It’s been only one week since the LCS began, yet we’ve already seen just how strong these teams can utilize their combinations and judgement. This will briefly cover each game and it will not go into detail about each moment that was important to that particular match. If you want more detail into the games, you can find the Week 1 matches here.
And if you wish to view only the most entertaining matches of this week, the ones I personally recommend watching are as follows: Team Coast vs Dignitas, Winterfox vs Gravity, CLG vs T8, Team Liquid vs CLG, and Team 8 vs TSM.
Now let’s get into a quick overview of each game in preparation for Week 2!
TSM vs C9
The rivalry continues after TSM and C9’s last battle at the 2014 LCS playoffs with a strong chant from the audience in TSM’s favor. When the match began TSM used Rek’sai’s strong early game with great map pressure which allowed Santorin to keep Balls from using Gnar’s ultimate effectively and help establish domination on Dyrus. Santorin proved to be fantastic addition to TSM as they played with perfect synergy. The team’s amount of CC allowed TSM to prevent Gnar from completely overpowering them, but C9 was able to play catch up by denying TSM objectives and control over map vision.
TSM used C9’s limited vision to successfully push mid lane down two towers swiftly before going bot, exploiting C9’s lack of quick response. This allowed TSM to catch back up to C9’s advantage from early game.
The final nail in the coffin for this game was a fantastic display of positioning by TSM when C9 initiated a fight on WildTurtle and Bjergson, denying Balls from using his ult effectively and keeping the attention on Santorin and Dyrus. Despite Santorin and Lustboy not being well-known, they were able to destroy expectations with a fantastic display of positioning, decision-making, and ultimate domination in team fights.
C9 was able to completely take control of the LCS during 2014, but ever since TSM broke their winning streak they’ve shown that their reign is now a thing of the past.
CST vs DIG
This was a true battle of the junglers. Crumbzz placed a pink ward deep inside enemy jungle to see what Impaler was up to and he made solid decisions based on this kind of information. Ultimately he wasted time and made poor decisions in other places such as using Jarvan’s flag and flash to try and to get raptors in enemy jungle but leaving empty-handed.
The end of this game, however, proved that the king of bad decision making isn’t something that you would normally see outside Bronze V. CST went after Baron just after DIG grabbed Dragon and started to shove the mid lane. They failed to stop and turn around fast enough to stop the push into their base. They started to recall but Gamsu was able to stop them by ulting onto the entire team and disrupting them, which allowed DIG to destroy the Nexus turrets and the Nexus itself with no resistance from CST.
(Congrats to the guy who proposed just before this match, BTW)
WFX vs GV
GV was pressured to show they can sustain the Curse Academy reputation without actually having the name on their team; their first game against Winterfox would be the ideal game to prove it. This newly rebranded team, originally Evil Geniuses, unfortunately had to replace three of their normal players with subs Flarez, ShorterACE, and Gleeb. With less experience than the original members of the team, WFX had more challenges than simple reputation status.
When this match started, WFX showed they have the ability to adapt and improvise on the fly with a support Annie wandering the jungle in the beginning and putting pressure on top and mid to tower dives under the inhibitor turret to further the gold lead to a staggering 10K. WFX was able to move in and out and weave through every move GV threw towards these subs. Engage, disengage, and leave. Barely escaping with little health is WFX’s speciality.
The game ended with WFX’s win at 22-8 and a perfect score for Flarez at 3/0/10 as well as a perfect score for regular member Pobelter at 7/0/6. With this utter annihilation in WFX’s first game in the LCS, they quickly rose up in the popularity with the audience.
TIP vs TL
Close match throughout the entire game. No one really gave the advantage away, slowly building up gold and items eventually the teamfights begin. IWillDominate ganked efficiently and often with the enemy team focusing him. The teleports from Rhux was able to get Liquid’s head back in the game to stop diving for kills. TL began to start positioning themselves where TIP had to move through the entire team in order to get KEITHMCBRIEF and FeniX.
