LCS: Week Nine Day One Recap

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LCS: Week Nine Day One Recap

OpTic Gaming V Golden Guardians

Golden Guardians v OpTic Gaming

 

Golden Guardians made history today for their organization as they punched their ticket to the playoffs.

GGS has had solid early-game performances recently and continued that streak here. Contractz’s Kindred was able to secure three passive stacks very early in the game, setting the rest of the game up nicely. OpTic, on the other hand, struggled, as their draft simply wasn’t set up to counter the pressure from GGS. First blood finally arrived for GGS 10 minutes in, when Froggen and Contractz found a desperate Meteos hovering around midlane.

Objective for the Guardians was equally as strong. They lucked out significantly in the spawns as well, picking up two early Ocean Drakes. The rest of the drakes – two Infernals and one Cloud – also went to Guardians. As their towers fell around them, OpTic couldn’t find any way back into the game, and they were constantly forced to cede ground. Guardians’ objective domination went further as they claimed Baron only a couple minutes after it spawned. OpTic were poised to fight for that Baron, but had to give it up.

OpTic tried a couple times to force teamfights around objectives. The first was around an infernal drake. While OpTic were able to secure a couple kills, GGS traded them back and maintained the kill lead. The second fight came in midlane after the Baron buff wore off of GGS. Dhokla tried to do what he could to turn things around. He was able to find a kill after a deep dive between the turrets, but died for his efforts. The rest of the team, unable to follow their toplaner, were shredded by the Guardians’ carries. With super minions on the nexus turrets and only Arrow to stop them, GGS marched into the red base and secured their playoff spot.


Echo Fox V Team Liquid

Echo Fox v. Team Liquid

 

As their place in the playoffs remained uncertain, Echo Fox managed to bring their fate into their own hands and take down Liquid.

Echo Fox followed Golden Guardians example as they took control of the game from the get go. FOX were able to apply pressure and gain leads almost everywhere on the map, and secured an Ocean Drake for their efforts. While Liquid picked up first blood in a bottom lane team fight at 14 minutes, Echo Fox immediately traded back with two kills, first turret, and an Infernal Drake.

As the game moved on, Echo Fox pushed their advantage further ahead. Impact’s Urgot was feeling the nerfs, and couldn’t assert itself the same way as in previous patches. Xmithie, too was a pain point for Liquid. He was constantly getting caught out of position, two of which allowed Echo Fox to kill each Baron. The TL Jungler died a total of six times, proving to be the weak link on the day. Echo Fox, for their part, did well to keep Liquid off-balance, and closed out the game decisively at 37 minutes.

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Echo Fox will face CLG tomorrow in a match that decides who goes to the playoffs, and who goes home.


Clutch Gaming vs Team SoloMid

Clutch Gaming v. Team Solo Mid

 

Clutch Gaming entered the match with high hopes and a new roster, looking for a miracle win.

The fighting started just before ten minutes, as Cody Sun made his return to the LCS and secured first blood on Smoothie. In the top lane, Huni’s Vayne made Broken Blade’s life very hard, recording a 33 CS lead at 15 minutes. TSM, though, were able to secure an Cloud and Infernal Drake, giving themselves scaling options going forward. Clutch continued to make things difficult for TSM, answering the drakes with a traded kill and first turret advantage. CG continued to build a lead, making sure to always trade kills and even stealing away a Mountain Drake for their efforts.

The mid game was relatively quiet and bloodless as Clutch and TSM were content to trade objectives and vision control. TSM pulled the trigger in the 25th minute when Akaadian and Broken Blade engaged on Huni. Huni would not die quickly, and it seemed like the arrival of his team meant Clutch’s top laner would live. The rest of TSM came too, and a four-for-zero meant the NA powerhouse had a free Baron. TSM were able to quickly turn the tables on Clutch as they cleared away every Tier 1 and 2 tower.

As Clutch Gaming’s base crumbled, TSM showed their teamfighting quality. A last-hope engage in the bottom side from CG led to three deaths. With a massive minion wave and all five alive, TSM blew up the nexus, crushing CG’s playoff dream.


Cloud 9 V FlyQuest

Cloud9 v. Flyquest

 

While FlyQuest is locked in for playoffs, they’re also locked into fourth but would love to take down Cloud 9. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do that.

The game was full of excitement for the first 15 minutes. Cloud 9 were able to find small advantages, though. WildTurtle nearly gave up his life with a minion teleport, but his team arrived and took down Sneaky at the cost of Santorin. At 11 minutes the Svenskeren was able to secure the first drake, a Mountain. FlyQuest were nearby, and decided they wanted a fight. It was a disaster for the red team, resulting in two kills for Sneaky’s Jinx, letting him back into the game.

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A top lane fight around 20 minutes immediately went the way of C9. They secured three kills, and thanks to the Jinx, claimed the Baron right after. The blue side wasted no time continuing the press, cracking the Flyquest base and killing two inhibitors at 22 minutes. They wouldn’t stop there, and went straight to the bottom lane. As a five-man unit, they killed the bottom inhibitor turret, allowing them to engage freely on the lurking FlyQuest. The super minions streamed into the base, and Cloud 9 let JayJ live to watch his nexus die before the 25-minute mark.


Counter Logic Gaming V 100 Thieves

100 thieves v Counter Logic Gaming

 

Despite being locked out the playoff race, 100 Thieves were still looking to play spoiler to CLG’s postseason aspirations. It wasn’t time though.

The game started off very well for the mostly-academy lineup. Soligo was able to claim first blood on Wiggily as they collapsed on him in the top blue jungle quadrant. Another kill followed for Bang when CLG’s re-engage went awry in the bottom lane. CLG was quick to trade the kills back, evening the kill score and converting to a tower kill. They killed the mid tower as 100T got their second drake, but PowerOfEvil committed an unusual error and didn’t get the gold for the tower. He rectified that error with two swift kills around 20 minutes.

As the game moved past 20 minutes, 100 Thieves found themselves suddenly on the back foot. A solid team fight in midlane went 2-1 for 100T, and another drake. CLG, however, still had map control, and claimed the Baron because of it. In the 28th minute, CLG pushed for and killed the 100 Thieves’ bottom inhibitor alongside two more kills. Bang and Co. managed to turn them away at the nexus as Darshan dropped low but would not die. The Thieves, for the moment, could breathe easy. It was only a matter of time before 100 Thieves fell again.

The killing blow came at the second Baron. As super minions flooded the 100T base, CLG started the Baron confidently. The Thieves knew time was up and fought anyway. Darshan’s Poppy claimed a triple kill, and closed the game with their dreams of a playoff spot alive and well.


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Major Castleman
Major has been an avid esports spectator who lives and breathes competitive gaming for several years. He has seen how games evolve over time, loves to think critically about professional gameplay, both to understand it and improve his own. He combines this with four years of professional copywriting to share his ideas and insights with the broader community.