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NA LCS Week 2 Day 1: Breakdowns of Key Games

Counter Logic Gaming vs Team Solomid

The game of the week is once again the week’s first game, with long-term rivals TSM and CLG going head to head. TSM could be considered the favorite with a 3-1 record so far, but their victories came over the bottom 3 teams of the LCS (who have a combined record of 2-10). While CLG also have yet to beat a highly-ranked team, their defeats are to C9 (who also beat TSM) and LMQ (who are undefeated).

If TSM attempt to play a strategic game like they did against C9 last week, the match most likely will end with a convincing CLG win. TSM instead need to focus on teamfighting, picking strong engage champions, as their initiation was lacking during super week. With both Dexter and Amazing having rather small and overlapping champion pools, CLG, on blue side, could mimic C9’s ban phase from last week by banning out three of the four strong junglers (Elise, Lee Sin, Evelynn, and Kha’Zix) and forcing TSM to either ban the fourth or give it up to CLG. Amazing on an uncomfortable pick could hurt TSM’s initiations.

Counter Logic Gaminglogo square.pngTeam SoloMidlogo square.png

Key Matchups

Top Lane: Seraph vs Dyrus

Due to the current meta, the toplaners will likely not interact until the game is well underway. If anything, this is a huge advantage for CLG. In TSM’s game against C9, Dyrus played Renekton, a champion who can’t solo clear the jungle at low levels. Dyrus initially headed towards his normal lane before he saw that it would be a 2v1; he then seemed lost for the first minute or two of lane phase until he finally met up with his jungler to start duo clearing. Unless TSM has put work into their early game, the now-standard duo jungle early game seems to be clearly in CLG’s favor. If the lane is played out 1v1 neither player should be able to get a kill on the other; however, since Dyrus seems to prefer lane bullies he may be able to get an advantage in lane. This matchup may also be decided by who gets Shyvana. If CLG try a triple-jungle ban, TSM would be wise to get Shyvana early before CLG picks her up on the second rotation.

ADC/Support: Doublelift/Aphromoo vs WildTurtle/Gleeb

Doublelift and Aphromoo have been playing more and more consistently in almost all phases of the game, and so this match comes down to how WildTurtle and Gleeb play. While Turtle may still be one of the top 3 ADCs, but he is the closest to being knocked from that position, with players like Vasilii and Imaqtpie putting on great performances. He sometime has questionable positioning, and his flashes have cost his team advantages and sometimes even games. Turtle’s constantly being caught is an issue that he needs to fix: TSM almost lost to Curse because he was caught at Wraiths in their game.

Though Gleeb has garnered a lot of caster praise, including a place on the week 1 OP player list, my opinion is that his play has been rather underwhelming. His Thresh play in both games was simply middling play instead of anything outstanding that viewers have grown to expect. Though he did have many good saves, many of his team fight lanterns were rather poor, as were his hooks, including a flash-Q onto a target standing next to a Morgana with Black Shield available. The vast majority of his good Death Sentences were merely follow-up to Syndra stun. Though Gleeb’s play may have been passable, it hasn’t been enough to fill the shoes left by Xpecial, particularly Xpecial’s ability to initiate fights for the team. The game against EG was only close due to TSM’s lack of engage. If TSM continues to use similar team compositions Gleeb will be called on to engage for his team.

Complexity vs Evil Geniuses.NA

A matchup between the two underdogs of the current LCS split, this game could have ramifications for the next relegation. With the newly-stacked NA LCS line-up, the seventh place at the end of the season may be determined solely by this head-to-head record. EG should be considered the favorite team since they have their full roster, but Complexity have brought in a rather impressive ringer in Mancloud. Altec has seemed to be a bit more consistent in the lane phase with the veteran Krepo to assist him while ROBERTxLEE was easily picked off and made irrelevant in a few games, though Robert did show his ability to carry when gotten ahead early in their game against Cloud 9. For another point in their favor, two of EG’s losses resulted from games that were competitive until they made a blundering team call (their games against TSM and CLG).

CompLexity Gaminglogo square.pngEvil Geniuseslogo square.png

Key Matchups

Jungle: Brokenshard vs Snoopeh

This is a key matchup because both junglers are averaging abysmal CS numbers at 20 minutes. Brokenshard averages 63, and Snoopeh sits even lower at 60, while the LCS jungler average is 77. Both junglers had their time in the spotlight during Super Week with Baron steals, but it really comes down to whether or not they can make correct decisions. Many times both junglers have gone in for ill-advised dragon steals or forced ganks, attempts that would backfire horribly. Often these two junglers are also their teams’ only tank, so their lower-than-average CS numbers are even more detrimental to their team because they are never able to get tanky enough to become relevant in fights. This week, Brokenshard will have a different midlane player, which may allow him to retain more of his own jungle and help him get to the tanky threshold that his team needs. Keep an eye on these two junglers as the game progresses, as they may be the deciding factor.

Midlane: Mancloud vs Pobelter

It’s a matchup that we saw last split, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out this week. This game is Mancloud’s time to prove that he is still the midlane talent that he was in last year’s NA LCS Summer split. Since XDG Gaming’s roster overhaul there have been numerous questions about his play, and this will be his chance to prove that he is still a midlane power. Another point of interest is the champion pool shift: their head-to-head last season was 3-1 in favor of Pobelter, but two of those wins came from the EG midlaner playing Gragas, who is no longer a viable midlaner. On the other hand, some of Mancloud’s signature champions have come back into play. Look for him to try and get his hands on Nidalee, Twisted Fate, or Yasuo.


Published on 31. May 2014
Written by @Pinyata1
Edited by @RheingoldRiver