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North America LCS Week Two Matchup Previews
Week two of the North American LCS kicks off this Thursday with a slew of exciting matches as every team claws their way toward the top of the rankings. For compLexity Gaming, week two will mark their first appearance in the series as they face off against the red-hot Curse Gaming at 6:00 PM EST on the 14th. Curse spent the majority of the preseason under scrutiny after a lackluster finish in Season 2, but they have picked up a steady head of steam ever since adding Voyboy to their top lane. In week one, they gained wins over the scrappy Dignitas, the upstart Good Game University, and the reliably robust Counter Logic Gaming. Week two will reveal whether or not Curse can maintain this momentum to continue bringing home the wins.
compLexity vs. Curse Gaming
This matchup will be compLexity’s first high stakes competition since late 2011, outside of qualifiers, and they have since assembled an entirely new roster. They played well in the LCS qualifiers, but none of the new members have experience on big stages. In addition, this will be their only game in week two, so they will need to put forth their best performance if they hope to build up some hype. Their relative newness to the scene could make them a wild card in this tournament, but they will first have to keep pace with Curse.
With that in mind, it all starts with Curse's Voyboy. He has given Curse the spark they sorely lacked at the end of last season and is regarded by many as the best top laner in North America. He often draws at least one respect ban, usually Olaf, in the pregame and is almost always a major contributor to Curse’s wins; keeping Voyboy in line will be a test of compLexity's mettle. Lautemortis, the compLexity captain, will have to be vigilant in the top lane coming from the jungle while he simultaneously keeps track of Saintvicious, one of the best ganking junglers in the game today. It will be a delicate balance for Lautemortis due to Curse’s proven willingness to pressure and bully.
Elsewhere, it will be interesting to note how newcomer Chuuper fares against the highly-experienced Nyjacky, one of the most consistent AP mids. Chuuper is almost entirely unknown. That is not to say he has been a slouch in his few appearances so far, having scored a Kha'Zix pentakill during the qualifiers. Down on the bottom, it will be a true test of synergy as Cop and Elementz, who have been playing in tandem for more than a year, confront the rookie combo of MeyeA and brunch Ü. Team compLexity might walk away with an upset if they can keep all lanes even, keep Voyboy in check, and have solid team fights. For Curse, they need to use their experience to their advantage and get Voyboy or Saintvicious going early if they want to remain undefeated.
Team Dignitas vs. Good Game University
One of two teams will dig themselves out of an early hole this Friday at 9:00 PM EST when Dignitas and Good Game University collide. GGU, a relative unknown, put up an 0-2 record in the first week yet still managed to generate considerable hype and fan favoritism. Facing off against Curse Gaming and Counter Logic Gaming resulted in GGU having what many consider the roughest opening week out of all the NA teams. The upshot of this is that GGU is now battle-tested and ready to climb back into the positive side of the rankings. It will be interesting to see whether or not the nascent buzz of positive attention affects the play of this NA LCS dark horse. They will need to stay focused if they are to pick up their first win.
Dignitas, a perennial fan favorite, are also coming off a grueling week in the rankings. They concluded week one by knocking off Vulcun after losing close matches against Curse and Team SoloMid Snapdragon. Dignitas came into the LCS with fans and analysts alike claiming that they might be the best team in North America, but their week one losses have left a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Dignitas' abilities. However, their performances against both Curse and TSM show that they can still play on level with the best. Cinching a win against the upstart GGU would put them right back into the thick of it.
GGU will want to rev up DontMashMe as early as possible. If BloodWater, newly subbed in for i am Anjo, can zone out their lane opponents and allow his partner to pull ahead, DontMashMe might set GGU on an early path to victory. If DontMashMe puts up enough of a lead, he may even be able to pull off a solo Baron attempt at level seventeen. It won’t be an easy task because Dignitas’ bot lane combo, Imaqtpie and Patoy, rarely fall far behind in farm or kills.
Dignitas' captain, scarra, might have his work cut out for him in the middle lane against Shiphtur’s excellent Anivia, which was a chief component of GGU’s success in qualifiers. However, scarra’s experience and ability to position his team effectively will give him an advantage. If Shiphtur grabs early lane dominance, scarra can counter by directing Crumbzz to interrupt the proper lanes at the proper times. GGU could have a difficult time countering his presence and keeping up, but their week one willingness to play as if they are always ahead may serve GGU well if they fall behind.
That is the crux of the match for GGU. Even if the lanes and gold are even from mid to late game, Dignitas' accomplished team fighting abilities will grant them significant leverage. For GGU, it’s a matter of getting ahead and knowing how to close. For Dignitas, it’s about not falling behind and not repeating Curse’s nearly-fatal week one mistake of underestimating GGU.
Team SoloMid vs. Team MRN
If there is anything close to a true underdog story in this spring’s LCS, it is the tale of how Team MRN barely made it into the LCS qualifiers mere hours before the cutoff and then pulled off an upset every step of the way through the group stage. They make their major series debut this week against Team SoloMid Snapdragon. MRN will have their chance to assert themselves against the veritable legends of TSM on Friday the 15th at 10:00 PM EST. To many fans, they stand as a beacon that symbolizes the potential glory awaiting every League player who dedicates the time to rise through the tiers, and a win here would help validate the surging fanbase that has already pledged allegiance to this fledgling team.
TSM is coming into this matchup after seesawing through their first week performances. An early forced surrender in TSM’s first match against Counter Logic Gaming fueled anew the rumors of their apathy, but the team regained their focus and put together solid wins over Dignitas and Vulcun to cling to second place in the North American standings. Still, as hype builds up for Curse Gaming and CLG, TSM will be aiming to reestablish themselves as a true contender for the top in their week two games. Halting the rookies’ momentum could be just the way to do it.
MRN will be relying heavily on their top lane to help carry them through the match. MegaZero is, by their own admission, the best player on the team. He was a critical factor in MRN’s victories during the qualifiers, and he will have to bring his best play to the table if he is going to stand toe-to-toe against Dyrus--who is still considered a titan of top lane despite TSM's recent falters. However, MegaZero has proven that he is not to be taken lightly. If he can accomplish more than just keeping even with Dyrus, MRN has a sincere shot at pulling off an upset.
On the other hand, Dyrus has proven time and time again that he can take advantage of all the openings TheOddOne gives him when he bullies top lane from the jungle. It will be up to ClakeyD to force TheOddOne’s attention to the other lanes in order to give MegaZero the best opportunity. ClakeyD may target TSM’s mid laner, Reginald, who often plays aggressively, and may leave an opening or two for ClakeyD, allowing him to give ecco a mid lane advantage for MRN.
The most telling position to show MRN’s inexperience will be in the bot lane, which will feature the duo of Heartbeattt and AtomicN. They must absolutely keep pace with Chaox and Xpecial, who have shown time and time again that their synergy can bring TSM a win, even from behind. Again, it may fall to ClakeyD to interrupt them early game.
If two or three of these factors go MRN’s way, they have a good chance at pulling off what would be one of the biggest upsets in the entire tournament. However, if TSM shuts down MegaZero or if Reginald or Chaox pull away early, TSM will walk away with another win.
- Written by Joshua Pelletier
- Edited by Marissa Moody Kuo.
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