A battle for first place, another chapter in the age-old rivalry between Team Solo Mid and Counter Logic Gaming, and a last-ditch effort to try and solidify or better a number of teams playoffs hopes
Week 7 had the battle for first place between reigning Spring Split champions Cloud9 and four-time LCS champions, Team Liquid. It also had teams such as Dignitas looking to bring new life and hope trying to possibly squeeze into the final playoff spot. As well as other teams such as TSM trying to distance themselves from fourth place FlyQuest and the rest of the League of Legends (LoL) rosters.
Coming into this week some teams made key roster swaps in hopes of maintaining or bettering their playoff standings. Teams such as Evil Geniuses who were looking to maintain their upper playoff bracket position with the acquisition and contract extension of mid-laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer in Week 6 of the LCS — allowing top-laner Heo “Huni” Seong-hoon to move up from Academy. While a team such as 100 Thieves were fighting to maintain their playoff aspirations alive with the parting of veteran jungler William “Meteos” Hartman and promotion, from Academy, of jungler Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia and support Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere.
Day 1 — Friday Night League
Evil Geniuses vs. Immortals
Having come off of a hard Week 6, losing to Team Liquid that Friday but beating Cloud9 on Saturday, Evil Geniuses were looking to get back on track with their new one-two punch solo lane duo of Goldenglue and Huni. Immortals, who were tied for last place alongside Dignitas, were looking to move up the standings in hopes of some sort of a miracle playoff spot.
To begin the match, Evil Geniuses jungler, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen — with the help from Huni and Goldenglue — invaded Immortal’s jungler, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero’s red setting the tone for the rest of the match. Svenskeren was able to triple buff Xmithie while also taking both of the Scuttle Crabs allowing for a massive experience lead, sounding the early death knell of IMT. EG had complete control of the match from start to finish having a definitive team fight at just over 29 minutes, netting them four kills and a third mountain drake, giving them a just over 30-minute victory.
Team Liquid vs. FlyQuest
Going into this match TL was looking to shape-up before their big match of the weekend vs C9 while FlyQuest has been on the side of the standings looking to catch back up to EG.
Flashbacks of Spring Split for FlyQuest as they had control of the match from start to finish. Starting with a solo kill from Colin “Solo” Earnest onto Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong after Team Liquid’s failed attempt at a top side gank. Solo continued the momentum from that play and displayed it across the map alongside his team. FlyQuest stuffed all of Team Liquid’s attempts at getting back into the game ultimately leading to a precise and controlled victory.
100 Thieves vs. Counter Logic Gaming
To start the match, 100T invaded CLG’s Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin’s red buff which prompted him to flash while trying to invade 100T’s red buff in an attempt to avoid getting three buffed. This led to Wiggily getting first blooded in a Scuttle Crab fight on the top side of the map between him and Contractz. By 17 minutes in, 100T had full objective control having gotten 5 towers and two drakes. Cody Sun was 100T’s shining star as he seemingly hit every single Ashe ultimate he threw, allowing for 100T to get picks and maintain their chokehold on the game. To top it all off, a Cody Sun arrow CLG support Andy “Smoothie” Ta finished the game off for 100T.
Team Solo Mid vs. Dignitas
Both TSM and Dignitas were looking to bounce back from a Week 6 loss, Dignitas was trying to not have a repeat performance like the one they had versus Golden Guardians after going on a three-game winning streak
Joshua “Dardoch” Harnett’s jungle Karthus initially proved to be worthwhile as with the help of Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun he’d net Dignitas a first blood. This would be the only good thing for the team though as TSM would quickly bounce back and slowly seize control of the game taking objective after objective as Dignitas just allowed them to do laps. The odd pick for Dardoch would prove futile as TSM would swiftly finish off the game in 25 minutes — finishing with an 11,000 gold lead, nine towers and a 23-minute Ocean Soul.
Flyquest vs. Golden Guardians
Flyquest was looking to continue the momentum from beating TL the previous day while Golden Guardians were trying to keep pace with EG in keeping their upper playoff bracket spot.
FlyQuest would go with all late-game picks — a standard for the team — with Golden Guardians mirroring that. A First Blood on the punishing of GG’s support, Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun’s lack of flash would prove to be beneficial to Golden Guardians as they would capture the first Cloud Drake of the game. This would lead to a slow-paced game in which both teams had a back and forth with ultimately FlyQuest rubberbanding ahead. It would culminate in a fight for Cloud Drake in which FlyQuest punished Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell’s poor teleport positioning gaining them Cloud Soul and allowing them to finish off the game.
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Immortals vs. Cloud9
The last time IMT played C9, they already had this new roster. C9 camped the top side with Wukong in the top lane while having Nisqy Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer on the Twisted Fate.
