North America LCS Spring Promotion: Curse Takes Down Cognitive Gaming

Last up in the Spring Promotion Series is Curse vs COGnitive Gaming. Curse is looking pretty strong coming into this series, finishing out the NACL 18-4 before pulling out of the tournament to hide strategies for this series specifically, and has beaten COGnitive 4 times before in the NACL. With a newly rejuvenated roster with the addition of Zekent and Iwilldominate, they are looking to solidify their position in the LCS.

Standing in their way is a COGnitive Gaming squad that has been known to pull out some surprising victories of their own, playing some very weird champions and generally going against the grain of the meta. Will Curse be able to withstand these unique picks and beat them once again? Or will these upstarts pull out the upset? Let's find out!

Game 1

Curse COGnitive Gaming
Kills Turrets Gold Kills Turrets Gold
7 4 67.2k 19 9 81.8k
Position Player Champion Position Player Champion
Top Quas Renekton Top Cris Riven
Mid Voyboy Nidalee Mid Zamphira Ziggs
AD Carry Cop Lucian AD Carry nothinghere Jinx
Support Zekent Annie Support Zaineking Leona
Jungle IWillDominate Dr. Mundo Jungle Captain Ziploc Vi
Karthus Kog'maw Olaf Kassadin Sivir Shyvana

2-1-1 Setup from COG.

7:10 - Somewhat of a misplay by COG.Zaineking's Leona, throwing a Zenith Blade into the Brush and hitting IWillDominate pulling him way out of position and giving Quas the first blood on Renekton.

8:46 - Zaineking goes down again to Quas, CRS now up 2-0 on kills.

12:00 - CRS takes the first turret of the game, taking down the top outer turret. Now ahead 1.5k gold.

12:40 - crs takes a dragon and COG tries to make them pay 4 for 2 team fight in COG's favor as Quas gets split up from his team, 4 to 4 on kills, CRS ahead 1k gold still.

16:00 - 2 for 1 team fight for COG as IWillDominate overextends in the river chasing down Riven. 6 to 5 on kills in COG's favor.

18:53 - CRS takes down the dragon and COG makes them pay for it again, picking off Quas.

19:40 - COG presses their advantage and takes down the outer middle turret. CRS still ahead 1.4k gold due to superior dragon control.

25:58 - COG takes down the dragon for the first time in the game, playing mind games dancing around the dragon pit. CRS still in the lead

26:40 - CRS takes down the outer middle, Cop using Lucian's Culling to force COG off the turret.

29:00 - Overengage from COG leads to a 2 for 1 team fight for CRS, COG ahead 8 to 7 on  kills, but CRS still up on gold due to dragon control.

31:00 - COG catches out Zekent with a nice play from Zaineking's Leona, Zamphira picking up the kill with a nice Ziggs Ultimate

32:20 - CRS takes down dragon but COG continues to make them pay for it taking a team fight 3 for 0 as they get pinned in the dragon pit (pictured), and they take baron on the back of the play, finally taking the gold lead. 12-7 on kills for COG.

34:50 - CRS takes the middle Outer Turret down, bringing the gold lead within 1k for COG.

35:51 - The range of COG is continuing to get them through this game as the middle inner turret falls.

37:03 - COG takes down the bottom inner turret, their seige is simply better the CRS'.

38:30 - COG takes a dragon uncontested, and now COG is ahead 4k gold.

40:30 - COG catches out Zekent by diving onto IwillDominate, rotating to Baron to bait them out and takes another team fight 2 for 0. They blaze down midlane and grabs the Middle Inhibitor easily. They rotate back to Baron and press the advantage easily taking the buff. Now ahead 9k gold, CRS is definitely on the defensive now.

44:00 - COG takes down the bottom inhibitor, CRS hardly able to even defend their base.

45:15 - COG blows past the top inhibitor turret and jumps onto Voyboy blowing him up, and the rest of the team is quick to follow taking the last team fight 4 for 0. Curse taps out before the last Nexus turret falls.

Cognitive was just much more decisive in that match, as well as having an advantage from the very start of the game in picks and bans - Curse will have to head back to the drawing board, and come up with something a bit better than the poke composition that they ran this time if they want to have a hope of beating what looks to be a very strong Cognitive squad today. 

Just as a side note, this is the first game Curse has ever lose to Cognitive, so bit of a surprise for them I'm sure.

