NA LCS: Evil Geniuses have Trouble in Day 1, Cloud 9 Rises to the Top
With Europeâs Super Week having concluded yesterday, all eyes were on the first match of the North American LCS. Kicking off with Cloud 9 vs. Team Solo Mid, there was a tremendous amount of excitement. The top two teams of last split were set to face off, with the first win of the season on the line.
Cloud 9 vs Team Solo Mid
|Cloud 9||Team Solo Mid|
|Marksman (AD Carry)||Sneaky||Caitlyn||6/2/9||Marksman (AD Carry)||WildTurtle||Lucian||3/2/3|
There were some interesting picks for this match. Everyone thought the biggest surprise was when TheOddOne picked Nunu to jungle with. That is, until Hai actually locked in Teemo for the mid lane, which ended up applying a lot of pressure all around the map, which C9 utilized extremely well in setting up fights.
Cloud 9 employed a lane swap, and very aggressively pushed down two bottom turrets before TSM had a chance to respond with even one turret of their own. However, C9 slowed down from there, understanding what their team composition allowed them to do, and used controlled aggression from then on to slowly, but surely, establish their dominance in the game, resulting in a win.
TSMâs Bjergsen looked strong, however some have wondered if the decisive shot-calling of Reginald may have been missed here. TSM had a lead at one point, only to see Cloud 9 take it away. It remains to be seen how Team Solo Mid perform with this significant change for the rest of the LCS
Evil Geniuses vs XD.GG
|Marksman (AD Carry)||Yellowpete||Lucian||0/2/2||Marksman (AD Carry)||Xmithie||Jinx||6/0/8|
Zuna switched to Jungle from ADC, something that had been rumored for weeks - he didnât disappoint, going 6/0/15 throughout the game, while Xmithie performed extremely well on Jinx going 6/0/8. Communication was on point, several kills being picked up with Jinxâs global ultimate from long range. The shotcalling issues that the team formerly known as Vulcun seemed to have in the World Championships are just about gone now - Zuna seems to have a better handle on the map from the jungle than from the bottom lane.
EGâs team composition was very focused on diving in, something not advisable against the AOE composition that XDG was running. XDG seemed to win in the picks/bans stage of this game, shutting down EG completely all game.
Curse vs Coast
|Marksman (AD Carry)||Cop||Caitlyn||4/1/10||Marksman (AD Carry)||WizFujiiN||Varus||2/4/2|
The biggest story of this game was likely IWDominateâs return to competitive play. Having been banned by Riot for a year due to his past behavior, he claims to have learned from his mistakes andis now a better person and player.
It would seem difficult to argue with the latter portion, at least, as his Elise play was excellent and a large factor in helping Curse to the win.
In fact, the key play in the game was an almost miraculous Baron steal from that Elise, which led into a great fight for Curse. This was then quickly transitioned into a push that would end what was, until that point, a very close game.
While Coast couldnât pull out the win, ZionSpartanâs pick of top lane Trundle was effective against Dr. Mundo, another example of this pick working out for an LCS team. This may be a trend we continue to see as we go on.
Cloud 9 vs XD.GG
|Marksman (AD Carry)||Xmithie||Lucian||4/4/2||Marksman (AD Carry)||Sneaky||Caitlyn||3/3/7|
This matchup of old rivals from the Season 3 Summer Split was one in which we saw a new style from both teams involved. With the swap of Zuna to Jungle, the once "Vulcun Throwbargains" have begun to prove that if they can get a lead, they can close out a game. However, they seem to still be having trouble coming from behind, as this game proved.
Cloud 9 played a style that is unique from what we saw last Split from them, as before they were hyper aggressive, always looking to dive towers and take objectives in this way. Now, they seem to be playing more of a reactive style, letting other teams make mistakes in shotcalling, as XD.GG did this game. Cloud 9 would react to whatever XDG did, take a team fight at advantage, then take objectives, easily leading to a win.
Hai and Meteos were the two standouts of the match, the Vi/Yasuo pick combination synergizing very well together.
Team Solo Mid vs Evil Geniuses
|Team Solo Mid||Evil Geniuses|
|Marksman (AD Carry)||WildTurtle||Sivir||7/4/10||Marksman (AD Carry)||Yellowpete||Caitlyn||3/4/13|
It wasnât that long ago that Zed was a highly contested pick in LCS play, but since the nerf to assassinshe has largely fallen out of favor. Someone may have forgotten to tell Bjergsen about that, because he was quite happy to pick him up, and established lane dominance on Pobelterâs Ziggs very early on. Between a 6/3/9 score and some extremely impressive engages and escapes, Bjergsen has shown that Zed can still be quite scary.
Itâs of note here that having recently joined the NA scene, EG comes out of the first day of competition without a win. While that certainly doesnât mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, it wasnât the statement they were looking to make right out of the gate.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Dignitas
|Counter Logic Gaming||Dignitas|
|Marksman (AD Carry)||Doublelift||Jinx||5/3/8||Marksman (AD Carry)||Imaqtpie||Lucian||2/3/4|
HotshotGG returns from retirement to play in matches this week as Dexter is still trying to figure out his Visa situation. Despite the substitute, CLG performed amazingly well. Their rotations were perfect, and Dignitas was left unable to respond to the threats the CLG presented in time, allowing for objectives to be largely controlled by CLG with the exception of a few Dragons.
The game remained close until 2 kills in the mid lane allowed CLG to easily take a Baron, 3 more kills as the rest of Dignitas pursued, an inhibitor turret, an inhibitor and the Dragon, swinging the game completely in their favor. From this point it was all too easy for CLG to roll through Dignitasâ base and pick up their first win of the season.
Standings after Day 1
|-||Counter Logic Gaming||1||0||1.000||W1|
|-||Team Solo Mid||1||1||.500||W1|
That'll do it for today - Be sure to check in tomorrow after the LCS for our Day 2 Wrap-up, where Dustin Steiner and Jeremy Waxman will continue to bring you all the action.