After an electric Superweek, the LCS has returned to normality. This week, the second, and final, round robin of the Spring Split kicked off and this year’s top contenders have put some serious distance between themselves and the rest of the league. Both Cloud9 and Team Liquid extended their winning streaks, and made the first place seed just that much more difficult to chase for their other eight competitors.
On another note, TSM decided to make another serious roster change. Despite heavy criticism from their first adjustment, which netted them their first win of the split, TSM have yet again transitioned one of their starters to their Academy team. This week, “Shenyi” returned to the starting roster, replacing “Yursan” who helped secure the first TSM win of the season after being swapped in week 3. However, TSM decided to give their other recent acquisition, “Keaiduo” the same Academy treatment they decided that “Shenyi” needed. “Keaiduo” was sent to the Academy team, while “Takeover” was promoted to the main roster.
With these adjustments now in place, here’s an overview of how this week went:
1. Team Liquid (9-2)
1. Cloud9 (9-2)
3. Flyquest (7-4)
4. 100 Thieves (6-5)
5. Dignitas (5-6)
5. Evil Geniuses (5-6)
5. Golden Guardians (5-6)
8. Immortals (4-7)
9. Counter Logic Gaming (3-8)
10. Team SoloMid (2-9)
Week Five Day One
IMT vs EG
TSM vs FLY
TL vs 100T
GG vs C9
DIG vs CLG
Kicking off this week, Evil Geniuses had the opportunity to rematch Immortals after their heartbreaking loss to IMT in week 3. Although a few early skirmishes helped them establish a minor gold lead, EG really took hold of the matchup around the ten minute mark. There, a fight over the rift herald netted them two kills, the herald, and a 1,400 gold lead. While IMT took crucial steps to revitalize after that loss, EG’s lead management was too efficient, expanding the gold lead until a fight over mid lane wave control at 32 minutes ended dramatically in EG’s favor. With a now insurmountable lead for IMT, EG easily closed out the match in 36:32 with a 16-6 kill tally.
Despite looking to make up some ground with their new adjustments and get revenge against one of the many teams they lost to in the first half of the split, TSM lost a critical fight at the drake pit where “Josedeodo” picked up a lucrative quadrakill at the cost of only his support. Using this minor gold lead, FlyQuest secured drake point and the gamestate returned to a gold tie. After stealing the fourth and final drake, FlyQuest immediately transitioned to Baron, where TSM knew they could not contest. Using Baron, FlyQuest were able to force themselves into a winning gamestate and finish the match victoriously in just over 32 minutes with a killy tally of 18-8.
In what was inarguably the match of the day, 100T faced off against Team Liquid. As one of the two teams able to beat TL in the first half of the split, 100T were in a tough position to try and repeat their successful dismantling of the top team in the LCS. Unfortunately, TL had different plans. While the early game was quite chaotic, with TL taking a 4-1 lead before a massive fight for 100T reverted that lead to 5-5, a fight in the jungle re-established that lead 8-7 in TL’s favor. Although they maintained a lead for the rest of the game, it certainly wasn’t easy. It wasn’t until TL secured a baron at the cost of “Bwipo” where the game truly turned in their favor. Leveraging baron for about a 4,000 gold lead, TL was able to bankroll 100T into the ground. In another 32 minute game, TL got their revenge and defeated 100T 22-12.
Cloud9 has done it again. After a rocky start that left many believing that 100T was the better team, Cloud9 has shown that to be incontrovertibly untrue. Extending their 4 win streak from last week, C9 absolutely demolished Golden Guardians. A series of early skirmishes and a drake steal at the cost of most of GG’s roster allowed C9 to take a sizable gold lead and expand it exponentially. After seizing drake soul at around the 17:30 mark with a nearly 5,000 gold lead, C9 forced GG to contest the baron and tore them apart in the midlane. With nearly a 9,000 gold lead at that point, C9 was easily able to close out the match in 27:10 with a 14-4 kill tally and a 13,500 gold lead.