This worked to Liquid’s advantage and they pushed the score to 6-12 after a fight was engaged by TL at Dragon. Team Liquid timed the fight to begin just as dragon went down, Quas and IWillDominate engaged by jumping in and positioning themselves where nobody was able to turn onto KEITHMCBRIEF. The gold lead was only 1K at this point, but they were able to continue pushing that advantage despite tower dives and 3v1 fights.
Victory came for Team Liquid in another fight at Dragon just after TIP grabbed Baron. TL began the Dragon and TIP wanted to get an ace with the Baron buff, but they split themselves up in an attempt to get KEITHMCBRIEF and was not able to grab him. TIP was greedy and Liquid was not deterred from the Baron buff and kept focus on making sure KEITHMCBRIEF would live and continue doing damage.
Team Liquid’s judgement and positioning proves extremely advantage to their team composition. They have shown to have iron wills as well, not showing hesitation even against XiaoWeiXiao – a player who proved extremely powerful with champions such as LeBlanc and Yasuo during the 2014 World Championship.
CLG vs T8
This game is one of intense back and forth, which one will make a fatal misstep that leads to the other team getting a huge advantage. Both teams had great engage and disengage, yet the team that’s more experienced in playing the high level championships proved that simply being the underdog is not enough. CLG took advantage of when T8 was not ready for the sudden fights.
The damage from T8 paled in comparison to what the Aphromoo and Doublelift dup pulls out. The combination of ults that keeps T8 from even being able to move happens within a few seconds, leaving the shoutcasters themselves wondering what exactly happened. This game had the most replays I’ve seen in this LCS so far. CLG was tied with the new arrivals of T8 for quite a while during the game, but they were unable to stand up against the combination of three ults that completely wiped out their team.
T8 proved to be a worthy opponent – they were able to make good decisions and make some great in and out fights whenever they could find it. Yet their team composition did not mesh quite as well as CLG’s did, and while they lost they show great potential to grow as they continue to play throughout the LCS.
DIG vs TIP
DIG and TIP both took a few tricks they saw from the previous day and used it to their advantages. DIG was able to pick up lot of champions that were able to burst down people without TIP even knowing what hit them. Crumbz started off with great baits and hit ganks precisely when they needed. KIWIKID roamed throughout the map on Annie and helped where he could with his stun and damage.
The tide began to slowly turn out as the mid game began and TIP started to group up. While DIG had the champions of damage and assassination, TIP used their combination of champions to quickly lock down and kill the squishy enemy team. DIG knew how to get the early lead, but they weren’t able to sustain past the mid game as the enemy team grabbed more armor and their burst damage had no effect. The game ended not long after 20 minutes at 4-8, leaving DIG to reflect how they should choose their picks and bans in champion select more wisely.
CST vs WFX
Winterfox entered this game with complete confidence while Team Coast was struggling with what many consider the worst call in the LCS season, and this mentality had a huge role in this game. WinterFox picked a team composition that relied on diving in and out as quickly as they could and would rely on Altec scaling into the late game as Tristana. This is a better composition in comparison to how DIG did in the last match where they had all-in champions but no one to really survive into late game without a significant gold lead.
WFX was able to utilize the early game in-and-out to their advantage to get Tristana the very slight edge she needs to start getting ahead. This didn’t deter Team Coast’s Impaler when he camped Flarez in the top lane. The 12 minute mark passed the score was in CST’s favor at 5-1 and things looked bleak for WFX quickly.
The lead was pushed even further when WFX turned aggressive under their turret and was unable to save it. CST then turned to killing WFX one by one with superior poke and siege abilities. Despite grabbing a dragon to close the gap in fold to 5K, WFX continued to start fights without the whole team and were unable to beat CST’s range. The mistakes of the past were on the forefront of everyone’s minds, they didn’t let it get to them and learned to play cautiously and efficiently. Control of the match came easily to them and ended with high spirits.
