North American LCS Recap: Week 4
Week 4 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) quickly became one of the most exciting so far. It showcased new and powerful picks like Skarner or Jax, and reinforcing the strength of Vladimir and Gangplank despite the 8.2 changes to runes.
Day 1 (February 10th)
CG v. TSM (CG Victory): LirA breaks out the Skarner, a pick which proved very potent against the immobile Syndra which Bjergsen opted for. But the MVP of the game was Apollo who stole baron from MikeYeung and allowed CG the victory. TSM worried their fans by playing too safely, allowing their opponents to scale and eventually overtake them.
C9 v. TL (C9 Victory): After last week, a lot of people wanted to know what would happen to TL if they fell behind early. As it turns out, the picture this game painted was pretty grim. Licorice played perfectly on Vlad against Impact and pressured after an early solo kill off of Impact’s greed. From then on in, C9 simply denied vision and extended their advantage to the midlane despite Pobelter’s best efforts. Bot lane remained consistent on both sides, until a late game mistake on Tristana by Doublelift sealed the deal near baron.
OPT v. CLG (OPT Victory): A lot of faith is put into Darshan’s Camille, but the top laner is not able to exert enough pressure for the sacrifice of Huhi to make any sense. In the mid game, this faith is punished heavily by PowerofEvil’s Ryze. A particular note for Arrow who played a great twitch.
100 v. FLY (FLY Victory): The first game from FLY Fly proves quite impressive, on Galio he ends with 12 assists, having 100% kill participation. WILDTURTLE and Stunt go huge in the botlane, and Flame dominates his opponent in the toplane.
FOX v. GGS (FOX Victory): Fox acquired a large lead from the early play of Dardoch and Huhi who shut down Lourlo as soon as possible. The worrying trend then, is how difficult it was for FOX to close the game with this early lead, fighting team fights that were clearly disadvantageous.
Day 2 (February 11th)
C9 v. FLY (C9 Victory): C9 decided to go with a risky scaling bot lane through Jinx and Tahm Kench which allowed early kills for AnDa and Flame. This only highlighted how central roaming has become for Smoothie as a style of support. C9 was able to stall out the game long enough to win on a crucial baron fight and take a victory. Their draft disappointed.
100 v. GGS (GGS Victory): GGS had a strategy coming into this game and the draft proved it. They first picked Camille, took Shen in the bot lane for a second flex pick and banned carry toplaners for Ssumday. This allowed Contractz in the jungle and Deftly on Kog to claim three dragons. A fight at baron around 21 minutes allowed GGS to snowball out of 100 Thieves control.
TSM v. CLG (TSM Victory): The question on everyone’s mind as the game starts: can TSM close a game before drawing it out to the point of losing to scaling? MikeYeung’s jungle is controlled heavily by Reignover and the botlane through warding off his red side. Darshan demonstrates solid pressure on Vladimir but ultimately Zven comes up big in an 18-minute fight that pulls out all the stop watches. However, Huhi manages to punish Hauntzer on his unconventional midlane Fiora. Ultimately, a failed baron engage by CLG allows TSM to snowball into a 10k lead and ultimately take a quick win.
TL v. FOX (FOX Victory): Dardoch fails to create any succesful ganks on Zac early in the game, and is rivaled by Xmithie on Sej who achieves a great midlane gank and allowing Pobelter to gain advantage over Fenix’s Cass if only for some time. Eventually, Dardoch pulls off a series of good plays bot that advantages his laners and enables them to carry the team to a victory over a now thrice defeated TL. A baron and team fight win at 40 minutes seals the deal.
OPT v. CG (OPT Victory): Great pressure from Akaadian on Sejuani, LirA gets punished more than he needed to be. Eventually, a ton of midgame mistakes allowed Febiven to gain an advantage, and LirA to catch up. Quick successive deaths by LemonNation at the critical juncture led the loss of OPT despite an early lead.
Week 4 Highlights
- TSM comes up big on day 2 against CLG, demonstrating an ability to adapt to an aggressive early game from their opponents. They capitalize on mistakes to take a quick and convincing win, things are looking up for the squad.
- MikeYeung impresses after a disappointing day 1 performance. He comes back in day 2 as a facilitator for his team and enabling their victory. Mental resiliency is a valued trait in new players, TSM’s jungler proves he’s got some.
- Top 6 teams seems pretty difficult to predict, TL didn’t impress and Echo Fox looks shaky despite pulling out wins.
- Licorice is the rooky of the split. C9 looks like the strongest team after this week.
Quote of the Week
“Just seeing him show up when it matters most, helps a lot”. – Dardoch, on why Rick Fox is a helpful addition to the team.
For future NA LCS esports coverage, and to make sure you don’t miss important developments, don’t forget to read IMGMR every week.