Game 2

Curse COGnitive Gaming
Kills Turrets Gold Kills Turrets Gold
10 9 67k 4 4 52.2k
Position Player Champion Position Player Champion
Top Quas Shyvana Top Cris Elise
Mid Voyboy Vladimir Mid Zamphira Sivir
AD Carry Cop Draven AD Carry nothinghere Lucian
Support Zekent Thresh Support Zaineking Leona
Jungle IWillDominate Dr. Mundo Jungle Captain Ziploc Vi
Riven Olaf Kog'Maw Riven Olaf Kog'maw


Double Marksman team comp coming out from COGnitive against Curse's much more tanky lineup. COG will have to capitalize early before the tanks of Curse hit maximum armor. This is kind of reminicient of the all armor shred composition from Moscow 5 in late season 2. Let's see what happens.

2-1-1 Setup for CRS, Standard setup for COG

7:40 - Slow start for this one, CRS pulling ahead slightly in farm, but only just.

9:00 - CRS takes the top outer turret down, now ahead 1.5k gold

10:05 - Quas' Shyvana gets jumped on by Zaineking's Leona and almost goes down, but he turns and takes down nothing here. They rotate around and take out the dragon, now up 2.5k gold.

14:20 - COG grabs the middle turret and uses Sivir's On the Hunt to boost out of midlane, and CRS takes the middle outer turrt in response, CRS still up 2.5k gold

17:19 - CRS takes dragon in what's becoming a very slow game, ahead 3k gold, 1-0 on kills.

18:10 - COG tries to dive on Quas but he gets out with about 50 health left, CRS just starving them out on options.

30:45 - A long lull finally breaks as CRS aces COG in the midlane as Voyboy gets jumped on, but CRS are able to turn it around 5 for 1 now 6 to 1 in kills, they take the middle inner and inhibitor turret easily on the back of the play. CRS now up 10k gold.

33:09 - CRS takes Baron uncontested, as COG just waited too long and has now outscaled COG.

33:55 - Middle inhibitor falls uncontested, CRS are in the driver's seat now.

35:00 - COG takes down the bottom outer turret, and rotates middle to take the inhibitor turret and middle inhibitor turret down. CRS engages onto them. Meanwhile Cop has been pushing down the top lane all by himself, unnoticed by COG. As the team fight breaks out he uses the Draven ultimate to help the rest of his team take the team fight 3 for 2. While COG tries to escape, Cop is beating on the Nexus turrets uncontested. Zamphira makes it back to base but is easily disposed of on the fountain of COG's base (pictured) and Cop single handedly takes game 2 for CRS!

In a play that's sure to make every highlight reel for the upcoming year, Cop took a very slow, boring game and gave us a display that shows just way you don't leave Draven alone with your base and try and push. Well done Cop! And now, Curse ties it up 1-1 and it's down to a best of three to decide who makes it in to the LCS!

Game 3 


Curse COGnitive Gaming
Kills Turrets Gold Kills Turrets Gold
14 11 67.9k 3 1 49.4k
Position Player Champion Position Player Champion
Top Quas Renekton Top Cris Elise
Mid Voyboy Ziggs Mid Zamphira Orianna
AD Carry Cop Draven AD Carry nothinghere Sivir
Support Zekent Annie Support Zaineking Thresh
Jungle IWillDominate Dr. Mundo Jungle Captain Ziploc Olaf
Kogmaw Riven Leona Kassadin Shyvana Vladimir

5:20 - CRS' Iwilldominate picks up first blood in a one for one exchange on top lane, being in the right place at the right time to countergank.

13:50 - Another slow game from these two teams, CRS has the slight advantage from the first blood and a bit of farm.

15:11 - COG takes the first dragon uncontested, and take the small gold lead.

16:28 - IWillDominate dives onto the bottom turret, picking up a kill as the bottom outer and top outer turrets are traded for CRS and COG respectively, CRS takes the gold lead back.

18:40 - CRS takes the top outer turret uncontested, now up 1k gold.

21:37 - COG takes dragon uncontested again, keeping them in this game.

22:10 - CRS takes down the middle outer turret, pushing COG off the turret.

28:30 - 4 for 2 team fight taken for Curse along with a Dragon on an unadvisable engagement for COG, Draven's Cop chasing down the last kill (pictured) CRS now ahead 4k gold.

31:30 - Voyboy zones out COG with good use of Ziggs' kit and Cop easily gets the middle inner turret.

