North American LCS Recap: Week 7
The standings are upset as we approach week 10 the North American League Championship Series (NA LCS). Indeed, while week 7 continues to solidify leads, it also allows teams like TL and CLG to come into conflict for the middle standings. Tanks such as Cho’Gath and Maokai make a recurring appearance, while Xayah and Rakan remind everyone how powerful they are in the bot lane.
Day 1 (March 3rd)
CG v. OPT (CG Victory): Febiven’s Azir manages an early advantage over PoE thanks to LirA’s aggressive Skarner (a welcome sight!). Hakuho also impresses with his Thresh play which feeds Apollo an early kill. Both the bot and mid lanes manage to extend this advantage, and Arrow’s Ezreal, in particular, fails to become relevant before 25 minutes. While this would normally be a situation teams could work with, CG doesn’t give them any time to scale.
GGS v. FOX (GGS Victory): A very entertaining game, Dardoch focuses on early ganks to make his Zac look good. In the bot lane, Matt impresses on Rakan and combines his CC with Contractz’s Volibear. From there, the Rakan runs away with the game by roaming and enabling Deftly’s Xayah and an otherwise starved Lourlo.
TL v. 100 (TL Victory): A 7-minute gank early from Impact on Shen leads to a rough start for 100 Thieves. Three early kills ontheir carries and tank allow TL to gain a strong cs advantage. They do not relinquish this advantage through the game as Impact and Xmithie hunt out stragglers such as Ryu and Cody Sun. When Impact managed to fight a 2v1 bot and come out on top, the splitting powerhouse was established, and the game was done.
TSM v. FLY (TSM Victory): Flame pushes a good advantage early against Hauntzers Camille, and play’s Cho’gath to near perfection. His early boot purchase allowed him to survive a few early ganks. He and AnDa, however, have a hard time against MikeYeung’s Sej in the team fights. Flame’s positioning in early dragon fights was atrocious and cost his carries much-needed pressure. Eventually, TSM manages to play against FLY’s win conditions, and look very clean taking the victory.
CLG v. C9 (CLG Victory): Early aggression in the bot lane by CLG gets punished by a Varus / Leona lane from C9. From then on, Sneaky absolutely destroys with the rageblade and BORK combo. Their lead reaches 9k before 30 minutes. Things get interesting as Stixxay manages to also rack up 6 kills on his Xayah. However, late game team fights are dominated by Reignover on Zac and an unkillable Darshan.
Day 2 (March 4th)
TL v CLG (CLG Victory): CLG gets up to a 2k gold lead before 15 minutes, with their bot lane capitalizing on good early dives which gave Stixxay a huge advantage against Doublelift. In the top lane, Impact on Trundle also manages an early lead against Darshan’s Maokai. What tilts the game is how they both choose to play with that advantage. Biofrost is the game’s MVP, his Bard plays consistently allowed his team to capitalize on roaming advantages.
C9 v. GGS (C9 Victory): Contracts manages some early aggression onto Sneaky, and cleanly reads a flash. While GGS uses this early lead to push a few aggressive kills, C9 focuses on acquiring top and mid turret. Hai is given no rest by Jensen’s Azir, who scales very well into the late game fights. C9 grabs a baron before 30 and use it to gain a 5k advantage despite GGS early pressure. This swells into a team Hai can’t immediately delete, and Veigar doesn’t pay off in the way they’d hoped.
OPT v. FOX (FOX Victory): Akaadian comes up big in the early game with his lee-sin play. However, his inability to capitalize on the leads he created early in the mid lane means OPT becomes vulnerable to Huni’s unkillable Cho’gath. A tragic attempt to deny a baron steal by Akaadian around 30 minutes ultimately gets him killed and gives FOX the baron. The misplay leads to a gradual decline in their gold advantage. OPT wasn’t able to play with a lead, FOX punished.
FLY v. CG (CG Victory): A very passive early game allows Febiven’s Azir and Apollo’s Caitlyn to scale safely into the mid game fights. Despite an early kill to their team, CG manages a 20-minute baron buff by catching FLY on a telegraphed recall and a bannered cannon minion. This early baron allows more pressure to CG which they convert into all three lanes. A 45-minute pick allows CG to grab a second baron and elder dragon which leads to a clean victory.
100 v. TSM (100 Victory): Early aggression by TSM is controlled by 100, as Aphro and Ssumday come up big. The Poppy was a major pain for TSM, despite the fact that they delayed for a good 10-15 minutes before 100 manage to start a proper fight. This leads into a baron which in turn breaks the game wide open. The veteran calls on the side of 100, in large part led by Aphromoo, proved too much for a still flinching MikeYeung and Mithy.
Week 7 Highlights
- FLY disappoints by continuing to play in a predictable manner. Their game against TSM highlights the extent to which teams can read their map movements and game plans. This exposes them to teams who can adapt at will and punish such predictability. If they desire to make playoffs, they will need to handle this issue.
- Putting C9 Licorice on pure tanks (i.e. Maokai) isn’t looking too good. Same issue we’ve seen with Darshan from CLG, who has conversely adapted well to the meta. It may be that C9 attempting to fit their top laner within a mould will weigh on the team in the upcoming weeks.
- Bannered minions are a thing now, and no one can deny it.
Quote of the Week
“We try and work together, and I see what I can do. We’re focusing on vision control. I’m being told to focus on vision”. – Impact, following a beautiful Shen game.
For future NA LCS esports coverage, and to make sure you don’t miss important developments, don’t forget to read IMGMR every week.