up to take down another Baron. Cloud 9 moved into range to attempt a steal, but CLG was ready. dexter initiated onto Sneaky, but ended up much further away from his team than he intended. This spread the fight out quite a bit, but Doublelift was able to take down Hai, while Nien survived in a one-on-three until his team could come and help him out for two more kills. CLG returned to Baron and, instead of taking it down, baited Cloud 9 into an extended fight. This allowed the super minions in the bottom lane to push into the base and take down the Nexus turrets. After a couple of kills, CLG showed up and ended the game in 34 minutes.
Evil Geniuses vs Curse
EG: Pantheon, Yasuo, Elise
CRS: Kassadin, Olaf, Renekton
EG: LeBlanc (Pobelter), Shyvana (InnoX), Sivir (Yellowpete), Volibear (Snoopeh), Thresh (Krepo)
CRS: Leona (Saintvicious), Vi (IWillDominate), Karthus(Quas), Ezreal (Cop), Akali (Voyboy)
Evil Geniuses entered the Rift as a team and set up everyone in the bottom lane river bush for an early gank. Cop was smart and didn’t roam down so EG was forced to retreat with no kill. Snoopeh and Pobelter both got a lot of earlier harass on their opposite numbers to gain early control of the map. Eventually, Snoopeh and Pobelter were able to execute a gank on Voyboy for the first blood. A little bit later, IWillDominate set up in the mid lane for a gank as well. Snoopeh showed in the river to clear a ward and was immediately jumped on by the Curse jungler and Voyboy for a kill.
After a short lull in action, EG went for a gank on Voyboy again, however Quas responded with a Teleport to assist his teammate. This gave IWillDominate time to respond in mid as well and Curse dove the tower to pick up two kills plus the turret. At the same time, in the bottom lane, Saintvicious got a clean Solar Flare on Krepo for a quick kill and then the Curse duo dove the bottom tower for a double kill. EG came back to the lane with four people, hoping to get the jump on Curse, but the other team was ready with four people of their own and a huge fight broke out. Cop fell early on, but Voyboy was able to use his Shadow Dance to jump around the fight and pick up kills, winning the fight three to two. However, while this was happening, InnoX pushed all the way to the inhibitor tower in the top lane.
The teams regrouped and met at dragon. Saintvicious initiated on EG, but it was a little too early as Quas was not with his team. EG got a quick kill on Voyboy, which removed a bulk of Curse’s damage. Quas showed up, but it was too late and EG easily won the fight and took dragon. EG focused on map control and picked up inner towers in the mid and bottom lane, along with a kill on Quas. Curse attempted to respond with a team fight, but they engaged early again and were not able to kill Pobelter or Yellowpete which cost them the fight. EG then started to roam the Curse jungle and picked up multiple kills on wandering members of Curse.
The next fight was staged around Baron. EG baited the fight and forced Quas to Teleport from the bottom lane to participate in the fight. Karthus was removed from the fight early, but his Requiem did allow Voyboy to pick up a kill before getting burned down as well. Unfortunately, with the two members down, Curse could not re-engage and were forced to retreat. EG attempted another Baron, but Curse was able to fight them off again.
Another break in the action was interrupted when Saintvicious was jumped on while warding the Baron pit. Curse was able to respond and finally got kills on Pobelter and Yellowpete which allowed them to even up the fight at three. Both teams regrouped for another fight in the mid lane, losing their damage dealers early and leaving two tanks on either team to duke it out. After a prolonged chase by Snoopeh, both teams backed off and waited for another team fight. EG was able to use Curse’s lack of jungle vision to catch them off guard in the red side jungle and picked up four kills, allowing the team to push into the base and take down the Nexus in 37 minutes.
Team Coast vs XD.GG
CST: Kayle, Annie, Olaf
XDG: Kassadin, Yasuo, LeBlanc
CST: Elise (NintendudeX), Lulu(Daydreamin), Caitlyn (WizFujiiN), Nidalee (Shiphtur), Jax (ZionSpartan)
XDG: Thresh (BloodWater), Sivir (Xmithie), Trundle (Benny), Pantheon (Zuna), Gragas (Mancloud)
ZionSpartan was able to put heavy aggression onto Benny early and gain control of the top lane, allowing NintendudeX to get in some counter-jungling. Daydreamin, in the bottom lane, put out a lot of damage on BloodWater, who was out of position and picked up the first blood off of an Ignite. NintendudeX arrived just after to get a kill on Xmithie as well.
After a lull, NintendudeX got dangerously close to three members of XDG hiding in the bottom lane tri-brush. They jumped on him and were able to get a kill, but WizFujiiN was able to respond with a kill of his own. Meanwhile, in the top lane, ZionSpartan got a solo kill on Benny after taking him low with repeated harass. The teams respawned and grouped around dragon. Coast went for an engage onto Xmithie, but Zuna responded with a Grand Skyfall, which landed on the retreating Coast and allowed him to kill NintendudeX. A short time later, NintendudeX and ZionSpartan dove Benny under tower for a kill. Zuna responded with his Grand Skyfall, but Coast was able to escape with a ward jump from ZionSpartan. Mancloud attempted to use Explosive Cask on the low health Jax, but it wasn’t enough damage to get the kill.
Coast picked up all the outer turrets and put pressure on XDG, however ZionSpartan was killed easily by three members of XDG in the top lane. XDG then rotated bottom lane and were able to pick up three more kills on Coast as they tried to retreat through the XDG jungle. XDG immediately went to the dragon and were greeted by Coast. BloodWater landed a Death Sentence and elected to go in on Coast, but was immediately killed with no follow up from his team. However, Daydreamin was out of position in the mid lane and Mancloud killed him easily to keep the fight even. ZionSpartan continued to push the outer lanes by himself. He found Xmithie in the bottom lane and picked a fight. Zuna used his Grand Skyfall and Benny used Teleport to come to the aid of their embattled teammate. Unfortunately for them, ZionSpartan was able to pick up two kills before finally falling in the one versus three fight.