TL vs CLG
TL and CLG started off this match with a lane swap and roaming supports. TL was able to grab the early lead but the game continued to be essentially tied for most of the game. Liquid claimed control over the map and essentially was able to dictate how every fight went. TL continued their lead after a 17 minute stalemate.
More and more deaths came from CLG as they continued getting themselves caught in positions of no escape. By the 23 minute mark Team Liquid held a lead of 3K gold and a score of 10-4. CLG finally met their demise with every team fight afterwards unable to escape TL’s lockdown and control. Liquid kept the carries alive and the tanks to hold CLG’s focus. CLG was able to take quick grasp of opportunities, however, as the 30 minute mark came by and they closed the gap in gold. Two team fights, two turrets, a Dragon and a Baron within five minutes gave CLG a second wind.
It was a battle between TL’s control and CLG’s opportunistic strikes. Yet being unable to quickly nab the heavy hitting carries proved to be CLG’s downfall. This 40 minute game ended very close. We were able to see just how disciplined TL was throughout this match. WFX showed us they’re able to push forward on an opportunity the moment it shows itself, but Liquid’s did not allow many mistakes to slip past.
Team Liquid claimed first place in the LCS so far with a score of 2 out of 2 matches.
C9 vs GV
C9 came into this game strong with the goal of being as aggressive as possible, and despite losing First Blood to Cop they were able to engage into a decent team fight before 10 minutes which ended in two kills for each team. They lost that advantage quickly due to GV’s lineup of assassins. Diving under the turrets without much repercussion kept GV tied with Cloud 9’s lead.
C9 kept themselves close in order to dissuade that dive, but Gravity’s combinations of ults and positioning pushed the gap closer and closer. Saintvicious and LemonNation kept C9 locked down and grabbed objectives quickly while looking for the best positions to fight.
C9 didn’t get left in the dust, though, and they responded accordingly to calls from Gravity by grabbing Baron while the enemy was at Dragon. Back and forth between each team yet most team fights swung into GV’s favor. GV grabbed the first Baron and was able to turn around the game into decisive victory. C9 was unable to keep Gravity from pushing without risking another fight going against them.
The game ended with a final fight in utter devastation of C9 as they were unable to get their second Baron at 39 minutes. The dive from Gravity was unstoppable and C9 could only watch as their health evaporated to the assassin line-up with a score of 8-21 and a 10K lead in gold. Gravity’s ability to combine multiple champion combinations is frightening to say the least and it’s going to be a treat to watch them throughout the LCS.
T8 vs TSM
The final match of the NA LCS Spring Split Week 1 is against the fan favorite Team SoloMid and newcomer Team 8. T8’s demonstrated great decision making in the match against CLG despite the loss. This was a classic underdog tale against TSM and T8 definitely did not let the chants from the audience shake their desire to win.
Back and forth all throughout this match. There was no clear turn of the tide until fights initiated by TSM failed to account for the mobility of T8’s composition and made a 3v1 into a 3v4. T8 used the slight lead to push forward and nab an Inhibitor before cautiously backing away from TSM’s retaliation.
T8’s Slooshi demonstrated great judgement and exceptional control of the champion Orianna. Precise and quick movements allowed him to dominate against Bjergson who had won the early game. He almost singlehandedly pulled Team 8 together to victory with a risky Baron call and taking out all three inhibitors. Despite being against the favorite of the audience with chants of TSM, Team 8 claimed victory at 30 minutes with a score 15-8 and 11K gold in the lead. Perhaps underdog stories are not simply cliches in the movies after all.
And now we’re in the second week of the LCS. These teams have gotten their practice in and hammered out the strategies they’ll have undoubtedly prepared against every opponent. After the first week, what are you expecting will be the games to watch during the second week? Which team will you be rooting for? Tell us down in the comments! See you on the Rift.