31:45 - COG explodes forward but hits a brick wall, CRS taking the team fight 2 for 0. CRS takes down the middle inhibitor off the fight, now up 7.5k gold.

34:40 - CRS takes a Baron uncontested, ahead 9k now.

35:55 - CRS takes the top inner turret and continues to siege forward, COG stuck in their base.

36:50 - CRS sieges, picking up a kill on top lane and the top inhibitor, COG chases and loses another, while the bottom outer turret goes down. They easily sweep into the base and take two more kills for the ace and destroy the Nexus, and now Curse is up 2-1.

Another dominant display from Curse, and I think this is more the team everyone was expecting to see come out today. COG made some questionable decisions on engagements onto Curse, seemingly antsy with the slow pace of the game, playing right into Curse's hands. Now with their tournament lives on the line, it'll be up to COG to be a little more patient this game if they want that LCS slot. If not, Curse may just outwait their way into the LCS!

Game 4

Curse COGnitive Gaming
Kills Turrets Gold Kills Turrets Gold
25 10 78.1k 14 5 67.4
Position Player Champion Position Player Champion
Top Quas Renekton Top Cris Olaf
Mid Voyboy Katarina Mid Zamphira Kog'Maw
AD Carry Cop Sivir AD Carry nothinghere Jinx
Support Zekent Annie Support Zaineking Leona
Jungle IWillDominate Wukong Jungle Captain Ziploc Vi
Shyvana Dr. Mundo Draven Riven Ziggs Kassadin


10:00 - Yet another slow start to this game, gold is exactly even, neither jungler doing much to gank lanes. Both teams are farming up for what is sure to be an explosive engagement

11:29 - First blood for Curse on a tower dive from IWillDominate's Wukong on top lane, CRS now up 1k gold.

14:27 - CRS picks up another kill on bottom lane. Meanwhile COG takes a kill on top lane, making it a one for one globally. 

14:45 - CRS grabs dragon uncontested, up 1.7k gold now.

18:06 - Four man dive from Curse nets them two kills on the bottom lane, as COG takes the middle outer turret, Curse takes the outer bottom turret, Curse up 2.5 k gold, 4-1 on kills.

20:00 - COG takes down the Top Upper Turret and grabs a kill onto Quas' Renekton. 4-2 on kills, lead down to 1.2k gold for CRS.

21:00 - 5 for 1 ace for CRS as COG tried to contest Dragon and Captain Ziploc is caught out. CRS up 6k gold.

23:50 - CRS takes a 2 for 1 global kill exchange and takes down the top inner turret. 11 to 4 on kills, CRS up 7k gold.

26:30 - COG takes the bottom outer turret, but CRS groups up and takes down the Outer Middle turret.

28:47 - COG is able to ace CRS as Nothinghere and Zamphira are able to peel away from CRS' initiation (pictured). COG takes the bottom inner turret and a dragon uncontested, pulling the gold lead down to 3.5k. 14 to 9 on kills.

31:04 - Voyboy split pushes and takes down the bottom inhibitor turret for CRS. 

32:00 - CRS scores an ace on a briliant flash/Tibbers initiate from Zekant, followed by the Cyclone from iwilldominate. Baron and the top inhibitor turret fall to the aggression. 19 to 9 on kills.

38:30 - CRS gets a little too aggressive pushing into COG's base and pay for it - COG takes a team fight 4 for 2 and are looking for more, now 21 to 13 in favor of CRS.

42:30 - CRS takes a team fight 4 for 0 after baiting out the team fight at Baron - Voyboy's teleport into the fight made the fight a 5v4 as nothinghere lived up to his name and wasn't there for his team when it counted most, as Voyboy secures a Quadra Kill and CRS sweeps through the Nexus easily, picking up the win!

A great display from Cognitive but it just wasn't enough to stop Voyboy's Katarina in that game. Curse simply had too much up front initiation for Cognitive to get much of anything done, other than the one misplay from Curse near Dragon. 

Congrats to Curse, and they join Evil Geniuses and Team Coast in defending their LCS slots! Keep it locked here to eSportsMax for all the latest on the LCS as the season kicks off on January 17!






About the Author

Dustin's an eSports veteran of 5+ years and has done everything from compete himself in Street Fighter 4, to organizing FGC events but specializes in observing trends and telling the stories that make up the wide world of eSports and competitive gaming, one game at a time.
Last Updated:

Around the Web