After a long off-season, the League of Legends Championship Series is finally back! With a ton of preseason roster changes, the ten North American teams are ready to get on the Rift. There are many exciting players along with equally exciting picks that are sure to make even the first day of LCS captivating. All of the teams look to start off on the right foot, so recap on all the action from the first day of LCS week one right here!
Team Liquid v Cloud9
Team Liquid (“TL”) asserted their dominance over Cloud9 (“C9”) in the first game of the LCS Spring Split. TL looked coherent and clean, with skirmishes and team fights almost always going their way. Though Svenskeren was able to secure First Blood onto Impact in the top lane, the team around the map fell behind. At six minutes, Doublelift revived the “Sneaky in lane” meme by solo killing the C9 ADC. TL won a couple of skirmishes in the early game, with Jensen killing members of his old team left and right.
C9 did managed to win a skirmish at 14 minutes, which helped them to pressure the map and take an Infernal Dragon shortly after. Around five minutes later, C9 won another skirmish two-for-one, equalizing the gold difference. After this point though, TL cranked up the pressure. Team fights erupted all across the map, with TL emerging victorious every time. At 24 minutes TL killed two C9 members, giving them the opportunity to take Baron Nashor. This first Baron allowed TL to win a couple more fights, clean up some towers and destroy C9’s bottom Inhibitor.
At 30 minutes TL only had a 3k gold lead, but their pressure was bigger than that shows. Svenskeren, who was caught out multiple times during the game, was killed in his jungle at 32 minutes. With another opening TL easily secured the second Baron of the game, which would be the last. TL accelerated the tempo even more here, pushing C9 away from their own structures and blasting Inhibitors. C9 attempted to mount a defense, but they couldn’t stop TL from taking their three Inhibitors. They amassed more kills, and finally demolished C9’s Nexus at 36 minutes.
100 Thieves v Team SoloMid
In this second match of the day, Team SoloMid (“TSM”) defeated 100 Thieves (“100T”). Their victory was very clean, gaining one advantage and snowballing it efficiently. The early game was very slow, the only action in the opening ten minutes was 100T slaying the Cloud Dragon. Finally, at 11 minutes, a skirmish broke out in the bottom side river. TSM came out huge here, getting First Blood onto Zven and another kill. Three minutes later TSM fought in the same area when 100T started fighting the Infernal Dragon. Zven, with the help of his team, killed three 100T players and they took the Infernal. From here, there were some kill and tower trades, but TSM continued to grow their lead.
By 20 minutes TSM amassed a decent 2k gold lead. At 24 minutes, TSM decided to start up the Baron, drawing 100T in. They turned and engaged a team fight, finding two more kills and the Baron buff. Though 100T got the consolation prize of an Infernal Dragon, TSM was pulling far ahead now. With this Baron, TSM destroyed all of 100T’s tower, excluding the ones defending their Nexus. This amounted in a 6k gold lead for TSM.
It wasn’t long until TSM secured their second Baron buff. This one allowed them to take even more, slowly bringing down all three Inhibitors. The siege lasted quite a while, with three TSM members going down but Bjergsen’s Zilean was able to revive them every time. The teams traded blows for a while, but eventually grew tired of it. In front of 100T’s Nexus towers both teams fought, but TSM pulled ahead once again. They killed three of their opponents and finished off their Nexus just before 35 minutes.
Counter Logic Gaming v Optic Gaming
Despite substituting their Academy roster in, OpTic Gaming (“OPT”) secured themselves a win against Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”). The match was quite even for the majority of the time, but some great OPT team fighting clawed them ahead in the end. In the beginning of the game, Asta was gifted First Blood with the help of Crown and Gate, while CLG got two kills on the top side of the map. The mid game was relatively slow, but OPT was able to slay multiple Elemental Dragons. Both teams traded kills, and the game remained mostly even.
The side lanes proved deadly past 20 minutes. Players from both sides were caught out at different times, and the game turned much bloodier. Overall, these kills didn’t amount to much, but OPT continued to slowly assert pressure across the map to secure more objectives. At 30 minutes, the match ramped up. Here, Dardoch was caught out and killed, letting CLG get two middle towers. Three minutes later, a decisive fight started. Beginning in the top side river, both teams fought each other. OPT came up massive, killing four members for none of their own. This gave them the opportunity to take a free Baron Nashor.
With the Baron buff, OPT grouped mid to meet CLG. Another team fight ensued and again OPT killed four members while only losing one. This huge advantage proved to be enough to take first the two middle towers then the Inhibitor. PowerOfEvil tried desperately to defend the OPT onslaught, but only ended up dying in the end. From here, all CLG could do was watch as OPT demolished their Nexus at 36 minutes.
FlyQuest v Golden Guardians
FlyQuest (“FLY”) took the fourth win of LCS week one versus Golden Guardians (“GGS”). They did so in an unlikely fashion, seeing as their entire team was down gold because of their losing lanes. For the first 12 minutes of the game, there were no kills, only GGS asserting lane pressure. It all unfolded in one single play though. A bottom lane team fight was turned around by FLY, getting them two kills for none. They had a good early laning phase, but after this point GGS looked helpless against FLY.
The match slowed down again after this, with some structures and neutral objectives going down for both teams. Eventually, at 25 minutes, FLY made their move. A team fight was counter engaged by FLY in the top lane, where they decimated GGS five-for-one and slayed the Baron Nashor. Shortly after they took a second Infernal Dragon and started their siege. GGS couldn’t do anything against the tanky engage composition and ended up losing a ton of towers and all three Inhibitors.
As FLY pressured the base, a last ditch team fight broke out. It looked doomed, but a triple kill from Hauntzer’s Vladimir saved the game and stalled the siege. They did lose one Nexus Tower during the fight though. In the downtime, GGS desperately tried to push the double-stacked Super Minions out of their base. But at 32 minutes, FLY regrouped and resumed their siege. One last fight ensued, but no one on GGS could stall them any longer. Three GGS members went down, and so did their Nexus at 32 minutes.
Clutch Gaming v Echo Fox
In the final match of the day Clutch Gaming (“CG”) dismantled Echo Fox (“FOX”). The early game, like the game before, was relatively quiet. Huni did make a crazy play, Flashing onto Rush into his own Jungle, killing him for First Blood. Both teams sized each other up, but CG’s aggressive composition was able to gain decent advantages on the top side of the map. They translated this across the map, winning skirmishes, taking the First Tower bonus and even stealing an Infernal Dragon away from FOX. This gave them a 3k gold lead at 20 minutes.
CG was pressuring the map, denying vision and farm to FOX, but they faltered briefly. At 23 minutes, LirA was caught out and killed by multiple FOX members, and in the proceeding team fight FOX secured two more kills and an Infernal Dragon. FOX gained some momentum here, and the next series of team fights were incredibly close as a result.
CG did take back their lead by 30 minutes with a Mountain Dragon and Rush kill. An elongated team fight at 32 minutes lead CG to start Baron, while Damonte hid on a flank. An amazing Flash Taunt from him helped his team obliterate three FOX members and take the Baron. CG was ruthless with it, taking almost every tower. FOX mounted a defense in their Jungle, killing two CG members, but it only delayed the inevitable. CG initiated the final team fight in the middle lane at 38 minutes, and with an incredible Huni Rumble Equalizer, four FOX members fell. With no resistance, CG stomped through FOX’s base and smashed their Nexus at 39 minutes.
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