The 2023 League of Legends World Championship has finally continues! The Swiss Stage begun on Thursday, pitting the 16 best teams against each other to decide which of them will can proceed to the Knockout Stage.
On the first day, the 2nd seed of the LCS, Cloud9, and the 3rd seed of the LEC, MAD Lions squared up against each other to decide once and for all which region is better – for like the 100th time. Jokes aside, the matches between the LCS and LEC teams are always a joy to watch, but this time, C9 made an example out of the Lions.
Cloud9 vs MAD Lions Recap
C9 tricked the Lions before the game even began, after flexing K’Sante to mid after MAD tried to counterpick the Pride of Nazumah with a Gwen for Chasy. EMENES was the one to play the toplaner who was flexed by teams such as T1 during this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, while Fudge managed to counterpick the Gwen with a Jax.
This put the Lions in a sticky situation, which they tried to counteract by Elyoya focusing toplane in the first segment of the game. MAD Lions acquired first blood on the toplane, but Cloud9 was quick to take revenge by killing Chasy a few minutes later. The early game was quite even with some flashy plays by Carzzy – which were immediately shut down by Berserker. Elyoya continued to focus toplane, securing the first Herald of the game with his team, but that didn’t help them to get a lead. Meanwhile, Cloud9 took the first Tower and began scaling with a Jax, Taliyah, K’Sante and Xayah core.
The American squad upped their tempo when the midgame came. They found some kills and the first Infernal Drake of the match, and around the 23-minute mark, they took Baron while MAD Lions didn’t even try to contest it. This was the point where the gold graph started to deviate from the middle, as Cloud9 used their Baron Power Play well, taking Towers and finding catches thanks to Zven, who played his heart out on Alistar.
After the first Baron and subsequent macro losses, MAD Lions seemed like they lost the will to fight, letting Cloud9 seep into their jungle and take their side lane turrets. The LCS 2nd seed did what they want with them, as Ezreal and Gwen haven’t scaled yet, while Nisqy was not able to pull as much weight as his teammates needed him to.
The finishing blow came after Cloud9 took the second Nashor of the game, ending the match a minute after Baron.
Teams: Cloud9 – MAD Lions
Gold: 59.8k – 52.6k
The community doesn’t expect that much from MAD Lions as their international record is not exactly good, even though they had good performances domestically. However, Elyoya and co. seemed more lost than one would anticipate it – hopefully they can recuperate from this loss. On the other hand, Cloud9 looked great, making good decisions in and out of the Rift. Their next opponent will be LNG Esports, the 3rd seed of the LPL. Can they live up to the challenge?