With their team composition allowing it, IMT had early control of the game but this would prove to be useless as once again C9 — seemingly playing with their food — would come to check all the boxes. Even though IMT seemed to have the upper hand in some fights, Cloud9’s cohesiveness would come true and they would turn it around. This would be a clean game for Cloud9 topped off by a quadra kill by Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen.
Dignitas vs. Evil Geniuses
After their defeat of Immortals, EG is three games shy from TL to get a playoff bye. Dignitas is two games out of playoffs, two games behind CLG, and two games behind 100T.
Looking to be a repeat of their last match, Evil Geniuses' Goldenglue gets First Blood onto Fenix by the mid lane, followed by a kill onto Dardoch. Later leading to a top side kill secured by a Goldenglue Galio ultimate — rewarding EG a Rift Herald to allow for a tier-one top tower kill. The small victories wouldn’t last as Dignitas slowly clawed back into the game. Evil Geniuses kept trying to force their hand but Dignitas was having none of it having answers for everything that they threw at them. Eventually, Dignitas ends up with Baron and with that, they push their advantage. After a second Baron take, Dig would clean house and the game. Evil Geniuses kept failing all of their Camille and Galio combinations throughout the game.
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Cloud9 vs. Team Liquid
The most anticipated match of the weekend would deliver, as Cloud9 would pick an unexpected composition consisting of Hecarim and Shen as well as a bot lane duo of Sona and Lux. This was also a clash of styles as Cloud9 is more aggressive — having Blaber invade— while Team Liquid is slow-paced while being focused on objectives.
Throughout the match, Team Liquid would repeatedly attack C9’s bottom lane with ganks having Jo “CoreJJ” Young-in utilize Blitzcrank to punish the low to little mobility in their champions. To begin the match Nisqy would go all in onto Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen but wasn’t able to close out the deal. Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen — accompanied by CoreJJ — would come in to help Jensen trying to force something out of nothing, this would end poorly as C9’s top laner, Licorice teleported into the mid lane. First Blood for Cloud9 would happen as CoreJJ was the only casualty of the fight.
In typical Cloud9 fashion, they would continue that momentum all across the map netting themselves kills while also keeping Team Liquid at bay. Team Liquid stuck to their original plan of punishing the low mobility in Cloud9’s bot lane. Cloud9 stopped Team Liquid at every turn when TL did a good play, C9 would do two more. Ultimately, CoreJJ’s hooks would prove to be game-changing as they allowed for Team Liquid to slowly take control of over the game. A key hook in the mid lane onto Zven led to a Baron take for Team Liquid who were able to translate it into a game win — tying up their head as well as their standings in the first place.
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Solo Mid
CLG was looking to step up both their individual play and their team cohesiveness going into this match while TSM was looking to define and refine their playstyle. This is also a possible first-round match-up between the teams since TSM is sitting around third place and CLG is at sixth place.
To start the game Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg would bully Eugene “Park” Pobelter out of line at level 1 with his Cassiopeia, this would help TSM land a Cloud Drake at six minutes. This was one of the slower-paced games of the week as TSM would First Blood Pobelter late translating into a second dragon take. Both teams traded back and forth with a final big fight at dragon. A grave mistake by CLG’s top laner would shift the game. Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min failed to teleport on time to the team fight, TSM would take advantage and swiftly take Infernal Soul as well as quickly wipe out the rest of the CLG members — TSM win and go 2-0 for the week.
100 Thieves vs. Golden Guardians
To round out the weekend, both 100T and GG were fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive as they are towards the bottom of the standings in the cut off for playoffs.
In this match, the combination of Olaf and Karma would prove to be king as Can “Closer” Çelik closed out the show and would dominate the game posting a scoreline of 9/1/3. Although a hectic start to the game, Golden Guardians would dominate from start to finish, ending the game with an 11,000 gold lead as well as a 13 kill lead. 100 Thieves gifted the tempo of the game to Golden Guardians on a silver platter and Golden Guardians gladly ran away with it.
What to look for in Week 8
As the craziness of the battle for first place between Cloud9 and Team Liquid came to a close, it’s difficult to leave other teams out. With FlyQuest looking to begin their stride as well as Evil Geniuses having their solo laners fall in place, teams have to once again begin worrying about the teams in the middle of the pack. As there are only two weeks of matches remaining and four matches total for each team, playoffs inch closer and closer and teams such as 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming fight to keep their playoffs hopes alive.
With both the fifth place and seventh place having a two-man tie, outside of the top four — the final teams in the upper bracket for playoffs are up in the air.
Images via lolesports