Coast attempted to secure a Baron buff, with ZionSpartan continuing his split push. XDG put a lot of damage down on the members of Coast attacking Baron, which allowed Zuna to use his ultimate to attack ZionSpartan with Benny for a kill. Coast was forced off of Baron and both teams regrouped in mid. After a few minutes of dancing around Baron, Coast caught Zuna lurking around the red buff for an easy kill. Since XDG was lacking a jungler, Coast went for Baron. Mancloud used his Explosive Cask to land huge damage on most of Coast and eventually killed NintendudeX, leaving both teams Smiteless. ZionSpartan then turned on the entire team of XDG and grabbed two kills before Zuna dropped on him. Luckily, Shiphtur was nearby to offer assistance and eventually secure an Ace for Team Coast.
Coast returned to their split push strategy with ZionSpartan alone in the top lane and the rest of the team in the bottom lane. XDG engaged on the four players in the bottom lane and pushed them away after killing WizFujiiN. Benny was killed in the top lane while attempting to fight off ZionSpartan, but eventually Zuna was able to push him away. ZionSpartan was only detoured for a few minutes before he returned to capture the top base turret and inhibitor. The rest of the team was able to capture the bottom base turret and inhibitor before joining ZionSpartan and securing the first Baron buff.
Team Coast then pushed down the mid lane and were greeted by an XDG team looking for a fight. They went for the quick engage and were able to get a burst of damage onto WizFujiiN, but a Giant Growth from Lulu spared his life. This delay was all ZionSpartan needed to jump into the fight and start wrecking all of XDG. He was able to secure three kills and then all of Coast marched into the base for a victory in 40 minutes.
Team Solomid vs Dignitas
TSM: Lee Sin, Gragas, Kayle
DIG: Kassadin, LeBlanc, Elise
TSM: Thresh (Xpecial), Lucian (WildTurtle), Trundle (Dyrus), Pantheon (TheOddOne), Kha’Zix (Bjergsen)
DIG: Dr. Mundo (Cruzer), Caitlyn (Imaqtpie), Nidalee (Scarra), Annie (KiWiKiD), Vi (Crumbzz)
TheOddOne started off his game by invading Dignitas’ red buff, but he and Dyrus took an extended amount of time to make it happen, giving Crumbzz more than enough time to steal TSM’s red buff to keep the junglers even. The TSM jungler hung around the top lane and was waiting for the right moment to gank Cruzer when Crumbzz caught him in the bush and was nearly able to pick up first blood through the counter-gank.
Dyrus and TheOddOne timed it perfectly so that as soon as Dyrus his level six, they dove on Dr. Mundo for first blood. Meanwhile, Dignitas picked up an uncontested dragon kill. TheOddOne maintained the pressure in Dignitas’ red-side jungle, again stealing the red buff, but this time leaving the smaller minions behind.
While most of DIG grouped up for the dragon, KiWiKiD got caught out by Thresh and Lucian. However, the Dignitas support was able to drop Tibbers on Lucian for a momentary stun, Flash out of Thresh’s The Box, and join the rest of his team to turn things around on the suddenly out of place TSM duo. A perfectly executed Flash Piltover Peacemaker to Ace-in-the-Hole took down Lucian under tower. Shortly after, the Dignitas duo chalked up another kill as they were joined by Crumbzz to burst down a lone Kha’Zix.
At this point in the game, the only outer tower still standing belonged to TSM’s top laner, showing that despite other lanes falling behind, Dyrus was definitely still in the lead. However, as Dyrus roamed to the mid lane, Caitlyn and Vi snuck up top to finish off the last outer turret. Cruzer had switched down to the bottom lane to hold against a three-man siege on the inner turret. He fell to their combined strength, but also forced them to back off without taking the turret down as well.
TSM grouped at Baron to bait Dignitas and managed to duplicate the exact same play twice, and almost catch a third member in the same way. Vi moved in to intercept with Assault and Battery, but a Flash back into the pit by Kha’Zix forced her into the middle of the entire team to quickly die. TSM was easily able to pick up the Baron buff afterwards, and returned to the mid lane to start pushing again. They pushed through all the way to the inhibitor turret before a determined Dignitas managed to send them away. Undeterred, the TSM wrecking ball moved to the top lane, sieged the inner turret and then left it for the minions to finish off as they chased Dignitas back into their own base. Kha’Zix was able to catch a retreating Mundo to finish him off before they pulled back again.
After the Baron buff wore off, Team Solomid grouped in the bottom lane to knock over the last inner turret and then set up for a siege on the inhibitor. Some heavy pokes from DIG sent TSM running, but when Trundle fell behind, the rest of his team turned about to accept the initiated teamfight and ended up winning it two for one. The game died down for a bit, as the teams positioned themselves around the Baron pit, but eventually TSM caught Dignitas by their wraith camp and the combination of Grand Skyfall and The Box saw three DIG players instantly melted with another following shortly after. Crumbzz was the only one left standing and managed to escape to his base, leaving the Baron buff for TSM. The DIG jungler did return to watch over the Baron fight, perhaps thinking to suicide-steal the kill, but Bjergsen caught sight of him via wards and easily bursted him down while the rest of his team finished off the epic monster.
TSM took down both the top and bottom inhibitors with ease, trading WildTurtle for Cruzer in the process. When the top inhibitor respawned, TSM was quick to respond and rotate to the mid lane afterwards. As they pushed through for the final turrets and the Nexus, Dignitas was unable to do anything, running for the safety of their fountain as their Nexus was destroyed.