To close out the day, Dignitas handed CLG another loss. Although first blood wasn’t found until the 12 minute mark, DIG had already accrued a 1,000 gold lead that only expanded as the match went on. Although the kill tally remained relatively low for the remainder of the match, a fight for drake soul went heavily in DIG’s favor and allowed them to transition to CLG’s nexus. In just 29:40, Dignitas destroyed CLG 10-4.
Week Five Day Two
IMT vs TL
CLG vs 100T
EG vs C9
FLY vs DIG
TSM vs GG
Immortals once again kicked off the day with a loss. After losing to EG in the opener, IMT’s weekend was practically over. Despite TL only losing two games in this split, neither of those games have been to a team ranked below fifth. Looking at the standings, it wasn’t going to go well for Immortals. Starting off similarly to their match against 100T, Team Liquid secured a 4-1 scoreline before 15 minutes. As it turns out, the eighth best team in the LCS can’t bounce back from those numbers. While 100T put up a fight at the 4-1 mark, IMT imploded, and lost a teamfight in the botlane, bringing the kill tally to 9-2. Despite rallying a little with dragon soul and some crucial outplays that almost converted into a win, IMT fell short at TL’s nexus, allowing the first place team to win 25-13 in 36:27.
Now on a three loss streak after their defeat at the hands of TL day one, 100T were desperate for a victory. Luckily for them, they would face off against CLG, one of the lowest ranked teams in the LCS. With a fairly quiet early game, 100T accrued a 4-2 lead, soul point, and a 2,300 gold lead at the 18 minute mark. With a small lead, 100T are able to dictate the gamestate, so they opt to start Baron. Taking too much time to contest, CLG are too late to steal or stop the baron play and 100T secure the objective at the cost of “Huhi.” Their gold lead expands dramatically to around 6,200 before 100T secure drake soul and steamroll CLG in a botside jungle teamfight. Already near the enemy base with high death timers on most of their opponents, 100 Thieves are able to close out the match 11-3 in just over 29 minutes.
Eager to continue their win streak, EG bump into a little bit of trouble. That trouble comes in the form of C9, one of the best teams in the LCS. Although early game is mostly a series of trades with no serious gold advantage for either team, a four-man dive onto EG’s bot laners gives C9 a 5-3 kill lead and an 1,800 gold advantage. Despite managing to rally in kills a bit, EG was still behind in gold. This deficit converted into a winning teamfight for C9 and soul point around the 19 minute mark. This gold lead ballooned even further before C9 converted yet another teamfight for soul and baron. With a now insurmountable gold and objective lead in front of them, EG fell to C9 in only 27:31 with a 20-8 scoreline.
After both teams secured a victory on day one, DIG and FlyQuest were looking to move up in the standings after falters by both 100T and GG. After a rather uneventful opening 31 minutes where neither team secured a gold lead greater than 1,000 and the kill tally was dead even at 9-9, a team fight for baron was the deciding factor in the matchup. After finding a crucial hook onto Dignitas jungler, FlyQuest found a four-for-one teamfight that allowed them to take baron, a significant gold lead, and DIG’s nexus. In just 32:22, FlyQuest defeated Dignitas 14-10.
In the final matchup of the week, both TSM and GG were winless after losing to FlyQuest and Cloud9 respectively. While the match has heavily biased towards GG due to TSM’s last place standing in the LCS—having only beaten IMT with a (1-8) record in the first half of the split—TSM showed astounding resilience. With a back-and-forth opening 22 minutes, TSM found themselves with a negligible gold lead, two drakes, and a teamfight waiting to happen for control of soul point. Despite GG initiating with a kill onto “Tactical” and taking the drake, TSM found themselves on the winning end of the teamfight, trading one-for-five and taking baron shortly after. While this only generated a lead for TSM, another fight for the second baron once again went in their favor, allowing them to close out the match in just over 35 minutes 20-11.
With the second half of the Spring Split now underway, MSI is fast approaching. Team Liquid and Cloud9 are the favorites right now, but who knows how the standings will turn out. Tune in next week for another recap of the LCS Spring Split.
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